On Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that if the Republican Party wants to remain competitive in the American political system, members will have to agree to take a more libertarian approach to policy.
The Senator also told WABC Radio that within the next two years he will have decided whether he wants to take a shot at running for President of the United States.
“Whether or not I am going to run for President, that decision will come probably in two years, and [we] will in the meantime try to be part of the national debate,” Paul said. “We think the Republican Party needs to evolve and adapt, or we are going to become a permanent minority party.”
Paul noted that Republicans remain unpopular in areas with larger numbers of libertarian-leaning voters.
“We are not popular, and we have not been competitive out in California, on the West Coast or in New England,” Paul said.
“So we think a little more of a libertarian Republican, someone who is a strict constitutionalist but also believes in a strong, defensive military but not necessarily in an overly aggressive or bellicose let’s get involved in everybody’s civil war military, I think that has more appeal to independents and some people who have given up in the Republican Party,” he continued.
The Senator’s remarks echo calls from other conservatives for the GOP to lighten up on many of its moralistic political platforms and focus on a more Constitution-based policy approach.
In a recent column published on Breitbart.com, Elena Lathrop suggests that the GOP could draw more youth support if it would “make individualism, self-reliance, and liberty, rather than identity politics, cool again.”
Lathrop writes of the current problem Republicans have relating to younger voters (many of whom have libertarian political leanings):
Where does the GOP’s message fit in here? It doesn’t. It comes through in the real world when college grads have a job to work, taxes to pay, etc. – in other words, when fiscal policy becomes more relevant and in-your-face than ever. We lose the youth vote because we focus too much on politics, which flies over their heads, stresses them out, or bores them…
…Purify the conservative message and let the youth see that there is more to politics than gay marriage, abortion, free birth control, or whatever the cause du jour on campus may be at a given time. When those hot topics are swept aside, Left versus Right essentially becomes big versus small government, and the latter must become the hero of the story.
Despite the message from the likes of Paul and Lathrop, if the events that occurred around the Republican primary last year are any indicator, the GOP has a long way to go if the party elite are to accept outside ideas that don’t toe the big-war and moral-crusade party line.