by Steve Beynon
37 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election
at 05:00 PM | Permalink
Sen. Rand Paul
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a practicing ophthalmologist that specializes in
corneal transplants, cataract and glaucoma surgeries and LASIK procedures.
52-year-old constitutional conservative has spent time
during every senate recess performing pro-bono eye surgeries for low income Kentuckians and citizens of poor countries like
Haiti. Even if he wins the presidency, Paul claims he will continue his practice
and joked about turning the Lincoln room into a surgical suite.
It’s probably safe crown Paul as having one of the greatest
political ads in a long time, courtesy of
America’s Liberty PAC.
with the campaign?
Paul is probably the most libertarian candidate of the
bunch. He’s all about citing the 10th Amendment, dreams of abolishing the IRS
and wants to severely cut the defense budget and end the surveillance state.
He’s also one of the only Republicans that seemingly has the backing of millennials.
He has all the ingredients of a solid Republican candidate,
a true conservative that
literally takes a chainsaw to the tax code and
genuinely wants to dismantle the “Washington Machine.” Even liberals can
appreciate his non-interventionist foreign policy agenda and acknowledging
the threat of climate change.
However, the crowded GOP race hasn’t treated Paul nicely. He has struggled to make it to five percent in national polls,
fighting for scraps with Carly Fiorina and Gov. Chris Christie.
Some point to Paul’s troubles being that libertarianism is
an extreme minority in America’s political landscape, which would also explain
his father’s performance when he ran for president. In a 2014 study, Pew
Research found that only 11 percent of Americans identify as Libertarians and know
what it is.
Conservatives say they want a smaller government, but that’s
not what we see in the astonishing support for Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson
who call for expanding surveillance programs and a further expansion of the
government’s military footprint.
Paul’s attack on Sen. Marco Rubio for being “liberal on military spending” gets roaring
applause from a Republican audience; aggressive military spending, however,
creates an even bigger applause line.
It’s worth pointing out that if the White House doesn’t work
out, he’s also running for reelection in Kentucky’s 2016 senate race.
Paul is probably your best friend if you want marijuana legalization. He
invokes the 10th Amendment and classic libertarian values regarding pot, saying
the only victim is the individual and that the federal government shouldn’t
have a role in controlling consumption. Paul wants less people in jail and
shines a light on the victims of marijuana prohibition mostly being poor black males.
of last year’s biggest political stories was Paul’s 10-and-a-half-hour
filibuster lambasting government surveillance programs.
He had the backing of 10 other senators, seven of which were Democrats. This
filibuster looked like a man defending the Fourth Amendment and fighting an
overreaching government, perfectly encapsulating what this politician is all
U.S. spends more than the next 13 countries combined on its
military. Paul wants to reduce the empire, bringing the troops home
from not only the Middle East but Europe and the Pacific. This may be unpopular
with hawks on both sides of the aisle, but this is an issue that can bring
liberals and fiscal conservatives together.
defense spending agenda is also kind of weird. Last spring he called for swelling the Pentagon’s budget $76.5 billion,
about a 16-percent increase in fiscal year 2016. It doesn’t help that the
alleged isolationist announced his presidential bid in front of an aircraft carrier.
This flip-flopping hurt the Kentucky senator with libertarians and those
on the left that might have not minded a President Rand Paul.
He was gearing up for a presidential run and we all know politicians often go
against some of their ideas to liven their base, but going against the one
thing that could have jettisoned the right and the left is odd.
a lot of Republicans, Paul wants to eliminate the Department of Education.
A move that’s likely impossible, and is consistent
with his virtual absolutism that the federal government should play no role in
your life. Considering millennial conservatives are one of Paul’s top
supporters, they should be aware this is the bureaucracy that allots federal
student loans and allocates federal resources to universities. The already
little government support for schools is a large reason tuition is so high.
summer, Paul proposed a 14.5-percent flat tax in a column for The Wall Street Journal. Most
Americans agree the tax code needs simplified. However, there is a lot of
skepticism from economists that say his plan would cost the country more than $1 trillion,
some estimate as high as $15 trillion over the next decade.
Last year, Paul reintroduced the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny
Act, or the REINS Act.
In a nutshell, this would give Congress final say on any federal action that
would cost more than $100 million annually.
This potentially takes a lot of power out of the executive
branch and puts more accountability on state representatives.
Things change when someone gets into office, but Paul might
be the least likely candidate to take the U.S. into another ground war,
especially in the Republican field. He
is strongly against using boots on the ground, but hasn’t
made any clear stances on continuing President Obama’s air campaign. During the
CNN debate Paul said, “There will always be another Clinton or Bush if you want
to go back into Iraq.”
The primaries are elections in which the
parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. In Ohio, Election
Day is Tuesday, March 15. Go here for more information on primaries. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until
the primaries in March.
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