For The HIll on 1/25/13
“Maybe we will see all new people by 2016,” I wrote here on 4/17/12. “Call it Republicans v Jeffersonian conservatives, leaving the Democrats to dangle. Today Rand Paul hobbles the old school by demanding $2 billion in foreign aid to Egypt be stripped. 2016 starts already . . . Rand Paul/Joe Miller 2016: Vote for grownups.”
But 2016 will not be a good time to be President. The economy will be in shambles and there will inevitably be blood. It comes, said Charles Dickens, the moment economy sinks below equilibrium, which is now. And today we see first blood among my relatives (on both sides) in Northern Ireland. But don’t sweat the small stuff. China has not yet avenged itself for the horrors brought upon it by Japan in World War II. And it will because karma, the soul force of the East, demands it. China, said Richard Nixon, remembers a thousand years.
So those who think of running for president in 2016 - so far that includes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Jeb Book as the kind of eastern liberals which Uncle Ted Nugent has tagged RINOs, then the brilliant and innovative Bobby Jindal and the enthusiastic Nikki Haley who should be watched, and Sarah Palin, still to be heard from, and Rick Perry and probably Newt Gingrich – should beware.
Following Rand Paul’s success in recent days – he met with the rising generation’s Naftali Bennett in Israel and well challenged Ambassador Clinton’s no-fault foreign policy, he is said to be considering a run in 2016. One conservative commentator said he should not run for the very simple reason that he cannot win. Maybe not. But he should run anyway.
Because indeed, in a race against Joe Biden in 2016 the definitive portion will be the Republican primary. And that will determine America’s internal cultural future in the rising century. Already today there are three parties: Democrats, Republicans and rising Tea Party types – at our best, conservatives with libertarian tendencies – and Rand Paul is today the best standing champion in this direction.
Chances are, after eight years of Obama, a Republican will win in 2016 against Biden, Hillary or Elizabeth Warren (who has gotten suddenly quiet in recent days). Let Christie/Bush have it.
The new conservatism has a strong and rising base and Rand Paul is today attracting the mainstream. He has recently received grateful comments from mainstream conservative pundits like Jennifer Rubin and George Will of the Washington Post and he does appear to be rising to authority. And Jim DeMint’s shift to head the Heritage Foundation was a brilliant move, bringing Tea Party initiatives to a wider base and at the same time, bringing Tea Party favorite Tim Scott into the Senate, which bodes well for Nikki Haley as well.
This is a growing force. Let it grow. There is a need to see the distinction between old school and new school and that isn’t fully clear yet. But it will become apparent in the 2016 Republican primary.
Romney ran in 2008 as a trial run for 2016 and half the crew who ran last year did as well. Paul should do likewise in 2016. Let it play through, until 2020. Possibly real conservatives need the see the failure of the Republican (and Democratic) traditions in their final manifestation of Christie/Bush. Let 2016 be their swan song. Natural leadership will arise from that in a new true conservatism (states’ rights, sound money, constitutional government) and the essential leader of this new conservatism could well be Rand Paul.