Why Rand Paul reminds me of Reagan

By Doug Wead

Note: Doug Wead recently was named senior adviser to the Rand Paul presidential campaign.

For the first time since Ronald Reagan, we have a political figure running for office who is actually leading a popular movement and not just seeking personal power. I’m talking about Sen. Rand Paul, whose group of supporters can best be described as the “give me back my freedom coalition.”

Not since Reagan has a Republican candidate transcended partisan politics and attracted so many new, young and diverse voters – the kind of coalition it is going to take to wrestle the White House back from the Democrats.

Sen. Paul appeals to all Americans through his mutual opposition to the corruption of our current economic system. Regulations create contrived monopolies for some companies and keep new ones out of the marketplace. Government subsidies favor corporations that have the best lobbyists. The result? The rich have been getting richer, and the poor have been getting poorer. Sen. Paul favors a return to free markets, which will allow the idea of the American Dream to become more achievable for everyone.

Additionally, Sen. Paul understands how Americans, especially young Americans, value their privacy in the digital age. He believes that what is on your phone is your business and has adamantly opposed the unnecessary and illegal data collection of innocent Americans’ records without a warrant. His filibuster, which led to much needed calibrations of the Patriot Act, only proved how committed Sen. Paul is to protecting the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Paul also speaks to potential, new Republican voters through his calls for criminal justice reform. He understands that cutthroat punishments and excessive taxation don’t cure poverty, but rather increase it. The senator has called for comprehensive reform measures that will reunite broken families and end the cycle of incarceration for non-violent ex-offenders.

With regards to foreign policy, Sen. Paul has made it clear that America will do what has to be done to defend ourselves in the Middle East and elsewhere. In terms of the radical Islamic threat our nation faces, the senator was one of the first public figures to call for a Declaration of War against ISIS. But perhaps even more significantly, he would not have armed ISIS in the first place. Two years ago he tried to block the U.S. Senate from transferring arms and vehicles to Syrian rebels. “It could fall into the wrong hands,” he warned. Two years later, American equipment raced across the Middle East with black ISIS flags waving, slaughtering Christians and Muslims who opposed them.

Sen. Paul is the candidate running for the people, not personal gain. It is no surprise that Sen. Paul does better than any other GOP candidate when pitted against Hillary Clinton. Rand Paul is a new type of politician, attracting support from all different ages and areas, as he fights for fundamental rights, restores the people’s trust in their government and helps get America back to work.

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