Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is rising in visibility and influence and is already one of the frontrunners for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Yet his brand of libertarian-leaning politics has drawn fire from liberals and conservatives alike who aver that no, really, Rand Paul can't possibly be popular.
Nick Gillespie says that Paul is dangerous because he's politically "divergent," a trait he shares with the protagonist of the nation's top-drawing movie.
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.