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Senator Rand Paul is widening the difference between his father, the long-time former Congressman from Texas whose “no” votes on principle, whether you agree or not, have shaped his place in history. See his lengthy farewell address upon retiring from the House of Representatives Ron Paul has just established the non-profit Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
The differences between father and son are ones of personality, policy and opportunism. Since Rand Paul is intent on running for president in 2016, his drift toward the corporatist Republicans is noteworthy.
Senator Rand Paul appears sterner. He is also far less likely to return calls than his father. When he was running for the Kentucky Senate Seat in 2010, I made several calls to ask whether he intended to support the bills his father was proposing in the House, including the legalization of growing industrial hemp in the U.S. for food, energy, clothing, paper lubricants and many other uses. He never responded, even though he was called by the Louisville Courier Journal on this subject. (Senator Paul has now sponsored legalization of industrial hemp cultivation.)
Soon I realized that others had difficulty in reaching him both during his campaign and since then. In 2010, his campaign director did tell me that when Rand Paul becomes Senator, he would go after the overblown military budget.
Remembering that assurance, I was more than surprised to learn how far Rand Paul has moved from his libertarian/conservative base. Here are two recent statements of his that received little coverage.