THE RAND PAUL CAMPAIGN:
 

UNLOCKING LIBERTY’S MAJORITY

It is quite a difference a few months of campaigning can make in US Presidential politics.

Take the relative value of the Rand Paul presidential campaign from earlier this year when Senator Paul was winning the CPAC poll compared to the present time that is awash with Donald Trump Republican mania.

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The good times were good for Rand Paul for President at its start: the best played Senate filibusters in recent memory, being lauded as the most powerful Senator when he controlled the Senate majority leader’s political life in Kentucky, becoming the only Republican national contender with positive outreach to the young voter and to the truly disaffected voter, the heir of Ron Paul’s liberty movement, the leader of the successful anti-NSA spying forces and media poll numbers for President sometimes beating Hillary Clinton.   

Rand Paul seemed clearly to have what it might take to lead a revolution in the GOP to greater economic freedom with increased social tolerance, along with an end to US worldwide militarism. 

Might the son complete the lifelong mission of the father?

Rand Paul, like Jeb Bush, is fond of saying he is his own man, not just his father’s son.  The separation Rand Paul has with his father on questions of political philosophy all move him towards being a politician with more conventional “conservative” policies that presumably more Republicans would find attractive compared to his father’s uncompromising positions favoring liberty. 

Rand Paul, for instance, suggests a Declaration of War by the US against the Islamic State (which seems to be a recognition of ISIS as a state along the way). 

In his greatest departure from his father’s vision, Rand Paul, as expressed in a recent Reason Magazine article, does not apparently wish to “End the Fed”, Ron Paul’s central intellectual rallying cry.

So, Rand Paul’ vision for electoral victory is a compromise on truly limited government in order to drag the rest of the Republicans along to his nomination while moving Liberty’s camp rightward. 

Certainly compromise is typically a needed thing when it comes to peaceful political change.  Such large compromises do though seriously dilute the intellectual appeal of the Paul campaign to the true believers in a constitutional republic.  Only so much compromise with downright statism is too much.

Pulling Together the Numbers for Liberty

Had Rand Paul found the magic formula for Liberty’s majority as an entirely new kind of Republican was the question being asked eight-months ago, even by the corporate media.  Paul’s success was already inducing frenzied criticism from the MSM statist news outlets.  Rand Paul is their nightmare.

What could possibly derail such a deft political campaign from inside the Party of limited government and low taxes? 

A young, personable US Senator cannot simply be ignored as his father Ron Paul often was among Republican talking heads and power-brokers. 

There is little sign of a seriously revived US economy that could undermine the appeal of the all-new Rand Paul Revolution. 

There are no crony capitalism bonanzas or personal life scandals that could seriously afflict the Rand Paul campaign.

This year seemed the best of times possible.

All of these factors remains true today.  Yet today, there is seemingly little time or media space for Rand Paul anymore at all.  The only context his name now arises is how low his poll numbers have crashed, how ineffective his fund-raising has been or how long he can even stay in the presidential campaign.  His poll numbers, at less than 3% of Republican voters, are one-third of Ron Paul’s hardcore following in 2012.

The obvious reason is the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, people with an entirely different appeal to Republicans.

Trump is a man who will say anything that could be popular at the moment with his intended audience, a man who has never written a serious work of his own on public policy, a vulgar man when it comes to reasoned debate, a neophyte on most public policy questions, a profound narcissist.

Ben Carson appeals to the same voters as Trump does, those hoping for American renewal without a reversal of the nation’s course, doubling down on Empire forever.   Carson though offers a mild, respectful tone for those Republican grass-root voters who cannot tolerate Trump’s narcissism and bombastic ways. 

The bombastic crowd-pleaser and his mild soulmate have swamped the liberty candidate among all but the small truly libertarian sector of the GOP.  Two-thirds of Rand Paul’s likely voters according to polls from early this year have deserted him for some reason. 

So, what looked to be a Rand Paul boulder gaining momentum with the lead position going downhill has become a stone implausibly plodding uphill, a complete reversal of fortune, all for no reason coming from the real world. 

Is Liberty’s message and momentum so fragile as to be easily destroyed by a flimflam man like Donald Trump?  How can someone like Ben Carson preaching shopworn provincial simplicities so easily rout the Liberty movement in the US?

Republicans dumped Rand Paul for no reason at all, beyond loving a Jerry Springer type candidate so much more.

Is there any remaining electoral hope for American liberty then?  Yes there is.

The weakness with the Rand Paul campaign is not with Liberty’s message overall, a message that is attractive in some large way to every person.  

Possibly the Paul campaign’s near collapse has much more to do with the national electoral path both Rand Paul and Ron Paul had chosen. 


A Right-Wing Strategy for Liberty

Ron Paul has always been fond of the Republican Party of old, though always repelled by the statist monolith it has become since 1971.  Ron Paul revels in the free market purism of the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign.  He often harkens back to the GOP of a century and more ago who practiced a successful non-interventionist foreign policy.

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By becoming and remaining a Republican with dreams of national office, Ron Paul made the judgment that joining with the free market forces within the Republican Party was the better bet for reaching Liberty’s majority than the Democratic Party was with its history of supporting individual liberties. 

It has been true since the 70’s that Republicans more eagerly make Liberty’s case for the economy than the often turncoat Democrats have behaved in supporting the Bill of Rights.   The Republicans appear to have much more energy for capitalism than Democrats do for individual liberties.  Republicans seemed more inclined to give up their brand of cultural nativism than the chance of Democrats giving up their socialist vision of the economy.

Rand Paul has pursued the same wager as his father betting on Republicans first to reach a national majority for Liberty.

In this Paul elective formula the next step is to merge these new Republicans for partial liberty he has energized in the nomination race with the young Democratic-leaning voter in the general election.   

Many, many of the millennial generation have a strong desire for a far more robust Bill of Rights. These voters also favor an egalitarian retrenchment from oligarch control of the nation’s wealth.  Maybe most importantly, the majority of young voters seek an end finally to perpetual global war and mass surveillance pursued by the US. 

That voter group indeed is in Rand Paul’s wheelhouse.  Even viewed by most students just another right-wing Republican dinosaur, the Rand Paul campaign is still by far the most successful campaign on campuses across the country on a par with Bernie Sanders.

The first foundational step to national election though has gone horribly awry for the Rand Paul campaign.  The candidate appears at this point to have lost more supporters by his policy compromises than he gains from a bigger Republican tent on the issues.  The “conservative” newcomers to Paul eight months ago have seemingly all left on a crazy lark instead.

These are the very Republicans Rand Paul was relying on to power his blend of conservatism with a sharp edge.

Turning Liberty’s Cart Around

Now just suppose Rand Paul took a very different path from his father in electoral politics and had run for Senate in Kentucky as a Democrat: A very different Democrat truly intent on tossing out the monarchists and the rest of the underserving nobility.  His economic platform would only have to change to Liberty’s greater edge, like ending Wall Street cronyism altogether from the bottom up by ending the Fed. 

Suppose Rand Paul’s campaign in Kentucky had attracted something close to the 57% of the vote for Senate he achieved in 2010, but with a largely different voter base.

Suppose Senator Paul had as much relative success as a Democrat as he has had as a Republican, bucking Obama and Republicans at just about every turn (more like Congressman Ron Paul).  As both the Senate’s leader for the return to individual liberties and a crossover Senate vote for authentic free markets, Senator Paul as a Democrat could easily build an impressive, independent record for voters. 

When appealing for Liberty to Democratic voters instead of Republicans at the beginning of a Presidential campaign, how differently would the Rand Paul campaign have developed in this election?

Remember now, there were two truly grand heroes of the Democratic Party who also had successful economic policies while in office, Andrew Jackson and Grover Cleveland.  Both ran on “Lassie Faire now, Lassie Faire tomorrow and Lassie Faire forever and ever stronger” platforms and records. 

Certainly by the time of Cleveland’s two terms in office in the 1890’s, the “progressive” mindset had come to dominate the Democratic Party leadership.

From the presidency of Thomas Jefferson until the administration of Woodrow Wilson the Democrats were the political party savvy enough to know that government intervention into new areas almost always is directed at benefiting the status quo players, all at the expense of the creative destruction and innovation that creates new jobs and opportunities for all in a capitalist economy.

Beyond the history though lies the character of a “Democrat”: What moves them and to what positive effect?  Is the Democratic “liberal” more inclined to moving vastly in liberty’s way overall than the “conservative” Republican is?

What would Hippocrates Have Concluded?

Hippocrates did have much to say on this modern existential question for liberty, though never in a direct manner.

Ancient Greek physician and scholar Hippocrates greatest achievement was not his oath of fealty for the medical guild, but rather his marshalling of human personality.  It is almost the only part of his new methods of medicine that has proven itself reliable across the test of time.

Hippocrates empirical foundation of the four human “temperaments” was taken up anew by psychologist Carl Jung in the 20th Century and refined into the four dimensions of thought resulting in sixteen groups of character types.

With the development of the Briggs-Myers Personality Sorter, Jungian psychology is largely unchallenged now in understanding the dynamics of human thought, action and reaction, namely personality.

Though each person has positive capacity in each of the variant dimensions of the thought process, each of us also has a default setting typically favoring one of two alternate methods.  Sometimes the automatic favoritism can be extreme.

The four alternate dimensions for taking in and processing information are:

Taking Information:

Sensory (S) or Intuitive (N) – Whether a person’s observations and thought processes concentrate on cataloguing and detailing events or concentrate on connecting new events to more abstract categories.

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) – Whether a person contends with key events by creating and acting upon carefully made plans or instead contends with even important events in a flexible, contingent way.

Processing Information:

Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I) – Whether a person is energized by interaction with a wide variety of people or energized by the examination and perfection of ideas and the progress in plans being executed.  

Thinker (T) or Feeler (F) – Whether a person prizes the use of investigation and logical analysis in contending with life or instead prizes the vitality of relationships and the great help positive social connections create.

With four double variants, Jung’s personality typing falls into sixteen identities (ESFJ to INTP) that fall within four general categories.

The Briggs/Myers mother/daughter team worked to adapt Jung’s system to definitive personality testing.  The Brigg-Meyers Type Indicator (BMTI) is the most widely used psychology tool of any kind by far, now published in fourteen languages.  Disciplines across psychology use the BMTI.

What the BMTI has shown is that the distribution of the various personality traits is amazingly constant across cultures and time, though a bit different between men and women.  Each of the sixteen personality types can be expressed as a percentage of the total population within a small range.

SJ - Guardians 48% (Traditionalists)
SP - Artisans 22%   (Talented or Troublemaker)
NF - Idealists 15%  (Dreamers with Principles)
NT - Rationals 15% (Scientists with Little Passion)

Source: “What Type am I?” Renee Barron, Appx. 167 (Penguin Books 1998)

For a complete look at the landscape of this everlasting mix of differences in present-day US politics, here is my past work on the subject.  It touches on the dilemma Liberty’s message has with the present mindset of Guardians in the United States. 

The Republican Party is the party of the Guardians in the United States, as so often the label “conservative” implies.

The Source for Successful Revolution

With this four sided equation of humanity there is one personality category that is typically at the forefront of social change and political reform, even national revolution. 

It is those people with both the Intuitive and Feeler traits as their default method of thinking.  That is Jung’s Idealist, Hippocrates Choleric Temperament: the dreamer, the moralist, the most compassionate and the would-be top-down tyrant who truly is trying to help society in general.

That personality category, Idealist, can be fairly expressed in the US political lexicon as a tried and true “liberal”, a Democrat or a populist independent.

Idealists led the American, the French and the Russian Revolutions.  Mahatma Gandhi is the best known Idealist, the liberator as a single man of the second most populous nation in the world.  In US history “progressives” over time changed the nation from rock-rib individualism to the most sweeping and authoritarian collective in the world today.  Idealists are typically at the forefront of peace movements.

Idealists seem particularly adept at slowly turning Guardian types, the traditionalists, to their way of thinking.  They manage somehow to dominate universities and journalism, shaping the nation’s identity to their mold.

Idealists seldom give up.  Their good intentions do translate into little corruption on their own part, though their policy ideas typically enable widespread corruption they seem largely incapable of predicting.  They do abhor corruption and true immorality of all sorts.

Idealists indeed may understand other categories of people far less than the other three categories do.  This is possibly the main reason their top-down policies so often fail in practice entirely.

But that does not seem to stop Idealists from getting their way on public policy eventually in one fashion or the other.  It is their combination of a nimble mind with a determined passion for making things right (in their mind) that is the main formula for Idealists’ success.

And Idealists are the natural majority builder when it comes to elections and legislation.  They coalesce and stick together in defeating the dinosaurs in their way, slowly when necessary, but always, whether in the majority or the minority.

Are Idealists in the United States Ready for Another Revolution?

You know, general liberty has never really been something progressives embrace, at least when it comes to their compassion for others and their egalitarian beliefs.

Now why would the US liberals, in charge of the White House and competitive for power in Congress and the state legislatures, ever want to upset the apple cart entirely, all for Liberty? 

Because crashing corrupt institutions is what Idealists have always done when their notion of fair dealings and basic honesty are grossly violated by the elites in power.  The Idealist are typically the ones to clean house by throwing out the bums, because they alone manage to.

Could there have developed a more immoral, artisan landscape ripe for Idealist outrage than the Big Lie, Big Money, Endless War and Propaganda amid the Billionaire’s World of the 21st Century?  Only the US MSM propaganda bubble has kept that liberal outrage from surfacing more than it is already is growing.

Now how would Rand Paul compare to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in reaching the various aspects of the Idealist’s way of thinking? It is impossible to know, but one might reasonably presume that Paul’s advantage in having a comprehensive, consistent philosophical message would be quite attractive to the intuitive mindset. 

Maybe as importantly, how well could Rand Paul convince Idealists that the present system is hopelessly corrupt needing a complete change of course?  There is certainly plenty of material to work from.

If Rand Paul could dwell entirely outside of the propaganda bubble when it comes to state of the decline of the nation due to its authoritarianism and war-making, his supporters from the Left could become the most loyal, effective supporters a political candidate could ever have.  Once Paul’s egalitarian, corruption-busting, peace-loving rising star reached a state of fervor with Democrats, the nomination contest would be over: The Idealists now in love with a whole new suitor.

Trying the Left for Liberty could hardly prove a worse failure than trying to attract Donald Trump and Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich type Republican voters has proven to be. 

The Guardians in the US are simply too warped now by a century of expanding forced collectivism to become the springboard for the Second American Revolution for Liberty.  Guardians always express the status quo, suffocating statism right now.  In the US Guardians have the welfare-warfare-police state mentality their society embraces embedded into their personal values.

Though it is likely too late for Rand Paul to switch political parties, there may well be already someone in the US Democratic Party who should lead the nation to Liberty in 2020, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard.

 

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Representative Gabbard, please read the classic work of Frederic Bastiat, “The Law”, along with Ron Paul’s “End the Fed”. 
Editor