As I joined the Conway/Paul debate on Sunday night late, I was surprised and confused by Paul’s refusal to shake hands at the end of the debate. It felt immature and petulant.
There are those who will say that Attorney General Conway’s ad is “gutter” politics, but I believe that Conway was correct in raising these issues. He was not questioning Dr. Paul’s religion; he was questioning Dr. Paul’s behavior. Paul was a member of the banned NoZe secret society at Baptist-affiliated Baylor University. According to the university president, this society not only mocked the Baptist denomination, it mocked Christianity. In addition, the story of the woman who was “kidnapped” by this same group of undergraduates is appalling. How could anyone think this was not going to affect a woman? As a clinical social worker, I find the insensitivity and callousness of it disturbing.
I think the ad by Conway was pointing out a lack of judgment on the part of Rand Paul and his associates. Some have tried to write these behaviors off as immature college pranks. The truth is Dr. Paul was exactly the same age as a large percentage of people in the U.S.A. who were working to make a living, serving in the military, supporting families, studying hard at school, or even protesting in an open and responsible way — not participating in a banned secret society or callous pranks, with no insight into the possible effects of those. And, if this was just college immaturity and craziness, why has Rand not just stepped up and taken responsibility?