Can people with political aspirations ever make a mistake? Looking at the Kentucky Senate race between Rand Paul and Jack Conway the answer is no.
Even though there is no footage of the incidents Paul has had to answer for pranks he supposedly committed in college. In one of the incidents Paul joined an organization that was critical of Christianity. In the more ridiculous case, Paul supposedly helped to tie up a female student to “force” her to bow before the fake god ‘Aqua Buddha”. Paul has refused to comment on the incidents, which occurred more than 25 years ago. Paul’s refusal to address the stories has led his opponent to feature them in attack ads. The ads challenge seemingly Paul’s faith and seek comments on actions that appear to have practically no impact on the election.
The surprising aspect of the ads is that Paul is the Republican candidate and Conway is the Democrat. The roles have been reversed in this odd election cycle and the Democrat is attempting to out-Christian his opponent. Paul has refused to discuss the incidents and has gone as far as walking off the stage during a debate while refusing to shake Conway’s hand. Paul accused Conway of not “being a man” and of deflecting from the campaign. Paul has also stated that he will not debate Conway or any candidate that would dare to “question his religion”.
The woman in the bizarre “Aqua Buddha” hazing incident has refused to come forward, and the mystery surrounding continues. Despite the odd nature of the apparent hazing, a question of statute of limitations comes into play. Should candidates have to answer for their behavior as teenager or 20-year-olds decades after the fact? Even if the moral answer is no, the race between Paul and Conway is significant because it shows that no skeleton no matter how obscure, bizarre or old can be completely buried.