“Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.”
Many of us in the liberty movement saw the handwriting on the wall some time ago, as far as the Rand Paul campaign was concerned. He came in a distant fifth in Iowa, a state many thought he would win a year ago, his polling looked bleak in the other early states, and he was short on resources. He likely could have gone on, but instead, ended his campaign Wednesday morning. He’ll focus on securing re-election to the Senate, which he should easily accomplish. This turn of events has caused many of us in the liberty movement to despair, and even question the viability of the movement itself.
This must stop. What, did some of us think this would be easy? That the neoconservatives, the authoritarians, the entrenched interests, and all the rest who stand in our way inside the Republican party, would simply step aside? This sort of wishful thinking is all too common among those of us in the liberty movement. Reality is that it took over a century for the state to grow as it has, and for our liberties to be endangered the way they are now, and we won’t reverse that in a single campaign, a single election cycle, or even over the course of one pro-liberty presidential administration. We have a long fight ahead of us, and only over the past few years has it seemed as if we can begin to turn the tide. The sooner we realize this, the better our chances of making an actual impact. Our adversaries understand the value of incremental progress. So must we.
To that end, we must take Senator Paul’s defeat in stride, assess our options, and recommit to the fight, supporting the best possible outcome for the advancement of liberty.
We cannot simply throw up our hands, take our ball, and go home. To do so would validate every criticism the establishment makes about liberty Republicans. That we’re not really Republicans. That we don’t understand the value of coalitions in politics. That we’re children who pitch a screaming fit the moment we don’t get exactly what we want. This will not do.
To that end, I believe wholeheartedly that liberty Republicans must work to elect Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, the next President of the United States.
Along with Senator Mike Lee, he’s stood with Rand more than anyone else in the Senate. True, he’s not perfect, but he’s very good, and we can’t let the proverbial perfect be the enemy of the good.
He’s the only candidate still in the race who subscribes to an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. He’s the only candidate in the race who stands firmly against warrantless surveillance. He’s made some unwise comments about ‘making sand glow’ and ‘carpet bombing’, but for the most part, he rejects the ridiculous neoconservative foreign policy agenda. He’s with us on privacy and data security. However socially conservative he might be, he understands federalism, and would leave such issues largely in the hands of the states. He’d eliminate the odious TSA, along with a host of other superfluous federal departments and agencies. He understands the desperate need for sweeping criminal justice reform. Ted Cruz is our staunch ally most of the time.
Case in point: The USA Freedom Act. While it was much weaker than the original bill, it still ended warrantless government access to phone metadata, which was the major problem. That data is still collected by phone companies, and no bill yet seriously contemplated would stop that. Yet, many liberty activists are angry because he supported that version of the USA Freedom Act. That bill was the epitome of an incremental victory for liberty. We should thank him for supporting it.
The man just rolled into Iowa and beat the ethanol lobby in its backyard, winning Iowa with flying colors. The significance of that cannot be overstated.
He missed the latest vote in the Senate to audit the Federal Reserve, but that bill had vanishingly small chances of getting the 60 votes need to invoke cloture, and exactly ZERO chance of getting the 67 votes needed to override the inevitable Obama veto. Yet liberty Republicans skewered Cruz for missing the vote! Where was he? Winning, apparently. He knows we need a pro-liberty President if such a thing is to become law.
Once one compares Senator Cruz to the competition, the choice becomes even more clear.
I won’t spill a lot of ink here dealing with Donald Trump, as it’s been done elsewhere to great effect. Suffice it to say he’s a horrible demagogue with a long history of supporting Democratic candidates and policies, and for all the world seems like the bastard political child of Silvio Berlusconi and Benito Mussolini, with a dusting of liberal Yankee jackass for good measure. No. Just no.
Marco Rubio embraces the neoconservative “Invade The World/Invite The World” policy panoply with both arms and grinning enthusiasm. So on foreign policy and immigration, he’s a fresh-faced rerun of George W. Bush. No, thank you.
Rubio, Trump, Chris Christie, ¡Jeb! Bush, and to a lesser extent, John Kasich (who is the worst of the lot other than Trump), brag about how we need get back to violating the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans to stop terrorism. All are on board, to varying degrees, with perpetual entanglement in the Middle East.
Ben Carson, while a fine man, suffers upon close examination, and has looked feckless and inconsistent in debates and on the campaign trail. His campaign is fading, and with good reason.
Carly Fiorina will be a strong surrogate for whoever our nominee is, but her moment in the sun in this race has passed. Jim Gilmore is somehow still running, effectively as a fundraiser for Boyd Marcus. He was never a real factor.
For the first time since at least 1980, we have a chance to elect a President who will actually try and make a dent in the growing leviathan state, and strike a blow for liberty. We can win! Let’s prove the doubters wrong. Let’s join the rest of the wider conservative movement, defeat the establishment catspaw candidates, and WIN.
Cruz for liberty. Cruz for President.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.