The Spectacle Blog

Rand Paul is Right on National Security and Debt

By on 4.22.14 | 2:02PM

The D.C. commentariat is currently buzzing in unison. “Left” and “right” have united in agitated harmony. You see, Rand Paul is a danger to his party and this country…if not the entire world. Or so the chorus goes. Yesterday, Jed Babbin lent his full-throated support to their refrain.

With all due respect to Mr. Babbin, I don't think a 2002 op-ed addressed to the Bowling Green Daily News can condense the political philosophy of libertarianism “at its finest," nor the notion of liberty as the highest political end.

Likewise, I don’t particularly care to reengage the 1964 Civil Rights Act hubbub. The idea that a private business might reserve the right to refuse service has been thoroughly covered on this digital broadsheet. For his part, Senator Paul is more than capable of defending himself on this point, as he has countless times.

Rather, I’d like to treat—with laser-focus—Mr. Babbin’s contention that Rand Paul “speaks clearly because his positions are naïve and otherworldly.” He continues:

It’s easy — and correct — to suggest that the federal debt is an enormous problem, even to say that it’s a national security problem, as Paul has said. But is it really, as he has also said, the biggest national security problem America has? Hardly.

It’s an interesting and timely statement. The Tarrance Group recently conducted a survey on behalf of Concerned Veterans for America that was released on April 18. It just so happens that “nearly three-quarters of veterans and members of the military (73%) agree with former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s statement that our nation's debt is ‘the greatest threat to our National Security.’” (Emphasis theirs- RS)

That is to say: Admiral Mike Mullen and 73 percent of veterans, Guard/Reserve, and active-duty military surveyed share Rand Paul’s “naïve and otherworldly” claim.

Have a look at the key findings—surely we wouldn’t characterize their disapproval of President Obama’s administration, his signature health care legislation, and the backlog of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs as “naïve,” let alone alien to reason?

Judging by this survey, Rand Paul is simply echoing the concerns of a former Joint Chief, and the vast majority of military men and women surveyed by a noted veterans advocacy organization. That’s not bad company to keep.

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