This morning I learned with great annoyance and dismay that Rand Paul is the latest Republican to jump on the Republicans-need-to-be-more-inclusive bandwagon. At a dinner event with GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas, Paul suggested that Texas would be a democrat state within 10 years if the Republican Party doesn’t change its ways.
“…we have to be a more welcoming party,” Paul said. “We have to welcome people of all races. We need to welcome people of all classes - business class, working class.”
“We need to have people with ties and without ties, with tattoos and without tattoos; with earrings, without earrings,” he said. “We need a more diverse party. We need a party that looks like America.”
There are plenty of reasons to find fault with the Republican Party but for right now let’s focus just on Senator Paul’s remarks. This strategy of using phony reasons to castigate one’s own party in order to supposedly “save” it absolutely dumbfounds me. What kind of an idiot thinks he can “broaden the Republican tent” by reinforcing the Democrats’ false mantra that the Republican Party is nothing but of bunch of old white men who hate everybody else? Whose side is Rand Paul on, anyways? I challenge Senator Paul to bring us one, JUST ONE, person who has embraced conservative ideas and wanted to be part of the Republican Party but was rejected because of his skin color or his appearance. He can’t because there aren’t any.
Mr. Paul says, “We need a party that looks like America.” As nice as it would be if characteristics like race, gender, age and culture played no role in people’s political persuasions that’s not the reality. The Democrat Party has made sure of that and you’ll note, Senator Paul, that the Democrat Party doesn’t seem to be particularly concerned that their own party in no way mirrors the demographic make-up of the American population. The Republican Party is not a social club. It has a purpose and that purpose is to promote leadership that will live by the Constitution. The goal of the Party should be to build a following around that, regardless of what it ultimately looks like, so please get your priorities straight.
There are two ways to broaden a political tent, Senator Paul. One way is to welcome anyone regardless of where they stand on the issues. This means you lose the focus on your Party’s mission and control of its direction, of course. It means that you really have no purpose for existing except to bring people together under the meaningless banner of ‘Republican Party,’ for what little that’s worth. The other way is to persuade people, either through education or by forced experience, that your platform is the right one. In doing so you may or may not have a Party that “looks like America,” but you’ll have a Party that actually stands for something and has meaning.
In light of his remarks and his presidential aspirations, I would urge conservatives to be diligent in their attention to Rand Paul. As a long-time Republican he knows as well as any of us that the Party does not reject people for the way they look or for their socio-economic status, so what is he doing here? The “we-need-to-be-more-inclusive” song is often a prelude to suggesting that Republicans need to relax their stance on issues like illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, welfare programs and national defense, among others. If Paul truly believes we’re on the wrong side of those issues, fair enough. Let’s have an open, honest debate. But let’s NOT do it in a misguided effort to broaden the tent.