He ran against and defeated the Establishment pick in 2010, and faced one of the ugliest political slinging onslaughts in modern memory. The Democratic challenger even questioned his Christian faith, and dragged up odious accusations from Paul's college days.
The attacks were so unprofessional and mean-spirited, the Republican refused to shake his hand at the beginning of their final debate.
Rand Paul learned how to fight both parties from the day he won his primary to the present day.
He has followed the direction of 21st Century Conservatives, reaching out to communities where Republicans have not fared well, or have not even shown their faces. Paul's powerful speeches to historically black colleges, and even with black meia personalities have shown a political moxie all to lacking in our political culture.
I particularly esteem his decision not to classify rights for behaviors, and his stand-off against socialize medicine. He is not afraid of ideological debates, and is willing to discuss difficult issues with real people in a straightforward, simple manner.
Just as any doctor should.
Yet Rand Paul may not be standing with his first tier peers at the December 15th debate, if the metrics remain constant. Paul supporters -- pejoratively called "Paul-istinians" or "Paul-bots" -- have stayed constant, unwavering in their support for President Paul. Still he lags behind, and still the media prognosticators have announced a "death watch" for Dr. Paul. Why has he ended up in political hospice?
First, let's acknowledge that hard-core, financial libertarianism is a hard sell, and not because it's immoral or wrong. With a record number of people receiving state funding, whether indirectly though social security or directly through food stamps, welfare, or even corporate subsidies for big businesses, the American People have a long fight ahead of them to grow and get off the government dole. This fight will last longer than a Presidential campaign.
|US Senator Rand Paul (Truthinmedia.com)|
Libertarianism is a fiscal necessity for our country. The Founding Fathers related a stern, libertarian temperament in our fundamental charter. Aside from deliberately enumerated powers, everything else belongs to the states and the people. Rand Paul has recaptured that essential narrative. He filibustered the appointment of a quizzical CIA Director. He stood his ground against reauthorizing the NSA, and has fought against Big Government money for pet projects, boondoggles, and expansive spending without structural reforms or debt reduction.
On social issues, he has crafted a bold proposal -- live and let live. Getting the government out of a number of issues, and letting the states settle those matters -- would reduce a number of intractable conflicts in our current political culture. Marriage is not a federal issue, and the Supreme Court should never have ruled on it, let alone redefined liberty in order to do so.
Pro-Second Amendment and pro-life, Paul also distanced supporters when he sounded pro-amnesty. He talked about "undocumented citizens" in one editorial, and then switched back to border enforcement. He ultimately voted against the Gang of Eight Immigration overhaul in 2013, too.
His foreign policy credentials have been his weakest stance, and with terrorism a Number One priority in the country, a robust military, with higher spending, is no longer a taboo topic, even among fiscal conservatives. Let's also face the fact that despite his strong media blitzes from the US Senate, his celebrity power has dwindled with the rise of the Donald, who represents the total outsider, speaking out of bounds on just about everything.
I have called the first debate the "Are You Kidding?" table, mostly because those candidates should not have entered the race in the first place. Today, "are you kidding" takes a different turn, precisely because Rand Paul is an A-List Republican in my book, with solid rhetoric as well as a strong record for conservatism.
Rand Paul is a stellar, commensurate legislator. He is principled as well as pragmatic, never caving in the face of pressure, a maverick toward liberty, unafraid to stand up to Establishment politicians and long-standing interests. Even if he does not win the nomination, he should never sit at a second-tier debate.