A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article for Liberty Conservatives Magazine predicting that the Rand Paul campaign would not see success in terms of voter numbers, but instead would leave a legacy with much larger implications than a short term presidential bid would normally have. I argued that Rand’s maverick approach to not only 2016, but his entire career as a politician thus far would go on to influence politics in a positive, long-term way, and that his supporters (a camp I find myself weaving in and out of depending on the issue at hand) should celebrate that fact rather than mourn the loss Rand’s current run was likely going to suffer.
That was a positive article. It was pro-Rand Paul. But it was also realistic — something I frankly think the Paul fandom at large has a lot of trouble being at times. The people who read this aforementioned article had mixed results, but no comments I got directly were nearly as positive as I felt while writing it. Mostly, there seemed to be an air of incredulity thrown my way. How could I be so naive? Didn’t I realize that the Iowa caucus was going to change everything? Some comments were more negative, amounting to accusing me of being nothing more than a parrot of the lying establishment media.
Well, Iowa has happened. And Rand Paul did about as well as I thought he would, and anyone else in politics who was actually paying attention to the world outside of Paul Land. The numbers were not with him, and as a result the foot soldier support wasn’t enough. Caucusing is really quite difficult for people, and the average American voters won’t go through the trouble unless they are true believers in their candidates. For months, much of the libertarian press spun things as if Rand Paul indeed did have that kind of support. But the results are in, folks. Not even close. Rand came in 5th, and not by a small margin. Now, you might still be told by the really die-hard true believers that this was somehow a conspiracy, and that the votes were tampered with. In fact, I’m already running into this on some of my social media haunts. Please, do not allow your intelligence to be so insulted as to buy into a notion such as this. The simple fact is that in order for a barely-above-4% tally to have been faked somehow, every single country would have to be in on it, and they would have to have somehow stashed away the significant number of votes for Paul that would be needed for him to even start to catch up to the three top winners. Without anyone noticing. In merely the first caucus of the race.
This kind of conspiratorial thinking is not only ridiculous, but also quite damaging. Because instead of looking toward the silver lining of this (as I was already prepared to do weeks ago) and working out a next step in getting liberty back into Washington, we could stymie ourselves with cognitive dissonance. So we should fight that prospect by immediately getting back to what matters: America’s fight for freedom.
So while I really was not trying to end up in this position, I reluctantly must point out that I did anticipate this, despite all the pushback and dreams, and remind all of my fellow liberty lovers that Rand Paul is not the final hope in this fight. There are more ways we can move toward getting America back to the founders’ vision, but not all of them will be overnight. Rand Paul was the candidate that could have brought us such swift change, but now we’ll just have to be a little more open to compromise. And if given the choice between compromise and death, I’ll pick the former every single time. If that’s being a sellout, I’m frankly just fine with that.