This would be big. Transformational, even.
Peter Beinart, in the Atlantic Monthly (among many, many other political observers), has concluded that “Rand Paul is the 2016 Republican Frontrunner.” And two of the Washington Post’s top political observers, Chris Cillizia and Sean Sullivan, say “Hillary Clinton is the biggest frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination ever. Yes, ever.”
The next presidential election is not going to be “Rutherford B. Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden.” It bodes to be transformational.
The playing field, meaning the world, has changed. It has changed in fundamental ways. These are ways behind which our political class lags.
Yet our political process, as sloppy and slow as it is, has thrust to the fore the two candidates who, by all appearances, best grasp that change. Rand Paul and Hillary Rodham Clinton would frame the debate — and the alternatives they offer — based on real clear and present issues rather than outworn dogma.
Sen. Rand Paul appears, to this columnist, to best grasp and present the model of classical (small l) liberal (small r) republicanism of any of the present contenders. He stands for smaller government, civil liberties made sacrosanct by inclusion in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and free enterprise. He defines himself as “an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility, and a warrior against government overreach.” Also, he makes his case with affable optimism and amiable gentility rarely seen within the GOP since Ronald Reagan left the stage.
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton appears, to this columnist, an eloquent champion of (big L) Liberal social democracy. In her Remarks at the Sorbonne, in 1999, she reportedly stated that