Republican senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, has officially announced he will run for president in 2016. He has been the first person to throw his hat in the ring of potential nominees, but at least 20 other Republicans have expressed interest in running. Cruz is the first potential nominee to officially announce his candidacy, but hopefully he will be the first to drop out of the race, as well.
Cruz represents everything that is wrong with the Republican party. He turns a blind eye to the real issues which face America, he threatens to alienate even more people from his struggling party. Cruz is a man who preaches Reagan-esque values and denies that climate change exists. According to one MSNBC analyst, he is this race’s Sarah Palin. It is fine, though, because everyone likes a good show and the late night comedians need fresh material. Though, when it comes down to who would be right to lead the country, people hope that Republican voters have a little more sense. The Reagan Era of conservatism really has no place in today’s America. The rapidly changing political landscape, with issues such as criminal justice reform, marijuana legalization, and gay marriage, will be forcing this party to either adapt to the times, or die.
One candidate in particular who would be an excellent face for a Republican party, one of whom that could broaden its base, is Senator Rand Paul. Even though Paul has admitted to identifying with the Tea Party, his stance on many of America’s social issues are what really sets him apart from most candidates. Paul is a senator with a fierce libertarian streak.
Paul openly supports the legalization of marijuana, as well as the decriminalization of non-violent drug offenses. He fervently stated the so-called war on drugs a way to disenfranchise minority voters. He is absolutely right on this point. Minorities are more likely to be charged and convicted of non-violent drug offenses than their white counterparts, and a felony record prevents them from voting in any elections. He also opposes the National Security Agency’s spying programs, and the overly militarized police forces that plague the country. Though, one of his shortcomings as a candidate is his isolationist policy in dealing with foreign powers. Paul now knows what kind of competition he faces after fellow republican Cruz announced that he will run for president.
The focus of the Republican party in the upcoming election will be attracting younger voters to the conservative side of the political spectrum. Now that Senator Cruz has officially announced that he will run for president in 2016, he will be subjected to much public scrutiny. Cruz is very unlikely to attract anyone to the party, let alone young voters, with his lack of environmental policy, and his almost archaic view of the country’s domestic issues. Paul really could be the new face of the Republican party. He has made it a point to reach out to younger voters, and appeared at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive, where he spoke to the young, tech-savvy crowd about what he brings to the table as a potential candidate. Paul is expected to officially announce his plans to run on April 7.
Opinion by James Dixson
Photo by: Gage Skidmore – Flickr License