While, for the most part, the GOP debate last night was a snoozefest back and forth between the dullest candidates to grace a podium, Rand Paul once again stood out as the clear and concise voice of reason whenever he made a point.
One such point in question was regarding Donald Trump’s professed plan to ‘close the internet’ to combat terrorism.
Trump declared that terrorists recruit online and that he is of the opinion that extremists should not be able to use “our internet.”
“I don’t want them using our internet to take our young, impressionable youth and watching the media talking about how they’re masterminds — these are masterminds. They shouldn’t be using the word ‘mastermind’,” Trump said.
Trump further proposed working with “our brilliant people from Silicon Valley” to “figure out a way that ISIS [Islamic State, IS] cannot do what they’re doing.”
Rand Paul took issue with Trump’s suggestions, saying that to restrict the internet would constitute “getting rid of the First Amendment.” Paul added that anyone who believes in the Constitution should have reservations about supporting Trump.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 16, 2015
Trump replied that he wanted to “infiltrate their internet,” yet the crowd sided with Paul, with some even booing Trump’s proposed censorship.
Trump then declared he cannot fathom that those booing him do not support infiltrating the communications of terrorists.
“As far as the internet is concerned, we’re not talking about closing the internet. I’m talking about parts of Syria, parts of Iraq, where ISIS is… spotting it,” Trump qualified.
In a related exchange, Paul slammed Marco Rubio’s pledge to allow the NSA to keep bulk trawling Americans’ phone records.
“We are not any safer through the bulk collection of all Americans’ records. In fact, I think we’re less safe.” Paul said.
“We get so distracted by all of the information, we’re not spending enough time getting specific immigration — specific information on terrorists,” he added.
“In defending America, we cannot lose what America stands for. Today is the Bill of Rights’ anniversary. I hope we will remember that and cherish that in the fight on terrorism,” Paul concluded.