2024 Is The Year For Paulist Populism?
Updated: Aug 5
Rand Paul only secured 4.54% in the Republican Presidential primaries in 2016. Even if he had fared better, he could not have won the candidacy on account of the neocons, war hawks, and corporatists constituting the Republican establishment, all antipathetic to his cause of smaller government, fewer pointless wars, less statist intervention, and greater institutional transparency. The RINOs were indeed an even greater threat to his chances of success than the media-Clinton alliance, especially in light of the fact that Senator Paul—at least before Trump’s ride down the escalator on June 15th, 2015—was the only real antithesis to Clinton and all that she represents. The RINOs, some of whom would have preferred Clinton to a Paul or Trump in power, were the same who caltropped his father, Ron Paul, years earlier; the same who ultimately threw their weight behind Jeb “Please Clap” Bush and the other anointed chuckle heads. Senator Paul was spared the nuisance of having to fight the Steele Dossier, an-insert-your-name-here-smear paid for by the RINOs then appropriated by the Clinton campaign, as well as having to combat the mainstream media, which—along with 97% of print publications—favored the Democratic nominee.
Spared an ugly fight in 2016 and virtually guaranteed a Trump White House in November, Senator Rand Paul now has four years to bulk up for a pivotal showdown.
President Trump has neutered the RINOs and altogether cleaned house. While he has neither fully plunged the swamp nor ejected all of the maleficent Obama holdovers, he has packed the courts with constitutionalists and resuscitated American pride—in the military, in law enforcement, in American ingenuity, and in key elements of the American political system. He will provide the next Republican president a fantastic base on which to oversee continued material and spiritual growth.
Paul is a fighter, but cut from a different cloth than the 45th. Is it unlikely that he will be able to live “rent-free” in leftists’ heads or that he will be able to drum up the kind of outrage that ensures his name is on every tongue on every news network 24/7. This would have been an issue in 2016 had he gotten far enough, but it won’t be in 2024.
The American people do not trust the corporate news channels, and their trust in print publications has dropped below 45%. Trump has successfully knocked the teeth out of The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and CBS. Alternative new sources have surged in popularity and citizen journalism is ubiquitous. That so many outlets and personalities are jockeying for the American citizen’s attention bodes well for Paul, who can focus his domestic fight amid the cacophony on the corporatists and the leftists—the same enemies Stephen K. Bannon and Jeff Sessions identified years before Trump announced he was running.
Timing is everything. The continued implosion of the Democrat Party means that Paul has a shot at both an electoral college win and at the popular vote. The Jimmy-Dore progressives have finally realized—in the aftermath of Sanders’ protracted second defeat and in light of his recent DNC email-forwards—that the Democrat Party now is as much the party of corporate socialism and illegal wars as it is the unreformed party for Wall Street bailouts and Silicon Valley dine-ins. It caters to the left only by sacrificing rights and life irreplaceable; it has become the demi-urge of single-parenthood, partial-birth abortion, open borders, gun confiscation, electoral college abolition, coastal rule, and identity politics. This Dorian voting bloc will play a big role in 2020 and in 2024 just as it had in 2016 when Trump won a high percentage of the 35%-ceilinged BernieBros spite vote. By fixing the Democrat primaries, Schultz, Brazile, Podesta, and Clinton benched millions of voters on election day and sent others to throw a Molotov cocktail into the voting booth in Trump's favor. Assuming the corporate Dems have learned their lesson and will release serpents into the cradle of the next leftist-populist candidate before they have to blade them publicly, there may not be as great a knee-jerk reaction from the disenchanted Dorians in 2024 meaning no spite vote for Paul. Instead, he might enjoy a sincere cross-over vote on account of his Bill-Hickian appeal. His expressed intention to leave the Middle Eastern and drug wars behind may be enough to bring over millions of Aaron Mates and Krystal Balls, especially if the Democrats end up relying on a gilded Cuomo-Newsom hybrid whose eyes don't bleed as he or she regurgitates Warren's woke platitudes with Buttigieg's eschatological framing and Booker's fervor. These single-issue voters may come on side, but Paul's conservative messaging and emphasis on responsibility will repel general leftists amongst the Dorian and former Sanders crowd, including SJWs and college Proudhons. Although Paul won't attract these radicals who will find him A-Paul-ling, neither will the Democrat Party. Pelosi, Schumer, and Nadler have evidenced their loathing for real progressive causes, and will not give up power easily to those who do, especially after realizing how easy it was to kneecap the 'The Squad'. The radicals know this: that there is nowhere for them to go but out of the Democrat party. Paul can only rely on them to split the vote by supporting the greens, the demsocs, or some stillborn third party. Instead of watering down his message to entice radicals, he will seek to garner the support of a handful of geo-strategically-important independents and social centrists. Clear from Bill Maher's conversations with Paul, the 90s Democrat and the coastal libertine votes are up for grabs.
Although Dr. Paul understandably inherited and then employed a classical liberal mindset—and with it, a preference for its correlated American-protestant-styled bourgeois individualism—he appears more amenable to and supportive of a liberty-focused conservative populism; one in which the institutions that hold our society together are bolstered, the divide between elite and common interests is bridged or at the very least narrowed, and citizen interests are prioritized.
What does Dr. Paul stand for?
He is unapologetically pro-life and laments “the coarsening of our culture toward violent death…[which] has led to the death of 50 million unborn children in the last 40 years.” He wants and has sought as a senator to see Planned Parenthood defunded and to include “pre-born human beings” in 14th Amendment protection.
He is against corporate socialism. Paul fought the bailouts of private industry in 2010. He argued that most businesses fail, and that the government has regrettably grown accustomed to choosing cronies and losers. Crisis or not, he does not believe that large and profitable multinational corporations should receive subsidies. As for the banks, he condemned the 2008 bailouts, which he deemed to be representative of all that is wrong with Washington. His fiscal conservatism ramifies both for domestic and military spending. He wanted to use the debt ceiling to force fiscal reform. He seeks to reform the tax code as well as audit the Federal Reserve for the sake of transparency.
Paul is vehemently opposed to the further militarization of local police forces. Where prison reform and policing are concerned, Paul stresses focusing on violent criminals and leaving nonviolent minorities alone. Paul has long been an advocate of more rehabilitation and less incarceration. He is supportive of restoring the vote to non-violent felons and to speedy trials. Consistent with his anti-interventionist, anti-nanny-state views, he has fought for trial by jury and against unlawful searches. He was one of the lone voices in the Senate condemning the government droning American citizens. In fact, he filibustered the Senate for over 13 hours in March 2013 to sound the alarm about the government murdering those it is designed to protect "from coast to coast." Just as he does not think the government should drone its own people, Paul thinks the government should not spy on Americans without warrants. Since September 11, 2001, domestic spying and Big Brother have both grown by several orders of magnitude. The surveillance tools at the government’s disposal may aid them in tracking down potential threats, but it is often at the expense of American privacy and liberty. He is fine with targeted surveillance to prevent terrorism, but he does not want the generalist approach taken which violates numerous people’s rights en masse. In 2015, Paul underlined the point that the bulk collection of data does not improve security; in fact, it likely puts our security at greater risk.
Just as he has stood up to pressure on the privacy matters, Paul is also not cowed by the enviromarxist doctrinaires on the matter of climate change. Paul signed the No Climate Tax Pledge in 2010. He pointed out that Cap-And-Trade has had no real impact on global temperatures—that the international climate change treaties are self-effacing and China-empowering. He is not, however, indifferent to environmental cleanliness and healthy living. He wants businesses and government to balance environmental safety with deregulation.
President Trump did not get baited into a ground war in Syria, despite the best efforts of rogue intelligence agents and the mainstream media. He refused to allow the battle between the Clinton and Obama-armed jihadists in the south and the Russia-backed Assad regime in the north to draw in another generation of young American patriots and trillions of dollars for lunatic nation-building schemes. The seven wars to which Bush and Obama committed America will nearly all have come to an end by the start of the 2024 cycle (assuming Venezuela does not descend into an internecine civil war or that North Korea signs its own nuclear death warrant), meaning that America will have a real opportunity for reorientation and reform where foreign policy is concerned.
Paul will likely seize the opportunity to get a divorce from the Islamofascist Saudis who are the primary reason Iran wants nukes—two birds, one stone. He will likely also stop selling the Saudis weapons, regardless of whether their genocide in Yemen continues. The Yemen War is part of a 1,000 year war of which America wants no part. Paul regards the undying Middle Eastern wars to be a problem for Middle Easterners and believes that we should quit sending aid to countries who hate us. While not a hawk, Paul is certainly no dove. He made it clear that if North Korea resorts to force, the US should declare and quickly win a decisive war. Paul recognizes the inanity of presenting Russia as a global boogeyman—whose GDP is less than Canada’s, is bordered by multiple aggressor countries, and faces a whole slew of domestic problems. Contrary to what some of his critics say, Paul is not an isolationist, yet he just does not think America should go around the world in search of new enemies. Ultimately, he is keen on national defense, but not on nation-building. In terms of who sets foreign policy, Senator Paul opposes anyone who makes money off weapons defining policy. A Paul administration would take advantage of the newly cool albeit bipolar international scene that Trump will hand off; project American force and contract American power.
Where Dr. Paul erred in the past (i.e. on China), he seems now to be correcting course. Instead of managing American decline, putting up with managerial progressivism, and working with the Chinese government to avoid a global conflict, it looks as though he may now see the good in isolating and cutting China out of the post-CCP Virus world order.
Drawing a sharp contrast with his detractors across the aisle, Dr. Paul is close to being a 2nd Amendment absolutist. He opposes laws that limit the right to gun ownership, has pointed out how the Patriot Act violates gun rights, and has voted down a number of gun restrictions.
Even though Bernie’s mainstream messaging on Medicare-For-All fizzled out the moment he bent the knee to Joe Biden and the corporate Democrats (a second time), healthcare remains an extremely important topic of discussion and place for reform. Paul, himself a doctor, advocates for insuring as many people as possible so that Americans have the freedom and the ability to pick and see a doctor. That said, he is against all mandates. He flat-out rejects government-run healthcare and knows enough about our government not to entrust it with our health from the cradle to the grave.
With ICE better-equipped and Trump’s wall in place, Senator Paul can maintain secure borders and do away with sanctuary cities. Although the real number of illegal aliens living in the United States is likely over 20 million, Paul stated in 2015 that once the borders were secure, he might granting 11 million illegals amnesty (given they had committed no other crimes). Given the CCP Pandemic’s impact on American business and employment—as well as the job losses suffered as a result of the recent flooding of the market with cheap Saudi oil—Paul may reconsider amnesty, as it would amount to a massive strain on scarce resources and opportunities entitled to citizens.
Citizens could look forward to Paul eliminating the payroll tax for employees and to raising the retirement age regarding social security (recognizing how shafted millennials and GenZers will be otherwise). Left-leaning independents may be upset to learn that he supports a flat tax of 14.5% on personal income and a 14.5% value added tax, but will take solace in the fact that Dr. Paul will let the mighty fall and stop the bleed into profitable behemoths.
Paul is a libertarian conservative where economics are concerned: keen to minimize both the nanny and surveillance states; to lower taxes; to lower spending; and to quit hemorrhaging cash in the form of foreign aid. On social issues, he extols the right of Americans to self-determine and to live as they choose so long as they are not infringing upon the rights and liberties of others or endangering the common good. His libertarianism is more Hayekian than it is Misean, and in that it is intrinsically Christian; after all, he believes in taking care of the weakest and poorest among us, and does not discount government's supportive role. His maintained preference is for government to intervene after private efforts have been exhausted or found wanting. Therefore, he emphasizes the role of individuals, groups, and private organizations to willingly assume civic responsibility and to recognize their neighborly obligation to their communities and fellow citizens.
In terms of his campaign messaging and 2024 action plan, Dr. Paul must produce a conservative agenda aimed at strengthening the American family, to revivifying the American drive in order to moot the allure of decriminalized drugs, to rouse a sense of national purpose, and to cultivate a culture of responsibility. We have more rights now than at any other time in our history; freedom to do and accomplish great things. Good times gave this country some weak people, and those weak people gave this country hard times. Paul will have a chance to set a hardened generation to work for itself and the nation they together constitute, and this will require an agenda focused on free individuals not doing what they want, but doing what they should—reaping the reward, owning failure, and progressing forward, not away from tradition, but informed by tradition and driven by a hunger both for prosperity and moral excellence.
Even if President Trump is able to shake off the war-time socialism introduced to save the West from total ruin and to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people, the United States will be saddled with an exorbitant amount of debt. While certainly, to Senator Blackburn and the Henry Jackson Society’s point, China should forgive American debt after having put the world two-months behind on mitigation efforts, for covering up the outbreak, and for buying up all the medical supplies while telling America there was no risk of human-to-human transmission of the virus, it won’t be enough. With a steady hand, Paul might be able to address the remainder, and for that, he will need to usher in a new era of American responsibility.
The America First populist proposition put Trump in the White House; it will keep him there in 2020; and it will need another executor in 2024. This anti-war, anti-globalist, secure-borders, pro-American value proposition is one that Dr. Paul can continue to make good on. Now that the RINOs have been pushed further to the fringes and the likes of Gaetz, Hawley, Crenshaw, Cotton, and Rubio are center stage—with the Freedom Caucus supporting—Paul could have an industrious war cabinet with which he can successfully box out the CCP, build up American entrepreneurship, pay down the debt, and along the way champion fiscal conservatism.
Trump is the transformer. If he wants it and the American people will it so, Rand Paul will be the reformer.