Is America Ready For A Libertarian Republican President?

randpaul

“I would absolutely not run unless it were to win,” Senator Rand Paul said on Fox News Sunday today in response to questions about a potential run for President. “But I think the country is really ready for the narrative coming — the libertarian Republican narrative.”

So what is the “libertarian Republican narrative?”

“I think people want a party that’s a little less aggressive on foreign policy — still believes in a strong national defense but less aggressive,” Paul said. “The young people want politicians who don’t want to put them in jail for 20 years for a nonviolent drug possession charges…I think people want a little different face on immigration, frankly, they don’t want somebody who’s going to round people up in camps and send them back to Mexico.”

In other words, Senator Rand Paul stands for a sort of Republicanism that is less socially conservative, more open to immigration and tougher on spending.

That’s quite a departure from what the Republican party has been for decades, and we need look only at the last two-term Republican presidents to see that. Ronald Reagan was a drug warrior (remember we got “Just Say No” from Nancy Reagan), George W. Bush was a strong proponent of an aggressive foreign policy and the party as a whole still has a lot of resentment over illegal immigration.

But times are changing. Demographics are shifting. The Republican party needs to shift too if it intends to stay relevant. Is the shift Senator Paul is proposing in the right direction for the party?

I think it is. Senator Paul is talking about a shift in positions that is consistent with notions about individual liberty, but palatable to new generations of Americans. What Paul is talking about is the future. The question is whether or not Republicans will want to follow him.

One thing is certain. If Senator Paul gets traction in the GOP it could mean a national realignment of the sort not seen since the “Dixiecrats” left the Democrat party in the middle of the last century. Senator Paul’s brand of libertarianism could bring new voters to the GOP but is also likely to alienate social conservatives who tend to be fairly fiscally liberal but sided with Republicans over opposition to gay marriage, etc.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    O M G!

    Please oh please oh pretty please, nutters, nominate this guy!

    • JoeMN

      We now know who one liberal fears most

  • Rocky

    Well, you just can’t please everybody.

    The GOP nominated moderate presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012, and we know how that worked. They treat traditional conservatives like oddball family members (yeah, we’re related, but stay out of the family photo, okay?).

    What the heck, maybe it is time to try something new. At this point, we can’t do much worse than the current administration.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      On what planet does Rand Paul qualify as a moderate?

      • Chuck

        If you dare to take the social liberal/fiscal conservative stand, the idiots will see that as moderate, though it is not the case. I have been a libertarian my whole adult life and have been labelled a moderate for seeing the value of personal liberty, cvil rights, a less aggressive military, and a responsible fiscal policy. It ain’t moderate, its just smart.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          About the only issue where i’m not “socially liberal” is abortion. I can’t get over the scientific fact of abortion stopping a beating heart. I think that child is an individual. I wish we could procreate outside the mother’s body so that we could draw clear lines in the sand between the rights of the child and the rights of the mother, but that’s not how it works. The beginning of life begins inside a living woman.

          But I don’t think that’s good enough reason to ignore the reality of the living child inside the living mother.

          Everything else? Live and let live.

    • Drain52

      I think it’s a mistake to label Libertarians “socially liberal/fiscally conservative.” With it you risk alienating some of our natural allies. Personally both Rand and Ron are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. So am I. But the Libertarian doesn’t believe that his social views–be they conservative or liberal–should have the force of the federal government behind them, and in some cases not even state or local government.

      • Rocky

        I didn’t say Rand Paul was a moderate, in fact I didn’t mention him at all. I’d be willing to consider supporting him if he’s a good alternative to the status quo. We have some time to figure that out.

  • Chuck

    The sooner the GOP trades off the religious right for the libertarian, right the better. Rand Paul is far more likely to be successful than his old man. The old man is just too odd in all the shallow ways the shallow media and shallow voters want a candidate to be. Rand could do better.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Rand Paul is certainly much more savvy, politically speaking, than his father.

      And a lot more pragmatic, I think.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I would like to see government get its snout out of social and personal issues. I thought Rand Paul’s father was a little unrealistic on some foreign policy, but, overall, I also agree with getting us out of some of our international involvement.

    I’m socially conservative, but I want a government that keeps its nose out of my business rather than one that forces my views on others.

    • Chuck

      Good man.

    • Neiman

      A. That is a lie IMO, you are not socially conservative at all or you could not vote Libertarian at all.

      B. It is not about Christians forcing their religious views on anyone, that is another lie that you choose to believe. It is only about their having a place at the table to try and influence the country and its laws to reflect the values they hold dear, knowing that evil will prevail no matter what they do, but loving their children, they would like to slow that trend in small ways as long as possible, if they can, by their spiritual influence.

      C. If you want the government to have their noses out of your affairs, then you believe in moral anarchy and do not love your children, as you don’t care if they are forced to see sexual deviancy openly displayed in the public square. You do not care about the Bill of Rights, as you want deviants to have rights, but not people of faith.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        That is a lie IMO, you are not socially conservative at all or you could not vote Libertarian at all.

        Because you can’t be a social conservative unless you want to impose what you believe on everyone else, right Neiman?

        It is not about Christians forcing their religious views on anyone, that is another lie that you choose to believe. It is only about their having a place at the table to try and influence the country and its laws to reflect the values they hold dear, knowing that evil will prevail no matter what they do

        Your problem, Neiman, is that you believe the only way Christians can influence the country is by passing laws forcing everyone else to live like Christians.

        If you want the government to have their noses out of your affairs, then you believe in moral anarchy and do not love your children

        Sigh…

        • Neiman

          One finds it easy to say they are this or that thing in America today, with no need to back up their beliefs with any actions. It is useless to say one is socially conservative and not fight against those things that are morally destructive of society, these two positions are contradictory to one another.

          No, I do no believe passing laws is the only way, but Christians are citizens and as such have a right to influence our laws to defend their values, just as you defend your libertine values. In fact, I have no hope for society nor any illusions it will change for the better, but along the way to our destruction, I and many other Christians strive to hold up God’s Truth, even as the light is dying and men are wholly corrupting themselves and this nation.

          • Onslaught1066

            I think Rob demonstrates his Libertarianism quite well.

            He is a fat lazy slob, who delights in expounding daily on his righteous indifference unless and until his own personal ox is gored.

    • JoeMN

      The Paulites are boiling right now over Rand’s rejection of Hagel (even though everyone knows Hagel will be no more or less “anti war” than his master Obama)
      And Paul applied the brakes because of the gaping holes in Hagel’s financial disclosures
      As far as the GOP is concerned, they are going to be out to pasture at the national level until the skunks at the top are starved out and move on.

      Their preselected “farm team” of candidates interests nobody other than the liberal media who will once again shame diehard Republican (who’s turn is it) primary voters and Carl Rove’s donors into the looser of their choice.

      Libertarians had a real shot at placing themselves on the map if they would have aimed a little lower and targeted state elections Governor House seats, maybe the odd Attorney General office, ect instead of placing all their eggs on Ron Paul’s head. They should have understood he was a long shot, and instead used his public spotlight to advance in these aria’s.
      As it is, the momentum is now gone and they still sit out in the cold.
      That being said, never underestimate the power of the hard left to turn this media made lemonade all prepared (read propagandized) nicely for them, and expose themselves as the lemons they are.

  • sbark

    Say didnt he just give the Tea Party response to the SOTU propaganda speech……….well maybe a small L Libertarian as in contrast to his fathers BIG L “status, who just said Navy Seal Chris Kyle who was just murdered, essentially had it coming

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      I believe that would be Libertarian hero, Ron Paul, bark.

  • Neiman

    He would create a new paradigm shift, a fiscally conservative Democrat Party. You will trade off the evangelical Right and I think Romney proved they can prove decisive by staying home. That is what Rob wants a morally libertine-green eye shade GOP, give him low taxes and the right to get high and marry the guy next door and he’s happy.

    Paul could create that Conservative Democrat Party, but it can’t win any national elections. They will really stand for nothing at all and most people prefer the devil unadorned.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That is what Rob wants a morally libertine-green eye shade GOP, give him low taxes and the right to get high and marry the guy next door and he’s happy.

      Well, i’m not really interested in the guy next door (he’s nice and all, but he’s not my type). Plus, I’m happily married to my wife. And I don’t really like anything more intoxicating than beer.

      But I wonder, Neiman, why should you care if I want to marry the guy next door and smoke some weed on my own time?

      • Neiman

        You will not marry the guy next door in a vacuum, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are forced, by your laws, to not be able in the public square to speak against this perversion of marriage and family. As you falsely accuse me, you and your liberal and libertine fellow travelers pass laws that are contrary to my faith, your laws expose people I love to your immoral filth and at school or work, force them to undergo indoctrination, the old Soviet brainwashing, to accept this damnable perversion as being normal and their Christian faith as being abnormal and contrary to the desires of the State. Such political dissidents soon to face fines, jail and even death if they refuse to stop preaching Christ and against your gross immorality.

        That is why I care and it is not your weed, you want all drugs made legal and my family exposed to your drug altered state of mind. With all sorts of drugs being then made normal, it is not long before you and your kind will entice my family and friends, children whose everlasting souls are at stake to get high as well and destroy their own minds and souls.

  • borborygmi

    Social Conservatism the mill stone around the neck

    • Neiman

      I would much rather have a glorious, beautiful millstone of moral/family values around the GOP neck and have them consistently lose national elections; than have the stinking, wicked garlands of the American Baby Holocaust (abortion), homosexuality/Gay Marriage and anti-Christian values of the Democrats and knowing they will win. To stand for moral decency and lose is a badge of honor for those that know God and a cause of eternal torment for those that slaughter 55+ million babies, pervert marriage and force Christians to violate their faith in the lie of a false compassion.

      Yes Borby, the anti-Christ, of whom Obama is but a shadow, will share all your perverse values and take them and billions of souls to hell with him.

  • Clint F

    This pretty much ignores the meltdown experienced by the Washington, DC telephone system the last time they considered amnesty for illegals.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Times are changing, Clint.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        Yep, you realized your racism doesn’t win you elections. So now you feel you need to lie about what you believe in order to win. Hey, you can always make laws that prevent you from having to treat them fairly.

  • Stuart

    I’m still waiting on the backlash or repercussions of the libertarian legalize marijuana fiasco. Will the Drug Lords seek out their vengeance on those producing marijuana crops and kill these intruders for taking way their profit? Like they are doing in Texas. Heads being cut off and family’s being kidnapped for ransom.

    And the. There is the cost to the tax payer for new technology to detect who is stoned while driving or having a bar or joint smoking business that will pollute the lungs of those working in such places. Libertarians think they have all the answers but are rather simple minded in their ideas!

    As an ex-Pot smoker who thought like a libertarian for a very..very short while.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Mollet/528523868 Jonathan Mollet

      Lets go back to alcohol prohibition too, because after that ended the mafia took over our country, killed all the legal producers and bankrupt our governments. Oh wait… After prohibition we got a bunch of new tax revenue, bootleggers had no money to fight the government and our country has been better off.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Will the Drug Lords seek out their vengeance on those producing marijuana crops and kill these intruders for taking way their profit? Like they are doing in Texas. Heads being cut off and family’s being kidnapped for ransom.

      Did the mob go after Bush, Schlitz and Pabst after prohibition ended?

      No.

  • Snarkie

    They ain’t ready. If he emphasizes the fact that libertarianism is not a social conservative ideology, it might stand a chance, but he uses libertarianism as an excuse to advance socially conservative policy all the damn time.

    If he emphasized the ‘consent’ and ‘epistemological’ motivations for libertarianism, he may be able to cater to the far left, as they have some overlying sympathies, but the middle is populist through and through.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Oh what the hell…we have a communist president now…what difference does it make anymore

  • spud

    This guy could never ever get the nomination let alone ever get elected.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Barry Goldwater once got the nomination.

      Stranger things have happened, Spud.

      • Game

        How did that work out?

  • $16179444

    Just about anyone will be a better choice than the disaster in the white house now

  • Keven O

    Rand Paul is Globalist – look @ his actions. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We need to expose the truth! Rob Port is a NEO-CON who is a threat to freedom, liberty & the constitution. If you do not believe in God you will believe in anything. Rob, that statement is you.

  • Keven O

    What the people are looking for is 1) follow the constitution 2) freedom of religion 3) state’s rights 4) True capitalism 5) smaller efficient governments @ the local,state & federal level 6) investigated journalism to keep the government from abusing the citizens.

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