Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or so that's what our founders once declared.
With that responsibility, the Federal government has a duty to protect its citizens, providing certain unalienable rights.
So, it's no surprise then that Republicans and Democrats alike joined with Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Wednesday supporting his filibuster to protest John Brennan's CIA nomination and bring attention to Obama's overreach of the Federal government with the U.S. drone program (of which Brennan was one of the chief architects).
Only Eric Holder could put it so eloquently, “President Barack Obama has the legal authority to unleash deadly force, such as drone strikes, against Americans on U.S. soil without first putting them on trial...”
But not every senator praised Paul's leadership. South Carolina's very own U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, chided Paul for his outspoken leadership. Instead, he patronized Paul as “ridiculous.”
Graham was against Brennan before the filibuster, calling him “arrogant, kind of a bit shifty.” But a few hours after dinner with the president, Graham was suddenly in favor of him, determining that the nomination was instead a referendum on the drone program.
As South Carolinians, we are no stranger to controversy. Our politics are notorious for it, for better or worse. Oftentimes for worse.
In a state with many active duty military and veterans alike, we pride ourselves in our patriotism of God and country. But what's the price for freedom? Is opposing a drone program against U.S. Citizens on U.S. soil really opposing our military? I would argue opposing "judge, jury and executioner" style drone strikes is standing up for the constitutionally guaranteed principles our military has been protecting for more than 200 years. Would someone please clarify that for Lindsey Graham?
This is a fundamental issue about our individual liberties. It's about the federal government, our constitution. It's about the ever growing arm of the federal government, encroaching into our lives.
So as Graham continues rehabilitating his liberal voting record by appearing on Meet the Press and FOX News every week, remember, he is a republican senator who voted for liberal supreme court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
When he says, “Foreign relations are not a Democrat or Republican issue, but an American issue,” but still votes to send foreign aid to countries that teach their children to hate our culture and freedom, burn the American flag and support terrorism. We should realize that more and more Americans want to shield their sons and daughters from harms way when they go to war.
When he campaigns against a republican senator in a general election, take Democrat Joe Manchin for instance, we will continue to hurt the Republican Party.
As he works in a “bipartisan” manner on a "grand bargain" that includes higher taxes, and when he decides that he “will violate the tax pledge” for the “good of the country,” he waters down our fiscal conservative values in the process.
So as we continue to dismember the republican party, when we should be coming together on the basic tenets of individual liberty and the free-market, remember this:
Paul's filibuster is the reason the president no longer has the authority to use an unmanned aerial craft to kill an American on U.S. soil “who was not engaged in combat.”
Thank you Rand Paul and true conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and others who backed him, for your leadership on a fundamental issue facing our nation, and that is our right to individual freedom and liberty.
Your courage under fire, even from moderates in your own party, sets the example for how to reclaim constitutional government and God given rights for every American.
This opinion piece originally ran on The Hill, read it here: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/287033-rand-paul-was-right-to-highlight-us-drone-policy#ixzz2Mz0SzYlV
Nancy Mace is a Republican consultant in the Lowcountry.