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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
By Kathryn Brown | A Benedictine College Sophomore and Gregorian Fellow.
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the C.I.A. I will speak until I can no longer speak.”
With these words Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, started the first filibuster in three years on Wednesday at 11:47 ET. He was blocking the nomination of John Brennan for the CIA, objecting to the possibility — however remote — that the president could use drones to execute Americans in the United States who are suspected of terrorism, with no warning and no trial.
As I continued listening, I was amazed that only a handful of senators stepped up to support Paul. Aren’t these men and women supposed to be our fearless leaders, protecting our interests? And yet the Senate chamber around Paul looked very empty.
All he is asking for is the president to acknowledge he does not have the power to execute American citizens residing in the United States, without first charging them with a crime and giving them a fair trial. Last I checked, the right to a fair trial was one of our basic rights as citizens of this country. Why, then, does Obama refuse to comply with Paul’s request?
Why is it that so few senators are willing to speak up on an issue that is clearly threatening to American citizens?
I think, deep down, the answer is fear. Fear of damaging their political career. Fear of what the media, the culture, will say about them.
Isn’t that what stops many of us from speaking out against injustice in our day-to-day lives? What will my coworkers say? What will my friends say? Will this keep me from getting ahead? We have developed into a nation of people who often are too afraid of damaging our popularity or success to stand up for what we know is right. It takes courage to defy those forces — courage Rand Paul clearly has.
Judging from the activity on Twitter and Facebook, the American people aren’t finding it so hard to agree with Paul.
Rand Paul may be standing almost alone in the Senate Chamber, but outside the Capitol Building, Americans across the nation are standing with him.