Rand Paul Suffering from the Catch-22 of Idealist Politics

It turns out that the most die-hard Ron Paul fans are already jumping off the Rand Paul 2016 bandwagon. Rand Paul is apparently a little too mainstream for most of them—too willing to take moderate positions where his father never compromised:

“He’s moderating on most of them, not taking a real clear stance on a number of them,” said Ivers [who ran Ron Paul’s Iowa presidential campaign]. “The strategy of sending a blended message is one that has risk.”

That was never an issue for Ron Paul, whose uncompromising ways and willingness to operate on the margins relegated him to the sidelines of national politics. Even at the height of his national influence and popularity in 2012, the Texas congressman proved unable to win the popular vote in a single state and never seriously contended for the GOP nomination in several tries.

Rand Paul, by contrast, won statewide office in his first try and has established himself as a viable presidential candidate with a talent for taking the movement’s liberty message to a broader audience.

If ever there were a clear indication of how broken politics is, there it is. Rand Paul has been able to be more “effective” than his father only through compromising his father’s impeccable ideals. It’s a Catch-22. If you hold to idealistic politics, which may be the only kind I respect, you have almost no influence in the current political climate. But if you are in a position to have an impact on the current political climate, you’re probably already entirely in line with its corruption and compromise. It’s a shame really. What can you do?

I’m not a huge fan of Rand Paul. For all the reasons Ron Paul’s die-hard constituency has abandoned Rand Paul. But I also think Rand Paul is better than most anyone else on the current political scene. I wish there didn’t have to be a balance. But that’s wishful thinking. Politics in America is broken. And the only people with any solutions on how to fix American politics aren’t allowed in American politics. Any thoughts on what we can actually do about that?

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