Today as I coded away at work I found myself listening to a few clips on Youtube while completing some repetitive tasks. There was a certain clip that stuck out among the ones the app on my phone recommended, a 10-minute segment from Real time where Bill Maher interviewed one of the two republican senators from Kentucky, dr Rand Paul. Check it out here.
Of all the up and coming, young (relatively speaking) American politicians that have caught my eyes here on the other side of the Atlantic, Rand Paul may be the foremost. He seems like a principled right-winger that takes a reasonable but in mainstream America perhaps controversial stance on civil liberties and foreign policy. I must admit I find myself liking what he says. he wants to stop imprisoning people for victim-less crimes and while he recognizes that military interventions might in a few cases be necessary he also recognizes that they should be handled in a proper manner, and voted on by congress rather than started when the president feels like it.
Maher seems to have the same view of dr Paul Jr as me when it comes to these issues. They quickly bonded over decriminalization of weed, and I shit you not it looked for a moment like Paul almost convinced Maher that he was an environmentalist. I couldn’t, however, help but think of a few things they didn’t bring up.
The religion issue, for one. While I find myself agreeing with Maher with regards to how one shouldn’t mix religion and politics, I fear that some of the people Paul will depend on in the GOP primary do not. And they kept going on like this, almost like Maher was afraid to challenging Paul or bring up issues where they were bound to disagree. They sort of peeked at private prisons, for example, and I swear I could almost sense how Paul didn’t wanna go down that road. I would sympathize, I happen to think that free market solutions both work and are morally justified in many areas, almost all, but certainly not law enforcement. If there is one institution that shouldn’t be run like a business then it sure is a prison, seeing how making more money there means not delivering a better product but making sure laws are passed that imprison more non-violent offenders. Maher agrees with me that prisons shouldn’t be privatized, but does Paul?
I guess that what I’m going for here is that while my opinion of both these gentlemen is more favorable then not, it feels like neither of them performed as well as they could here, especially not Maher. Maybe he felt they didn’t have time, maybe there was more going on then I saw in this ten minute snippet, but I know that Bill Maher can do more to challenge a man who in two years will claim to be fit to rule the free world.
Paul on the other hand is clearly doing what he can to convince liberals he is a different kind of republican, but how far can he push it without it biting him in the ass? I don’t know, I suspect someone competing in the coming primary might bring up the fact that Paul buddied off with Maher as a bad thing. Something in line with “look at this, Paul is fraternizing with an east coast liberal” or words to that extent. I, however, would like to say that he does have his faults but if the next president of the United States has to be a republican than I sure wouldn’t mind it being Rand Paul.