Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has become the second person to announce his intentions to run for the Republican presidential nomination and eventually the White House.
“We have come to take our country back,” he declared during his campaign launch in Louisville. “The message of liberty, opportunity and justice is for all Americans, whether you wear a suit, a uniform or overalls, whether you’re white or black, rich or poor,” he continued while standing aside women, minorities, and young people, all crucial voting blocs which have strayed away from the Republican party in recent years.
As a libertarian, Paul is supposedly a strong opponent of “the Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives.” However, in practice he is as Republican as you can get. He is opposed to both abortion and same-sex marriage, and has flip-flopped on issues including foreign aid and defense spending, abandoning libertarian ideals in favor of more mainstream, warmongering Republicans. It should therefore be no surprise that he, along with fellow candidate Ted Cruz and 45 other Senators, signed the Obama-bashing letter sent to Iran last month.
His main differences include his support for marijuana decriminalization and against NSA spying, stances that are likely to be popular among younger voters but not so much among hardline conservatives. Furthermore, his anti-women, anti-gay, and anti-civil rights policies are sure to alienate him from an even broader chunk of the population.
That is, if he doesn’t change his position in time for people to forget what he truly believes.