On March 6 (and 7) of 2013, history was made. A Junior Senator from Kentucky by the name of Rand Paul, pulled out an old-fashioned filibuster in defense of our liberty. He didn’t read from a phone book like Strom Thurmond did so many years ago, but he came with a binder of basic civics lessons and proceeded to talk. And talk. And talk. And people listened. Contrary to what mainstream media may tell you, CSPAN-2 (that boring channel you usually skip over on your local television provider) received its highest ratings ever. People all over the country were glued to their televisions, computers, and mobile devices listening. The phrase “Stand With Rand” trended in the top on Twitter for two days.
What was so new and interesting that Senator Rand Paul had to say? Absolutely nothing. He stood up and re-iterated Americans’ basic rights. Rights that our founding forefathers thought to be so fundamental to a free people, that they put them in a separate part of the Constitution and called it “The Bill of Rights”. These are rights that they believed were endowed by our creator, and no one, no group of people, no government had a right to infringe on them, if a people were truly to be free.
Senator Rand Paul was particularly concerned with our rights affirmed under the 5th Amendment to the United States Consitution which reads:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Senator Rand Paul was concerned about the phrase “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” as Obama’s nominee for Director of the CIA had been a top architect of his drone program. The drone program consists of remote controlled planes that carry bombs, and this program was used to kill an American born citizen over-seas. Senator Paul simply wanted an answer from either the President or the Attorney General to find out if the Administration felt that it was constitutional to use drone strikes on American Citizens, on American soil before he wanted a vote on Obama’s nominee for Director of the CIA. It wasn’t an absurd question by any stretch of the imagination. He was preserving the checks and balances between the three branches of government.
Many people have come out and called what Senator Rand Paul did nothing more than theatrics. Some fellow Senators have called him a “whacko bird”. Stop and ask yourself for a minute, “Why?” What is so out of bounds, to ask the Executive Branch, a direct question in an effort to gather information or clarify a position on something, before hiring a person for a job? Essentially this is what Senator Rand Paul was doing.
There comes a time when people need to just stop for a second , re-evaluate and drop back to the basics. We’ve reached that time in our government. It has become overwhelming and over-reaching. The government needs to stop and get back to the basics. Stand with Rand.
Angela M. Isaac