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Rand Paul: ‘I’m A Crunchy Con’

From the Senator’s new book, Government Bullies, excerpted here:

Going after agencies like the EPA or being critical of ridiculous laws and regulations is enough to invite accusations that you somehow don’t care about the environment. At the liberal website Think Progress, blogger Tonya Somanader wrote in 2011: “A steadfast enemy to the air he breathes, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a never-ending source of attacks on environmental regulations and the EPA.”

So there you have it. Because I “attack” government agencies, I must somehow be against the environment, say many on the Left.

I consider myself a Crunchy-Con—that is, a conservative who likes, enjoys, and wants to conserve the environment.

I compost. I built my composting bins from wood I salvaged from my kids’ old tree fort. I have a Giant Sequoia that I planted and am trying to cultivate in my yard in Kentucky. I have personally dug up and transplanted dozens of trees, some of which are now over thirty feet tall. One tree that I’m particularly proud of is a cherry tree that descends from the cherry trees of the tidal basin adjacent to the Jefferson Memorial, given to the United States by Japan’s Emperor Hirohito in the early 1900s.

I am a biker, a hiker, a rafter and a kayaker. I believe no one has the right to pollute another person’s property, and if it occurs the polluter should be made to pay for cleanup and damages. I am not against all regulation. I am against overzealous regulation. Nor am I against all government. I often joked on the campaign trail that I was for $2.2 trillion worth of government—what we currently bring in in revenue—but certainly not for the $3.8 trillion of government we currently spend.

Government Bullieswill be published on September 12.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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