If you’re finding the 2016 Presidential election cycle a bit depressing, you’re not alone. While previous elections offered some less than desirable candidates this election cycle seems far worse.
We start with Hillary Clinton, who received money from foreign governments while serving as Secretary of State and hid government emails on a personal email server – which she eventually had wiped! Also while Secretary of State, she failed to provide requested additional security to the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and failed to rush military support there when the undermanned embassy was attacked by terrorists. Finally, she then concocted a fake story to about the whole situation to not make it seem as bad. In another election cycle this may have sunk her, but some of her competition is so off-putting that hasn’t been the case.
In her own party, she faces an avowed socialist in Bernie Sanders who wants to raise taxes, has been described as a bum who wants your money, and as you can see below, is oblivious to things like collateral and default rates:
You have families out there paying 6, 8, 10 percent on student debt but you can refinance your homes at 3 percent. What sense is that?
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 26, 2015
Across the aisle, the Republican party has been hijacked by a New York City nationalist running on the weight of an interesting personality. With the exception of immigration and arguably trade, the Trump campaign has avoided policy discussion. More notably though are some incredible comments from the Republican front runner including:
Word is that crying @GlennBeck left the GOP and doesn’t have the right to vote in the Republican primary. Dumb as a rock.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2016
- “He’s [John McCain] not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
- “You could see there was blood coming out of her [Megyn Kelly’s] eyes. Blood coming out of her… wherever.”
- “Look at that face [of Fiorina’s]! Would anybody vote for that?”
- “I could stand in the middle of 5th Ave and shoot someone and not lose any voters.”
Fortunately, there is one candidate that has stands out as the mature, honest, objective leader amidst and election cycle filled with dishonestly, bad ideas, and immature comments. Rand Paul is the sole candidate who’s policies are firmly rooted in principle and sound philosophy.
His philosophy is consistent and straight-forward. Whenever possible, maximize personal liberty.
Take for example his stance on government surveillance. In stark contrast to GOP opponents Marco Rubio and Chris Christie (as well as President Obama), Rand Paul does not believe the government has the right to collect your personal phone or email records without a specific warrant. The fourth amendment prevents the government from simply taking your conversations without a warrant with you name on it granted by a judge, and fear of terrorism doesn’t change or adjust that in anyway. He stood up for the bill of rights when he famously filibustered a renewal of the government’s phone data collection.
He has spoken ad nauseam about reducing government spending. While it’s understandable that many hate to see spending cut while the economy is struggling to recover with any sort of vigor or military spending cut when ISIS is on the move, but we’re $18 trillion dollars in debt! Other candidates are not serious about cutting spending, or in the case of Bernie Sanders, want to increase it dramatically. Marco Rubio, for example, has said he wants to raise military spending by $200 billion dollars. To pass that sort of military spending, surely the Democrats would require spending increases in programs that they prioritize, namely social welfare programs. Rand Paul would work in a realistic manner to remedy the national debt and deficit before it impacts us personally.
Rand isn’t merely a talker though, he has put forth a myriad of bills to move his ideas into action. While Republicans squawked about defunding Planned Parenthood, he put forth a bill. While many angrily asked why we give foreign aid money to countries that burn the American flag, he put forth a bill to cut aid to the Palestinians. Although these bills didn’t pass, they show a proclivity towards action rather than mere discussion.
I don’t agree with him on everything. Comedy Central called him the “Weed Candidate” because he supports softer penalties for drug users. Although I disagree with this, I respect his position because it’s philosophically consistent. I’ll never align 100% with a presidential candidate, but I’ll take a candidate that I trust will be consistent to his word and his philosophy 100% of the time.