There are 57 other candidates running, or so it seems. Rand’s job is to stand out, and saying that you hate taxes and want to cut them is not exactly the grandest way to announce yourself in a Republican primary — heck, even Kasich is saying it.
What’s more, this primary is scrambling all of the rules of politics. Trump may be the frontrunner (with Carson nipping at his heels) but his “coalition” is not at all a “base” coalition — nor, needless to say, is he the establishment candidate. Typically, at this stage, the anti-establishment frontrunner is powered by evangelical votes, but Trump supporters are more secular than the typical Republican voter, not less.
The Republican Party’s soul is up for grabs. No one knows in which direction the GOP is headed, and we have countless proposals. It’s strange that the libertarian wing of the party, which was so strong in 2008 and 2012, thanks to Ron, is not making itself felt in the polls now.
I’m no libertarian, but I am deeply concerned about the erosion of civil liberties in the U.S., runaway executive power, and the sometimes reckless adventurism of foreign policy elites, both left and right. On top of being smart politics, these are debates the country needs, and these are fights Rand needs to pick.