Friday, August 14, 2015

To Rand Paul: Get Serious or Get Out

Important Public Service Announcement: Missing: One Senator from Kentucky, answering to the name of Rand Paul. Hair type: curly. Political beliefs: Right of Center. Last seen: over a month ago. Will the finder please wake the gentleman up and remind him he is running for president?

Just a couple of months ago, Rand Paul was on the senate floor, filibustering while the nation watched, he shouted out “are we just supposed to sit back and take it? Well I’m not going to take it anymore!” For days Paul, who was named last the year by Time “The Most interesting man in Politics” was in the headlines, raising money off the momentum from his speeches, driving the national conversation, and as an added bonus, stopping the government’s collection of bulk data…for a couple of days before it was basically reinstituted under another name.
But now he’s gone. Last week in Cleveland, for a few brief moments, he shined, attacking Trump, taking on Christie, (who, it was later discovered, was lying about the date he was made prosecutor) and yelling “get a warrant!” when the governor of New Jersey said Paul was threatening national security.
The son of Ron Paul, the man who took and the establishment and called for fiscal responsibility in this nation, Rand’s pedigree is sound. He was a part of the “crazy” conservative spring to bring down big government, and end massive government spending. His slogan is “defeat the Washington Machine.”
But now, one is left wondering what he is doing.
Paul's super PAC has raised less money than any other serious candidate, (we are not talking about Pataki or Gilmore here) and some insiders have said that Paul has purposely avoided some fundraising events, canceling an important one earlier this year to go on vacation. 
In recent days, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, two members of the club known as “The Worst Politics has to Offer” have dominated cable news, the radio, and even the late night comedy shows. Real conservatives, such as Paul, are too much in the background.
This was supposed to be Paul’s year, he was the man who could grow the Republican Party, bring in the minority voters and the young people. But he is floundering. His numbers are down, and the main stories about him these days are about how his campaign isn’t working very well, how he isn’t raising money, etc.
It remains true, however, that in the City of Washington DC, where charity is taking one man’s money and giving it to another, and a city that believes that people do not have right to their privacy without the government coming in and reading everything all the time, Rand Paul has been a refreshing blast of cold water.
In a party with the likes of Trump, who has made remarks disparaging about women and Latinos, in a GOP that is seen by many as “white, rich, and old” Paul had support from across the spectrum.
Of course, we still have about six months to go. Anything could happen. But Rand needs to start working on making things happen. If he can’t or if it becomes clear that the Republican Party has said “no, not this time” to his getting the nomination, Paul really ought to drop out and go back to the senate, where he can continue to give voice to the millions of Americans who still care about liberty.

Andrew C. Abbott

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