As time draws on, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see Senator Rand Paul’s opponent as an actual registered Democrat. The recent attacks by Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray sound more like a neoconservative than a liberal. Mayor Gray even went as far as attempting to portray Senator Paul as fringe because he wasn’t aligned with Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham and probable presidential nominee Donald Trump. His concern, above all, seems to mirror those of warhawks like Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio, as well as their colleague Lindsey Graham.
If government isn’t getting bigger and war isn’t more constant, then the country apparently is in danger.
In a recent op-ed in the Lexington Herald Leader, Mayor Gray does his best neoconservative impression. He calls Senator Paul’s national security votes dangerous and again implies standing by the Constitution is dangerous. He has previously criticized Senator Paul for caring about the Constitution and standing by his oath of office, as well as claiming that constitutional rights help empower radical Islam.
And now in addition to being a big government warhawk, Mayor Gray is also wanting to spend more.
Mayor Gray hit Senator Paul in the op-ed for proposing billions in cuts to the military budget. Senator Paul actually proposed a budget a year ago that would increase defense spending by $76.5 billion. The difference between Senator Paul and others is that he didn’t just add spending by increasing the deficit, he offset the added costs with cuts elsewhere. This is how a responsible legislator or any government official really, should operate.
Military officials would agree that a focus on the debt is critical to national security as well.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen stated in an interview with Fortune that the debt is a serious issue. Admiral Mullen noted that not only is the debt a threat to national security, he believes it is the single biggest threat to national security. He notes that the ability of the United States military to excel and lead relies on our ability to sustain ourselves. Specifically, inability to maintain fiscal order undermines the confidence in our integrity.
In the past when Senator Paul aimed to decrease spending or raise it only with cuts to other areas, it was because he cared deeply about national security.
What would Mayor Gray say to Admiral Mullen? Another point that the former Joint Chiefs Chairman raised in his Fortune interview was the importance of a solid economy and how in his travels around the world, those with a higher standard of living lived more peaceful lives. We achieve this here at home by having a government that spends responsibly and not excessively, thus not taking any more from the taxpayer than they have to.
The problem here, once again, is that Mayor Gray is playing with empty rhetoric and trying to sound daring with soundbites. But it’s shallow. Senator Paul has stood by the Constitution and the rights of Americans, while insisting their tax dollars not be wasted and national security be a priority. It’s not difficult to balance them all, one just has to be willing to do the work.
Unlike Mayor Jim Gray.