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By Stephanie Schieda
Rand Paul, a senator from Kentucky, recently announced that he is running for the Republican nomination. The name may sound familiar because of his father, Ron Paul, who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 and 2012 under a libertarian platform. While alike in many policies, Rand Paul is evolving his platform to reach beyond just libertarians, bringing in tea party members, other wings of the Republican Party, independents, African Americans, and some democrats.
Paul is a civil libertarian believing in self-responsibility, a free market place, relaxed drug sentencing, auditing the Federal Reserve, and less federal dealings on issues that can be better handled locally. He has been criticized as an isolationist like his father, which is true in the regards of a more restrained American police role, however he recently stated that, “if he were president, he would go to congress, and ask for authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.” Paul accepts the reality of today’s middle east- one plagued with ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates, far different from the one of his father’s time, just a few years back.
He is entirely against government spying on its citizens. He pleases conservatives through this principal, while also supporting his libertarian beliefs. He believes that government needs to get out of business and that manufacturing and mining of oil should be under state authorities, not federal.
“In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people, who have abhorrent behavior, but if we’re civilized people, we publicly criticize that, and don’t belong to those groups or don’t associate with those people,” Paul said in interviews with the Louisville Courier Journal. He is referring to the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in 1964. While he makes clear that he opposes institutional racism, he believes that businesses should be free to serve, or not serve, on any terms they want. People are also, free to boycott the business or not associate with those people.
Undoubtedly, Paul is going to be a mainstream candidate and certainly can be portrayed as the Millennial voice in this race, but the concern is if he will be conservative enough to win the GOP, more commonly known as the Republican Party, nomination. Personally, he is exactly the type of republican I would vote for, but I fear the party is not yet ready to abandon its pre-historic beliefs against gay marriage and abortion and in the war on drugs.
Present-day partisanship is grounded in stubbornness resulting in gridlock or absence of checks and balances. Congress can’t seem to agree on anything other than that they want a say in the Iranian nuclear deal. The president issues executive orders when he is blocked by the House or the Senate.
What has it achieved?
A generation, who is really ready for change. Ready to have control over their lives and bodies. Ready to have lesser sentencing pertaining to victimless crimes. Ready to no longer be spied on by the government. Ready for its country to stop lending and spending money it has to borrow, increasing the debt for future generations. Ready for people, all colors, religions, gender, or sexual orientation, to be treated on the same grounds. Ready to speak up and, I hope, ready to surge the polls educated, open-minded, and engaged.