Column by Jack Mescher
Mescher is a sophomore politics major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A few Wednesdays ago was the first time this school year I wished that I owned a television. I was dying to chime into C-SPAN and watch the “Rand Paul Fillibuster.” No, I am not ashamed of the fact that last week I longed to watch C-SPAN and even more specifically, to watch a good ol’ fashion U.S. Senate filibuster.
The condition of our union today is particularly troubling. It took 13 hours for Sen. Rand Paul to get the Obama administration to simply state that the U.S. Executive Office does not have constitutional authority to kill non-combatant American citizens absent due process. Why in the world was this even a question? Well, it became a question when the war-hawk Obama (Nobel Peace Prize winner, mind you) administration in conjunction with the majority of “rhino” Republicans (cough cough: Lindsay Graham & John McCain) chose to uphold the possibility of the U.S. having the authority to kill its citizens domestically with drones.
Sen. Rand Paul did the U.S. citizenry a great service on a couple of fronts. Firstly, Sen. Paul was able to coerce the Obama administration to say, lest it confirms that it is an administration of tyranny, that it couldn’t kill you and I without due process. Secondly, in 13 hours, Sen. Paul opened up the ethical discussion of drone use not only domestically but in abroad conflict as well.
Drone use ought not be partisan issue. You and I, regardless of party, should be disgusted with the putrid practice of the U.S. government extending its arm of oppression into the Middle East and now, what seems to be, in the homeland through armed drones. Thousands of innocent lives are ended at the hands of the U.S. executive branch; and last week, the administration toyed with the idea of having the domestic authority to end American lives without a trial.
We owe our deepest gratitude to Sen. Rand Paul for doing something deeply unpopular in either party, that is, challenging the status quo. I would encourage everyone to keep your eyes on a champion of justice and liberty and to #StandwithRand!