Rand Paul Shined in Presidential Debate
To the editor:
The Republican presidential debate this past Thursday showcased many interesting leaders, with many interesting ideas. We have no shortage of options in the 2016 presidential race: Governors, Senators, Cabinet members, and business moguls. The ideas and rhetoric espoused by the various candidates are just as diverse.
One candidate set themselves apart on Thursday in a fascinating way: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Rand rose above the rest of the field to put forward fresh and thoughtful solutions to today’s problems.
We face serious challenges, and one political party can’t solve all of those challenges by itself. We need more Americans working together to find common sense solutions, even if those solutions don’t fit squarely into the dogmatic boxes of the Republican or Democratic Party platforms.
Rand’s approach to foreign policy makes sense: defend America first and foremost, and be wise and judicious in how we spread our valuable troops around the world. Conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between can come together on this. Our military should be the strongest in the world. War should not be our first option. We should take care of our veterans first before we go getting involved in another expensive Middle Eastern conflict.
Rand’s approach to the economy makes sense. He has released the most detailed plans of any candidate I’ve seen on how he would get the federal budget balanced within 5 years. His proposal for replacing our current tax mess with a low 14.5% flat tax would save middle class Iowans money and time. It would eliminate payroll taxes, which would help families with their budgets and would encourage businesses to hire more workers. You would still be able to deduct mortgages and charitable contributions. Democrats should applaud the ability of this tax reform to ease the tax burden on lower-income Americans. Republicans should applaud the ability of this tax reform to rejuvenate business growth.
Rand’s approach on social issues makes sense. He has strong pro-life beliefs, and he does not talk about women’s issues in a way that belittles or condemns women. Rather, he talks about empowering women. Rand supports securing the border, and he doesn’t talk about immigration in a way that belittles or condemns Hispanic Americans. Rand spent his lifetime as a doctor, and has only been in the Senate since 2011. Yet, in his recent tenure in Washington, Rand has become the biggest leader on bi-partisan cooperation. He has reached across the aisle to work with Democratic Senator Cory Booker to reform the War on Drugs so that kids who make mistakes don’t have the rest of their lives ruined. Rand has worked with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden to make sure that the NSA’s domestic spying programs actually target terrorists, and preserve the Constitutional right to privacy of innocent Americans.
Rand is largely the only Republican to reach out to constituencies that the Republican Party has ignored in the past. Rand goes into the inner cities to hear the concerns of minorities. He goes to the West Coast to hear the concerns of independents. He goes to college campuses to hear the concerns of young people. This is why almost every poll shows that Rand is the only Republican candidate that can win all the key swing states in the general election.
In a race full of unsubstantive rhetoric and unnecessary division, how refreshing to see a candidate who has the potential to unify Americans of all types behind a positive message of working together in a way that transcends party. I have decided to caucus for Sen. Rand Paul on February 1st.
(signed) Josiah Schmidt
Small business owner