Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he will give a foreign policy speech this summer. He badly needs to do so since he has left a trail of gaffes, inanities and blatant falsehoods that have convinced a great number of mainstream Republicans, Christian Zionists and business people that he is untrustworthy. What does he need to avoid doing in a speech he says is needed to clear up mischaracterizations by “enemies”?
1. Stop calling critics and opponents “enemies.” People who have disagreed with Paul’s utterances include former vice president Dick Cheney, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex. ), evangelical leader Gary Bauer and 98 senators who voted for the Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions bill. Are they all “enemies”? Such a moniker suggests Paul, like President Obama, can’t tolerate principled differences of opinion.
2. Stop considering containment of Iran a possible outcome. It is not, and puts Paul outside the mainstream of both parties. Moreover, in saying so he repeats Obama’s error in raising adversaries’ expectations and making it less likely that they will drop unacceptable demands.
3. Don’t accuse Republicans of going to war for or being influenced by personal economic gain. It sounds crazy and remind voters of his father, Ron Paul.
4. Don’t call pro-Israel Christians “warmongers.” Paul has had to apologize once already.
5. Don’t praise the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad as good for Christians.
6. Don’t repeat the assertion that we should give the Obama team time and space to negotiate with Iran. It echoes Hillary Clinton and reminds Republicans of the folly of trusting Obama.
7. Don’t criticize fellow Republicans for being tough on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
8. Don’t say anything about the causes of World War II.
9. Don’t repeat the dare for “neo-conservatives” to “sharpen their knives” against him.
10. Don’t say the National Security Agency is a greater threat than al-Qaeda.
11. Don’t say everyone at Guantanamo Bay should be tried and/or brought to the United States and simultaneously say we shouldn’t close Guantanamo. Once the former happens, Guantanamo is emptied and there is only an empty facility.
12. Don’t defend American jihadists who have taken up arms against the United States. As if they are criminal defendants deserving of due process. That is the far left’s view.
13. Don’t tell Americans we can’t afford foreign aid. It is a pittance compared with the size of the budget and other categories of spending.
14. Don’t identify with Ronald Reagan unless you are willing to adopt his policies, including a massive defense buildup, support for freedom fighters, unilateral use of force when needed, and a fundamental conviction that the way an unconventional war ends is when “they lose, we win.”
15. Don’t defend military cuts without specifically identifying the threats to United States that have diminished and what capabilities we no longer need.
16. Don’t say anything that couldn’t be repeated word for word at the University of California-Berkeley and at a Christians United for Israel gathering.