“You could end up with a pro-war, pro-surveillance Democrat, versus a less interventionist privacy advocate on the Republican side. If you have that, then you can have an election that goes topsy turvy.”
This actually would be interesting – but it’s not going to happen. Paul’s not going to get nominated unless he remains incredibly vague on these kinds of philosophical issues, and if he does that, it’s yet another person asking me to vote for them assuming they’ll really do what I want if they get elected.
I can play that game to a degree (you have to in modern politics, and you DEFINITELY have to if you’re going to vote for a Clinton), but I find it a lot harder to do when the people in question are casually floating ideas like abolishing large, consequential parts of the federal government like they’re moving a few chairs out of the kitchen. Rand Paul can be radical in a good way, or radical in a bad way – but the whole argument for him is that he is comparatively radical.
For me, that means I need him to get off the fence on some of these core arguments before I’d ever seriously consider him. And I think the destiny of the 2016 GOP is to be united by a historically vague sense of nostalgia and idealized, unverified competence (hello, Jeb Bush!), just as the 2016 Democrats will be united by an instinctual, sometimes inexplicable defense of Clinton-ism.
It’s going to be a terrible election, but dammit, I always vote.