The following was posted on the Conservative Heritage Times website. Red Phillips is a contributor here at IPR.
August 21, 2013
OK, so the 2016 polls are starting to appear in my inbox and as pop-up ads, etc. The current list of potential candidates is abysmal and depressing. It includes RINOs like Chris Christie and so called conservatives like Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint who are just mainstream movement cons of one degree or another and are therefore wrong about all the things mainstream cons are wrong about (foreign policy, surveillance/police state, trade deals, etc.) Rand Paul is the best of the lot, but is off my list because of his PC pandering and waffling on immigration and foreign policy.
The problem is, as far as I know, there aren’t any rumored paleoish candidates to talk up. Worse, there aren’t really even that many paleoish figures who aren’t rumored that can be credibly talked up. I’m sure our constant critic Sav and others would say this points to a failure of paleoism and perhaps they would be right, but that doesn’t solve our immediate problem of who to tout as a potential candidate.
Here are a few thoughts. Let’s discuss it.
Potentially Serious Candidates:
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions comes to mind. I haven’t heard him talked up as a candidate, but if he did run he would be serious because he is a Senator. He has been by far and away the best person in the Senate on the immigration issue. The problem is that Sessions is generally wrong on foreign policy and police state issues. But because Sessions has been so out front on immigration, a vote for him could be seen as an endorsement of immigration restrictionism. As an actual vote, it might be hard to justify, but as an exercise in immigration issue message sending a case could be made for writing him in. (For the record, I consider immigration the most important issues because all the other issues [abortion, taxes, spending, etc.] hinge upon its outcome. Unless current demographic trends are halted, the GOP and by implication any further right alternative party will become irrelevant at the national level.)
Tennessee Rep. John Duncan and North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones come to mind. Neither have the voting record of Ron Paul, but both are know as Republican (relatively) non-interventionists so a vote for either would likely be interpreted as an endorsement of non-interventionism. As far as I know, neither has been seriously discussed as a possible candidate.
Actually Rumored Message Candidates:
Judge Andrew Napolitano has been widely discussed as a possible candidate. He is a natural heir to the Ron Paul Revolution, especially for those unwilling to support Rand Paul. As a widely known Fox News commentator, he is a semi-plausible candidate. A vote for him would be the most direct way of endorsing the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution. The major problem with Napolitano is that he is absolutely horrible on immigration. He has completely swallowed the libertarian Kool-Aid on the issue.
Ted Nugent has thrown his own name out there. Besides guns and not liking Obama, I’m not sure I know exactly where he stands on other issues, and I’m sure I’m not alone with that. But where The Nuge stands on every issues is hardly relevant. A vote for Nugent is simply a way to stick a great big thumb in the eye of the Powers that Be. As I said before, Nugent is a visceral Red and a vote for him would be an endorsement of visceral Redness.
Pure Message Candidates:
If you want to send a single issue immigration message then you could write in Tom Tancredo. He’s not good on war and peace issues, but since he is so identified with the immigration issues, the message of a vote for Tancredo would not be missed. An alternative might be to vote for Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, who is also closely associated with the immigration issue but likely not as well known as Tancredo.
Tom Woods has been suggested as a possible candidate and has even addressed the issue. I think Woods would be an excellent candidate. He is articulate and funny. He would put nullification and secession on the table, and since he is a Traditional Catholic he could appeal to cultural conservatives and couldn’t be accused of being an amoral libertine. Also, like Judge Nap, a vote for Woods would be an endorsement of the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution.
If you wanted to send a pure ideological message of the whole no-compromise package – non-intervention, immigration, Constitutionalism, abortion, anti-Lincoln, etc. – you could write in Chuck Baldwin. Since he has actually run before, the idea isn’t quite as out there as it might otherwise be. Or, on that note, you could write in Michael Peroutka. Peroutka has been the center of some controversy recently since he is now on the Board of the League of the South, so a vote for him would be an even bigger rejection of the status quo.
Those are some of my preliminary thoughts. Discuss.
(FTR, I limited my choices to people that actually could conceivably run for President. So no Patrick Henry for example. If we have a problem of no rumored candidates we can get behind, we might as well start rumors about people who could really run.)