Guest Opinion: Hawkeyes know the real Rand Paul


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

This week, newly declared Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul will bring his announcement tour to the This week, newly declared Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul will bring his announcement tour to the University of Iowa. The stop is as much about Iowa’s status as the home of the first caucuses as it is an acknowledgement of the critical role students and young voters will play in next year’s election. But despite his posturing, Sen. Paul is the wrong candidate to deliver a message that appeals to young voters.

The amount of praise being heaped on Paul for his attempt to reach out to young voters far exceeds anything he’s actually done to earn it. In fact, his actions are noteworthy only because of how rare it is to find anything — whether in Paul’s record or from Republicans generally — that isn’t at odds with our priorities and values. It only takes a glance at Paul’s record to see why a President Paul is the last thing we need.

Most of us are here, at least in part, because we’ve been told our entire lives how important it is to go to college and get a good education. It’s likely that at some point, somebody imparted on you that higher education is the key to achieving the American dream. But Paul wants to undermine the financial support that brings that dream within reach.

He called a plan to help graduates refinance their student loans — the same way our parents can refinance their mortgages — a threat to the “stability” and “fabric” of society. And he doesn’t believe in investing in federal student grants. His budget proposals would freeze Pell Grants at levels not seen since some of us were still in middle school.

How can Republicans such as Paul talk about investing in our future when they would put us at a financial disadvantage before we even start our careers?

Paul doesn’t respect the issues we care about, either.

Name a problem in our society, and odds are you can find some convoluted think piece pinning the blame for it on millennials. But how often do we get credit for the positive work our generation is doing to reshape our society as one that is more tolerant and accepting?

It’s extraordinary how much progress has been made toward LGBT equality in just a few short years. That progress was hard fought after decades of struggles, but Paul wants to throw it all away. He’s said the concept of same-sex marriage “offends” him, and he literally doesn’t believe in the concept of “gay rights” because he thinks it means handing out “rights based on your behavior.”

He’s also terrible on women’s rights. It’s not just abortion; his strong support of personhood legislation could lead to a ban on common forms of birth control. These are health-care decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor, not politicians such as Rand Paul in Washington. He also opposed the Violence Against Women Act and compared equal-pay legislation to Soviet Russia.

Paul keeps telling us that he’s a different type of Republican. But he wants to cut funding for higher education to pay for a “flat tax” that would mean huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. On social issues, he would drag us back to the 1950s. That doesn’t sound like a new type of Republican to me; it sounds like more of the failed old policies that would hurt college students and our country.

Carter Bell, president
University of Iowa Democrats

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.