November 14, 2019

Without Rand Paul It Isn’t a Debate, Trump or No Trump

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The big news from last Thursday’s Republican Presidential Debate on Fox News was the absence of what Meghan Kelly called, “the elephant not in the room.” Thanks to the ongoing feud between her and front runner Donald Trump, the latter was not on the stage. In what was largely treated as a footnote, Rand Paul was.

Several media have asserted the debate was more substantive without Trump, the issues having more space in the absence of his overpowering personality and the likely attention that would have been paid to his controversial style. But it wasn’t Trump’s absence that made this debate more substantive. It was Rand Paul’s presence. Without him, the last spectacle wasn’t a debate at all.

Debate moderators are television people. They are interested in whatever makes the best television and gets the highest ratings. The debate moderators on Thursday, echoing the larger media narrative, continually pushed the establishment vs. anti-establishment theme. That’s certainly a phenomenon in this election cycle, but it really means nothing in terms of policy.

The whole purpose of this exercise is to determine the difference, if any, between the candidates seeking the presidency. Without Rand Paul, there isn’t a difference to determine, not even with Trump. Trumps style might be different, but he’s a lot more like an establishment Republican than the media narrative would have one believe.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post…


Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.


  1. Rand Paul’s upbringing by his dad Ron in a Libertarian frame of mind is what makes him “stand out”. Libertarians are the best of both worlds, e.g., progressive liberals and constitutional conservatives. However, Libertarians do NOT satisfy take all liberals such as Hillary, nor give all socialists like Bernie, nor do they satisify RINO’s(Gypsy Moth Republicans) and big business bought and paid for Republicrats(modern day “me too” Republicans). Libertarians do seem to keep us in check, but only if we are allowed to listen to their political platforms which are usually hidden from the pubic by the liberal press…the ones in bed with “the ones who want to take it all” and the socialists, “the ones who want to give it all away, even though it is not theirs to give.” God bless them and keep them.

  2. Why are you about the only one at a major publication who understands this? The difference between the GOP candidates (sans immigration) is all stylistic with the clear exception of Rand Paul, who actually has different policies. It truly baffles me that more can’t figure it out.

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