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2016

The Rand Paul Tragedy

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CHOOSING POORLY …

|| By FITSNEWS || Back in December of 2013 – when this website was daily singing his praises – U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was supported by roughly 17 percent of the “Republican” primary electorate.

The GOP frontrunner at the time? New Jersey governor Chris Christie – who peaked at 20 percent support (you know, before the whole Bridge-gate scandal).

Yeah … LOLz.

Anyway Paul – who was obviously running for president already – had a critical decision to make.  How should he best go about expanding his 17 percent support among “Republican” primary voters?  Should he build within the party’s base?  Or should he look outside the GOP primary construct?

Three possible roads lay ahead of him …

1) An independent insurgent candidacy …

In this scenario, Paul would have left the “Republican” party and launched an aggressive, uncompromising campaign for president as an independent – invoking the fiscally conservative, socially libertarian ideology of his father, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

2) An insurgent “Republican” candidacy … 

In this scenario, Paul would have advanced the same uncompromising ideological matrix … only within the framework of a GOP primary campaign.

3) A conventional “Republican” candidacy …

In this scenario (which is the option he chose), Paul sought the GOP nomination as a conventional “Republican” candidate – embracing establishment politicians and morphing his views in an effort to become more “electable.”

Obviously had Paul chosen one of the first two options, there’s a very good chance the Donald Trump phenomenon (a.k.a. this juggernaut) never would have happened.  The anti-establishment vein Trump has expertly tapped into with his outspoken populism was Paul’s for the taking … he simply chose not to take it.

Why?

We’ll never know …

Not only did Paul choose the worst possible option for pursuing his presidential ambitions, but he’s been substantially less than energetic in advancing them.  Not to mention substantially less than consistent.

True, Paul has offered up some solid substance on the fiscal front, but he’s been less than impressive on liberty issues and he’s taken major steps in the wrong direction when it comes to foreign policy.

Sadly, that’s just the nature of running a campaign based on the wishes of a majority of likely “Republican” primary voters as opposed to a campaign which shows those voters – and all voters – the proper path forward.

Paul hasn’t done that, though … and as a result his 17 percent high-water mark has receded all the way to 3.5 percent nationally.

In politics you can survive being “strong and wrong” (that was the motto of former president Bill Clinton), but you can’t be weak and wrong.

Last month, we briefly addressed Paul’s efforts to reorient his candidacy by trotting out his father … 

Rand Paul – the candidate who was supposed to grow the party by inviting new views – had taken on the role of GOP loyalty czar, all in a desperate bid to undermine the candidacy of Trump, who is raking in all the anti-establishment supporters the younger Paul was supposed to be inspiring.

“This above all: To thine own self be true,” Shakespeare famously wrote in Hamlet.

Good father to son advice, right?

Indeed …

If only Paul had taken it.

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