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Is The GOP Ready For A Libertarian Presidential Candidate?


Republican US Senator Rand Paul (KY) says the path forward for the GOP in national elections is to get someone on the ballot who is a little more libertarian.

Sort of like him, coincidentally.

Appearing on FOX News Sunday, Sen. Paul made his case:

If Rand Paul is right, he’s positioning himself pretty well.

He can attract younger, socially liberal, less-interventionist, fiscally conservative voters who have been part of the core of support for Sen. Paul’s father – Rep. Ron Paul. However, he will get resistance from the social conservatives in the primaries. They might also stay home during a general election.

Much has been made of the Republican Party soul-searching, and rightly so. Losing two straight Presidential elections (particularly the last one) should force any party to look inward and do some assessment.

Much like sports, losing will do that to an organization. And, just like sports, winning can mask an organization’s weaknesses.

With Obama victories in 2008 and 2012, the Democratic Party believes the nation has shifted to the left and that most people agree with the progressive agenda.

We’re going to find out if this is true over the next four years. First in the mid-term races. Then in 2016.

And that’s why I suspect the Democratic Party will need to run an Obama-esque candidate: a great speaker, a dynamic personality, a masterful campaigner, attractive, and probably a minority.

Why? Because the Democratic Party might not ever be able to nominate a white male and garner the kind of electoral support among the new “Obama coalition” (i.e. single white women, blacks, Hispanics, and college kids).

You can see this phenomena in urban Democratic-controlled strongholds. The white, male At-Large candidate is becoming rarer. Often times they cannot clear the primaries.

Like I said, we’ll see in the next four years.

But if the two major parties in America become predominantly identified by the race of its membership, our nation is in real trouble.

What do you think?

Is Rand Paul right? Is America ready for a libertarian Republican?


Pete Kaliner hosts the 3-6 p.m. drive-time slot on Asheville’s WWNC Radio. Visit his blog and listen live.

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