GOP loyalists may have finally gotten their wish.
Since Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign, Republican politicians and their apologists on Fox News and in some quarters of “conservative” talk radio have been laboring tirelessly to discredit him. No effort, no tactic has been spared.
Not only have all such endeavors failed; they have doubtless fueled his meteoric rise.
Now, however, and perhaps unbeknownst to them, Trump’s Republican detractors may have succeeded in bringing about the beginning of the end of their party’s frontrunner.
Trump, you see, has officially pledged to support whomever the Republican presidential nominee happens to be.
In other words, Trump may have just visited upon himself what we may call, “the Curse of Rand Paul.”
Ron Paul, though never as accomplished at manipulating the media and garnering the numbers in Republican voter support as Trump has managed to be, nevertheless had an incredibly energetic, significant, and devoted following. Every attempt made on behalf of his fellow Republicans to besmirch Ron’s character missed their target by a mile. Except for his neoconservative enemies, Ron commanded trans-partisan respect, for it was impossible to doubt that his character was unassailable: Ron Paul was as a man of genuine conviction.
And his intellectual and political consistency, his unprecedented transparency, was of a kind that is rarely, if ever, found in contemporary politics.
But Ron would never get the GOP nomination. Thus, his son, Rand, who at least appeared, in some respects, to have not fallen far too far from the tree of his father, tried a different path.
Rand has styled himself a Republican die-hard.
Moreover, Rand has sought to out-Republican the Republicans by being the most vocal in demanding that Trump pledge unwavering loyalty to the GOP!
For the last five years or so, Rand has conducted himself as a committed Republican. However, in doing so, he’s divested himself of the quantity and quality of the support that his father elicited. No one, including and especially those voters who were disposed to support him, any longer knows what he really believes.
Today, Rand is languishing in all of the presidential polls—and his numbers continue to decrease.
The Curse of Rand Paul, or Rand’s Curse, is real. However, we should note that not every Republican politician is vulnerable to it.
Those GOPers who are unmistakably “proud” GOPers are, quite obviously, immune to Rand’s Curse. It is those whose attraction stems from their nominal affiliation with the GOP, those—like Ron Paul—who are pilloried for their steadfast refusal to privilege party over principle who are susceptible.
For many traditional Republican voters, the sight of a Republican politician throwing a wrecking ball into the heart of the GOP establishment and the Politically Correct, egalitarian ideology that it shares with its Democratic counterpart is a sight to behold. It’s like the sight of a majestic animal, a lion, say, in its natural habitat: wild, strong, free.
But once that animal is caged, it is no longer wild or free, and it has lost much of its power.
Ron Paul never lost his wildness, freedom, or strength. While he spent most of his political career as a Republican, he would never take a “loyalty” pledge to a party that he held was antithetical to the liberty that it dishonestly purported to embrace.
Rand Paul, if he ever had it, abandoned his wildness, freedom, and strength when he decided to really become a Republican.
It’s true that Donald Trump has a charisma and forcefulness that Rand lacks. Yet now that he’s taken the pledge, Trump could’ve just taken the first step toward the implosion for which his Republican nemeses have been waiting.
No one has appeared more like that untamed lion than Trump. Now, though, the lion has just agreed to enter a cage.
It’s too early to tell, but Trump may very well have just incurred the Curse of Rand Paul.