The Shaming of Rand Paul Hurts the Rest of Us

Regardless of what you think about people like Nancy Pelosi”s daughter celebrating the physical assault on a U.S. Senator, the demonization of Rand Paul has unintended consequences that will surely undermine the rational management of the COVID-19 outbreak. Why? Because the highly politicized criticism of Senator Rand Paul creates perverse incentives for the rest of us to never get tested, or to even admit to symptoms.

First, the Senator was denounced for getting tested. “How come he gets the test and I don’t?” He did so because the aforementioned assault resulted in him losing part of his lung. After the test came back positive, he was denounced for not having self-quarantined while awaiting test results, even though he was following the best government health guidelines available. You can read his own perspective here.

So regular folks are watching this episode, and other public social media shamings like it, unfold within the confines of sweeping stay-at-home mandates from governors and mayors. These folks, including those most vulnerable to the virus, are now thinking twice about getting tested for fear of getting equally abused. Will someone on Twitter judge them retroactively for things they could not have possibly known? Look, a Senator can take the abuse. It comes with the job, and politics during a public health threat are apparently doubly petty and cynical and manipulative. The rest of us? Can we afford to be judged? We might lose a job, or otherwise be permanently hurt without recourse. All because we were trying to do the right thing for ourselves and for the people around us.

I’m going to try to be more kind, more reasonable, and more calm as we get through this thing together. Please join me.

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Matt Kibbe

Matt Kibbe is President at Free the People, an educational foundation using video storytelling to turn on the next generation to the values of personal liberty and peaceful cooperation. He is also co-founder and partner at Fight the Power Productions, a video and strategic communications company. Kibbe is the host of BlazeTV’s Kibbe on Liberty, a popular podcast that insists that you think for yourself.

Dubbed “the scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is the author three books, most recently the #2 New York Times bestseller Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto.

He was senior advisor for a Rand Paul Presidential Super PAC in 2016, and later co-founded AlternativePAC to promote libertarian values.

In 2004 Kibbe founded FreedomWorks, a national grassroots advocacy organization, and served as President until his departure in 2015. Steve Forbes said: “Kibbe has been to FreedomWorks what Steve Jobs was to Apple.”

An economist by training, Kibbe did graduate work at George Mason University and received his B.A. from Grove City College. He serves at the whim of his awesome wife Terry, and their three objectivist cats, Roark, Ragnar and Rearden. Kibbe is a fanatical DeadHead, drinker of craft beer and whisky, and collector of obscure books on Austrian economics.

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1 comment

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  • Im still pissed even though proof positive was there POTUS was not removed. Also how are Congress getting away with insider trading knowledge will we are told its a Hoax!! Where are testiing and why was this administration fail with PPE. Why did we not act sooner with shutting down all flights In or at least check them many many fails but who pays the people.as usual!

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