The New Republic has a cover story on Rand Paul. The author takes it upon herself to 1) show how quickly Paul is becoming a major player with real White House prospects, and 2) warn her readers about how dangerous his constitutionalism and “isolationist” foreign policy is. Despite the ominous overtones, it’s an interesting read. Questions: Would Paul make a good President? Could he win the Republican nomination? The general election?

I apologize in advance for talking about this when the election is years away…

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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.


  1. No apology necessary, since Mr. Paul is certainly worthier to govern the Republic than any of the corporate-owned entities who will actually win a major party nomination, and will therefore be marginalized into media limbo as the election approaches; so let’s talk about him while we still can.

  2. My opinion: Yes, he’d make a good President. Yes, he could win a general election. But it would be very difficult to win the GOP nomination. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support him if he runs.

  3. There are very few men I would support in the modern political climate we now find ourselves, but Paul is one of the few exceptions.

  4. Rand Paul is certainly intriguing. Unfortunately, he’s demonstrated an affinity to coddle big industry – especially big energy – and to scrap what little environmental protections that are necessary (yes, I know we could argue for eons about just what protections are effective and necessary). That the article states he’s been getting chummy with the Koch Bro’s is not a surprise, and is a bad sign. Too bad, because in many other ways I think he would be a good President.

  5. No, yes, and no. As Mark C. points out, his veneer of rhetoric about liberty, while sometimes a welcome breath of fresh air, masks a general disposition to serve the plutocracy. He’s a cut above William Henry Harrison, in that he sometimes believes what he’s saying, but that’s a low bar.

  6. Interesting questions indeed. While I am drawn to some of his rhetoric, positions, and even action, it’s also worth noting that some of his appeal is actually in common with President Obama. It’s almost less about positions and more about demagoguery. Which, sorry for the pessimism, is less than comforting.

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