I have to confess. I've been a fan of Ron Paul for several decades and I like that Rand Paul was permitted to participate in the debate as I believe that Ron and Rand have consistently represented the ideals of the US Founders and the Party of Lincoln while most of the modern forms of Conservatism have sold out. Paleo-Cons, Neo-Cons, Dixiecrats, etc., are willing to sell out the ideals of liberty to favor their preferred institutions.
During the GOP debate, the GOP front runner Donald Trump made an astute observation: “First of all, Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage, he’s number 11,” Trump said, “he’s got 1 percent in the polls."
Trump, Rand Paul and the ideals of limited government have such a poor showing in the GOP that he should not be on the podium.
Personally, I have never met a conservative who is willing to discuss much less support free market reform. GOP is the "Conservative Party." Conservatism is an ideology that started with efforts to restore the French Monarchy after Napoleon that was developed into a full ideology by the Tories in England.
Since the day that the Tory Party changed its name to the Conservative Party in 1831, Conservatives have never stood for liberty. Yes, Conservatives are prone to use free market rhetoric in elections. But Conservatives consistently pass legislation designed to favor the ruling class over the people.
The Party of Lincoln was, lke the US Founders, a group led by classical liberal ideals. The ideals of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln have been soundly rejected by the socialist left and conservative right.
The ideals of liberty are in the hinterlands.
Despite decades of effort. Rand Paul does not deserve a spot on the GOP podium. Just like the Party of Jefferson disappeared after it was captured by Jackson. The Party of Lincoln disappeared forever when it was captured by conservatives.
Since the ideals of our Founders have been driven out of the Democratic Party by progressives and have been driven out of the GOP by conservatives, I am left wondering if there is any platform left where the ideals of liberty can be spoken and nutured?