By Michael Collins Piper
Is Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of iconic Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul, planning to “rewrite” the traditional nationalist and non-interventionist foreign policy stance of the grassroots movement that’s coalesced around his father’s two consecutive bids for the GOP presidential nomination? Is the younger Paul planning to make moves to capture the support of pro-Israel Christian evangelicals by shifting away from his own father’s stands which have, in the past, alienated those voters?
That’s the well-founded speculation emerging in the wake of a provocative and revealing article that appeared on May 3, 2012 in Business Insider (BI).
In the article, entitled “PHASE TWO OF THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN: Rand Paul Is Already Getting Ready To Run In 2016,” BI reported that Rand is, even now, working to enhance his own visibility in Iowa, actively courting Iowa voters, even as his father’s campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination winds down. And considering the fact that followers of the senior Paul now constitute “the best network in the state of Iowa,” according to talk show host Steve Deace, a conservative leader cited by BI, this could provide the Kentucky senator a strong base of support for a 2016 presidential run.
Noting that Ron Paul backers have taken over key positions in the state’s GOP, Deace says that the Paul supporters “are” the Republican Party in Iowa. Said Deace: “If Rand Paul wants to run for president, he will have that organization as a huge advantage over everyone else.”
In addition, BI reported, the younger Paul is working to enhance his own ties to Christian evangelicals, “most of whom,” BI noted, “have never been particularly taken with the elder Paul.”
One key Iowa evangelical, David Lane—who opposed Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012—has approached Rand Paul about a trip to Israel. BI said Lane’s overture was “part of a larger discussion about Rand’s position on the Jewish state, which has been a political landmine for the elder Paul.”
BI noted that “Lane’s interest in Rand’s Israel positions also underscores the opportunity that the younger Paul has to rewrite parts of the narrative about the Ron Paul movement, specifically regarding national security and foreign policy issues.” Note very carefully the word “rewrite.” BI added that “the fact that such an idea even exists indicates that Sen. Paul’s potential candidacy is being taken very seriously by conservatives.”
That Rand would begin making moves to assuage the concerns of the pro-Israel lobby comes as no surprise to those who’ve been monitoring his political maneuvering since he ran for the Senate in 2010. Then—and since—Rand engaged in rhetoric quite different from his father’s vis-à-vis efforts to ramp up American support for action against Iran, a longtime pet project of the neocons who are among Ron Paul’s most vituperous critics.
Rand’s chief tactician in 2010—deployed to his campaign by the Republican National Committee—was Trygve Olson, who was deeply enmeshed in the global intrigues of the International Republican Institute (IRI), a neocon venture chaired by warmongering Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), a fervent internationalist.
Outspoken columnist Paul Craig Roberts has called IRI “an election-rigging tool of U.S. hegemony,” an apt description inasmuch as the IRI is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which specializes in meddling in the political affairs of other countries—a position totally contrary to the non-interventionist point of view so effectively articulated by Ron Paul.
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.