Engaging in any speculation of the 2016 presidential election is, for the most part, theater of the absurd. It keeps the media busy and preoccupied from focusing on their exhausted fad and current occupant of the Oval Office. On January 20th, 2017, a new President will take the Oath of Office and on January 21st the media will start pontificating on who the front runners are for each party in 2022. At this point in George W. Bush’s second term, Barack Obama was a still ?largely unknown outside of Bill Ayers’ living room.
However, something of note is happening right under the feet of the RNC and their massive rebranding effort that have larger implications then just the election in 2016. The party is being rebranded and they seemingly aren’t even aware of it.
This was evident this past weekend at CPAC 2014 (Conservative Political Action Conference) when Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky took the stage. This is certainly not an endorsement (no one should be tied by blood to anyone at this point), just an observation of the landscape a new generation of young conservatives is crafting. The waves Paul is making among? youth of all political parties have been growing for some time. Now they are becoming undeniable.
The RNC had better be paying attention. They claim to want to attract more youth voters. They should then listen to what they cheer for the most. They claim to want more minority voters. Look at what even the most ardent media critics with disdain for the GOP are saying. The RNC is taking giant steps to reach voters, finally catching up to Team Chicago on data mining. The question has to then become how to keep them?
Rand Paul thinks he has the answers. Young people crave rebellion. It’s in their DNA and they don’t care what political party that person stands for when they feel it, see it and most importantly hear it.
The only person they are hearing it from at this moment is Paul.
Marco Rubio is the best young conservative speaker since Ronald Reagan and is beginning to branch out but sweeping generalities don’t win elections at the moment in time that they are held, the issues at hand do. For all of the soaring grandiloquence?Barack Obama bellowed out in 2008, it was the financial crisis and the suspension of the McCain campaign that swept him into office.?There must be more than soaring rhetoric after 10 years of empty soaring rhetoric.
Rick Perry can cheer on a good old-fashioned Rebellion, but when anyone under the age of 30 sees Rick Perry in hipster glasses, they see a walking Cialis commercial and a return to Michael Bay-style politics of nuke first and ask later.
Scott Walker has the bruises, the record and the conservative appeal but whether or not it plays nationally is a mystery, as well as his intentions.
Chris Christie still has bridge issues and he will until the year 2038 (Ready For Chelsea!) if MSNBC has their way.
Ted Cruz has a firm grip on the hardcore base but not the support of the entrenched overall party. That doesn’t mean it’s fair and it’s not an excuse but that makes it hard to raise money and convince donors. The most personable Ted Cruz ever got was when he appeared on The Tonight show which allowed to him to show the country he was not the simple caricature?the media was making him out to be. He has proven himself an able and charismatic warrior but the question has to be asked is if he is ready or will he be pushed into a race before his time by a base frothing at the mouth for a Sarah Palin replacement.
The only person reaching into the deep well of conservative and libertarian youth at this moment in time is Rand Paul. But nothing Rand Paul is saying is unique to Rand Paul. Everyone remembers Rand Paul’s filibuster but what no one talks about is who joined him.
Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
The RNC has to start listening to the applause and the GOP has to start paying attention to the crowds. None of the issues Rand Paul is addressing are issues that buck conservative and constitutional philosophies. It’s because he is the only one addressing them that the crowds flock.
The GOP can get behind Paul’s mandatory minimum sentencing legislation. This is the single most important policy change in decades for minorities regarding Republicans and one that would open the floodgates for minority voters and especially minority young voters. Not Amnesty. Reaching out to black communities doesn’t mean just telling them to work hard. It means showing them that someone is looking out for them when they enter an economy and a system that they already feel is rigged against them. They have been betrayed by Barack Obama’s great promises. Paul’s mandatory minimum legislation will do more for black communities than any single policy of Barack Obama’s in six years. This is the kind of forward thinking young people want and that makes progressive network media nervous, because they know they can’t oppose it.
The same goes for legalization of marijuana. In the same CPAC straw poll that crowned Rand Paul the people’s choice, an overwhelming amount of CPAC’ers voted in favor of legalization. If Marco Rubio can get behind Public Enemy, he can get behind this or at least not oppose it in overwhelming fashion and leave it as an issue for the States.
The entire party can pick up the issue of NSA domestic spying. The GOP, for all their posturing about the being the party of the Constitution, has remained largely silent on our privacy rights guaranteed under the 4th Amendment. There is a youth base out there that watches The Daily Show and Jimmy Fallon and reads Upworthy and Buzzfeed and also owns a cell phone that is being monitored by Barack Obama’s NSA. That’s right, Barack Obama’s NSA. Say it again and repeat it often.
It’s a slam dunk.
This issue is untouchable for the Democrat Party. To go against NSA spying would be rejecting Barack Obama. As of now they are not a party willing to do so. However, sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, when a 70-year-old Hillary Clinton is lagging behind with youth voters and college students, expect the loyalist media to?plant the idea of pardoning of hacker hero Edward Snowden in Obama’s head at the benefit of her. This is why jumping on this issue now and owning it is imperative.
The only potential candidate willing to explicitly address NSA domestic spying is Paul. Why are so many voices on the deep bench of Republican hopefuls quiet on this? Why can’t Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or a handful of Governors of independent states, articulate the illegalities of a massive dragnet of surveillance of Americans is unconstitutional? Rubio would certainly be better than Paul at doing so. The silence of the GOP on this equals compliance in the minds of young voters. That is why Rand Paul’s line at CPAC, ?You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty? resonated with so many in the audience and not boos. Revolution is more attractive to youth voters right now than Conservative rhetoric, because they have no idea what modern Conservatism actually ?is.
When Rand Paul speaks of Madison and the Constitution, people can smell gunpowder. They hear taps. When Rand Paul speaks of rebellion, people believe it, because they watched it happen already. They watched a Senator from Kentucky stand up for 13 hours and recite our?inalienable rights?to a President who feels he can drone any human being he feels like off the face of the Earth – Even those born under the country that elected him.?It’s doubtful that anyone has stood up to Barack Obama for 13 hours on anything in his entire life.??Voters who at the time of Barack Obama’s emancipation were 12-14 years old are now blooming into the defiance stages of their lives.
To them Barack Obama has always been the authority and Rand Paul is the most prominent face standing up to him. Gestures like the grandstanding on the Senate floor or suing the office of President, as ?symbolic as they only may be, resonate. The idea of an electoral revolution is palpable and Paul knows it. He knows when to pick his battles and with whom. He’s the only voice putting Bill Clinton in his rightful place in the war on women, a war the Democrat party will magnify tenfold in the coming two years. He pegged Hillary Clinton on arms trafficking through a consulate in Benghazi, long before reports surfaced. Good political instincts don’t assure Paul the Republican nomination. It doesn’t even mean he’s going to run (he is) but at the very least he’s showing the GOP where the fight can and should be. The crowds cheer for Rand Paul because GOP leadership gives them nothing to cheer about.
The Democrat party finds themselves defending very unpopular ideas all of a sudden. Obamacare, the NSA and the IRS (something both Paul and Cruz are in favor of abolishing altogether). Big government imposing it’s executive will with a phone and pen on a people, born free and protected by a founding document. This will become painfully evident to them in 2014 and Rand Paul will be right there reciting The Federalist Papers. Progressive media might roll their eyes at recollections of revolution. The new millennials thus far, are not.
Between now and 2016 there is going to be a passionate fight for the soul of the GOP. It’s already started. This is a good thing. Voters watching the theater unfold before them don’t want the docile unity of complicit group-think. Not this time. They want a street fight and for the strongest person to come out of it. What currently sets Rand Paul apart from the other potentials, and the GOP at large, is that he is actively recruiting a youth army to stand with him.
And they are ready to march.
– SM –