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Excluding Rand Paul from the Republican Debates is a Conservative Tragedy

Written By Jeff Edwards

Posted January 18, 2016

This is not an appeal to get you to like or vote for Rand Paul.

In addition, I recognize that with the field of GOP candidates numbering in the thousands apparently, there has to be some logical criteria for who to include and who to exclude in the debates.

When the candidates only get two hours on stage, the dialogue gets watered down when you have too many.

But that being said, the exclusion of one man in particular allows the GOP candidates to get away with avoiding the really tough questions.

Love him or hate him, Rand Paul is one of the few men for whom I am absolutely clear where he stands on the issues.

Not Sure I Would Vote for Him

Now, with such an introduction, you might be thinking that I intend to vote for Rand Paul. But the truth is I don’t know if I could.

For while I know exactly where he stands on the issues, there are often times where I think he goes too far.

The same can be said of his father in the previous election, where he galvanized a certain base and yet alienated the majority.

But when Rand Paul speaks, my mind starts working overtime about some of the great issues of our day.

The genuine role of government and its authority over its citizens is something that Rand Paul speaks very clearly about.

It’s not so much about this policy or that policy, but he takes it a few levels up into the sky and asks us to look down on what we would expect of government.

From time to time, he will advocate a repeal of government to a point that I’m not sure it’s healthy.

When it comes to foreign policy, he would pull our interest out of many parts of the world, as he believes it is none of our business.

And while philosophically he might have a point, I believe that practically it doesn’t seem doable.

But I’ll tell you this: If he were in the debates, the front-running candidates would have to answer for their positions in a manner that would educate us all about what they truly believe.

Who Ever Heard of Bill Clinton?

Let’s be honest: Prior to the 1992 presidential election, how many people on the planet could name the governor of Arkansas? The only reason Bill Clinton became president was because he was included in the process.

I don’t exactly know how many Democratic candidates were still in the field at this point in 1992, but if Bill Clinton were relegated to the second-tier debate schedule, I’m not sure he could’ve won.

I’m confident that there are brilliant ideas and potentially brilliant leadership that America is not getting the chance to fall in love with.

Again, this is not a Rand Paul campaign speech, but I think we should hear what this man has to say.

He is distinctly different from the rest of the field, and I believe he has much to offer.

While he was excluded from the debate due to his poll numbers, he did have the opportunity to go on The Daily Show with Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah, where he drank bourbon and actually won over a fairly progressive audience.

I can’t help but think that if we get this man in the debate, the conservative field will be advanced whether he wins or not.

I asked a question: Who ever heard of Bill Clinton? But I’m starting to believe that a greater tragedy is a Rand Paul who is quite commonly known but not allowed to speak to the masses.

Love him or hate him — that is up to you. All I’m saying is that the man is unique enough to offer a much-needed voice in the conservative field.