The dynamics of politics are rapidly changing, and in the last two elections the Democratic Party has benefitted. The minority vote has become even more crucial in today’s political arena. We are seeing strong support for gay marriage, the likes of which has been building for generations. And we have a universal health care system being put in place, which reflects the changing views of government power. Needless to say, times have changed, and with that the Republican Party must revamp its outlook as well. What better way to do this than to nominate a ticket that will dominate headlines in 2016?
Of course, in today’s political arena, candidates must campaign for two to three years before the election even happens. Even though the next presidential election is more than three years away, both parties already have definite front runners. For instance, according to the Huffington Post, Hillary Clinton is the top nominee for the 2016 Democrat ticket. Yet, for all the hype the media is giving Clinton, there is a much more important event unfolding within the Republican Party: the creation of tickets including either Marco Rubio or Rand Paul.
Marco Rubio has taken the spotlight in recent months, beginning with his involvement in immigration reform. Rubio’s post-State of the Union address, in which the media jumped all over him for taking a sip of water during his address, inspired the creation of Rubio water bottles. His involvement in immigration reform and the water bottle phenomenon shows just how much hype he has received.
The Republican Party and its constituents have looked to him for immigration reform which he believes, unlike his Democrat counterparts, shouldn’t be rushed. Also, he doesn’t dismiss the thought of making illegal immigrants legal citizens. His views on the matter are rational and cross partisan lines at many stages. However, when it comes to future aliens breaking the law, he has a strong stance. Rubio can mediate toward the middle of both political agendas and create a unified bill for passage through the houses. This is what makes him a great candidate.
Rubio understands the needs of the people, while still acknowledging his own party’s stances. He doesn’t just look someone in the eye and tell them they are wrong. Rubio is a brilliant debater. He is able to acknowledge the opposing point of view while still showing that his way is the right way. He is a mediator to the core, and finds a way to make all feel welcome – even those he debates. He can unite the people for the people, and better yet, he appeals to a broad base the GOP has struggled with for years: the Latino population.
Rubio has a slight advantage as frontrunner for the 2016 GOP ticket with 19 percent of Republican voters saying they would currently vote for him. This is by no means a large margin over the other potential candidates, but it’s a lead. However, every president must have a vice president, and his name may very well be Rand Paul.
A Marco Rubio-Rand Paul ticket would be a tough ticket to beat for various reasons. We have already seen Rubio has the ability to unite the masses, win arguments and win over the Latino population. However, Rubio will need a man who is not afraid to do what’s right even though it may not be easy. He will also need someone who will make the Constitution the number one priority during his presidency. That man’s name is Rand Paul, and he has shown President Barack Obama and the American citizens that he means business.
Beginning with his almost 13-hour filibuster of Obama’s inquiry of drone usage on American soil, Paul solidified his position as a prominent politician. His actions forced Obama to release a statement that he would not use drones on American citizens.
Rand Paul is in favor of cutting the budget, and takes a hard stance on issues that affect our constitutional rights. In recent weeks he has threatened to filibuster gun control legislation. He has stepped on some GOP toes, but argues that they don’t know what it will take to keep America one of the freest societies in the world. Large swaths of the population applaud him for not giving into the GOP brown-nosers’ criticism and not budging on key political issues.
One of the best attributes Rand Paul has to offer is that he isn’t as crazy as his father, and doesn’t ride the fence so hard that he gets raw. In fact, he didn’t even throw his weight behind his father in the last election, but endorsed Mitt Romney. He created a little controversy, but stated that he wasn’t controlled by family ties, and instead thought about who or what was best for the country. Rand Paul is a great politician, and his moral compass is always spot on.
I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2016 you see a Marco Rubio presidential run, but of course he will need a running mate like Rand Paul. Rubio, a mediator and man of the people who can appeal to the minority, and Paul, a man of the people and constitutional hawk could – and I argue should – end up on the same ticket in 2016. If there is a Marco Rubio and Rand Paul ticket, change will have officially come to the Republican Party.
Zach Nold is a senior English Major. Reach him at email@example.com