Lowcountry businessman and independent U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel welcomed prospective Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul to South Carolina this week – praising the Kentucky Senator for his support of individual liberty.

“I was encouraged to hear that U.S. Senator Rand Paul took an aggressive position in support of individual liberty during his trip to South Carolina this week,” Ravenel said.  “His support for the Bill of Rights – including our Fourth Amendment freedoms – is exactly the sort of perspective we need in the U.S. Senate.”

Paul attended a fundraiser in Rock Hill, S.C. on behalf of U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, telling a crowd of several hundred Republicans that the GOP needed to be the “Bill of Rights party.”  He also said Republican candidates needed to stress their support for the Fourth Amendment in order to attract younger voters to the party.

For those of you who’ve forgotten your middle school social studies, the Fourth Amendment affirms the right of the people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” – and requires search warrants to be issued “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Who doesn’t support this amendment?


“Republican” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham – who has attacked Paul in the past for his defense of liberty.

Graham has repeatedly defended the mass snooping of the National Security Agency (NSA) – going so far as to say he was “glad” the government was unconstitutionally obtaining private records with no warrant and no probable cause.

Ravenel – who is running against Graham – wasted little time in drawing that distinction for South Carolina voters.

“While Rand Paul was fighting for these liberties on the Senate floor during his heroic filibuster last spring – Lindsey Graham sided with President Obama in attacking him,” he said. “What is it about freedom that makes Lindsey Graham so afraid?  We need U.S. Senators who respect individual liberty – not because the Constitution says so, or because it’s the right thing to do politically – but because there is a God-given law, or a natural law if you will, which holds that to be self-evident truth.”

Ravenel also echoed Paul’s theme of inclusiveness, arguing that this inalienable “natural law” should apply to all people.

“No matter who we are, what we look like or what we believe, that fundamental liberty is our shared American birthright,” he said.

Ravenel and Rand Paul are 100 percent right on this issue … and Graham is 100 percent wrong.  The preservation of individual liberty is a bedrock principle of natural law and our American form of government, and Ravenel and Paul deserve credit for their efforts on its behalf.