Unless you’ve been buried under a rock or crushed under a homemade rendition of the Earth for your “Atlas Shrugged” costume, news of Rand Paul’s presidential campaign demise has reached you. I’ve already broken down the campaign and given my thoughts, which can be found here.
With the culmination of the #Randypants campaign (the hashtag will live on to accompany his Senate moves!) this regular column will also shutter. I’d be remiss in my duties to not issue one final edition to wrap it all up. Check back Tuesdays for various other liberty rantings in its wake.
Without further ado, the final regular installment of Rand Pauluses and Minuses! It contains but one item, yet a very poignant one.
Rand refuses to endorse any other candidate
As our friends over at Truth in Media have reported, Rand Paul’s late found libertarian principles have apparently stuck with him post-campaign retirement. While he returns to the Senate (in the midst of a negligible fight to retain his seat) bearing the big red “R” of the Republican party, he’s not playing nice with any of the GOP candidates left in the field. Per TiM:
Stafford said Paul has no plans to endorse any of his former competitors before one is chosen to be the GOP nominee. While former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made a similar decision when he ended his presidential campaign following Monday’s caucus, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced that he was endorsing Rubio when he ended his campaign Wednesday evening.
The question remains as to whether Paul will endorse the eventual GOP nominee, but if his libertarian values hold up, he’ll hold his tongue then as well.
There has been much discussion as to who the next best option would be, now that Rand is out of the field. Ted Cruz has gotten perplexing support from certain circles because of his (faulty and surface-level) opposition to the NSA, his opposition to the FED (though he missed the vote to audit) and his support for 2A rights. That isn’t enough to throw in with the man, who is more neocon than libertarian. He’s merely gotten some liberty varnish on a heavily tarnished GOP oak base.
Check out our “Ted Cruisin’ or Brusin'” Podcast for our break down of Ted Cruz’s not-so-liberty ways.
Trump has garnered a lot of would-be Rand support, having seemingly locked up the Tea Party vote. The Tea Party is a tragic case of a good cause gone bad, won over by nationalist fear mongers that tainted its founding ideals, which originally stemmed from Ron Paul’s campaign. The name itself was taken from a Ron Paul fundraising drive, for Pete’s sake. Yet they fell in love with the likes of Sarah Palin…who then endorsed Trump. The shocking thing is that in many ways, Trump is a better option than Cruz. His foreign policy, despite some bluster, largely is focused on negotiation rather than invasion. He has come around on the War on Drugs and looks like he’s now in favor of reforming prohibition. He’s also solid on 2nd Amendment rights. Still, he’s no ones liberty huckleberry.
Rubio is a choir boy with a devil’s soul for bloodshed, Carson is simply a babbling idiot who can’t function out of an operating theater, Kasich started off with some appeal but has altered his points to fall in line with his neocon brethren and can’t be trusted to do much of anything. And Chris Christie…CHRIS CHRISTIE…I can’t even begin to talk about him.
Some are saying that Rand supporters should flock to Bernie Sanders. For example, Bernie Sanders’ people are saying that. But despite his positives on marijuana and fairly laudable foreign policy and Audit the Fed chops, his economic ideals and, frankly, what he stands for as a socialist can’t be supported.
So it’s no shock that Rand isn’t endorsing any of the remaining candidates. You can do what you want with your time, money and voting privileges – even though the popular vote is a meaningless joke. But I would implore you to refrain from looking desperately for a new date to the dance and settling for a two-party candidate who may win and make you feel good for an instant before you realize what you’ve helped usher into office.
There may not be a viable candidate in this race now that Rand’s out. Maybe you want to support Gary Johnson, which is fine but ultimately pointless. How many times can a Gary Johnson fall in the woods when no one’s around to care if it makes a sound? Perhaps Austin Petersen is your man now – go for it. Vote third party. Write it in. Or don’t vote at all. But just don’t settle for a candidate that embodies maybe 20% of your views and convince yourself that you did the right thing.
2016 RPM Tally: 17 Pauluses / 5 Minuses
RPM Total: 172 Pauluses / 52 Minuses / 11 Push
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