Contrasting the Views and Records of Two Great Senators Has Led me to Vote for Rand Paul
by Lee Enochs
Princeton, New Jersey
“For the best government is the least amount of government.”
Lee Enochs is a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey who writes in defense of Rand Paul and the Liberty Movement. To help Lee stay in school and continue the fight for liberty please donate (here)
In just eight short weeks the primary season will begin for the Republican Party. While there is a good batch of candidates this time around, I believe Senator Rand Paul is the best of the bunch and is the most viable Republican running for the White House.
Case in point, while I am supporting Rand Paul for the Republican nomination, I believe Ted Cruz has some very good qualities and policy positions that should demand our attention.
I think Ted Cruz’s strength lies in the force of his conservative convictions. Of all the candidates running for President, Ted Cruz, a top student at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Cruz has been educated at the most elite schools in the nation.
While Ben Carson was educated at Yale and University of Michigan Medical School, Mr. Carson’s training was in medicine and neurosurgery not public policy, law and political science.
This is the exact opposite for Senator Ted Cruz who developed a tremendous love and careful knowledge of the U.S. Constitution in high school and was a part of student group called, “The Constitutional Collaborators” which toured the state of Texas. Mr. Cruz would subsequently graduate at the top of his high school class at Houston’s Second Baptist High School and earn a prestigious scholarship to Princeton in 1988.
Senator Cruz’s mentor and thesis advisor at Princeton was the world renowned conservative legal scholar, Dr. Robert George. Recently as a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey myself, I had the opportunity to read Cruz’s magnificent Senior Thesis entitled, “Clipping the Wings of Angels: The History and Theory behind the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.”
Mr. Cruz was a two-time national collegiate debate champion at Princeton University in 1991 and 1992. Senator Cruz is preeminently qualified to run for President based on the sheer depth of his academic and professional pedigree and after graduating Magna Cum Laud at Princeton in the spring of the 1992 and upon scoring an almost perfect LSAT, Ted Cruz enrolled in Harvard Law School in the fall of 1992.
While at Harvard Law School in the mid 1990’s, Cruz distinguished himself as a top student and as a forceful advocate for conservative causes. Cruz ultimately became a brilliant legal scholar who taught constitutional law and Supreme Court litigation as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas and served as Texas’ Solicitor General where he would successful argue several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court while still a young lawyer.
Cruz would ultimately shock the political establishment in Texas in 2012, when he upset well-financed Lt. Governor and multi-millionaire businessman David Dewhurst in their bid for the seat of outgoing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
As a resident of Texas at the time, I voted for Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst because it was clear from their debates that Ted Cruz had an infinitely better grasp of the U.S. Constitution and public policy issues that matter most to Texans.
Since taking his seat in the Senate in January, 2013, Senator Ted Cruz has earned the “courageous conservative” moniker he has christened himself with. Time after time, Senator Cruz has stood up against establishment Republican types such as Mitch McConnell and proved to be a stalwart defender of conservative principle at home and abroad.
Yet, despite Senator Ted Cruz’s impressive record and impeccable academic and professional pedigree, I have decided to vote for Senator Rand Paul for President due to Mr. Paul’s views on civil liberties and reducing the national debt.
While I am hesitant to challenge the record of a great conservative candidate such as the eminent Ted Cruz, I would be exceedingly remiss not to mention that Rand Paul is simply a better liberty candidate. Because of this, I am voting for Rand Paul in the primaries early next year.
Why Rand Paul is a Better Presidential Candidate than Ted Cruz
Over the last couple of months Ted Cruz has attempted to make major inroads into the liberty movement where Rand Paul has had a particularly strong following. While Ted Cruz is a brilliant constitutional scholar, it is clear that Rand Paul has a more pristine voting record when it comes to liberty issues. In fact, despite his tough talk, Ted Cruz is far from being a staunch defender of civil liberties and issues important to libertarians. The Conservatarian Review has been very helpful in contrasting Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the issue of liberty and a libertarian take on the U.S. Constitution and argued the following things.
Case in point, in May of this year, Rand Paul led the fight to block the renewal of the Patriot Act which Paul argues is a violation of the Fourth Amendment in that the Patriot Act permits the bulk collection of our metadata by the NSA.
On the other hand, despite his tough talk on the constitution and his posturing as a “liberty candidate,” Ted Cruz voted for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in the form of the USA Freedom Act.
Rand Paul has been rock hard consistent on the Tenth Amendment and believes that each of the 50 states has the constitutional right to formulate their own drug polices. However, Ted Cruz has been anything but consistent on states rights and the drug issue. Cruz has attacked the Obama administration for its lack of enforcement of federal drug laws.
Some liberty conservatives have a major problem with Ted Cruz’s proposal in strengthening the federal background check system and argue that such a check system is unconstitutional.
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have a fundamental disagreement upon the original intent of the 14th Amendment which Paul says the framers of the Constitution never intended for it to apply to illegal aliens and so called “anchor babies.” Cruz, on the other hand, believes the birthright citizenship applies to illegal aliens.
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz also have a major difference upon the Treaty Clause.
Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution contains the Treaty Clause. It makes clear that 2/3 of Senators must agree to treaties to secure passage. On the issue of Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, Rand Paul was opposed on the grounds that it ceded Congressional power to the President.
On the other hand, Cruz strongly campaigned for TPA both in theory and in practice (he only voted against the final bill due to amendments that were added). Many Libertarians believe TPA violates the Treaty Clause, as it removes the 2/3 majority requirement and instead requires only a simple majority for passage. Supporters of TPA would argue that it doesn’t facilitate treaties but international agreements. Such arguments are dishonest at best. Any agreements with foreign countries must be considered treaties.
Rand Paul differs with Ted Cruz on the issue of treason as well.
As Rand Paul has pointed out, we should try people for treason, as it is one of the four federal crimes spelled out in the Constitution. The Treaty Clause says that “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” But Ted Cruz has introduced a bill that would strip the citizenship of U.S. citizens who join ISIS. On the surface that sounds reasonable, however the question at hand is procedure.
For Rand Paul, standing for civil liberties comes naturally because it comes from the core of his inherent libertarian ideology, but to Ted Cruz, it appears that “liberty” is something he checks off on a scorecard and goes on to the next issue. Rand Paul is the more authentic liberty candidate by a large margin.
Lee Enochs (B.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey and is managing editor of Liberty Conservatives Magazine and is the founder of “The Libertarian Shaman,” a dynamic political blog written from a conservative and Libertarian perspective. Lee is also the author of two book, “The Case for Rand Paul” and, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee’s upcoming new book, “The Case Against Bernie Sanders” will be available for sale on Amazon.com soon.
Lee Enochs writes in defense of Rand Paul and the Liberty Movement. To help Lee stay in school and continue the fight for liberty please donate (here)