Senator Rand Paul, candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, “is not just the rarest of his kind, he is literally the only one.” So one commenter responded to an editorial in The Washinton Post declaring Paul’s candidacy dead on arrival. Dana Milbank writes:
The libertarian Kentucky senator’s new book, “Taking a Stand,” came out Tuesday, and it is chock-full of lines that would position Paul well — if he were running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Milbank goes on to cite excerpts which opponents may easily characterize as “liberal.” Because that’s how we think about public policy these days, in a mindless partisan binary with no nuance or depth.
Ironically, Paul’s book is subtitled “Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.” To move past our current constitutional crisis, we must transcend simplistic political labels and focus on the effect that policies have on people’s lives. We must do so irrespective of whether the policy came from our chosen political party.
I was recently told of a local Republican candidate for a state house seat who showed up to a venue to give a speech. He was greeted at the door by an event coordinator who hurried him to a packed room of eager activists. He proceeded with a fiery stump, going on at length about the excesses of government and the importance of personal liberty. The audience ate it up, applauding line after line. As he left, he realized that he’d walked into the wrong venue. He had addressed a union meeting where Democrat candidates had been expected.
The moral of the story: when ideas are stripped of their partisan packaging, they succeed or fail on their merit. That’s the point that Paul is trying to get across. It’s too bad that so many in either party would rather remain paralyzed in partisan posturing.