There’s something terribly ironic about the fact that Rand Paul may be riding into Kentucky’s United States Senate seat as a beneficiary of Sarah Palin’s endorsement. While they may be politically beneficial to each other, Palin and Paul represent two different approaches to political issues which are diametrically opposed to one another.
Even though it is actually short for Randall, Rand Paul shares in his first name the last name of one of libertarian’s intellectual icons, Ayn Rand, symbolic of his embrace of many of the free market intellectual works that he read as a young adult. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is unapologetically anti-intellectual, using the description “law professor” to deride Barack Obama, as if teaching law is some sort of epithet.
Paul comes off as quite intelligent, reasonable and informed in cable news shows, while Sarah Palin can’t speak in front of a friendly audience without looking at notes written in her palm. Paul is a beacon of ideas based on the American founding. Palin probably hasn’t had an idea in her head at any point and has rode into national politics after charming the pants off of horny, hot and bothered Republican Party enthusiasts. She wasn’t even able to name a favorite founding father after being asked by a friendly questioner like Glenn Beck. It’s not shocking that she spent her early years in beauty contests; she is in many ways the representative of the Miss Teen USA constituency. Hell, if the standards are so low for Republican leadership that a Sarah Palin can make it to a leadership position, perhaps Caitlin Upton can look forward to a presidential run in twenty years.
The chasm between the Paul/Campaign for Liberty crowd and the idiocy of Palin is representative of a battle between light and darkness, adulthood and childhood, informed thought and knee jerk ignorance. We can return to the days of Republicans like Eisenhower, Reagan and even Nixon, who didn’t rely on writing on their hands as if they were a 12-year-old trying to cheat a spelling test, or we can regress into the moron movement that Palin seems intent on leading. If we choose the latter, there may be no hope for the Republican Party.