Was Rand Paul’s epic filibuster last week a new shot of life to the Republican party? Was it a critical blow to the Obama Administration’s credibility? Was it an undeniable signal of the growing rift between the libertarian-leaning Tea Party wing of the GOP and the establishment old guard? Was it a political stunt that, in and of itself, accomplished little to nothing?
It was all of the above. But it was also something much, much more significant. It was a spark that will ignite the fuse of resistance.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Rand Paul’s filibuster concretely accomplished just about nothing. It delayed the nomination of John Brennan to the position of CIA Director by a day, and forced the Obama Administration to go from “Why would we drone bomb innocent Americans?” to “We’re not going to drone bomb innocent Americans.” Hardly a solid, dependable promise, especially from an administration that frequently disregards the Constitution.
But this successful stand, no matter how insignificant, represents a crucial turning point. For years now, the average American’s freedom and prospects for a bright future have been on a one-way road into the abyss. The decline was set into motion by a Republican administration with a complicit Republican Congress, fought tooth and nail by Congressional Democrats until the bitter end of George W. Bush’s second term.
What happened when Barack Obama, Captain HopeAndChange himself, continued the same old reckless Bush policies of big bailouts, big spending, and big wars? The parties switched roles. The Republicans became weak critics of the same policies they endorsed before, and the Democrats resorted to defending everything they once stood against. And the American people were treated to more of the same old nonsense while their hopes and dreams were being slowly smothered under the crushing weight of the leviathan state, their elected representatives ignoring all cries for an end to the madness.
Then Rand took a stand against drone strikes. This super-secret program has already terminated hundreds of innocent civilians, many of them children, without even officially existing. Obama Administration officials refused to acknowledge the program, even when asked directly, even with openly available knowledge of its existence. After Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, both U.S. citizens, were terminated by a drone strike without due process, Rand Paul demanded answers. The response being unsatisfactory, Rand brought the Senate, and Obama’s CIA Director nomination, to a screeching halt… to thunderous applause from all across the political spectrum.
And it truly was across the whole spectrum. From fellow Senator and hardcore Tea Partier Ted Cruz to progressives like Van Jones and John Cusack, the broad political variety of support for Rand Paul served to drive home the universality of the point. And what was that point? That Americans are tired of being used by the political ruling class. They are finally getting to the point where “enough is enough.” Rand simply fired the first shot, but the rest will soon follow.
Liberty is rising. Parallel to an increasingly titanic, overreaching, and tyrannical government, a mass movement of people yearning to be free is gathering. There is a conflict looming between the two, but neither side has openly declared hostility against the other. Until now. Rand Paul, by stopping the Senate and capturing the attention of the whole country, made a stand against tyranny that cannot be ignored. He issued liberty’s declaration of war. What will come next is a struggle that will forever reshape humanity’s destiny. The future will be brighter than any of us can imagine.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore