Today was a sad day in the race for the Presidency of the United States. Rand Paul, the lone sane candidate for the Republican nomination, officially announced he was dropping out of the race, while also saying he would continue his fight long beyond 2016.
Paul said in a release,
“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty. Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I. Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over. I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate…”
The fact Paul was unable to gain any ground in a field of Republicans is not surprising; after all, his views lean heavily to the side of Libertarianism and Republicans in 2016 are no longer interested in protecting civil liberties, protecting the US Constitution, auditing the Fed, or small government – things in which Paul strongly believed. However, he tried to compromise some of his other beliefs without pandering and, as Marco Rubio has proved, you need to pander to the base.
To Paul’s credit, he never lowered himself to the “issues” that seem important to the other candidates (and much of the Republican base). Paul had enough integrity to drop out rather than to embrace the xenophobia and theocratic urges, which he needed to do to compete with the insanity of the other candidates or in order to gain any ground with the base.
He also refused to buy into the Republican view on foreign policy, and offered a sharp alternative to what the other candidates for president were saying, as noted by his opening statements from the December 15 debate in Las Vegas:
“The question is, how do we keep America safe from terrorism? Trump says we ought to close that Internet thing. The question really is, what does he mean by that? Like they do in North Korea? Like they do in China? Rubio says we should collect all Americans’ records all of the time. The Constitution says otherwise. I think they’re both wrong. I think we defeat terrorism by showing them that we do not fear them. I think if we ban certain religions, if we censor the Internet, I think that at that point the terrorists will have won. Regime change hasn’t won. Toppling secular dictators in the Middle East has only led to chaos and the rise of radical Islam. I think if we want to defeat terrorism, I think if we truly are sincere about defeating terrorism, we need to quit arming the allies of ISIS. If we want to defeat terrorism, the boots on the ground — the boots on the ground need to be Arab boots on the ground. As commander-in-chief, I will do whatever it takes to defend America. But in defending America, we cannot lose what America stands for. Today is the Bill of Rights’ anniversary. I hope we will remember that and cherish that in the fight on terrorism.”
The hope here is Paul will continue his fight to audit the Fed, hold corporations responsible for actions, achieve small government, and protect civil liberties – and that someday, Americans will be open to hearing logical ideas that could work rather than rhetoric that is used to gain votes.
Below, Paul’s famous speech about liberty, small government, and privacy from the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015: