It’s pretty easy to tweet #StandWithRand when it’s the number one trending topic on twitter on the planet. Anyone (and I’m looking at you, John McCain) who came out against Sen Paul’s filibuster was clearly on the wrong side of history.
In reality, Sen Paul’s filibuster had two distinct points and a two points that will be more important in the coming months.
The first of the distinct points: don’t drone me bro. Simple, concise, and unassailable. You can’t kill Americans on American soil with flying murder robots controlled from secret bases by secret agents using secret Xboxes. A simple message.
The second direct point: the Senate should be instructing the President on the use of drones, not vice versa. This was the more complex point Sen Paul made that got many of the #SitWithObama Republicans to scramble to the Senate floor to get some face time with Sen Paul. It’s an effective point and a nice “and one” for liberty. It was important on that day because it got the party establishment scrambling (even the ones who have no idea what a twitter is, or were so overwhelmed by calls that they were falling over their colleagues to get to the Senate floor).
Now, onto the less demonstrated points that are, arguably, more important.
First: Rand Paul is a national figure. Deal with it. This is a critical point that has now begun to seep into the fabric of the Republican Party. The libertarian movement is coming into its prime. Over the months leading up to the filibuster, Sen Paul had cautiously trimmed the 10% of his father’s supporters who were, decidedly, kooky.
I’ll pause here to let that sink in. I am a Ron Paul guy. (Dr. Paul cured my apathy, etc.). However, there was a minority of Rep. Paul’s supporters who were a little nuts. Now, it’s ok to have supporters who have ideas that are a little out there, but unfortunately Ron Paul never fully distanced himself from those ideas. Mind you, when I’m saying “out there” ideas I mean Illuminati-Masonic 9⁄11 conspiracies with the Jews to institute the new world order etc. etc.
Thankfully, Rand Paul purged a lot of those fringe elements by taking demonstrable steps to be a friend of Israel being a deterministic state. This is a major, important point that will come up later: that Israel is not the 51st American state as Republicans have treated it for so long. Rand Paul’s policy on Israel is mature and without any “zionist” trappings.
This stance on Israel is coupled with his educated view on American foreign policy and moderated libertarianism on non-interventionism disconnected him with some of his father’s purist supporters.
As soon as this purge was complete, the 90% of us who were left watched Rand skyrocket in popularity from his State of the Union response and then his filibuster.
The second point from the filibuster that we need to watch in the coming months is that the liberty movement is now at the forefront of American politics and Rand Paul is squarely at its helm. While Sen Cruz and Rep Amash are certainly on board, there can be no doubt that the Captain is Sen Paul.
So, why bring this up as an inaugural blog post a few weeks after the actual filibuster, Matt?
Good question straw-reader.
Today Rand Paul made statements on immigration that some in the libertarian wing saw as a moderation of “arch-conservative” values. Certainly I support Sen Paul and think that a Republican Party that understands a way forward on immigration will have political power and a degree of moral authority going forward.
Cynicism aside, Sen Paul’s movement to support immigration reform helps to coalesce the nascent Libertarian-Republican movement. We cannot be people who simply pick and choose when we stand with Sen Paul and the leaders who are clearly looking out for America’s interest.
I’m sure that I’ll post more in the coming days. For now, Americans continue to #StandWithRand