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Rand Paul Is To The Left Of HIllary Clinton

It's very foolish to put faith in politicians. Nevertheless, Rand Paul has come out swinging as one of the best hopes for reform in our deeply confused country. Paul has stood out on the correct side of most issues since Barack Obama became president, from the government shutdown to a potential war with Syria. His gravitas really came home in a jarring editorial he wrote on the police assault on the people of Ferguson, Missouri, which my editor at Hampton Institute found impressive as he acknowledged the deadly mix of institutional racism and militarism that created this. There weren't really any bones picked or sparsed with Paul - that editorial said bluntly that "we must demilitarize the police."

If we go by the traditional defnitions of "right wing" - unwavering faith in traditional centers of power and authority, lack of intrusion in the affairs of the corporations and the marketplace and an aggressive national defense, Hillary Clinton is by leaps and bounds far to the right of either Rand Paul or Ron Paul. While Rand Paul was trying to court Jewish groups by saying American aid to the Palestinian authority should be lessened (something that makes sense as long as it is coupled with a reduction of aid to Israel) and denying that he read "anti-Semitic" books in college, Hillary Clinton was one of the few leaders on planet earth who defended Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza Strip. While Paul seems queasy talking about the issue, I think Hillary really believes it when she says those who are criticizing Israel for murdering children are "anti-Semites."

Hillary's credibility with the Left has to do with the baseness of identity politics (it'd be amazing if one were able to gain prestige in the political or business world just for saying "I'm a successful man!") while Rand Paul's lack of it has to do with the opposite. Hillary is a woman and has played to being a successful woman her entire career. Unlike the Paul family, her even being known in the political world has absolutely nothing to do with anything she has done but with her gender and who she got married to. Her record is actually quite horrid - she has supported every US military action since she became First Lady to now, from bombing the Balkans to an attack on Syria. While Paul certainly also earned privilege by way of his last name, that privilege and nepotism was not spent supporting the sort of imperialism that led to American police looking like stormtroopers. Hillary wasn't just in approval of the militarization of this country but in on it for two decades and in contrast, Paul's hands aren't clean just because he wasn't a political figure at the time - his father, who his iconoclastic politics were inherited from, was the staunchest voice against militarism in this country all the way back in to the Reagan years.

When it comes to the police assault on Ferguson, Rand Paul actually has credibility where Clinton never will. Since coming to the public light as a US senator, Paul has said that he sees the Iraq war and the continuation of the Afghan war as a mistake, opposed a war in Syria and has denounced the militarization of American police. Given the choice between him and Hillary, it is clear that Paul is actually quite to the left of Hillary Clinton. Quite, quite to the left.

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Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

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Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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