A cavalryman depends on a strong-willed beast. US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the equestrian-soldier is riding a sick horse. When the beast becomes too ill, and is determined medically futile the soldier places a bullet in its head. This act is not an easy task to carry out, but the soldier knows a sick horse is a dead horse, which is better put out of its misery. For a cavalryman in the battlefield it is quick. In Washington, Paul will have to take his time- just as Reagan did. Reagan destroyed the GOP mold of his time. Many wonder, will Paul follow in his steps?
It is quite remarkable that America has already had a Libertarian-leaning Republican, but the establishment GOP wouldn’t dare let you know about it. This man is more quoted, and revered than any other GOP politician in history. His name was Ronald Reagan, and he once said, “The heart of my philosophy is libertarianism.” You will never see Lindsey Graham or John McCain utter this quote, but come election year they will claim themselves Reaganites. In 1976 at the GOP convention Rand’s father, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX, Retired), was one of only 4 republican congressmen to support Reagan that year. Reagan lost. In 1980 Reagan tried again, Paul still at his side, but this time Reagan won by a landslide. Reagan’s win marked the beginning of what many recall as the “Reagan Revolution”. The “Revolution” is a purposeful parallel that the Senior Paul carried on into his presidential bids. However, the two Pauls play a remarkably different battle plan. The Senior Paul’s battle was an ideological one. The Junior Paul’s battle plan is a strategic ground game. A game poised to not only win hearts and minds as his father did, but votes as well.
Paul will be able to pull together conservatives and independents from across the spectrum just as Reagan did. He can turn blue states red with his stance on drones, wiretapping, medical marijuana and other civil liberties. He is the leading name in the 2016 GOP bid as of now. He has won every recent straw poll his name has been in, and has visited every early primary state multiple times. Also, he is winning the social media race with more than 1 million Facebook fans. There are also multiple support, and “Presidential Draft” pages for Rand Paul with hundreds of thousands of fans. No other potential candidate has this social media force. Look to the Obama presidential wins and we know that elections are now dependent on social media force. Furthermore, one super- PAC has been working feverishly on a draft effort raising thousands of dollars to send out “Paul for President” campaign garb.
This aside, the truth is that Reagan would never be elected in the modern day Republican Party without one hell of a fight. Thirty years has changed the game of American politics with the establishment GOP backed by war lobbyists, big agriculture and the pharmaceutics industry. Paul’s battle will be one against the largest machine yet known to man. Although the establishment holds more events, fundraisers and marketing in the name of Reagan than any other GOP politician in history they do not believe what Reagan believed. The grassroots will support Paul, many state legislators will follow and he will also bring in endorsements from many leading conservative think-tanks such as the Heritage Foundation headed by former US Senator and ally, Jim DeMint. Regardless, make no mistake; he will be met with great resistance in 2016. He stands headstrong against the modern day GOP on many things such as foreign policy and aide, and the establishment’s lack of bite when it comes to not raising taxes and protecting the Second Amendment.
Expect to see Paul square up against types who are marketed to the American people by the establishment as being “Tea Party candidates”. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan seem to stand out as these types, and are losing popularity with the actual Tea Party as they continue to align more with the establishment. The Republican Party hasn’t put one of their own in office since 1980 with Reagan. Is Paul the next Reagan? Paul can stand on his own merits, and no one should underestimate this. However, we also cannot underestimate the power of Reaganism.
For a ‘Revolution’ to occur, something must come to an end. The question is will Paul be able to place the metaphorical bullet in the GOP’s head as Reagan did decades ago? If Paul does win- the Republican Party we know today will die. Many believe that is more than a fair trade.