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GQ profile seems like an endorsement for Rand Paul

Social conservatives are apparently muy upset about GQ‘s profile of Rand Paul’s college days. I take the tempest over the rather humanizing article on the candidate as further evidence of how fucking humorless the god-botherers are — as are people in general, these days, really, considering that Paul’s opponents are trying to make hay over the article, too. Frankly, details about Rand Paul’s history of hanging out with an underground, free-thinking, prankster-ish secret society at Baylor University, and his “kidnapping” of an entirely willing female friend in order to (unsuccessfully) persuade her to smoke grass, after which he and his buddy required her to “worship” Aqua Buddha (you see what grass does to you, kids?) before returning her safely and soberly home make him more likeable to me, not less.

Underlining the harmless nature of the whole matter, the woman in the Aqua Buddha incident told GQ “they never did anything wrong” and clarified the matter to the Washington Post by emphasizing her willing role:

“I went along because they were my friends,” she said. “There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed.”

Apparently the woman in question wasn’t entirely pleased by the affair, but this was at a very religious college where Rand Paul was an outlier by being not uber-conservative and she seemed freaked out by the sacrilege inherent in the Aqua Buddha worship as well as the pot-smoking.

Would anybody really be more comfortable if Paul had fit in better at Baylor?

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  • I’m of the same opinion. This definitely humanizes Paul and makes him likable. The fact that he engaged in “abnormal” hijinks during his college years (which really are quite normal, if a bit outlandish) makes him more normal to me than those humorless people who have remained repressed conformists all their lives, refusing to ever let their hair down other than to attend a church ice cream social. (Not that there is anything wrong with ice cream!)

    To put another way, Paul’s goofy college behavior points to the authenticity of him as a human, a core authenticity that I hope (and believe) are with him to this day. If he was whimsically non-conforming as a member of this infamous Baylor secret prank society, I hope (and believe) he will be a non-conformist when more serious matters of principle are at stake. That is to say, he’ll stick his neck out for what he believes is right, not bend to whatever are the day’s political winds. Indeed, he has already espoused unpopular views for which he has been reviled.

    I would at this point go into a long diatribe about the difference between being principled and being an ideologue, but the temptation to type in ALL CAPS would be too great, and my doctor has told me I need to cut down on that. Instead, I will say that Rand Paul’s college behavior warmly reminds me of my own misspent youth and that if I had known him then I am sure we would have been friends. If I still drank alcohol, I would love to hoist a tankard with him and toast to college days.

    Despite my own political leanings and principles (which in some cases jibe with his and in other cases don’t) he has both my sympathy and support in his campaign.

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