Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Rand Paul | Tea Party | rand paul | libertarian | tea party

Huff Post: Sen. Rand Paul Challenging, and Steering, GOP

By    |   Thursday, 22 January 2015 12:16 PM

There are changes underway in the Republican Party, alterations of classic party line views in distinctively libertarian directions, and one man, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, is leading the charge.

Paul, The Huffington Post reports, "is the poster child for the libertarian movement within the party," and hopes that his blended beliefs will catapult him to the front of the more orthodox Republicans in the contest for the party's nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

However, win, lose, or draw, Paul's influence on the GOP slate, its ideological heart, is being felt throughout the pre-campaign period, and is likely to redefine and influence just want it means to be a Republican.

Already, some candidates are challenging the party's orthodoxy, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's contrarian support for immigration and Common Core education.

However, Paul takes it further, advocating term limits for Congress, an amendment requiring a balanced budget, and less American military involvement in foreign conflicts, stressing in his speech following President Obama's State of the Union address, "Many Republicans only complain that we didn't send U.S. ground troops or we didn't stay long enough.

"We must defend ourselves and defend vital American interests, but we must not be deluded into believing that we can remake the Middle East in an image of Western democracy."

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Paul has butted heads with another likely presidential contender, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, over Paul's support for Obama's plan to open up relations with Cuba after 50 years of embargo.

On the issue of the deaths of blacks at the hands of white police, Paul stakes out a position at variance with his party's hard-right conservatives, calling for "demilitarization" of the police and commenting, in a piece he wrote for Time magazine, that, "Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.

"Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention."

He has called for an end to harsh sentencing for minor drug offenses and opposed laws restricting voting among those with a criminal background, NBC News reports.

"On a number of issues, he is adopting positions held by black civil rights leaders, but usually not Republican politicians," NBC said.

On many core issues, libertarians veer sharply away from the established Republican Party, Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, said in Ozy.

"What is notable is that regardless of whether an issue originates from the right or left — and even though it threatens a powerful constituency in the Republican or Democratic party structures — the side able to grab the mantle of liberty has advanced against all odds," Norquist writes.

"The relevant dividing line is not right versus left or Republican versus Democrat, but the expansion of individual liberty versus whatever and whosoever stands in the way."

Noting that libertarianism within the GOP, as advanced by Paul, well could be the wave of the party's future, Norquist called it, "A long-term trend with no obvious roadblock in sight."

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There are changes underway in the Republican Party, alterations of classic party line views in distinctively libertarian directions, and one man, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, is leading the charge, The Huffington Post reports.
rand paul, libertarian, tea party, republicans, 2016, presidential, candidate, election
Thursday, 22 January 2015 12:16 PM
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