Kentucky’s Senate race is the race to watch this fall. Rand Paul is currently polling six points ahead of Democratic challenger Jack Conway. It appears to be Paul’s race to lose. Can the controversial Republican with strong libertarian leanings keep his lead?
Rand Paul has been busy since winning the Republican primary. His appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show the day after his win caused a round of controversy. His libertarian defense of private property rights when asked about the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on discrimination in private businesses was immediately seized on by liberal opponents to paint him as a fringe candidate. Paul immediately clarified his position that he did support the Civil Rights Act. Was anyone really worried that he’d want to revisit this issue once elected? Rand’s small government beliefs simply limit the government’s reach to the public arena, even if that means private property owners may choose to discriminate.
Following on the heels of the Civil Rights debacle, in a recent interview, Paul told a Russian television station that he was opposed to automatic citizenship for children born in this country to illegal aliens. Paul argues that we are the only country that guarantees citizenship to those born in this country and that this must stop. This stance is coupled with support of legalized guest worker status that is in line with his libertarian principles. Illegal immigration is a topic no one seems to want to address and Paul’s positions are practical offerings that would reduce the motivation to enter this country illegally.
Rand Paul is a different kind of Republican. He doesn’t just give lip service to small government principles, he stands behind them even in the face of controversy. It remains to be seen if the people of Kentucky really want limited government or if they were just following the Tea Party trend. The 2010 elections will tell the truth about people’s support of small government and Rand Paul’s fate will be a bellwether for 2012.