Rand Paul is "Divergent" and So Must be Stopped!

Why are liberals and conservatives freaking out over Rand Paul's popularity? Because he's not one of them.

This article originally appeared at The Daily Beast on March 27, 2014. Read it there.

It turns out that Divergent isn’t just the top movie in America. It’s also playing out in the run-up to the 2016 presidential race, with Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, in the starring role.

Based on the first volume of a wildly popular young-adult trilogy, Divergent is set in America of the near-future, when all people are irrevocably slotted into one of five “factions” based on temperament and personality type. Those who refuse to go along with the program are marked as divergentand marked for death! “What Makes You Different, Makes You Dangerous,”reads one of the story’s taglines.

Which pretty much sums up Rand Paul, whose libertarian-leaning politics are gaining adherents among the plurality of Americans fed up with bible-thumping, war-happy, budget-busting Republicans and promise-breaking, drone-dispatching, budget-busting Democrats. Professional cheerleaders for Team Red and Team Blue—also known as journalistsaren’t calling for Paul’s literal dispatching, but they are rushing to explain exactly why the opthalmologist has no future in politics.

A national politician who brings a Berkeley crowd to its feet by attacking NSA surveillance programs and wants to balance the budget yesterday? Who supports the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment (not to mention the First and the Tenth)? A Christian Republican who says that the GOP “in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues” and has signaled his willingness to get the federal government out of prohibiting gay marriage and marijuana?

Well, we can’t have that, can we? Forget that Paul is showing strongly in polls about the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. “He is not doing enough to build the political network necessary to mount a viable presidential campaign,” tut-tuts The New York Times, which seems to be breathing one long sigh of relief in its recent profile of Paul. “Rand Paul’s Plan to Save Ukraine is Completely Nuts,” avers amateur psychologist Jonathan Chait at New York.

Writing at SlateThe Daily Beast’s own Jamelle Bouie grudgingly acknowledged that “You don’t have to support Rand Paul or his policy agenda to see that he was right to call out the president on the tension between his position and his actions” on civil liberties and secret surveillance. Still, Paul is “glib” and his critics “have a point,” one of which is that, according to Salon’s Elias Isquith, “he’ll never, ever, ever win over young voters.”

Well, nanny-nanny-boo-boo to you, too, kiddo.

The harshest and most sweeping dismissal of Paul comes not from the left but from the right. Writing in Politico, Kevin D. Williamson of National Review proclaims that “Americans hate Rand Paul’s libertarianism. They just don’t know it yet.” Sure, writes Williamson (a fellow I’m friendly with, and who’s also quite libertarian himself), Son of Ron can get cheap applause in Kentucky and elsewhere when railing against foreign aid to countries that burn the American flag. But those same patriots will start throwing rotten vegetables the minute Paul comes after Social Security, Medicare, and even the military-industrial complex.

And then there’s the Democratic base. “Whether it is abortion, guns, public-school curricula or the all-important issue of dropping the federal civil-rights hammer on noncomformist bakers [against gay marriage], Paul can count on bitter, unified opposition from liberal social-issue voters,” writes Williamson, who also confesses that right-wingers aren’t actually interested in shrinking size of government. “Any candidate who’s serious about fiscal reform is going to be a hard sell in 2016—or any other year.”

You can’t expect someone who works at National Reviewwhose mission is, famously and more than a little sadly, to stand “athwart history, yelling Stop”—to get misty-eyed about change, but Williamson simply presumes that things will never change. This is especially odd since his latest book, The End is Near and Its Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, is predicated upon the idea that the era of fiscal reform is already upon us due to simple math. We’ve spent so much for so long, says Williamson, that “government as we know it is in retreat, a retreat that I expect to be accelerated by economic trends related to public debt and unfunded government liabilities.”

As it happens, change is everywhere around us. Party affiliation continues to droop for Republicans and Democrats, while the share of self-declared independents stays at or near historic highs. Millennials are “unmoored from institutions,” gasped Pew Research recently. There’s every reason to believe that large swaths of the country are ready to shake off the politics of exhaustion and move toward a future that is different from the past. Only the nosferatu pundits at The New York Times and other journalistic glory holes for the Establishment can even stomach the prospect of a Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush showdown in 2016.

Surveys such as the Reason-Rupe Poll (conducted quarterly by the nonprofit that employs me) that engage respondents on tradeoffs have found that healthy majorities are willing to scratch Social Security (61 percent) and Medicare (59 percent) if they can get out the dollar amounts they’ve paid into these unsound entitlement programs. When you consider such swings in public opinion along with sustained contempt for Obamacare, the rapid embrace of gay marriage and pot legalization, and more, there’s every reason to conclude that Rand Paul’s libertarian divergence from the status quo represents the future of politics rather than a curious diversion.

Whether or not the Kentucky Republican actually wins the Republican nomination, much less the White House, is besides the point. The question is whether the politics of the future will be the same as the politics of the present. “I don't want to be just one thing,” explains one of the protagonists in Divergent. “I can't be. I want to be brave, and I want to be selfless, intelligent, and honest and kind.” If anything explains Rand Paul’s rising profile, it’s precisely his ability to be more than just one thing—a social conservative, a civil libertarian, a budget cutter, a decentralizer, and more. There’s no reason to fear— and every reason to promote—such divergence in our elected representatives.

This article originally appeared at The Daily Beast on March 27, 2014. Read it there.

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  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Translation of assorted punditry; "Migod, if this bozo catches on, I might actually have to WORK for a living!"

  • GroundTruth||

    I wish it were just that they were lazy, but they're bigoted too(left or right, makes no difference to me).

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I don't think "Bigot" quite describes it. It's more a case of being absolutely sure that Divine Providence placed them upon the Earth to tell the rest of us what to do. It's both worse and broader than bigotry.

    I tend to think of it as being Guillotine Bait.

  • Trollo||

    Hit&Reruns;

  • Rich||

  • Hyperion||

    The headline itself is a prime example of wishful thinking:

    Rand Paul’s “youth” snow job: Why he’ll never, ever, ever win over young voters

    Rand will, in fact, do just that. This guy is delusional, no?

  • Hyperion||

    But there's nothing like a Salon article for some morning peak derp.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No, nothing says youth vote like an ugly old scolding nanny.

  • prolefeed||

    Rand might not get 50% of the youth vote, assuming he gets to the general election (hardly a given). He would likely clean up the youth vote in a Republican primary.

    And to win in a general election, Rand doesn't have to get 50% of every demographic, he just has to make marginal improvements in areas where Republicans usually get clobbered: young voters, latino voters, asian voters, people with tattoos, etc.

    You know, the voters he is courting, unlike most Republican politicians who seem hell bent on alienating people who would consider voting for them if treated well.

  • Hyperion||

    So he starts out in his brilliant analysis of why youth will never jump on the Paul wagon, by pointing out that the NSA and drones are still popular?

  • Hydra||

    My experience with millennials would indicate that he's correct about that. The vocal ones are against NSA and drones but the silent majority are authority lovers, much more than their Gen-X parents were at the same age.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The real silent majority of young people are as anti-authority as that age group has always been. The confusion is that they also want free shit from the gubment and haven't internalized that said free shit comes with nannies telling them what to do - which they hate.

    Fortunately, the progs are going insane over e-cigs which will help create a generation of libertarians.

  • Hydra||

    They're definitely not as authority-loving as current middle aged people, but comparing the college kids today to the college kids in 1994 reveals a big diff. If they're poo-pooing "so-called individual rights" and talking about Obama like he's the nation's dad now, imagine how sheeplish they're going to be when they hit 40.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't think that is necessarily true. The message of liberty is getting out, like it never has before.

    I didn't become libertarian until in my 40s. Well, I think I always was, but didn't realize it. But the older I get, the more I lean towards a bigger L type of libertarianism.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I don't know how much is authority love as fish having no word for water. Authoritah is the world these younger folks have grown up in. What will be interesting is if significant numbers of them begin to think outside of that box when presented an alternative. I think efforts to make Paul out to be the left's caricature of yukky evil super racist socon will begin in earnest if he gets much more traction in an effort to keep those youth voters on the plantation.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The vocal ones are against NSA and drones but the silent majority are authority lovers, much more than their Gen-X parents were at the same age."

    I don't think the silent ones are necessarily authority lovers; I think they're the Facebook generation in that what your friends "like" is so freakin' important that you don't want to register as liking something the rest of the crowd doesn't like...

    I think they are genuinely concerned about things like "diversity" (that word means something specific to them), and they're convinced that the Republicans are at heart a bunch of racists, homophobes, and bigots.

    It seems to me that the extent to which they're enamored of authoritarianism is often the extent to which the authoritarianism in question justifies what they're doing as a means to punish racists, homophobes, and bigots.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Rand Paul has gone far out of his way to differentiate himself as not being a racist--see talking to Howard University, et. al. for examples--and I think that's really smart if he's going after the millennial vote. If they're big on Facebook style herd thinking, then I guess you gotta jump through their hoops if you wanna win the election.

    The bigger question is whether Rand Paul can win the nomination. He may have a better shot with millennials in the general election than he does with the GOP establishment in the primaries, who seem him as the face of the enemy.

    Why would the establishment donors give money to the candidate they see as emblematic of the same Tea Party that was targeting their own establishment candidates in the primaries over the last four years?

  • Hydra||

    The anti-bigotry thing is definitely there, but the class warfare thing is a much bigger deal.

    Look at the military recruiting ads. When I was recruiting-age in the 90s, the ads were about working with cutting edge technology, "being all that you can be", getting to wear a snappy fruit salad, and being looked up to in your community. Very individualistic.

    Now it's loads of search and rescue bullshit about "helping people".

  • Homple||

    "...the extent to which they're enamored of authoritarianism is often the extent to which the authoritarianism in question justifies what they're doing as a means to punish racists, homophobes, and bigots."

    Young voters are the outcome of three generations of programming and indoctrination tarring supporters of individual freedom with the racist/bigot/homophobe brush.

    Tagging someone one of these pejoratives elicits an autonomic nervous system response in them; the signal never reaches the frontal lobe.

  • Cytotoxic||

    My fellow Millenials aren't so much authority-loving as they are conformity-loving which can be the same. They're also dumb.

  • ||

    I think that's exactly it. I'm a millennial as well, and my experience in attempting to reason with other friends is that they can't think any deeper than "Oh look over there. Free shit!" You want to know a typical millennial's mindset, just ask them about their thoughts on minimum wage. It will usually be something to the effect of "those mean old rich people are hoarding all the money."

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Fear.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yep. This column reads like it was written by a chicken, sitting in it's coop, writing about how stupid and irrelevant the fox is.

    Head's up to Isquith; you're dinner!

  • Hydra||

    My god, he looks older than his dad in the photo accompanying that article. Either that's a seriously bad angle for him or Salon isn't above photoshopping images of its enemies without disclosure.

  • Hydra||

    OK, googling the photog credit reveals that that is the original photo. They're just taking advantage of the fact he's graying in the lower part of his hair first.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    He needs to "Judge" it up.

    (or cut it off)

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Nahhhh. He just needs to lose the tie. It'll make him 30% handsomer.

  • lap83||

    Is that Peter O'Toole?

    The GOP candidate could be that attractive and it would still be used against them. Feminists would come up with something like "mental rape": being sexually attracted to an evil teabagger against their will.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    I thought Newton's principia was the rape manual wasn't it?

    Stop fucking with my mind feminists!

  • lap83||

    One of the comments mentioned how GOPers love "transvaginal rape"

    Is that like cis rape?

  • Thomas O.||

    More like "rapeity-rape-rape". (RIP Patrice O'Neal)

  • Gorilla tactics||

    He was awesome, diabetes is a bitch when you're that big though.

  • ||

    "...first black president.....surrounds himself with Martin Luther King memorabilia...."

    I think the expression is "all hat and no cattle".

  • Hydra||

    I'm sure the Dems would never speak ill of a Republican politician who surrounded himself with Christian kitsch in his office, but then went out and fucked whores every night.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Rand Paul’s “youth” snow job: Why he’ll never, ever, ever win over young voters

    Just keep telling yourself that.

  • flye||

    I'm seeing a lot of the "Rand Paul May be right about x, but I don't support the rest of his agenda" type comments recently. Of course the rest is never spelled out because racist. But at least it's a start.

  • Hyperion||

    I see the rest spelled out around the webosphere, quite often. Here's what I hear:

    Rand Paul's for amnesty.

    Rand Paul is against the civil rights act of the 1960s.

    Rand Paul wants to ban all abortions.

    And, of course, the big one.

    Rand Paul is a racist.

  • gaoxiaen||

    My octogernarian parents can't even tell me why they hate Rand Paul, but love Obama and Bloomberg. I would probably feel the same if I had nothing else to do except watch TV all day.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Dammit... October Revolution... octodecimo... here we go. Octogenarian.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    voluntary association = racism

  • lap83||

    "Rand Paul May be right about x, but I don't support the rest of his agenda"

    This is why most politicians speak in vague platitudes. Leave yourself open to interpretation and most people will assume the best. Most people are idiots.

  • flye||

    What did you expect? "Welcome Sonny?" "Make yourself at home?" "Marry my daughter?"

  • Animal||

    The next sentence in that scene would have made it even more apt.

    "You have to remember that these are just simple farmers. People of the land. The common clay of the new West.

    You know.

    Morons."

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I wonder if Rand will be able to get most of Ron Paul supporters' votes? If so, he will kill with millennials. In my experience, Ron Paul supporters were much younger than traditional TEAM PURPLE supporters.

  • Hydra||

    Most millenials aren't Ron Paul supporters.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Correct. But my experience was that they skewed younger than traditional TEAM PURPLE supporters.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    millenials went for obama and they will vote for hillary. They will treat the presidency like like an undergraduate admissions form, every box has to be ticked off in the name of progress

  • Brandon Magoon||

    Most millenials aren't anybody supporters. Most of any demographic aren't anybody supporters. The question is did he make inroads with them and the answer was yes. Whether Rand can do the same remains to be seen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The real silent majority of young people are as anti-authority as that age group has always been.

    I think that's true. Unfortunately, the silent leave-me-the-fuck-alone majority are busy living their own lives, while the ardent communitarian busybodies are devoutly proselytizing for their Messiah.

  • space junk||

    You could not have said that better!

    Reminds me of me...

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    HAHAHAHAHA.

    They don't call them the Stupid Party for nothing.

  • Hyperion||

    It was never in doubt.

    Rand is going to be a real problem for the establishment. Much more so than his dad was. Will be interesting to see how unhinged they become when he starts winning primaries.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The report also claims that a hard press has begun to get Bush into the race because conservative leaders and longtime Republican operatives are concerned about the electoral viability of New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

    Here's what I'd do if I were Rand. I'd get the aforementioned "conservative leaders and Republican operatives" in a room and inform them that I will be the Republican nominee for President in 2014. If not, I'll run 3rd party from now until I am...

    We'll see how many Republican Presidents there are over the next few decades?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And in 2016 too.

  • gaoxiaen||

    He needs to fix the Stupid Party or break it.

  • Rich||

    A Washington Post report quotes one major donor as saying that the "vast majority" of the top 100 givers to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would back Bush in a nomination fight.

    Now, *that* is some mighty fine journalism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, if they don't know that shooting themselves in the foot is going to hurt until they actually try it, then they are indeed the stupid party.

    It should be said that the Democrats will run under the same logic. They'll run on Obama's record, too--not matter how tragic the results--right up until it finally costs them an election.

    Obama didn't lose them an election either.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's kinda like in football, when you see them run, more or less, the same running play three times in a row?

    When they ask the play-callers why they did that (when everybody knew the third time they called it, it was gonna get stuffed), and the the play-callers usually respond with something like, "You keep going with what works until it doesn't work anymore".

    I'm guessing this is a big part of what makes some investors keep buying things like MBS or why people keep going in on the carry trade with all the leverage--despite all the warning signs. You keep making money on those investments, doing the same thing, right up until the moment you lose your shirt.

    Then, suddenly, hindsight is 20/20, and everybody always knew what was gonna happen--how could those stupid people not have seen the clouds on the horizon? Then they line up all new people, a rising tide makes all boats look smart, and they all fall for the same mistakes all over again.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    TL:dr

    Rich people aren't, on average, smarter than non rich people. In fact, to the extent that their wealth isolates them, they are dumber.

  • ||

    "Yeah, if they don't know that shooting themselves in the foot is going to hurt until they actually try it, then they are indeed the stupid party."

    Ken...these are the people who backed Mitt Romney. Mitt fuckin' Romney.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The Bush surname is a .44 hollow point as far as foot shooting goes.

  • Hydra||

    Maybe the punks feel lucky?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Oh, c'mon. Everyone knows we need a Clinton-Bush rematch. Think of the ratings! The nostalgia! The graft and corruption, cronyism and political class job security. It's a pot of gold!

  • Riven||

    Gold, Jerry! Gold!

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is beyond farcical. In what world is this a good idea? WTF ARE THEY THINKING?

  • Hydra||

    Seriously? Most Americans still blame Bush for the economy's poor performance 5 years after he left office, so now they're going to run another Bush?

    I understand the concerns with Rand Paul's electability, but Jeb is absolutely unelectable for at least 20 years.

  • ||

    They are not concerned about Paul's electability in the way that you mean. They are scared shitless because they know instinctively he can win, but in doing so would shake up the party's power structure. They would rather lose to a democrat than have that.

  • ||

    First Mexican first lady.

    Crazy enough to just about work....

    Will be fun watching the left wing media pile megatons of hate on her.

    Not fun wathicng her get hurt but hell of fun watching the left be complete scum bag hypocrites.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    SPEND SPEND SPEND!

    One of the most frustrating aspects of economic debate since 2008 has been the preference of influential people for stories about our troubles that sound serious as opposed to those that actually are serious. The reality, all along, has been that our economy is depressed because there isn’t enough spending, and that what we need is something, almost anything, that increases total spending. But policymakers and pundits want to hear about tough decisions and hard choices, and they just recoil from any suggestion that terrible problems might have easy answers.

    -------

    The sad truth is that while disasters brought on by inadequate demand have an easy economic answer — just spend more! — the psychology of policy elites is such that they generally refuse to believe in this answer, and look for tough choices to make instead. And the result is that unless something comes along to jolt them out of that mindset — something like a war — the slump goes on for a very long time.

    Zombienomics, indeed.

  • Rich||

    The reality, all along, has been that our economy is depressed because there isn’t enough spending, and that what we need is something, almost anything, that increases total spending.

    Obviously the solution is to increase the Democratcare subsidies.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    to jolt them out of that mindset — something like a war

    So the adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan were smashing economic successes then?

  • gaoxiaen||

    War is our biggest export. Why would you shut it down? We have plenty of people to spare, and so does the rest of the world. Besides that we'd have to open four or five hundred prisons just to keep unemployment down.

  • flye||

    Why can't we just set aside this partisan bickering and unite around commonsense solutions (involving spending shit-tons of money through liberal advocacy groups)?

  • Eric Bana||

    Nice.

  • seguin||

    I loved "Love the Beast."

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ooooh problem: spending is as high as it was just before the 2008 recession.

  • Hydra||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Rape and destruction, coming soon.

    WISCONSIN has been an environmental leader since 1910, when the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment promoting forest and water conservation. Decades later, pioneering local environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, who founded Earth Day in 1970, helped forge the nation’s ecological conscience.

    But now, after the recent passage of a bill that would allow for the construction of what could be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, Wisconsin’s admirable history of environmental stewardship is under attack.

    Assertions of horrific destruction. Vacuous platitudes. Appeals to Moral Authority and Higher wisdom. Demonization of Republicans.

    It's all there.

    I'm sympathetic to legitimate pollution concerns, but this reeks of anti-industrialism tightly wrapped in a thick layer of emotional blackmail.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    this reeks of anti-industrialism tightly wrapped in a thick layer of emotional blackmail.

    And we live in the worst state in the union for this. (Well, maybe second worst.) There can NEVER be another mine because mines have polluted in the past as will ALL mines in the future...

  • Riven||

    Yep. The Pegasus Gold mine will never ride/fly again, I'm betting.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Kudos to Wisconsin. Some of those blue states are definitely pulling their heads part-way out. I hope this kind of pro-development pro-business PSUs-under-control governance can become a dominant strain in team blue after 2014 leaves them with ashes and cinder. (Yes I know Walker is GOP but that's not the point). Also, this is further indication that the eco-warriors are losing and the 2008 recession and non-recovery put a spike in their hearts.

  • ||

    I can understand problems with Coal and gold other exotic mining...

    Weird chemicals and ponds that can flood ect.

    But iron?

    Don't they just mechanically crush rocks and pull the iron out with magnets?

    How fucking environmentally damaging can that be?

    They may as well be protesting gravel pits.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Don't give them any ideas.

  • ||

    In Louisiana we are now required to 'restore' the land if you own land that has had gravel mined from it. That is right, if you are the owner, not if you are the one responsible for the mining.

    Some fucker called me up once and announced that I would be required to restore 220 acres because I owned it. I explained that the land she was talking about was my neighbor, not me, and was an actual working mine, not an abandoned pit.

    Apparently she was some kid fresh out of college and thought she could sit in an office in Baton Rouge, look around on google earth, and save the planet. I told her to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

  • ||

    In Louisiana we are now required to 'restore' the land if you own land that has had gravel mined from it.

    I think that is pretty standard.

    Old pits are grandfathered in, but for the last 10 to 20 years in Washington state if you want to start a new gravel pit you have to submit a restoration plan to the state in order to get a permit.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    There can NEVER be another mine because mines have polluted in the past as will ALL mines in the future...

    KKKopper KKKingz!

    Also, railroads cause cancer. Unless they are special green high velocity peoplemovers.

  • Derpetologist||

    This is just too funny not to share- Dipshit lefty Chris Hedges drones at other dipshit lefties at a commencement. Hilarity ensues.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAmkMndtH24

  • Robert||

    This article reminds me of a couple things. One is that Rand Paul isn't the only ophthalmologist who's been a national media figure with libertarian leanings who has nevertheless denied being doctrinaire libertarian; there's also Dean Edell.

    The other is this "divergence" business. It's hilarious that self-conscious libertarians frequently go on about how everyone else is the same and they're different, even though everyone else thinks they have different ideologies from each other. It's funny because you can always take another/b step back and see libertarians as just like the other "teams" too. LaRouche sees libertarians, communists, etc. all as Aristotelians, differentiating himself as a Platonist. I'm sure there's someone who takes yet another step back and sees Larouchians together with everybody else, etc. It's perspective and lumping all the way down.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So what?

  • Christophe||

    I'm an Anti-Inductor.

    We have had short lifespans in the past, and therefore can expect to live for a long time henceforth.

  • ||

    I am not sure what you are saying.

    Categories become irrelevant if you step back far enough? We could just lump everything together and call it 'life on earth'? One could step back from that too.

  • Robert||

    Libertarians frequently want to say we're different from all the other categories. Guess what, everyone else thinks the same of themselves.

  • ||

    LaRouche sees libertarians, communists, etc. all as Aristotelians, differentiating himself as a Platonist.

    I am a Diogenesist.

    Ron Paul wanted to end the Fed so he may be one as well.

  • XM||

    I read NR a lot, and aside from occasional disagreement from Andrew Mccarthy on NRA related issues, the publication seems firmly behind Rand Paul. The conservative radio loves the guy too. They hate RON Paul (there's always "but he's right on fiscal matters" disclaimer) because of his unpleasant position on Israel and such.

    If Rand Paul was really "divergent," then he would run as a LP candidate. But that's career suicide, and he's probably not libertarian enough for for the party. Rand Paul is a libertarianish Republican who will receive support from the right. That goes against the "rise of the independent" narrative, but there's nothing wrong with it.

  • Hydra||

    I listen to conservative talk radio a lot, and it always seems that Rand gets mentioned after Ted Cruz and Mike Lee if at all. There are a lot of unreformed interventionists in that cabal and I'm not sure they really trust him.

  • XM||

    Rand gets plenty of mention in talk radio. He was hot stuff when he stood up against droning. He was a regular guest on Hannity when he was on air.

    Ted Cruz got the spotlight because he was a central figure in the effort to defund
    Obamacare.

    Rand is a rising star in the eyes of the right. His dad is a different matter.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Any candidate who’s serious about fiscal reform is going to be a hard sell in 2016—or any other year.

    Until the dollar collapses.

    -jcr

  • PapaSnigz||

    As a senior in high school, Rand is actually the favorite among the student body. That said, it's an all boys Jesuit college prep school so a lot of the democratic base is non existent. Over the past two years the number of students, myself included, that identify as libertarians has exploded.

  • Stephdumas||

    More food on the table, some wants Jeb Bush to run for 2016.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G.....b-Bush-Run

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Rand Paul probably will run for President of The United States of America, along with many others from the two "dictating" parties who run the United States and pretend to be two parties, but could be called the Demo Publicans.

    He can pretend to lean toward Libertarianism, but before the 2016 campaigns are over, he will, like all the others in this political circus lean whatever ways he has to in the quest for the top position. Candidates can say whatever they want, but once in the West Wing a lot of people will be disappointed as usual.

    What a shame that candidates for the Presidency have to be "slaves" for political party machines and ideology. It would be far better if Presidential candidates were not affiliated with any party but ran on the issues and were elected directly by the American People. A term of six years would also be sufficient. Six years and you are out.

    People of all political beliefs are expecting some sort of miracle in 2016 and they are going to be sadly disappointed if they think that Rand or any other candidate is going to save them, or the country, much less the world.

  • LiveFreeOrDOH!||

    I am with you R2M on being a realist. But Rand has shown glimpses of what the future could look like. For the second time in my life, since being old enough to vote, I really believe he is different. And for the first time, when it comes to my beliefs, I feel that the are realistically closer to electability.

    I guess time will tell.

    Disclaimer - I have not given to anyone's campaign except Ron and Rand.

  • TonyMonterey||

    I am a "Conservative" and thoroughly support Rand Paul. You guys are confusing the Rovians with Conservatives. The people that brought you Bush, McCain and Romney and are pushing Crispy Cream and another Bush, Jeb now.

    But I know they are going to run another Bush or Clinton and voting is a sham anyway.

  • XM||

    Most people outside of the far left will like Rand Paul. I mean, even Mitt Romney captured the independent vote.

    There is close to zero conservative hostility towards Rand Paul. Everyone there jumped on Chris Christie for being chummy with Obama, and that's the guy who won reelection in a blue state.

  • Neoconwatch||

    Rand Paul is being targeted by the Straussians for destruction. The fundamental idea that drives them is that they are philosopher-supermen whose natural right it is to create and oversee "new modes and orders" of soft totalitarianism across the globe. They will go down in flames and deliberately take the Republican Party with them before they let a libertarian take the White House. The libertarian would undo their decades of work, plant unacceptable ideas in the general culture, and derail their plans for the future.

    If Rand Paul gets the nomination, they will throw all their support up and down their network to Hillary, and deliver full-throated, non-stop denunciations and propaganda against Rand Paul. (They control Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and most major conservative outlets. They also have the radio talk show hosts over a barrel, and their influence over Republican leaders across the country is fairly extensive, especially in the state of Florida). Hillary is much closer to them ideologically, and despite Kristol's ancient dust-up with her over Hillarycare, Hillary is friendly with the Straussians. She allies with and works with them. 2016 therefore has the potential to be very ugly and precipitate a violent meltdown of the GOP which results in the end of the 162-year-old party.

  • Neoconwatch||

    The Straussians have already started the whisper campaign and astroturfing against Rand Paul. Part of this campaign is to stoke anti-Semitism and then shore up support among reactive American Jews. This also dovetails with their "libertarian populism" astroturf movement which they have not had any success in igniting to date. The idea is to gin up hatred of wealthy Jews so that they will feel persecuted and turn further to the Straussians (their destroyers) to do something. http://time.com/43216/rand-pau.....n-adelson/

    The story in the link serves as strong evidence that their plan is to order Ted Cruz to run against Rand Paul to divide the vote. Ted Cruz will follow the orders. His wife is a Straussian. He also went to Harvard, which is one of the strongholds of the Straussians in academia, so he almost certainly has close personal ties.

  • Neoconwatch||

    When the Republican electorate has become tired and demoralized of the Rand Paul-Ted Cruz fight, the Straussians will facilitate the launch of a surprise or backbench candidate to sweep conservatives off their feet in rhetorical ecstasy. The candidate will not mean a word of it. He will be their agent. No matter who he is, what he seems to believe now, or his past, he will follow their orders, betray the base, and take the country in the direction of entrenched soft authoritarianism and economic decline.

    Kristol is said to have already chosen Pence-Ayotte or Walker-Ayotte. (Ayotte is quite dim and thus accepts their narratives and agenda wholesale. As an added bonus, Ayotte is female, so she serves as a facade. In reality, the Straussians are intractable sexists and racists. Putting her in as VP is therefore the perfect ploy - she is unlikely to ever become President and have real power, but she is a tool for them to put on a gender equality show). I have not been able to verify that Kristol actually named Pence or Walker and Ayotte, but based on my experience, it sounds like something he would say and think. The link is here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....ident.html

  • para_dimz||

    Sound like the standard is a candidate who could satisfy to everyone. That's not my standard. RP is running at the head of the pack for a Reason.

  • ibcbet||

    I think efforts to make Paul out to be the left's caricature of yukky evil super racist socon will begin in earnest if he gets much more traction in an effort to keep those youth voters on the plantation.

  • cmennare||

    The first candidate to pick up the completely legalize marihuana ball and run with it is the one that will capture the Gen Xer's and the Millenials. The Baby Boomers are pretty much set in their respective parties. So that leaves the younger voters and their apathy towards politics. I believe Rand stands a goods chance of removing that apathy with his stance on drugs, NSA spying, and our seemingly constant state of war. The younger generation is tired of fighting these wars in which there is no perceived end.

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