Like Father, Like Son: Ron Paul Passes the Neo-Confederate Baton to Rand
As Rand Paul’s national profile continues to rise, one question has dogged the Republican senator from Kentucky: Is he is father’s son, ideologically speaking, or his own man? Or, to put it more bluntly, how far has the apple fallen from the extremist tree?
There are two probable answers. Perhaps Rand is indeed an independent thinker who, while sharing the broad, small government and non-interventionist leanings of his dad, is not a crank. Or, Rand is indeed a crank, yet one whose ambitions outweigh his ideological convictions. In other words, Rand knows that, in order to succeed on the national stage—he is widely expected to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016—he can’t let his freak flag fly.
Since Rand’s emergence on the national stage several years ago, I’ve been inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. But in light of a blockbuster report by Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon, I now lean more toward the latter. Goodman reports that one of the senator’s closest aides and the co-author of a 2011 book, Jack Hunter, spent years as a neo-Confederate activist and radio host. From 1999 until last year, Goodman reports, Hunter was the host of a South Carolina radio program whose alter ego was “The Southern Avenger.” Hunter, who would sport a Stars-and-Bars mask during public appearances, praised John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln—whom he compared to Saddam Hussein. Earlier, Hunter had been a leader in the League of the South, a secessionist organization.