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How to Miss the Point of Rand Paul’s Presidential Run

I recently wrote an article elsewhere about the Rand Paul 2016 campaign after going what feels like months not really addressing it. In that article, I was very pro-Rand. Despite the fact that I do not agree with him on plenty, I also recognize that he is the best option out of all the mainstream candidates on either side currently in the running. However, as of late there has been a bit of a snag. The powers that be within the crony GOP media machine have decided they don’t want Rand to be part of the main debate stage anymore. For the most recent Republican primary debates as of this writing, Rand was edged out due to outdated polling numbers that did not reflect the most recent poll results, which were much more favorable to him.

So, I was very honest. I admitted that it appeared as if the Rand Paul campaign might end up not being given its due by the RNC, but proceeded to commend it for all of the steps it took to make it something of an historic event in U.S. politics. I operated on the assumption the mainstream media has been holding: that Rand Paul will not be president. However, the point of the article was to point out that, even if that were true, the GOP had already failed at silencing Rand. In fact, I made it very clear that if anything, edging him out has made him even bigger in the eyes of the media. From my perspective, this was a very positive article.

However, like anything dealing with the Pauls, I’ve come to find out anything short of worshipping at the alter of Ron and Rand runs the risk of being met with unfettered consternation. Within an hour of the article being posted, I had an angry comment – not on the article page itself, but on social media. The response amounted to me being accused of jumping on the mainstream media bandwagon and perpetuating the myth that Rand Paul can’t win.

Here’s the thing – I’ve seen all of this before. When Ron Paul took on his last presidential run in 2012, he managed to get some delegates all the way to the RNC – until the RNC broke their own rules by throwing out Paul’s delegates and appointing Romney’s instead. The overlords had spoken. They wanted Romney, and Romney is who they got.

Now that we are beginning to see the son receive the same sort of treatment from the same Republican establishment, acknowledging the possibility that his campaign might just be facing similar lows is not at all baseless. Beyond that, however, there was a much larger point in my initial piece that seems to have been missed on some people, and that is the fact that Rand Paul’s campaign isn’t so much about winning the presidency in the short term as it is about changing the game in the long term.

And Rand Paul has certainly done that. He’s launched a podcast, done a 24-hour live stream, exposed fellow politicians on Twitter, chosen to debate on The Daily Show in place of the “Undercard Debate” the TV news system tried to wedge him into, filibustered the Senate floor in order to bring national attention to issues the media would have otherwise glossed over, and the list goes on and on. So my article wasn’t trying to disparage the man or encourage a surrender to group think in any way; I was merely trying to point out the larger implications of what might be a stymied campaign at this very moment. Never did I say that Rand’s supporters should stop supporting him because the talking heads told them to. Never did I say that Rand’s dropping out was an absolute certainty. Instead, I ran with the hunch I had and still showed how the campaign’s overall purpose was already unstoppable despite the dark horizon for 2016. After all, 2016 will be here and gone in a flash, but the repercussions felt by Paul’s political career are already headed for everlasting life.

In the future, I hope the responses to an only slightly differing opinion will still be positive. Since eternity tends to trump a single year in terms of longevity and impact, I still say Rand is here to stay – in whatever capacity that ends up being.

* Editor: the text above has been reviewed for readability, but not content. The opinion(s) reflected therein are those of the author, and not of the BeingLibertarian.com website or Being Libertarian LLC.

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Micah J. Fleck is a journalist and political writer who has spent the past several years developing his sincere-yet-indecypherable political outlook through independent research. While an enthusiast of both American history and economics, Mr. Fleck typically comes at his topics from a more anthropological perspective. His writings and interviews have been featured in various publications - including The National Review, The Libertarian Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and The College Fix - and he is currently earning a degree in anthropology at Columbia University. To support this author's work, visit his website.

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