Leading by Serving: Rand Paul Provides Free Eye Care to Haitians as Politicians Descend on Iowa

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Published on: August 18, 2015

Often we see politicians showing up for photo ops and the like. Whatever they are engaged in is not usually their normal routine, but that is not the case with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). As many GOP candidates flock to the Iowa State Fair to politic, the Kentucky Senator will be 2,000 miles away in Haiti serving others by providing fixes for cataracts for free.

Paul has engaged in this kind of activity for years, demonstrating that he is a true “servant leader.” The current endeavor has been sponsored by the Moran Eye Center from the University of Utah.

“We kind of suggested it,” said Paul in an interview. “There was talk about Haiti being in great need, and it’s fairly close to the United States. Haiti, unfortunately, is famous for a long history of problems.”

The Washington Post reports:

In 2014, Paul joined the Moran center on a similar trip to Guatemala, where he reunited with old patients and broke out his rusty, Texas-tutored Spanish. He has no similar connection to Haiti.

This August 2014 video shows Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in Guatemala on a medical mission trip. Paul, a licensed ophthalmologist, checks the eyes of a patient and converses him via an interpreter. (Ed O’Keefe/The Washington Post)

“You want to go where the need is greatest,” Paul said. “In our country, when you have cataracts, they’re relatively easy to fix. The people we will treat in Haiti — many of them will be completely blind. There’s less medical access there. It’s closer to the equator. There’s more sun, people are outside more, fewer people even have sunglasses. So there’s a lot you can do.”

Paul’s 2014 trip was balanced against a small media frenzy. Multiple media outlets traveled with him, filming his journey and surgeries for profiles of a likely presidential contender. David Bossie of the conservative Citizens United even brought a film crew — complete with aerial drone — to capture the scene.

Citizens United has not yet made use of that footage, and the entourage will be smaller in Haiti. (The Washington Post will be part of it.) “The main thing is for me personally is that it’s one of the most incredible things I get to be involved with,” said. “It’s still the most important thing I get to do, even while I’m in the Senate, even running for president. Two hundred people will be better because we are going to be down there. Local surgeons will get some training, and they’ll use that training. The goal is not for Americans to keep coming down and doing it, but for Haitians to do more of it themselves.”

Senator Paul has been largely against all foreign aid from the US. His mantra has largely been to allow citizens to prosper and provide any necessary charity to those in need, at home and abroad. This demonstrates that he puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to helping others in foreign countries.

“In medicine, you’re transferring skills,” said Paul. “Even when you train, you’re learning skills. I will continue doing this throughout my life, and at some point I can foresee getting back into medicine full time. It’s nice to get away from politics, and do something were you and act there’s an immediate result. You take the bandages off, and someone can see.”

It’s actually nice to see a guy that actually quotes the Constitution and stands up for it in debates, while having a 94% freedom index score, go out and do good things for others just because he wants to. That’s called serving. After all, even the one who obtains the highest office in the land is supposed to be a public “servant.” Well done, Senator Paul!

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