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Ralph Nader: The Dilemma for Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul is widening the difference between his father, the long-time former Congressman from Texas whose “no” votes on principle, whether you agree or not, have shaped his place in history. See his lengthy farewell address upon retiring from the House of Representatives. Ron Paul has just established the non-profit Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

The differences between father and son are ones of personality, policy and opportunism. Since Rand Paul is intent on running for president in 2016, his drift toward the corporatist Republicans is noteworthy.

Senator Rand Paul appears sterner. He is also far less likely to return calls than his father. When he was running for the Kentucky Senate Seat in 2010, I made several calls to ask whether he intended to support the bills his father was proposing in the House, including the legalization of growing industrial hemp in the U.S. for food, energy, clothing, paper lubricants and many other uses. He never responded, even though he was called by the Louisville Courier Journal on this subject. (Senator Paul has now sponsored legalization of industrial hemp cultivation.)

Soon I realized that others had difficulty in reaching him both during his campaign and since then. In 2010, his campaign director did tell me that when Rand Paul becomes Senator, he would go after the overblown military budget.

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The way I see it,

Rand is just doing what Obama did, but the other way around. Obama campaigned on civil liberties, transparency, and anti-war stuff, then became president and flipped it on us. Rand is doing the same by campaigning on all the stuff we hate, then hopefully flipping it on the establishment when he becomes president.

In other words he is doing a Romney

I plan to vote for someone I can believe. Chances are I will write in. I do hope if he gets elected he doesn't follow what he tells people. What I like so much about Ron Paul is he talks the same way to everyone.

some good points

most overstated though, and nothing that would help him win the GOP Nomination.


Rand did himself in with me on the day he dropped the bomb

last year. He could have waited until the next day. That really did it for me. That was the lowest of the low to drop a bomb on your dad on the very day Ron was at the pinnacle of his campaign in Texas.

Absolutely the rudest thing he could ever have done. He could have done it any day 3 months before that day or 3 months after....but no....he did it the SAME DAY!

I am not sure if I could vote for him.....he crossed the line of principle with me then when he crapped on his pa.
If he would crap on his pa like that he's crap on us.


the irony?

Do you really believe that Rand and his father didn't see a greater goal?

It was a huge political misstep in both camps. Seriously. I was so fkn pissed that Rand didn't handle it better that I commented everywhere about it.

The thing is.. After my emotion relaxed I realized they may have a better political game.

Think about this for a moment. 'Dad, Im thinking of running for the Senate in KY.'

Do you think for a moment that his father didn't work out details then? Think about the language Ron has used since. Im a dad too. Sit down. Figure out the end game plan and exit strategy.

In other words.. where else would have Rand gone too?

This is a long game. The Pauls understand this... especially the one that has professed, defended and eloquently admired for his entire life.

It would be foolhardy to suggest that father and son did not debate the end goals.


'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Whenever someone mentions a

Whenever someone mentions a "greater goal" you can be sure they have abandoned their first principles.


well, ron has said

repeatedly they don't talk politics or have any plan between them. when they do talk it's about family matters: how are the kids doing etc.

Gilligan's picture

Ron Paul will probably endorse someone for President.

Whomever that is, won't you consider voting for him?

I'd rather be a hungry patriot than a satisfied slave.

P.S. I loved Edward Snowden before you did!

Just goof'in.


I think I have thought this through a lot.

I would have been fine with Rand before the bomb even though he acted like "he owned the Ron Paul" email list, supporters and so forth carte blanche....I felt as if (even way back then) that he didn't have to do anything except be the son of Ron Paul to own the email list.

I felt like he treated us as robots that could be programmed any way he wanted. I got emails from him and he or whoever wrote them talked as if he owned our minds.

From my perspective, Rand Paul has been presumptive about our support.

In spite of the above I could vote for him except for one thing: he proved untrustworthy at the very least and ultra manipulative at the worst.

For me Rand in the area of trustworthiness is about on a par with most other politicians: eg you can't trust them.
What else is there?

I WANT TO TRUST HIM. But I can't and I don't. He effed up. He is not trustworthy.

He is just like Judge Roberts in my book. No diff.

I appreciate your comment very much though. This whole thing with Rand is pathetic.


i dont know,

he endorsed chuck baldwin in 2008. i didn't consider voting for him.

if you can't take care of your own....

... how does that saying go?

yeah rand really needs to

yeah rand really needs to take his lead from ralph nader... to nowehere.

if rand is a sellout that makes one out of thousands, so who cares? no loss. if he's not, then he's worth 1000x times more than 'honest' politicians like nader, by doing what he's doing.

think about this.

pat buchanan was perhaps the most able political mind of his generation, working to bring nixon and reagan two 50 state landslides. he had his finger on the pulse of american politics for 3 decades.

when he went to run for the presidency himself, his performance was abysmal. why? because through his career he as uttered too many political truths. despite all his political agility and practical wisdom, he could not gain the slightest political foothold, because the truths he had spoken made him off limits to the electorate and the opinion makers.

love him or hate him, that should tell you something. rand has probably already told too many truths. hes trying to straddle a thin line between remaining politically viable and at the same time not becoming identical to every other GOP next best thing.

with rand, you are just going to have to go on faith that he is his father's son. he is not going to spell it out for you. if he is a fraud, he's no different the the rest of them. but if he isn't, the loss of support from a tiny minority of unrelenting purists is not going to dissuade him from acting in the only way that can bring success.

taking his lead from ralph nader is the last thing he should be doing.

it seems all people care about is winning the election

go for it, lie cheat and steal. For some reason people think this strategy is ok when it is their guy doing the deceit. Sad.

Ron Paul did so much to change things. Things are rapidly going in the right direction. Don't screw it up by going to the dark side. That is my thought for today. #peace

I like Ralph Nader

and agree with him on many things, but I disagree with his analysis here.

Nader is very anti-capitalist and anti-corporation, is a socialist, but is good on civil liberties.

Here I believe, Nadar's argument is flawed and speculative. Nader's premise is that Ron Paul would have cut the defense budget. That's false. RP stated that he would not cut the defense budget and in fact could increase it.

RP was talking about the wars and the secret gvt operations that bleed billions from the budget. RP wanted to close military bases overseas as well so that more of the spending would benefit job creation here at home.

If Rand Paul wants the GOP nomination he will have to talk to the banksters and the MIC and he will have to raise a lot of money. Rand will have to dance with the devil, but he is still the best candidate out there so far as I know.

corporatism & the MIC

Ron and Ralph stand together

Nader is right.

Rand sold out to become part of the GOP Establishment. He is a true sellout!

Stand With True Libertarians 2016!
Fire Rand

I love you Ralph

I worked with you for 16 years, and you were very difficult to reach.. THANK GOD you had Public Citizen and Nader Report and many people working in your organizations to speak for you.. (I was the one who introduced you to hemp back in 1992 BTW, how we got to know each other, still have my Meet up page where I ran your petition for two states ballot access.. when meet up was free.. and boy were you unhappy when I told you I was going to support Ron Paul).

You didn't like Ron..or maybe it was the GOP.. and I did try to get Ron to go Indy.. but now.. I think Ron Paul was BRILLIANT inviting us into the GOP.. because with persistance. we may be able to clean this party up and make it more a race between water and cola, rather than coke and pepsi.

I'm backing Rand now.. he's busy... pissin' off NPR.. they must have told you.. well.. maybe they can give you some air time.. after all Ralph, I really mean this.. Ron Paul's campaign was a cake walk by comparison to the HELL we went through as Indy's for you.. and we never won ONE law suit. Not one. Man am I glad it's over. I LOVE you. Always will. STAND WITH RAND.

I have disagreed with Ralph many times

over the last few decades, but I have never doubted his sincerity.

He had some excellent points here.

I get it

but Ralph, they would tear Rand apart and accuse him of being a socialist in the GOP primaries if they associated you with him, unfortunately that's dirty GOP politics and we only have a 2 party system and that sucks, but in order to win, we must win the nomination first.

like ron paul says

we have a one party system

This association

would be built on what?

Michael Nystrom's picture

Bump - thanks for the post fonz

I appreciate it. Interesting & insightful reading.

Thank you.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

a tight, no nonsense

piece by a man famous for integrity and courage. Nader is also a friend and supporter of Rand's father. i hope the senator reads this CLOSELY and decides wisely.



He makes some interesting points

But I'm not sure i agree with him on some of his harsh statements towards Rand.

Then start a conversation about those specific points

that you don't agree with. Don't just comment that you're not sure about "some" of his harsh statements. This is exactly the thread and conversation we need to have more of. Great post. I personally found that Nader verbalized, rather eloquently, all the areas that have made my stomach uneasy over Rand. Once you learn what it is to be principled, it's nearly impossible to give people a pass even for the sake of "playing the game".

An insightful look at the

An insightful look at the Rookie senator from Kentucky... I always respect Ralph Nader's point of view. Thank goodness there are still Ralph Naders in the world.