Sen. Rand Paul's COVID Disinformation Machine Is Plain Political Opportunism

Aug 4, 2021 at 1:23 pm
LEO Editor Scott Recker.
LEO Editor Scott Recker.

Sometimes, in politics, someone’s ability to question their peers is inspiring, and other times they’re just a pathological liar and opportunistic coward that doesn’t care about the erosion of society. Kentucky’s junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul — and his anti-mask stance, natural immunity rhetoric and perpetual Dr. Fauci bashing — definitely falls under the latter. For months, he’s been preaching that, if you’ve had COVID, there’s really no reason to get the vaccine, that your natural immunity is just as good, citing questionable sources along the way. He even got to write an op-ed in the Courier Journal about it.

Late last month, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that, as the Delta variant swept in, the reinfection rate in the unvaccinated was climbing, yet Paul is out here sticking to his faulty narrative, Tweeting out on Tuesday a post on jonathanturley.org, a blog, which expresses the opinion of a random George Mason law professor, who said his physician told him not to get the vaccine.  Over the link, Paul wrote: “Once again illogical and unscientific policy pushed by Fauci ignores natural immunity.” There’s certainly no, “Hey everyone, I might have been wrong” in this guy.

So, as he spirals into more outlandish territory, the question is, does Paul actually believe third-hand information over the leading science experts in his state and nation, or is this simply about party politics and his overall obsession with cowboy capitalism and individualism? Is he really the equivalent of the contrarian, acid-philosopher interjecting into every conversation at the dive bar, or is there something more nefarious at play here? It’s a tough one — we know Paul isn’t a particularly bright person, but he’s also manipulative enough to embrace his libertarian, don’t-tread-on-me schtick no matter the price. He knows that’s his thing. That’s his ticket. A large core of his base likes that about him. So, why say a tough truth when you can double down on your brand, the one that’s already won you elections? Big election cycles are usually won on hope or fear, but, to run on hope, you have to have actual ideas, something Paul is defunct of. So, you know, the other option is to be intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt and scare everyone. His message: “The big bad government is going to take away your liberties unless you elect me to the big bad government and then I will continue to stand up for your rights.” The reality: It’s a self-preservation ploy that allows him to stay relevant, work toward reelection and collect a paycheck. 

There are obviously rights and liberties that our politicians should stand for. Look around at what else is going on in society. But, for Paul, this is a facade. This is low-hanging fruit that he can get people worked up about, while he’s standing there, in the spotlight, attempting to look like a beacon of freedom. Americans will draw lines and fight over just about anything if they’re given the ammunition, and he knows how to supply it. He’s spinning the disinformation machine, because he’s only concerned about himself — it’s a very selfish objection masked as a hard, selfless road. His actions are geared toward climbing a ladder, while us average Americans pay the cost.