Excerpt: Rand Paul's 'The Tea Party Goes to Washington'

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At a campaign event during the election a liberal reporter approached a member of my staff and asked him how it felt to be the only African American in the room. He was offended. So was I. So were most of my staff, including other African Americans. It was another case of liberals' own prejudices against the Tea Party dictating their perception of the movement as opposed to the reality at hand.

My experience with the Tea Party is that it's actually quite diverse, more so than the Republican Party. Almost every Tea Party I've been to has featured African-American speakers. At an event in Louisville there were ten speakers, and two were black. A black minister from the west of Louisville, who is a supporter of mine, approached me after the Rachel Maddow controversy in which the MSNBC host tried to paint me as somehow being against the civil rights movement due to my support of property rights (more on that later). The minister wanted to let me know that he believed the civil rights issue of our era was education. He was concerned about the high numbers of minority kids dropping out of school and that the education establishment seemed more worried about pandering to the unions than actually fixing our schools.

It is worth pointing out that my political philosophy, which values the importance of the individual over the collective, is the antithesis of the mind-set of not only bona fide racists but race-obsessed liberals, both of whom always see people as belonging to a group. A left-wing columnist like Maureen Dowd sees in the Tea Party "white malcontents," implying that somehow their race disqualifies their outrage - while never noticing that not all of these people are white, and they have plenty of reasons for their malcontent. The Tea Party sees only big government. It is the movement's critics who continue to see only race.

My father is fond of saying that "freedom brings people together," and this has been my experience with the Tea Party, where people of all races, backgrounds and walks of life have come together to address the pressing problems of astronomical spending and debt. The Tea Party doesn't see politics in black and white, but black and red—even as its critics continue to see racism where it simply does not exist.

The Tea Party Is Shaping the National Debate

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