March 7, 2013
By David Beilstein
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may have focused on President Obama’s authorisation of domestic drones against American citizens in his filibuster rampage (still ongoing as of this writing), but the 2016 presidential hopeful put forward the best philosophical defense of U.S. Constitutional government in 25 years.
Much of what Mr Paul outlined in his address has been “left on the floor” in Republican politics for a generation—especially with GOP presidential hopefuls.
Mr Paul’s filibuster address makes the senator from Kentucky the de facto leader of the GOP (or should). Gone was the sentimental rhetoric outlaying Republican, slash conservative politics.
Mr. Paul’s constitutional rampage will go unheard by the White House—but it will be the best campaign speech by a conservative in a generation. Mr Paul avoided the lack of cogent argumentation attached to Republican politics for more than 20 years. He was exacting. And he was effective.
The party said to be interested in protecting constitutional limits on government has been anything but—they have been sappy, even scolding—unable to be the antipode to authoritarian state-sanctioned control of life.
Mr Paul touched issues far and wide.
Most enjoyable was witnessing a man who has no hostility against the Christian religion explicating why separation of Church and state is a good thing—for the Church and the state—and a constitutional protection to be praised by classical liberals. A few columns ago, I outlined the major thing missing from the Romney campaign was the big ideas behind the “why’s” of conservative philosophy.
Rand Paul answered the “why’s” in his address.
Regarding religion and the state: since we know tyrants like Barack Obama can (and will) be elected president in the “land of the free and the home of the brace” do we really want government telling the church what to do?
Crede, ut intelligas has been frustrated for quite some time that those of the a political persuasion most able to see the benefit of religion decoupled from the state have, in too many cases, been most inimical to the intention of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Not Mr Paul, not today. And it was refreshing.
On foreign policy, Sen. Paul avoided the nuttiness of his father—while at the same time dismantling the Wilsonian ideas inherent in the GOP’s own foreign policy premises.
The media will ignore Mr Paul’s address. But the speech will still be effective, as it did not simply defend conservative ideas about the state and individual life—but explained in cogent acuity the philosophy behind the nation’s laws and governing principals.
One can settle for all the pop conservative
bullshit: the names—Rubio, Jeb Bush, Christie, et cetera, et cetera.
But as of this writing…
Sen. Rand Paul for President, 2016.
I’m not the only one excited about the edge of Sen. Rand Paul’s scalpel. Over at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher is equally enthused.