There were many Republicans and conservatives intrigued by the candidacy of Ron Paul in 2012. His son, Senator Rand Paul, is almost a lock to run for president in 2016. (Without kicking up dust, even though I like him in the Senate, Rand would not be my first choice.)
While I am not a libertarian, there are two areas in which libertarian Republicans could move the GOP in a manner which I think is good policy and good politics: defending civil liberties and advancing a more modest foreign policy.
And Rand Paul has been very strong on civil liberties. For that I am thankful.
But I confess, I was delighted to see that the main author of a bill to amend the NDAA — to ensure that all persons on American soil accused of terrorism would receive a trial by jury — was a conservative. Not a libertarian, but a regular constitutional conservative by the name of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. A former law clerk of Justice Sam Alito, Lee ousted moderate Bob Bennett at the Utah GOP Convention in 2010 in one of the most under-appreciated primary wins of all time.
And thankfully, Mike Lee is not the only conservative who refuses to ignore liberty anytime the word “terrorism” or “security” is uttered.
In fact, there’s also Senator-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, endorsed by CatholicVote by the way. Cruz stood strongly against the TSA during his Republican primary against establishment candidate David Dewhurst. He made the groping by the TSA agents a major issue in his campaign, mentioning in the Senate debates.
If Republicans want to forestall the appeal of Ron and Rand Paul, they can simply stand strong for liberty. Stop the growth of the national security state. Disband the TSA. Think twice a thousand times before invading another country. Burn the Patriot Act…