March 20th, 2014

Rand Paul speaks at Berkeley

And it seems to go rather well:

Delivering a rare speech for a Republican at this bastion of liberalism, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday was given multiple standing ovations by the left-wing audience after railing against government surveillance and warning the students: “Your right to privacy is under assault.”

This is a smart move by Paul. Get in there and state the things that would have an appeal to your audience, even if it’s a hostile audience. Libertarians have a message with an inherent attractiveness to the young, of course. Get in there and tell them who you are before the press tells them who you are.

Of course, the press reaches more people. But still—

And I’ve just noticed that most of my posts today have something to do with press coverage. Hmmm.

16 Responses to “Rand Paul speaks at Berkeley”

  1. T Says:

    In earlier threads commenter Eric has made the point that right-of-center proponents should acclimate to using Marxist tactics (i.e., Alinsky) against the left. This catalyzed a lively discussion with several individuals. Perhaps Rand Paul attempting to beard the lion in its own den at Berkeley is a good start. Instapundit also refers to the latest essay by Roger Simon which includes:

    [on Rand Paul]
    They were ready to applaud at Berkeley.
    . . . [Republicans] just sit around getting annoyed when the Democrats call them racists. Play offense, not defense.

    Instapundit remarks:

    Indeed. Especially as the Dems have lots of experience on offense, not so much on defense.

    Sounds like they’ve both been reading the comments here.

  2. Ann Says:

    I tend to agree with Jay Nordlinger’s take over at National Review about what happened at Berkeley — Lessons in Standing Ovations:

    Years ago, I attended a left-of-center conference. There were two or three of us token conservatives there. One person used his time to tell the audience that their civil liberties were under assault, because of cameras at stoplights, or something.

    I remembered this when reading about Rand Paul yesterday — how he got a standing ovation from the kids at Berkeley by telling them that the guvmint was spyin’ on ’em.

    Great, great. I would have been more impressed if he had gone in there and said something about abortion.

  3. Harold Says:

    With regards to Obama having a strategy, goto the link, and scroll down to Walid Phares. It is a 20 minute video on Obama’s strategy in the mid-east and with regards to Iran. Phares thinks Iran will come out as the regional Hegemon.

    Endowment for Middle East Truth:

  4. T Says:

    “Phares thinks Iran will come out as the regional Hegemon.

    I don’t think that supposition is particularly astute. From my distant vantage point it looks like the common expectation.

  5. rickl Says:

    Ann Says:
    March 20th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Great, great. I would have been more impressed if he had gone in there and said something about abortion.

    No. Paul did it right. He picked an issue that he knew the majority of his listeners would agree with him on.

    That’s how you build a majority. Talk about things like lowering taxes, rooting out waste, fighting corruption, reducing regulation that costs jobs and drives businesses away, and upholding the Constitution. Use specifics instead of mere platitudes, of course.

    Most voters will agree on things like that. Who is in favor of wasteful spending, or violating the Constitution?

    But other issues, like abortion, gay marriage, etc. are hot-button issues for many people on both sides of the question. No matter what your position, you are guaranteed to alienate a portion of your listeners if you talk about them. Those people will never vote for you even if they agree with you on everything else.

    And the federal government is not supposed to be involved with them, anyway.

  6. KLSmith Says:

    rickl: agree completely. It’s hard to argue you are not the party in people’s bedrooms when you want to control the outcome of what happens in bedrooms. Most normal people agree no one should be aborting an almost full term baby, yet somehow the Democrats win on this issue.

  7. Tonawanda Says:

    Sort of OT but related:

    Jack Kemp (like Rush Limbaugh) was not scared of expressing his beliefs to black people. He did not regard them as fragile children.

    His ego got the better of him when he was complimented during a debate for not being a nasty racist like every other Republican and he glowed in response, as opposed to saying something like “there you go again.”

    But he was not scared or ashamed to tell black people what he actually thought.

    Leftists are totally comfortable with their condescension toward black people, being blighted by epistemic closure on the issue. Leftists no more engage black people as people than do non-Leftists, but Leftists are satisfied with saying what they regard as the right things to say.

    Just to get anecdotal, for what it is worth (not much except to me): I have known many Leftists because of where I have been and who I have known. As a group I have found them far more vicious, visceral haters of black people than among non-Leftists I have known. Percentage-wise, not a lot in either group, but far more among Leftists.

    That does not include the totally clueless Leftists who do not see how absurd their patronizing attitude is, although they are pretty bad in their own way.

    Two things are amazing and astonishing to me.

    The first is that non-Leftists who care about our culture do not day in and day out talk about the actual history of the Democrat party, a history of racial hate mongering which has never ceased.

    The second is the the bizarre failure of non-Leftist politicians to engage black people, recognizing the separate cultural consciousness for what it is, but also understanding the future of our America depends on it.

  8. Michael Says:

    I’m sorry-since when is getting applause from drugged-out hippies at Communist Central something to brag about?
    Pandering to licentiousness and indulgence (while self-righteously calling it “freedom”) isn’t what I’d call a solid platform.

  9. reticent Says:


    Absolutely agree. You build on things you have in common with the mushy middle, “liberals”, and even, at times, leftists. That’s how you counter otherization by the MSM.

  10. rickl Says:

    Glenn Beck has been saying that as long as I’ve been listening to him. We need to concentrate on the issues we agree on, not the issues that divide us. I think he was saying that even before the Tea Party appeared on the scene.

  11. KLSmith Says:

    Michael: if someone wants to help get the government out of my life, their personal foibles are not my concern. Live free or die.
    Rand had an audience of 400. Those were probably the sane people on campus.

  12. Ann Says:

    The audience for the Paul talk didn’t consist of what Michael up-thread called “drugged-out hippies at Communist Central.” Paul gave the talk at the Berkeley Forum, which is a two-year-old student group. Take a look at its website. I think it’s probably a rather conservative or maybe libertarian bunch of students.

    So, he got some press for going up against Berkeley, but I don’t think it was Berkeley-Berkeley. Meaning not an indication of his appeal for young folks on the left.

  13. Matt_SE Says:

    Rand Paul did this at Howard University. I saw it on CSPAN, and his performance was impressive. I had no doubt he could do it at Berkeley, too.

    I’ve said before that there are arguments that can be made to reach Dem constituents and peel them off. Establishment Rs have made that point, but only Rand is taking it seriously.

    This example is why Rand is a serious contender for 2016.

  14. SteveH Says:

    The average democrat supporter can only give lip service to right to privacy these days. They’ve basically made a deal with the devil to accept massive surveillance in a trade off for nanny state freebies.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    The devil pays good money for human souls. Just ask Faust.

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    They used to call this taking the initiative in war or battle.

    But I don’t suppose the military leaders from the 1st Civil War transformed their experience into political strategy for America a hundred + years later.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge