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Intellectual Malpractice: How Dr. Rand Paul Lost to Dr. Donald Trump

02.21.16 05:04 PM – Andy McDonald
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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was supposed to be the edgy, out-of-the-box outsider in the fight for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. It was Paul who was pushing some unconventional ideas, like his suggestion that maybe the United States should take a breather from its costly penchant for global military intervention.

But Dr. Paul couldn’t seem to get his patient, the American voter, to listen to his prescription for recovery. Instead, Paul was eclipsed by the GOP’s version of Dr. Feelgood – billionaire Donald J. Trump.

One can just imagine the two pitches doctors Paul and Trump would make to their patient - an exhausted Uncle Sam, who sits slumped on the examining table.

Consultation with Dr. Rand Paul:
Dr. Paul: The reason you feel bad right now is you’re doing things that aren’t good for you. You spend money you don’t have, you exhaust yourself in expensive military campaigns you can’t sustain or win, yet you won’t turn away from your bad habits. I can help you, but you’ll have to take some pretty bitter medicine before you can get better.

Consultation with Dr. Donald Trump:
Dr. Trump: We’re going to make you feel great again. We’re going to make you feel so great, you’re not even going to believe how great you feel. That’s how great you’re going to feel.

Uncle Sam: But how are you going to do it, Doc?

Dr. Trump: Let me tell you something: I’ve built a great medical practice. I’ve built one of the greatest medical practices in the world since that Hippocrates guy. And check out Nurse Melania. Have you ever seen a hotter nurse anywhere, ever? Of course not. Do you think I would have such a hot nurse if I wasn’t one of the most successful doctors in the history of Western medicine?

Uncle Sam: Yeah, but how….

Dr. Trump: Trust me. We’re going to put together the best plan and the smartest people to make you feel great again. Change your diet? Exercise? Give me a break. You won’t need to do anything differently. Do you want to feel great again or don’t you? Then choose Trump.

If not for the candidacy of Donald Trump, I venture that Rand Paul would have finished among the top three in South Carolina on Saturday night and he’d still be in the running. But Paul was a cerebral presidential candidate in a year when many voters simply don’t want to hear an honest diagnosis of what ails America, much less a detailed and difficult prescription for healing.

Rand Paul and other GOP candidates got into the race armed with ideas. What they couldn’t have foreseen was that many Republican voters wanted spectacle and rancor instead. They also wanted someone who would help them vent their wrath. Trump gave them both of those things. But Trump has also pursued a strategy that has allowed him to run away with the GOP race so far: He asks nothing of his voters. They need not reason nor worry themselves with mere facts; they need only believe in Trump.

Trump promises an American military buildup that will make our enemies quake with fear and forever abandon any designs of ever challenging the United States again. How can we pay for that when we face the biggest debt in our nation’s history? Not to worry. Just trust Trump.

He promises to bomb ISIS into oblivion and aggressively institute a tougher new regime of torture against captured terrorist operatives. But could that have unintended consequences and perhaps draw the United States into more deadly and expensive global conflicts? Take it easy. Trump knows what he’s doing because, well, he’s Trump.

Could the trade war Trump might start with Japan, China and Mexico affect the tens of thousands of jobs across the Bluegrass at firms like Hitachi, Toyota and Asahi Forge? Fogetaboutit! Trump says he’s going to create so many new jobs, you’re not even going to believe how many new jobs he’s created. Trump said so.

That is what Rand Paul was up against in 2016. For a patient that’s not prepared for a difficult diagnosis and tough solutions, Paul wasn’t the right man. As such, Trump’s hassle free, feel-good prescriptions may continue to win the day.

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