As Hillary Clinton starts to ponder the curtains she wants to hang in the Oval Office, there is only one person who can realistically stand in her way: Rand Paul.
Readers of this site will be well aware that I spend very little time focusing on Presidential politics. There are many reasons for this, but more than anything else, I believe there are two key components to genuine cultural change, and none of them have to do with electing a savior. These are:
1) Knowledge – Ignorance is not bliss. Particularly when it comes to the advance or decline of a civilization. Thomas Jefferson said it best:
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
I am trying to do my own little part in that regard here at Liberty Blitzkrieg.
2) Internal Change – It is much easier to complain about others and the world at large than it is to improve oneself. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I am cognizant that you can’t change the outside world unless you have changed what’s inside. Gandhi said it best:
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
We can elect all the saviors we want to positions of power, but unless we are able to master the above, nothing will permanently evolve in the right direction, and we will be cursed into repeating the same painful cycle over and over again. Crash and burn.
All that said, I don’t think Presidential politics, or politics in general, have to be as horribly corrupt as they are today. I do think it is possible to elect courageous statesmen as opposed to power hungry, money grubbing frontmen and women.
As a consequence of my spending so much time reading about the world around me, I think I have a reasonable grasp of the potential contenders for the 2016 Presidential election from both of the tired and corrupt main parties. For all the chatter about Elizabeth Warren, I think Hillary Clinton is an absolute lock for the Democratic nomination. In fact, just yesterday the Huffington Post published an article detailing how the Democrat establishment had already made its move to cleverly neuter Warren by giving her more power within the Senate. For example:
Throughout Senate history, individual members have often steered away from leadership positions, worried that the horse-trading and consensus-gathering that leadership involves would neuter their power. But the Senate has been evolving in recent years into a much more leadership-driven institution, in which individual senators and even chairmen have less power than they once did compared to caucus leadership. Today, decisions that would have been made in side negotiations, in committee or on the floor are instead made by leadership.
It’s those meetings that Warren will now be a part of. At the same time, she will diminish her ability to maintain that inside position if she criticizes the party from the outside. That dilemma, however, has been with her every step of her career, as she has moved closer to the center of power.
We’ll see how this turns out, but it looks to me that the Democrats are giving her a sense of importance so she “plays ball.” Particularly when it comes to 2016.
On the Republican side, there isn’t a single candidate I would even consider supporting other than Rand Paul. Besides him, everyone else is either a neo-con establishment crony (Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney), or an intellectually challenged up and comer pandering basely to the lowest common denominator.
I am not considering Rand because I think he will “save America” or because his father is Ron Paul. I am considering Rand because I agree with him on enough positions that are important to me. Don’t take it from me though. Read the following article from H. A. Goodman, titled: I’m a Liberal Democrat. I’m Voting for Rand Paul in 2016. Here Is Why. Here are some excerpts:
Rand Paul is my candidate in 2016, even though the Tea Party would consider me Joseph Stalin’s love child. I’m for immigration reform and believe that illegal immigrants benefit this country. I’ve written many articles criticizing Tea Party paranoia. I’m against demagoguery from people like Paul Ryan who unfairly target inner city citizens and I’m for the federal legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. I think Ted Cruz is a buffoon and that we should listen to Stephen Hawking over Senator “Green Eggs and Ham” on climate change. Finally, I’ve also written two novels about the evils of religious fundamentalism and political demagoguery.
On all these possible points of contention with Rand Paul, the reality is that he isn’t Ted Cruz or Lou Dobbs on these matters. Sen. Paul is a self-described “moderate” on immigration, much to the dismay of Tea Party Republicans. Paul’s recent Bill Maher interview shows he’s open to cleaner energy alternatives. Most importantly, Paul doesn’t abide by the right-wing rhetoric blaming poor people for their predicament, or claiming God wants people to do this or that. Congress at the end of the day has the power of the purse, so if President Rand Paul scares you on economic matters, simply remember that only Congress can repeal or alter government programs and decide on budgets.
I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life, but in 2016, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will be my choice for president. On issues that affect the long-term survival of this country; grandiose concerns like perpetual war that could send generations of Americans fighting and dying in the Middle East, domestic spying that could eventually lead to a police state, and numerous other topics, Rand Paul has shown that he bucks both the Republican and Democratic penchant for succumbing to public opinion, an overreaction to the terror threat, and a gross indifference to an egregious assault on our rights as citizens.
Yes, I’ll have to concede some of my beliefs and roll the dice as to whether or not he’ll flip-flop on issues, but Hillary Clinton and President Obama have changed their views on everything from gay marriage to marijuana legalization and Iraq, so I’m taking an educated gamble with Sen. Paul. Hillary Clinton alone has gone back and forth on enough issues to make the former Secretary of State a human version of Pong, so I’m not too worried about voting for Paul. Below are ten reasons this Democrat is voting for Rand Paul in 2016 and if my liberal membership card is revoked, I’ll live with that; I’m not an ideologue like Sean Hannity, I’m an American.
1. Rand Paul will be more cautious with waging war than Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. Sen. Paul has called Obama’s ISIS war illegal and isn’t against defending American interests through military intervention, but stresses the importance of Congress making these decisions. Hillary Clinton, in contrast, thinks we should have armed the Syrian rebel groups several years ago. Try naming even one of the Syrian rebel groups and explaining their differences with ISIS. Furthermore,The Week states that “Clinton’s instincts appear to be far more hawkish than Barack Obama’s.” Imagine a more hawkish Obama and you’ll get the next President Clinton. Also, famed neocon Robert Kagan is one of Clinton’s advisers and states in The New York Times, “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy.” That should tell you how liberal Clinton will be on matters of perpetual war in the Middle East.
2. The Los Angeles Times has referred to Paul as “one of the foremost critics of the government’s domestic spying program.” In early 2014, Sen. Paul filed a lawsuit against the NSA over domestic spying. Neither Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, nor any other candidate in 2016 has made this a top priority in their campaign. Sen. Paul has also voted against PATRIOT Act Extension bills, voted for an amendment that prohibits detention of U.S. citizens without trial (which of course didn’t pass the Senate), and his voting record protects American citizens from politicians paranoid over terrorism. Sen. Paul was vehemently against the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill that passed in 2013, because, “This bill takes away that right and says that if someone thinks you’re dangerous, we will hold you without a trial. It’s an abomination.”
3. Rand Paul has teamed up with liberal Democratic Sen. Cory Booker to reform the criminal justice system. Their bill would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve been adversely affected by non-violent criminal sentences. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush don’t care about reforming the criminal justice system, and if they do, it’s on the bottom of their to do lists, far behind cozying up to Wall Street and increasing America’s military presence in the Middle East.
4. POLITICO states Hillary Clinton is “Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret” in 2016. I don’t see Clinton as being any more liberal than Paul on Wall Street or banking, although perhaps she’d be more willing to save failed corporations than the Kentucky Senator. Also, Paul is one of the few Republicans who’s addressed the GOP’s love affair with corporations, stating that, “We cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street…corporate welfare should once and for all be ended.”
5. Sen. Paul thinks Edward Snowden was treated unfairly as a whistleblower and should have only spent “a few years” in prison. No other candidate in 2016 would dare take that position. The Wall Street Journal criticizedPaul’s position on the Snowden matter, and their criticism actually makes me like Rand Paul in 2016 even more. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is “puzzled” why Snowden would want to leave the U.S. and feels he might have helped terrorists with his disclosures.
6. Rand Paul publicized the issue of a possible government drone strike, on American soil, against American citizens. No, I’m not making this up. I don’t want to get blown up eating a burrito at Chipotle because I visited Egypt to see the pyramids and happened to sit in a café frequented by a terrorist. In 2013, Rand Paul asked Eric Holder whether or not American citizens could be targeted by drones on American soil. Jon Stewart has a great segment about this. Eric Holder actually answered that theoretically, yes, drone strikes to kill Americans on U.S. soil could be viewed as legal, depending on the circumstance. If this doesn’t frighten you, then vote for Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, since neither one cares about this matter. Issues like drone strikes on American soil, against Americans, is why I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. This sort of thing is being discussed today in plain sight, yet only Rand Paul and a few others have shown outrage over the potential of our government to possibly target its own citizens. If it’s not an ISIL beheading video, nobody seems to care nowadays.
7. Rand Paul could bring back an era in American politics when conservatives and liberals socialized with one another. This alone would solve some of the gridlock in Washington. Paul has worked with 7 leading Democratson a number of issues; working on everything from judicial reform, NSA surveillance, the limits of presidential authority to launch strikes in Iraq, and other issues. Imagine Ted Cruz reaching out to Nancy Pelosi, or Mitch McConnell having lunch with Hillary Clinton. Rand Paul, on the other hand, has worked to emulate this picture.
8. Rand Paul will not gut the economic safety nets of this country in the manner espoused by Paul Ryan and others. He doesn’t want to dismantleSocial Security. I do disagree with his view of the SNAP Program and certain other issues. However, Paul has stated, “I’m for a social safety net, but it should be minimized to helping those who can’t help themselves.” I don’t ever recall Ted Cruz or Paul Ryan making that type of statement and mainstream Republicans do everything in their power to promote the view that safety nets equate to communism or socialism.
9. Neoconservatives hate Rand Paul. They like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush a lot more, and The Weekly Standard, National Review, and others have voiced their reservations about a Rand Paul presidency. If neocons disagree with you, then you must be doing something right.
10. Rand Paul could be the answer to our philosophical conundrum as a nation. We’re stuck with a GOP who thinks the globe is one giant Stratego board game with God helping roll the dice, a Democratic Party more focused on defending Obamacare than stopping endless wars or protecting civil liberties, and a populace that cares more about beheading videos than the erosion of rights or the welfare of our warriors. Is Paul the answer? I’m not certain. But compared to Hillary and Jeb Bush, I’ll take the man who stated, “I do blame the Iraq War on the chaos that is in the Middle East.”
What is so interesting to me about the above list, is that although I would strongly disagree with Mr. Goodman on many issues, I concur with his assessment of the importance of the above. NSA spying, aggressive and unconstitutional foreign policy, reforming the criminal justice system and drone strikes. These aren’t side issues to me. They are core issues. He didn’t even mention Audit the Fed, which Rand sponsored in the Senate and would almost surely continue to push for.
These issues cut cross meaningless labels of “liberal,” “conservative,” “progressive” and “libertarian.” These are human issues. Issues of civil liberties and decency (read:#StandwithRand: The Filibuster that United Libertarian and Progressive Activists). They are issues on which Rand Paul is on the right side of history and Hillary Clinton clearly on the wrong. That’s precisely why I think the GOP establishment will do everything in its power to prevent him from getting the nomination. Why you ask?
The reason is the establishment GOP is part of the status quo, and the status quo likes things as they are. Hillary Clinton would be merely a more militant version of Barack Obama with even deeper Wall Street ties (read: Glenn Greenwald on Hillary Clinton: “Soulless, Principle-Free, Power Hungry…”).
A less hillbilly version of George W. Bush. I strongly believe that the GOP establishment would rather have Hilary Clinton in power than Rand Paul. I dare them to prove me wrong.
Rand recently appeared on Bill Maher’s show. At the end, Bill said:
I think it’s only a good thing for America, when I’m not sure who I’m gonna vote for next time.
Think about that for a minute. Unless he makes some spectacular flip-flops, Rand Paul would get all the libertarian votes, all the GOP votes (they’d vote for Satan to keep Hillary out of office), and a lot more genuine liberal/progressive votes than you might think.
He is the only candidate who can beat Hillary. That’s why Rand Paul is Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.
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