It is with mixed feelings that I have to write that title. As followers of this blog and my Twitter know, I have been a supporter of Rand Paul for years. While I have consciously avoided making any “official” endorsements given the fact that I am running for office in my own right, I think it’s permissible to have candidate whose messages you agree with.
Rand Paul was one of those candidates. Whether it was limiting America’s interventionism abroad or protecting the 4th Amendment here at home, I was consistently impressed with Senator Paul’s willingness to stand up to the GOP when it was clear that the Party’s establishment was not in favor of individual liberty.
Rand Paul, carrying the torch lit by his father and others before him, has been the only presidential candidate championing an audit of the Federal Reserve and a return to sensible monetary policy. Paul’s initiatives in the Senate have garnered support across parties and ideology. While some have derided the stands he has taken as being futile or in opposition to conventional thinking, having someone to stand up for principles without respect to the weight of peer pressure is astoundingly refreshing in our political dialogue.
Rand Paul’s insistence on talking about criminal justice reform and the racial disparities in incarceration (as well as the sentencing problems on drug crimes) is critical for the Republican Party to embrace and move towards the future. We cannot be in favor of pushing for American exceptionalism abroad when the American dream is lost in our cities among generations of, primarily poor and minority communities. This fight must continue.
But, alas, the reason I have to write this piece today is that Rand Paul’s message failed to resonate with voters in his first Presidential bid. Much of this can be attributed to some poor campaign management early in the race where the Senator attempted to gloss over some of the very positions that made him an appealing breath of fresh air in American politics. After hobbling itself early, the campaign struggled to regain its footing and acquire donations. Especially given the all-encompassing shadow of Donald Trump over the race, Paul’s campaign had a tough time getting any positive exposure.
It’s important to realize that Rand Paul is running for re-election in Kentucky to retain his Senate seat. Given that the Party is defending 24 seats across the nation, we need to retain Senator Paul’s. For a while it seemed like there would be no real Democratic challenger to Paul. However, that changed in the last weeks and Paul will not have to focus on making sure he can consolidate support and retain his position.
A closing observation: the “liberty” movement is not about one person or one politician. As so many “libertarian-leaning” Republicans know, there’s a strength in the principles of individual freedom that goes beyond who we choose on election day. Whether it was through Ron Paul or Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, or just reading Mises and Bastiat, you know that opening up to a consistent worldview that incorporates both America’s founding values and strong economics can guide our modern society towards peace, liberty, and prosperity.
Thank you Rand Paul. Continue the fight for liberty.