Rand Paul’s Patriot Act Filibuster Signals A Return To His Libertarian Roots

Rand Paul, like his father Ron Paul, is one of the better known libertarian politicians. Like his father, Senator Rand Paul is a member of the Republican party despite his libertarian views.

Recently, Rand Paul has been particularly bullish towards senior members of the Republican Party. The Kentucky Senator blasted “GOP Hawks” such as Lindsey Graham, who supported arming small militias during the Arab Spring revolts.

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most these arms were snatched up by ISIS.”

Paul’s objection to the Patriot Act is a departure from the typical right-wing Republican school of thought. Rand Paul’s op-ed in Time magazine is his way of not just embracing his widely known libertarian principles, but also his intent of attracting independent voters.

Senator Rand Paul stated that he will continue his fight to end “the illegal collection of American phone records.”

“I have fought for several years now to end the invasive and illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans. I am ready to debate how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty. Let me be clear, I acknowledge the need for a robust intelligence agency and for a vigilant national security. I believe we must fight terrorism, and I believe we must stand strong against our enemies.”

With the Patriot Act just hours from expiring, Rand Paul is campaigning against the U.S. government’s disregard for its citizens’ privacy and has proposed strategies to replace the controversial approach.

“I would take the billions spent on collecting records of suspicionless Americans and spend it instead on FBI agents to monitor suspects who have given probable cause that they are a danger to us.”

In a field saturated with right-wing candidates, Rand Paul is left glaring at the others from the outside. As Politico previously reported, Senator Paul has struggled to find a wealthy donor that would be needed for a sustainable push beyond the Republican primaries.

It is still very early in the 2016 Presidential campaign, it looks likely that Rand Paul is using key issues to galvanize his libertarian core and appeal to independents. In a recent poll, Paul ranked 7th in a very condensed field of Republican candidates. While, 3 percent behind leader Jeb Bush, Paul is perhaps realizing is the best marketing strategy is to differentiate himself from the packed and heavily financed field of conservative Republicans.

[Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images]