My letter to Rand Paul

I joined Rand Paul’s class action law­suit against the NSA. Then Rand sent me a long mail-merge let­ter urg­ing me to sup­port our oth­er com­mon inter­ests, like ban­ning abor­tions and deny­ing cit­i­zens the very health care that Rand receives as an elect­ed offi­cial. I was annoyed, but I still felt that Rand and I could work togeth­er. Here’s my reply to him.

Dear Rand Paul*,

I have just received your mass-mail­ing, under the ban­ner “Rand 2016,” urg­ing me to sign a state­ment of “Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples.” As a result, I have unsub­scribed from your mail­ing list. I got myself on your list ear­li­er this week by join­ing your class action law­suit against secret sur­veil­lance of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens by Fed­er­al intel­li­gence agen­cies, specif­i­cal­ly the NSA.

When I joined that class action, I was NOT indi­cat­ing sup­port of a gen­er­al “Repub­li­can” agen­da or the “right to life” move­ment. I was sup­port­ing what I said I was sup­port­ing — a move­ment to cur­tail the secret sur­veil­lance state. I will not appre­ci­ate hav­ing my name used to sug­gest that I sup­port things I do not sup­port.

I’m not a Repub­li­can. In fact, I’m far to the left of what’s now called a “Demo­c­rat.” But that’s because the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has moved so far to the right in just my life­time. I actu­al­ly haven’t changed much. I’ve nev­er sup­port­ed posi­tions based upon “my coun­try right or wrong,” and I don’t sup­port them today.

But here’s the point of this let­ter: Can we work togeth­er? Noam Chom­sky, a leg­endary schol­ar and truth-teller who calls him­self “a clas­sic con­ser­v­a­tive,” often tells peo­ple on the left to find com­mon­al­i­ty with those on the right, and to work togeth­er for what we all believe in. There­fore, I’m writ­ing this let­ter to see if you think there are ways that you and I could work togeth­er even though we don’t agree on every­thing.

I read your state­ment of “Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples.” It’s vague­ly word­ed in some cas­es, and in oth­er cas­es the lan­guage is sus­pi­cious­ly emo­tion­al, but I could prob­a­bly sup­port most things on it EXCEPT the state­ments on abor­tion, “Oba­maCare,” and the ref­er­ence to “the EPA’s green goons.” (Real­ly, Rand, you must stop using lan­guage like that.)

I sup­port a woman’s right to choose. It’s not nego­tiable. How­ev­er, I do believe that abor­tion is nev­er some­thing to take light­ly, that it should always be a last resort, and that it should be avoid­ed by pre­vent­ing unwant­ed preg­nan­cies in the first place. In oth­er words, on abor­tion I take the ratio­nal, non-hys­ter­i­cal, non-fun­da­men­tal­ist posi­tion — the posi­tion that some­one like you should be tak­ing, I believe.

Regard­ing “Oba­maCare,” first of all, you shouldn’t use that term; it’s inflam­ma­to­ry, need­less­ly par­ti­san, and beneath you. Sec­ond, I agree that Obama’s health pro­gram is a dis­as­ter — but it’s a dis­as­ter for the same rea­son that Obama’s entire pres­i­den­cy is a dis­as­ter: he promised “change you can believe in” and deliv­ered no such thing. His health plan is a dis­as­ter because it’s not full, sin­gle-pay­er health care for every cit­i­zen of the coun­try, the same health care that all oth­er “first world” nations have, and that you your­self get as an elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Why should rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple receive such a fun­da­men­tal human ben­e­fit when the peo­ple them­selves do not?

Regard­ing your “Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples” state­ment on the Tenth Amend­ment, I sup­port the tra­di­tion­al Amer­i­can right of a state to secede from the union. Is that “states’ rights” enough for you? How­ev­er, if your states’ rights advo­ca­cy is a maneu­ver to try to out­law abor­tion state-by-state, then I do not sup­port it. There must be core indi­vid­ual lib­er­ties pro­mot­ed by the nation as a whole. There must also be clean air and water for every­one. If you have a bet­ter way to ensure core free­doms and human-life guar­an­tees than Fed­er­al law and reg­u­la­tion, let’s hear it.

I’m in favor of build­ing a sane, civ­il soci­ety. How about you? Where are you on the “War on Ter­ror”? How would you answer the ques­tion that George W. Bush so famous­ly failed to answer: “Why do they hate us?” My own posi­tion on this cru­cial ques­tion is very clear, and you won’t hear it from Barack Oba­ma.

My posi­tion is that the U.S. has giv­en “them” some very good rea­sons to hate us over the years, and we need to stop doing that. I believe we should make Amer­i­cans more safe at home not with a “War on Ter­ror” (why is it always a “war,” Rand?), but by reduc­ing under­stand­able hos­til­i­ty to the U.S. – some­thing well with­in our pow­er to do imme­di­ate­ly. For starters, an imme­di­ate end to cow­ard­ly, cold-blood­ed mur­der from the sky by unmanned drones.

Where are you on Israeli expan­sion into the ter­ri­to­ries (which is clear­ly ille­gal aggres­sion), and on the need for an imme­di­ate, last­ing Pales­tin­ian solu­tion — some­thing that, all by itself, would make Amer­i­cans vast­ly more safe than they are today? For that mat­ter, where are you on the “War on Drugs”? On the mil­i­ta­riza­tion of out­er space? On get­ting cor­po­rate mon­ey out of our elec­tions?

I sus­pect that you and I could agree on many of these things. But I’m not sure. I joined your NSA class action because you sup­port dis­man­tling the military/corporate com­plex that Dwight Eisen­how­er warned us about. Now, in today’s email, you call for elim­i­nat­ing “cor­po­rate kick­backs.” I agree. I assume that this means you’re against “cor­po­rate per­son­hood.” I hope so.

Here’s my ques­tion, Rand: Can peo­ple like you and me col­lab­o­rate on the val­ues that we do share? Can we join togeth­er against a secret police state, uncon­sti­tu­tion­al expan­sion of Exec­u­tive pow­er, a cor­rupt Con­gress and a bloat­ed and waste­ful mil­i­tary? Can we work togeth­er for the restora­tion of the indi­vid­ual right to pri­va­cy against the “big data” oli­garchy? Can we work togeth­er for the pro­mo­tion of peace and jus­tice around the world?

All these goals come under the head­ing “aban­don­ing the quest for glob­al hege­mo­ny.” And they are all quite com­pat­i­ble with the long-term inter­ests of the Unit­ed States. Think of it: after we get rid of the need­less “War on Ter­ror,” the equal­ly need­less “War on Drugs,” and many need­less U.S. mil­i­tary bases around the world, we’ll be able to give all Amer­i­cans full sin­gle-pay­er health care, repair our crum­bling infra­struc­ture, revive pub­lic edu­ca­tion, build the fast mass tran­sit that oth­er devel­oped coun­tries have, and STILL low­er tax­es. Pret­ty remark­able, wouldn’t you agree?

Rand, a per­son could actu­al­ly get elect­ed Pres­i­dent with an agen­da like this. The Amer­i­can peo­ple are ready for it. I can feel it. The cor­rupt politi­cians aren’t ready, but the peo­ple are.

Can a per­son on the “right” work with a per­son on the “left” for com­mon, fun­da­men­tal goals? You’ll have to tell me. I accept that it will require “agree­ing to dis­agree” on cer­tain things. In fact, I think we should sim­ply announce pub­licly that we have dis­agree­ments, but that we agree on many equal­ly impor­tant mat­ters.

Any­way, let me hear your thoughts.

Regards,

Ralph Lom­breglia

*I real­ize that Rand Paul is prob­a­bly not the direct recip­i­ent of this email. How­ev­er, I’m reply­ing to an email that pur­ports to be from Rand Paul per­son­al­ly. It bears his sig­na­ture. There­fore, I’m ask­ing that you for­ward this let­ter to Rand Paul him­self. And FYI, I’m post­ing this on my blog, and if Rand answers my let­ter, I will also post his reply.

On Jun 28, 2013, at 10:01 AM, “Rand Paul” wrote:

Dear Ralph,

Mil­lions of tax­pay­er dol­lars for Hol­ly­wood, NASCAR, algae grow­ers, elec­tric motor­cy­cle mak­ers and a host of oth­er cor­po­rate kick­backs.

Hard work­ing Amer­i­cans like you are pay­ing more in tax­es to fund even more waste­ful spend­ing.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of the way things are done in Wash­ing­ton.

And I’m espe­cial­ly tired of Har­ry Reid, Barack Oba­ma and their big-spend­ing pals hatch­ing schemes to waste your hard earned mon­ey on pro­grams that con­tra­dict our con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues.

If I sound a lit­tle fired up — it’s because I am.

And I’m going to do every­thing in my pow­er to break through the estab­lish­ment and return the GOP to its core prin­ci­ples.

Can I count on you to stand with me by sign­ing your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples?

You see, the “fis­cal cliff” fight served as a shin­ing exam­ple of exact­ly what’s wrong with Wash­ing­ton.

A bill that includ­ed mas­sive new tax hikes and waste­ful spend­ing was passed in less than 24 hours — with many Sen­a­tors only hav­ing three min­utes to read the bill before Har­ry Reid forced them to vote on it.

Of course, you may hear those same peo­ple claim­ing they’re going to get seri­ous about cut­ting spend­ing when the “fis­cal cliff” fight is revis­it­ed this Spring.

They say next time it will be bet­ter.

But this is the same old song and dance the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment always uses to sell us out to the Big Gov­ern­ment crowd in Wash­ing­ton — by promis­ing future spend­ing cuts.

In the past, the spend­ing cuts nev­er came, so there is no rea­son to believe they will come now.

It’s up to you and me to make sure things are dif­fer­ent this time.

How long will the estab­lish­ment con­tin­ue to ignore our real fis­cal prob­lems?

Prob­lems like $16 TRILLION in debt with seem­ing­ly no end in sight.

As a Repub­li­can, I want my par­ty to be known for its stone-cold seri­ous­ness about our fis­cal prob­lems.

I want it to be known for its adher­ence to our party’s his­tor­i­cal prin­ci­ples — like lim­it­ed gov­ern­ment, fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty and low­er tax­es.

And adher­ing to this set of prin­ci­ples shouldn’t be hard — espe­cial­ly for Repub­li­cans.

After all, these are the same tried-and-true prin­ci­ples that made Amer­i­ca the freest, most pros­per­ous nation on Earth.

The truth is, I believe there’s nev­er been a greater need for a Repub­li­can Par­ty that isn’t afraid to look our nation’s prob­lems in the face and start work­ing to solve them.

If you agree, I hope you’ll sign your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples IMMEDIATELY.

Ralph, I didn’t come to Wash­ing­ton to join the “good olé boys” net­work.

I didn’t come for the “perks” of being a U.S. Sen­a­tor.

And I sure as hell didn’t come to Wash­ing­ton to help main­tain the Big Gov­ern­ment, big spend­ing sta­tus quo.

I came to Wash­ing­ton to fight to restore the Found­ing prin­ci­ples of indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty, free mar­kets, and con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment.

And I believe that starts by return­ing the GOP to its core prin­ci­ples.

But I can’t do it with­out the help and sup­port of con­ser­v­a­tives like you.

That’s why — along with your signed State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples — I hope you’ll agree to make a gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion of $500, $250, $100, or $50 today.

Your gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion will help mobi­lize mil­lions of Amer­i­cans to fight to restore our con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues in Wash­ing­ton.

But there’s no time to waste.

The tax-and-spenders got their “fis­cal cliff” vic­to­ry, and now they’re going to come out guns blaz­ing in the new Con­gress.

So over the next cou­ple of weeks, you and I are going to be faced with an onslaught from the sta­tists in Wash­ing­ton.

Gun-con­trol schemes. Tax hikes. Out-of-con­trol spend­ing. More attacks on our per­son­al lib­er­ty.

There’s no telling how far they’ll go.

That’s why you and I must send a loud-and-clear mes­sage to the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment that grass­roots con­ser­v­a­tives aren’t going to sit idly by and allow them to sell out our val­ues for polit­i­cal expe­di­en­cy.

So please sign your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples IMMEDIATELY.

My plan is to cir­cu­late your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples to my col­leagues to let them know you’ve had enough of the sta­tus quo in Wash­ing­ton.

And if at all pos­si­ble, I hope you’ll agree to make a gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion of $500, $250, $100, $50 — or what­ev­er you can afford — today.

I know times are tough for a lot of folks out there.

But if you and I don’t stand up and fight back — NOW - it’s only going to get worse.

So please sign your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples, and if at all pos­si­ble agree to make your most gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion imme­di­ate­ly.

Togeth­er, you and I can restore con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment in Amer­i­ca.

In Lib­er­ty,

Sen­a­tor Rand Paul

P.S. With their vic­to­ry in the “fis­cal cliff” fight, the sta­tists are going to waste no time try­ing to ram through their Big Gov­ern­ment agen­da.

If we’re going to win this fight, you and I must turn up the heat on the GOP to stand up and fight for our core prin­ci­ples.

So please sign your State­ment of Repub­li­can Prin­ci­ples, and if at all pos­si­ble agree to make a gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion of $500, $250, $100, or $50.

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