It would be an understatement to say that the Republican Party needs a an image makeover. Many of the establishment politicians in the party have been in office so long it is surprising they have not become fossilized in their desk chairs. Republicans have lost the support of the American people, both young and old, after the Bush administration, and it has been on the proverbial respirator ever since. Will conservatives ever be able to expand their base, connect with young people, and take back Congress and the White House? Rand Paul thinks so, and he has created a plan to pump life back into a dying Republican Party.
Sen. Paul, R-KY, spoke at a fundraising event in Maryland on Wednesday night, stating that he believed the Republican Party did not have a large enough base, and watering down the message, becoming the Democrat Lite party, was not the right solution. Paul stated that if conservatives want to win, they will need to develop a message of hope that appeals to a wider audience. He went on to say that the major cause for the disconnection between Republicans and voters is their image.
Republicans and conservatives tend to put a heavy emphasis on socially conservative values and issues, which seems to alienate the younger generation of voters. Paul believes the solution to this problem is to shift focus and build a platform centered around privacy and the Fourth Amendment, along with reducing debt and balancing the federal budget. The Kentucky senator said that privacy and student debt are the primary concerns on the minds of Millennials, and those belonging to this demographic are looking for people to represent them and protect their right to privacy, which is being violated by government entities like the National Security Agency.
Rand Paul creates a plan that goes beyond just protecting people’s emails and phone records, but also looks to end the failed war on drugs that unfairly targets minorities, and in pushing these ideals has managed to pump life into the Republican Party. He is giving conservatives a much needed face lift, and so far, it appears to be working. Paul is gaining favor with both liberals and conservatives, while also balancing a relationship with establishment politicians that enables him to avoid making unnecessary enemies. His policy positions are the same as they have been throughout his political career, but he is opting for a peaceful route rather than the confrontational one taken by individuals like Ted Cruz.
Young voters are a critical component to gaining control of Congress and the White House. These individuals are future leaders, and they are the ones facing the immediate consequences of failed liberal policies instituted by bureaucrats from both parties. Attempting to do the same thing repeatedly, expecting to achieve different results has been said to be the definition of insanity. Republicans have shifted from being staunchly conservative, to attempting to please the people by watering down the message and essentially being an offshoot of the Democratic Party, time and again in an attempt to expand the base, and it has failed. Things must change, and the change cannot be put off. There is a clear opportunity here to do what has not been done in decades. More members of the Republican Party need to look at the strategies Rand Paul creates and get on board with his plan to pump life into the party, or watch it continue to die a slow, agonizing death.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell