Kentucky Republican Rep. Tom Massie, who like Ron Paul has a would-be libertarian streak that appears to manifest itself, shall we say, sporadically, has had an epiphany as to what Republican voters have been looking for all this time. It turns out Republican voters are not voting for small government, or for freedomz, or any of those other things. They just want someone who will come in and break things.
“I went to Iowa twice and came back with [Ron Paul]. I was with him at every event for the last three days in Iowa,” Massie said. “From what I observed, not just in Iowa but also in Kentucky, up close with individuals, was that the people that voted for me in Kentucky, and the people who had voted for Rand Paul in Iowa several years before, were now voting for Trump. In fact, the people that voted for Rand in a primary in Kentucky were preferring Trump.”
“All this time,” Massie explained, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”
Imagine the soul-searching that must have taken place before coming to that conclusion. But the man is right: you can’t claim a Republican who votes for both Rand Paul and Donald Trump has any particular policy goals in mind. They just know that whatever everyone else is for, they’re against it.
There are other links, of course. Rand Paul owes his career and his mailing lists to his father, who built a nutty “libertarian” empire premised on, among other things, casual on-the-sly racism, but of a much narrower sort than Trump’s frothing xenophobia. So you could make the case that the “craziest son of a bitch” is just the guy willing to entertain the most racist conspiracy theories.
Or the guy most willing to punch reporters. Or the man whose supporters patiently explain that in their state or in their Bibles, child molestation isn’t frowned upon like it is in your fancy-pants states and religions. Or the man whose disregard for worker safety literally kills his company’s miners, goes to prison for it and emerges, still-wealthy, to decide he’s going to join the government and get rid of these damn safety requirements once and for all.
Come to think of it, you can be anything in the modern Republican Party. There really aren’t any standards at all, so long as you can sell yourself as the biggest lunatic in the room. But this doesn’t mean you should go out and shank a toddler, Rep. Massie. There’s probably still a line drawn somewhere—we just haven’t found where it is yet.