Paul’s positions may sound refreshing today, but they would have been much more in keeping in a bygone era. It wasn’t until Republicans embraced the more Rubio-esque ideas that they began winning elections. That’s why his ideas are now considered “old.”
That’s not to say past is prologue. Maybe the world has changed? But it is to say that the old versus new paradigm is more complicated.
The reason the Rubio vs. Paul contrast is so exciting is that on one hand, both are young senators elected in 2010 during the tea party zeitgeist. But on the other hand, they really do represent an ideological clash over the heart and soul of the GOP.
But it’s probably more accurate to say Rand Paul represents the old ideas. Of course, that doesn’t make them wrong. The Constitution, some would say, is full of old ideas.