On Tuesday of this week, Rand Paul made it official that he is a candidate for the office of President of the United States. As I did with Ted Cruz a few weeks ago when he announced his candidacy for President, I want to give readers a preliminary assessment of Senator Paul's pros and cons. Be mindful, again, that this is a preliminary assessment and is subject to change as more information becomes available.
For those who may not know, Rand's father, former congressman Ron Paul, and I have been friends for many years. I campaigned heavily for Ron's presidential campaign in 2008, and again in 2012. I even represented Ron in some notable Republican campaign events during that time. And I also spoke on the same platform with Ron and introduced him in several large rallies. And, after Ron dropped out of the Republican primary in 2008, I was approached by many of his supporters to carry the liberty message into the general election as the Constitution Party's candidate for President. This I did, and when I did, Ron publicly endorsed my candidacy. Through my friendship with Ron, I had the privilege to meet Rand and, as with his father, I like Rand a lot. Readers need to know that up front.
That said, this preliminary assessment of Rand's candidacy will be intellectually honest and objective. Readers need to know that, too.
*He is his father's son
In my opinion, Ron Paul is the greatest U.S. congressman in our country's history. While we have had several outstanding U.S. House members, no one can match Ron's incredible record. Without a doubt, Ron Paul is the U.S. House of Representatives' most preeminent champion of liberty. And you know the old saying: the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I believe that is certainly true with Ron's son, Rand.
And you can believe that establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C., believe that, too. As soon as Rand announced his candidacy, neocons such as Senator Lindsey Graham began their attacks against him. Graham went so far as to say that Rand Paul's foreign policy is worse than Hillary Clinton's. (That's because Graham and Clinton are both warmongers, and Rand isn't.) Rest assured, the GOP establishment will spend the entire primary season trying to make sure that Rand Paul does not receive the Republican nomination.
*Rand's foreign policy
This is where Rand Paul shines. Like his dad, Rand believes in a constitutional foreign policy. He is opposed to America's foreign wars of aggression. He is opposed to America's preemptive war doctrine instituted by G.W. Bush. He is opposed to the Warfare State and all of the entangling alliances that go along with it. In fact, Rand Paul is the ONLY candidate for President from either the Republican or Democrat party that would probably make any significant change in America's foreign policy.
And quite frankly, the office of President is mostly defined by foreign policy, and in this regard, Rand is probably the only candidate that would be willing to defy the war-mad neocons and bring America's founding principles back to our State Department and DOD. Ted Cruz won't do it; Ben Carson won't do it; Scott Walker won't do it; Marco Rubio won't do it; Mike Huckabee won't do it; Mike Pence won't do it; Rick Santorum won't do it; Chris Christie won't do it; Jeb Bush won't do it; Hillary Clinton won't do it; and neither will Martin O'Malley. In reality, when it comes to foreign policy, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Except for Rand Paul, that is. Rand is the ONLY presidential candidate who would potentially restore a constitutional foreign policy to the United States.
*Rand Paul is solid on the Bill of Rights and the right to life
Rand Paul is solid on the right to life and the Second Amendment. But unlike the rest of the presidential candidates, Rand is also solid on the rest of the Bill of Rights. In the name of the "war on terror," politicians from both parties in Washington, D.C., have mostly eviscerated the Bill of Rights. For all intents and purposes, the Fourth through Tenth Amendments are mere words on paper. Both Republican and Democrat congresses have gutted them to the point that they are unrecognizable from their original intent. Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate who gives more than lip service to the Bill of Rights.
Accordingly, Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate that would probably use the power of the office to alleviate, or perhaps even dismantle, the burgeoning Police State in this country. This is another reason why Lindsey Graham and other neocons in Washington, D.C., hate Rand Paul.
*Rand is the Republican who has the best chance of winning the general election in 2016
Rand's popularity will come from just about every quarter, except the Washington establishment. He will pull support from not only conservative, Tea Party, and patriot groups, but also from libertarians, independents, college-age and young Americans, and anti-war Democrats.
An MSN report notes, "Paul's speeches and media coverage have helped him break out of the Republican field. In very early trial heats of the presidential race, Paul regularly gets closer to Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, than his so-called establishment rivals. In a March poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, Paul tied Clinton in Pennsylvania, a state no Democratic candidate for president has lost since 1988."
See the report at:
Rand's challenge will be winning the Republican nomination. The GOP establishment will go all out to defeat him. But, if he can prevail in the Republican primary, he would undoubtedly be the strongest GOP candidate in the general election. But, remember, the Republican establishment would rather lose with neocons like John McCain and Mitt Romney than win with a principled freedomist like Rand Paul. So, Rand has his work cut out for him.
*Illegal immigration and amnesty
So far, Rand has been soft on his stance against illegal immigration and Barack Obama's executive amnesty for illegals. Rand's principal opponent in the GOP race will be Ted Cruz; and Cruz's tough stance against illegal immigration and amnesty is very popular with most Republican voters. If Rand continues to take a soft position on illegal immigration, it will give Cruz a leg up with many of the GOP electorate.
*His support for Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell
The decision to support Mitt Romney for President in 2012 cost Rand a lot of popular support. Romney was a Democrat in Republican clothing. Romney's socialized medicine program in liberal Massachusetts was the blueprint for Obamacare. Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. And Mitt Romney flipped-flopped on so many issues (including the life issue) that he more resembled Silly Putty than he did a serious presidential contender. There was no telling which way Romney was going to bounce next. And Mitch McConnell is the consummate establishment politician. No genuine conservative respects McConnell.
I understand why Rand endorsed Romney and McConnell. He was trying to show the Republican Party that he was willing to work with the GOP leadership. Plus, as the freshman senator from Kentucky, he didn't want to make a political enemy out of Kentucky's senior senator (and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader). But endorsing Republican candidates that were fundamentally flawed positionally and constitutionally was something Ron Paul was never willing to do. And that uncompromising commitment of Ron Paul was one of his most endearing qualities. As such, I am extremely honored to be the only candidate for President since Ronald Reagan that Ron Paul endorsed. In my opinion, that says more about Ron than it does me.
When Rand endorsed Romney, it angered untold numbers of principled conservatives. That anger still exists. These folks are worried that Rand will be too willing to work with unprincipled Republicans in the future. This fear is something Rand MUST successfully assuage if he is to unify the base that he needs to win the Republican nomination.
*Rand's recent homage to Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli lobby
This is another area where Rand's father, Ron, was never willing to compromise. Ron had a constitutionally-correct understanding of America's relationship with Israel and other Middle Eastern nations. And due to the constitutional ignorance (and scriptural misinterpretation regarding the modern state of Israel, thanks mostly to preachers such as John Hagee) of most Christian conservatives, it was this issue that most alienated many of them from Ron's presidential campaigns. Doubtless, Rand is trying to circumvent that potential opposition from within the conservative Christian community by showing them, "See, I am not my father."
Noted political researcher and analyst Joel Skousen put this in perspective recently, saying, "Rand Paul has the same problem [as Ted Cruz]. He's decided that he can't get ahead in politics without being a yes-man to the Israeli lobby, and so he takes his pilgrimage to Israel, meets with Netanyahu and other politically connected Israelis and pledges to stand with Israel. The problem with that position, as I've explained many times in the WAB [World Affairs Brief], is that Israel's leaders are all compromised globalists (especially Netanyahu) so Christians have to learn to separate their allegiance to God's promises of restoring the house of Israel to their homeland and the aggressive globalist policies of the Israeli government." Amen!
What most Christian conservatives don't seem to understand is that Ron Paul's position on Israel (and other foreign nations) is actually the best policy to help the people of the Middle East (including Israelis) that the United States could possibly have. The neocon, pro-war, New World Order (NWO) policies that began under George H.W. Bush, and that continue to the present, are the most destructive policies in the entire world at present. The entire world (including the United States and Israel) are suffering (and will suffer) incalculable tragedy at the hands of these wicked globalists if they are not soon deterred. How tragic that Christian conservatives--who sincerely believe they are being a blessing to Israel by supporting a neocon foreign policy agenda--are actually assisting Israel and America's worst enemies. And, once again, no other presidential candidate from either party will potentially do anything to challenge the neocon, NWO agenda. If Rand Paul doesn't do it, no other Republican or Democrat presidential candidate will.
Obviously, it is too early for me to actually endorse a presidential candidate. I am willing to say that, at this juncture, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are the two men who seem to stand out. But, since Ted Cruz's foreign policy is in lockstep with the neocon agenda, and IF Rand Paul can continue to demonstrate a genuine commitment to oppose a neocon foreign policy, he would definitely have a leg up in my book.
And unlike many conservatives, I am NOT impressed with Dr. Ben Carson. His support of government-forced vaccinations is anathema to any person who truly understands the principles of constitutional government and liberty. Anyone who could claim to be opposed to Obamacare and then support government-forced vaccinations is truly confused and directionless.
See the report at:
Plus, Dr. Carson talks out of both sides of his mouth regarding gun control. He says he supports the Second Amendment, but then he turns around and says, "It depends on where you live."
"Appearing on Glenn Beck's radio show this past week, Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn't be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.
"Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: 'There's a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.'
"But when asked whether people should be allowed to own 'semi-automatic weapons,' the doctor replied: 'It depends on where you live. I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I'm afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it,' Carson elaborated. However, if you live 'out in the country somewhere by yourself' and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, 'I've no problem with that.'"
See the report here:
I'm sorry; the Second Amendment is an issue I will NOT compromise. And Dr. Carson's statements demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the liberty principles behind the Second Amendment. It is those people who live in the most populous--and, therefore, the most dangerous--areas that most require a semi-automatic weapon (rifle or pistol) with which to defend themselves. What good does a firearm do if one is "out in the country somewhere by yourself"? Dr. Carson demonstrates vast ignorance regarding the God-given duty of self-defense. So, I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I will NOT be supporting Ben Carson for President.
So, again, this is my preliminary assessment of Rand Paul's candidacy. And as I said in my column assessing Ted Cruz's candidacy, I reserve the right to adjust my thinking one way or another as more information becomes available.
© Chuck Baldwin