I almost lost faith in Rand Paul. For awhile there, he seemed to be siding with the histrionic GOP establishment in the worst way, reaching his nadir, in my opinion, when he signed the famous letter to Iran. I started to wonder if Rand had gotten a taste for power and, like every other sitting politician on the national stage I can think of, was willing to do whatever it took to get and use that power. However, one nagging thought kept me from giving up on Rand: How could someone who was raised by Ron Paul, who had shared an apartment with him upon arriving in DC, be just another self-serving senator? I couldn’t imagine it. Just being exposed to Ron Paul from afar gives me the courage of my convictions, I couldn’t imagine that living with him, being his son, wouldn’t give a man enough courage for a lifetime. Fortunately, as Rand’s campaign unfolded, my faith was restored, and today, as he withdraws from the presidential race, I see him serving the greater purpose I had hoped he would.
Ron Paul spent many years shouting into the wind, or so it seemed. Possibly the best-ever Saturday Night Live skit
demonstrates the impression people had of Dr. Paul, the crazy uncle who sits in the corner at family get-togethers and whose rantings no one can follow. Yet, when the time was right, Ron Paul started a firestorm of ideas, a return to principle, a call to wrest back the Republican Party from the neo-conservative liberal-fascists and return it to a party of small government and defense of liberty.
[hulu id=b85kioksfecuxzjk02ha6q width=512 height=288]
Ron Paul had stated that his primary goal was not to win a presidential election but to spread the word and keep the founding principles of the United States alive in the minds and hearts of the citizenry for when those ideas were needed to rebuild this society from the ashes into which it is descending.
Despite this purely ideological goal–or perhaps because of it–the establishment had a heck of a time keeping Ron Paul voters at bay. As I watched the 2012 primary and caucus coverage on TV, I heard Dick Morris say, “a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obama,” and newscast after newscast simply skipped over Ron’s stellar performances (“ignore you better still”) even as he got 21% of the Iowa vote (and that was the official tally–credible witnesses say there was funny business in Iowa, Maine, Nevada, etc.) behind Santorum and Romney’s 25% each. I heard not one mention of the fact that in a head-to-head race against Mitt, with virtually no advertising in Virginia, Ron got 40% of the primary vote. But no matter what Ron did, there was no way the media or the establishment would give him the press or the fair treatment at the polls he would need to go over the top. (This is what reveals the lie behind the Trump-Fox feud–Fox would have simply ignored Trump if they really were afraid of him.)
At first I thought that Ron was outside the “Overton Window”–that he had a platform that was too far away from the mean on the issues to actually get enough votes. But Ron’s success made me call into question the very notion of the Overton Window. Playing it straight and ideologically pure seems to have been winning the day among voters, but–and this is a big “but!”–it would never get the establishment to unbar the door.
Perhaps Rand saw this obvious fact and decided to test the alternative thesis. Perhaps Rand thought, as Ronald Reagan is reported to have thought, that you can’t win ’em all no matter how hard you try, so pick a thing or two and get it done. If Rand were to compromise on almost everything with the establishment, perhaps he could still audit the Fed or end NSA surveillance. Even one big win during one term as president would be worth the compromise–after all, every single other politician won’t even get that one big win, it’ll be all welfare and warfare (and surveillance and debt and over-policing and….you get the picture) all the time no matter which party is in power.
Perhaps Rand communicated this willingness to compromise and was encouraged to believe it would be well-received. Unfortunately, however, this did not pan out. The compromise alienated Rand’s ready-made base (Iowa favored Rand over every Republican and Democrat when polling first started in 2014, yet he finished in the single digits on caucus day), and the establishment marginalized him anyway, going so far as to exclude him from the January 14 Fox Business News debate (they claimed he technically did not qualify, but they could have let him in like CNN did for Carly Fiorina under the same circumstances).
Rand’s choice was not in vain, however. He proved that compromise will not work, and although he had a much lower showing in the caucus than his father had, it was not a loss, it was a gain. Rand has liberated himself and us all from thinking compromise with the establishment will pay off. He can, and has, returned to unapologetic ideological purity, and his path forward is clear.
Ron Paul held a unique place in this country’s body politic: he kept the remnant alive when no one else did. That remnant is still alive and needs one small beacon of light to shine out from DC as an ember of hope for the American Experiment. Some say losing all hope is just what we need to start the Second American Revolution and try again to establish a society of sovereign citizens who can ensure liberty and justice for all, but that’s not my position. I don’t think that a reset will end in anything but an acceleration of our descent into totalitarianism. No, I believe we need to hang on for as long as we can to the Bill of Rights as it is even if we are dangling by one fingernail, and I believe that Rand Paul, like his father before him, can give us enough of a grip on these protections to keep us hanging on for one more generation–if he can keep his seat at the table in DC.
As I saw the evolution of Rand’s presidential campaign and the mood of the liberty movement evolve with it, returning to his camp as his ideals returned to center stage, I realized that Rand’s true calling must be to follow in his father’s footsteps. Rand must maintain his Senate seat, he must read into the record, as his father did, that We the People have not given up on the Founders’ vision, that we still know the meaning of liberty and justice for all, and that we are not going down without a fight. Rand can force “them” to answer the critical questions: “How does NSA spying conform to the 4th Amendment?” “Where does Obamacare fit into the eighteen enumerated federal powers in the Constitution?” “Who authorized the President to unilaterally destroy sovereign nations?”
The only joy I got out of following the 2016 presidential race or watching the GOP debates had been hearing what Rand had to say, but I feared he would neglect what I believe is his true calling to represent from his seat in the Senate all of us who still value the objective rights delineated in our founding documents. The only person on this year’s GOP stage by whom I would consent to be governed would be a President Rand Paul…barring that, I celebrate with renewed hope a second term for the Junior Senator from Kentucky, a state I do not call home, but who sends to Washington a man I can truly say represents me.
Thank you for your efforts and good luck Senator Paul!
Very well written. Enjoyable to read. I’m saddened that Rand has decided to end his run, but I understand why he did. I remember back early on in the process whenever FOX would show the current polling data, that they wouldn’t even put his name up on the screen. I knew they were against him then. Even though Hannity and Dobbs seem to love the guy, the higher ups at FOX didn’t and made it very clear.
I said early in when Rand and Cruz were the first ones in, that I would be happy with either one of them, but would rather have Paul. Now that he is gone, it would make sense that I went all in with Cruz, but the few things he has done lately really disturb me. Example, the sending out of the voting failures and then telling people that Carson had suspended his campaign. Yes, he apologized, but what does that really mean after the damage has been done? It reminds me of the attacks on Herman Cain back in the previous election. He got apologizes, but the damage was done and he had to step down.
So where does this leave me? It seems to me there no place else to go except for Trump. I can’t handle another establishment guy like Rubio or Bush. Just can’t do it. Trump it is.
I would not vote for any of them–I honestly believe we will have the exact same policies no matter what–just the lip-service will be different…i always vote for the libertarian in the general no matter what–i’m sad, though, that i won’t even get to vote for rand in the primary 🙁
be sure to read this and the comments section of this article if you are considering giving cruz another chance–that guy is a fraud! https://monicaperezshow.com/2015/08/21/heidi-cruz-wants-to-build-a-north-american-community-what-does-that-mean-exactly/
You could try looking at Gary Johnson. Former Republican Governor of NM. He will be running on the Libertarian ticket this year, and did so in 2012, too. Unless things change, that’s who I will be voting for.
I have voted for him before and I’ll vote for him again if he’s on the ballot (and maybe even if he isn’t!) I even interviewed him once…https://monicaperezshow.com/2012/02/27/full-interview-of-governor-gary-johnson/
Loved your piece on Rand Paul.
Rand has bowed to “The Wall” in Israel. Enough said.
I know this is a stretch, but in my mind, I feel Trump is a gateway to Ron Paul’s mentality and Rand’s fundamental convictions. I know that sounds ridiculous, especially since Trump is such a clown and a potential player in the same crap that has gotten us to where we are but with a fascist cherry on top.
My reasoning is WHY Trump has gotten so much support and WHY Bernie Sanders has gotten so much support. The obvious divides are vastly different and exploited as such, but the fuel behind both is the same concept: “We now know we’ve been lied to — something is very wrong”. The number one delivery system of detrimental propaganda has been the media, and they are being exposed on both “sides”. The establishment media is becoming an accepted mainstream running joke. Trump is exploiting this mentality for a degree of fascism, and Bernie is exploiting it for a degree of communism/socialism. Both “solutions” leave us with a brand of totalitarianism.
But what happens after that?
The fuel won’t go away. The divisions between us will only become more exacerbated. Now this can either lead to civil war (albeit, a quick sad one), or it can lead to an awakening. I feel the fuel leading to these two candidates’ success points to an awakening. I hope I’m right. I believe the internet is the catalyst to this awakening — which is why it’s so imperative for the government(s) to take control of it under the guise of preventing “hate” and “terrorism”. We must fight that as a PINNACLE ISSUE if we are to ever wake up as a people — hell, as a species.
If we’re successful, I think the path we’re on leads to libertarianism; a Ron Paul brand. The growing pains are just difficult.
We just have to keep fighting.
A much needed different perspective than I am seeing on social media today and for that I appreciate your words. Rand may have chosen to take the high road and not subject himself to this insanity any longer since it’s clear the direction this nation willfully wants to go. Being a Paul has given him considerable odds to beat and he’d be a fool to think otherwise. The establishment for both parties enjoy Obama’s tenure, one because they’re getting their much desired big government hand outs and the other because they’re getting more than enough warfare to go around plus they’re getting a brim full of donations from their obedient constituency who loath this puppet in chief.
Toward the end of his campaign Rand stood against the Bureau of Land Management and said if he were president he would abolish them.
Pat Buchanan wrote recently to abolish the BLM and give the land back to states.
This would and should be a platform message that would resonate with land owners everywhere in this country but now that’s nothing more than a side note. All of current candidates want the federal government to retain all the land occupied by the BLM.
Throughout this campaign I found a lot of faults with Rand, namely why didn’t he address Janet Yellen and the federal reserve at all during the republican debate the night before a major announcement on interest rates with an audience of 22 million? He was silent that whole debate about the fed. Why? It wasn’t till recently that he started carrying the libertarian banner he father rode his entire campaign right into the hostile RNC convention in Tampa.
We can look at the glass as half full or half empty yet for anarchist we don’t necessarily have tje weight of politics to hold us back. I hope Rand seizes his father’s fury for freedom.
I think we have an opportunity to redpill some Bernie supporters on the difference between capitalism and corporatism. Right now, they think it’s all just capitalism. And they’re grievances are valid. They just don’t know that it’s CORPORATISM that has done this, not capitalism. Our current system is anti-competition, and it has lead to the problem they very vividly see. I wish every Bernie Sanders supporter would watch this Ron Paul debate. This is the difference between our current corporatism model and actual capitalism/free market. I’ve turned a lot of Bernie supporters around with this. “How did I not see this before!?” Every time. Now is the time to bring these people into the loop.
We are not enemies, we are allies. They just don’t understand it yet.
I’ve stated before that my ideal ticket this cycle would be Trump/Paul. And I know I am taking a chance with Trump. But I’m absolutely certain the rest are essentially Un-American Globalists! Beautiful analysis/tribute, Monica!
Well written Monica. I’m rather pessimistic about the future of America. Its evident that the idea of an all powerful government sits well on almost a majority of voters. Both major parties have ‘groomed’ their constituents to see why ‘power’ needs to be on their particular side. There’s not really a free market in the U.S. I’m not sure if most citizens could even articulate what it means. The government run education system has as it most serious purpose, the idea that one cannot succeed in life without ‘help’ from government. I had planned to vote for Rand, even though he can’t come close to his Dad in expression of individual liberty. I can’t vote for Gary Johnson (even though I associate my beliefs as mostly libertarian) I’m not for open borders. I don’t think a country can be sovereign without borders. I think we wouldn’t have much of an illegal (unlawful) immigration problem if the people coming knew a pot of money in the form of free this and free that wasn’t waiting for them. When election time comes I’ll be writing in Ron Paul, Ayn Ryan, or some other voice of freedom, and personal responsibility.