Rand Paul is Not the Guy for 2016 But Ted Cruz Might Be

Barb Wire

Rand Paul is an appealing candidate to many conservatives. But he has a fatal libertarian streak on social issues that will make his candidacy in 2016 a non-starter for conventional conservatives.

According to Breitbart.com, Paul is urging the Republican party to “soften on social issues.” But this is the one thing it cannot do and remain the Republican party.

The GOP was founded in 1854 to fight slavery and bigamy, those “twin relics of barbarism.” In other words, the GOP came into existence to declare and defend a principled stand on the two leading social issues of its day.

Says Paul,

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“I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues. The Republican Party is not going to give up on having quite a few people who do believe in traditional marriage. But the Republican Party also has to find a place for young people and others who don’t want to be festooned by those issues.”

(I’m not sure “festooned” is the word he was looking for here, as it means “a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points,” but his overall meaning is clear.)

Let’s take Paul’s template and see if it would work for the GOP in 1854 on the leading social issue of its day. Would Rand Paul have said that because of the need to grow the party, we must “agree to disagree” on slavery? Hardly. And it would not have mattered how many “millennials” thought otherwise.

The Republican party changed history precisely because it decided not to “agree to disagree.” It took a stand on the most significant moral issue of the time and told millennials and everyone else, here’s where we stand. If you stand somewhere else, then your home is in the Democratic party, the party of slavery.

There certainly were many at the time that thought it was political suicide to take such a fixed stand on such a controversial issue. “Why, if we’re going to grow this party, we’ve got to have a big tent on social issues. We’ve got to make room for slaveholders if we don’t want to alienate half the country. We just ought to keep the government out of the slavery business, and just leave that whole issue up to individuals. That’s how you get the young’uns on board, tell ‘em they can have their slaves if they want ‘em because we’re gonna be the party that wants to keep the government out of those pesky social issues.”

To waffle on the major social issues of the day would have been wrong for the GOP in 1854, and it’s just as wrong in 2014. The GOP did not go soft on slavery, and every black man in America today has the GOP to thank for standing without compromise on the side of the unalienable right to liberty.

If the GOP wouldn’t go soft on liberty because of pro-slavery millennials, it shouldn’t go soft on marriage because of pro-sodomy millennials.

Christianity says unambiguously, “Let marriage be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4). I looked up the word “all” in the Greek lexicon, and it means “all.” That includes you and me, Sen. Rand Paul, the GOP, and the United States of America.

The GOP needs to grasp that leadership is not capitulating to pro-homosexual millennials, but persuading them of the superiority of natural marriage.

That’s not as difficult as it sounds. Millions of millennials know the pain and heartache of fractured homes and the soul-crushing impact of divorce. They want something better for their marriages and their children, and they need political leadership that will raise the guardrails that protect natural marriage, not lower them.

There is much I admire about Sen. Paul. He is principled and unbudging on matters of his political convictions. This makes him an enormous force for good when he is right, and a danger when he is wrong.

On marriage, he has made it clear that he will not fight for the fundamental social values that have made America morally and spiritually strong. What good is it to have a country in which the government is not listening in on the phone calls of millennials if their lives have been wrecked by family implosion and their bodies ravaged by sexually transmitted diseases?

Liberty unrestrained by morality is just license. We’ve had enough of that to last us for the rest of the century.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, was asked by the Des Moines Register to respond to Sen. Paul’s “Let’s just go AWOL” on social issues. He said,

“There are some who say the Republican party should no longer stand for life. I don’t agree with that. There are some who say the Republican party should no longer stand for traditional marriage. I don’t agree with them either. I think that we should continue to defend our shared values…We should continue to defend life and we should continue to defend traditional marriage.”

Bottom line: when it comes to 2016, Rand Paul is not the guy. But Ted Cruz might be.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Bryan Fischer
Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association. He has degrees from Stanford University and Dallas Theological Seminary. He pastored for 25 years in Idaho, where he served as the chaplain of the Idaho state senate and co-authored Idaho's marriage amendment. He came to AFA in 2009.

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