Guest Column: Rand Paul is best candidate for millennials


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky senator Rand Paul speaks with supporters at Jeff’s Pizza Wed. night. Paul spent the day in Iowa as part of a grassroots swing, starting the day in Council Bluffs, and ending in Ames. 

Have you heard of The Iowa 10,000?

The Iowa 10,000 is the Rand Paul campaign’s effort to recruit 10,000 Iowa high school and college students to caucus for Rand Paul on Feb. 1.

Unless you have attended an Iowa student rally, been approached by swarms of volunteers spread throughout campuses nationwide, read a tweet, or seen us on snapchat, you’re not likely to know much about Sen. Paul’s secret Iowa weapon: Students for Rand. We designed it that way though, because young people like to shock the world.

We’re used to being underestimated and ignored, but there’s one candidate who hasn’t ignored us. In fact, he has taken his constitutional conservative message to non-traditional audiences at UC Berkeley, Howard University, Bowie State, Ferguson, Baltimore, the southside of Chicago,and more.

He’s a candidate who stands with us, the youth of America. In turn, we stand with him. Just look at how many Students for Rand chapters are up-and-running on college campuses. Team Rand formed over 300 student groups in our first 30 days. There are now over 400 Students for Rand chapters nationwide, with a chapter in every state, and over 50 volunteer coordinators. We have over 20 chapters here in Iowa alone. That’s 20 campuses with a leadership team, students actively engaging other students with the ideas of peace and prosperity, and signing them up to caucus on Feb. 1.

No other presidential campaign has come remotely close to matching these numbers, and sadly, aside from a pandering tweet or campus visit to meet with donors, no other campaign cares about the solutions young people bring to the table. Rand does.

Hundreds upon hundreds of students turn out for Sen. Paul’s college rallies. Interestingly, it doesn’t even matter where these events are held. Whether Sen. Paul speaks at conservative-leaning schools or a liberal hotbed like UC Berkeley, he always manages to receive a large, diverse crowd and warm reception. There’s almost never an empty seat in the house — in fact, at most events we are adding seats or forced to turn students away.

Millennials are more likely than any age group to identify as independents. Why? Because they recognize that the two-party system is a system that benefits the political insiders.

Instead of looking for a party puppet, the youth is looking for a candidate that is willing to stir new, fresh ideas into the political conversation — and that’s exactly the type of candidate that Sen. Paul is. Although he is a Republican, he is a Republican willing to question the status quo — a Republican willing to govern and speak based on facts and his own convictions instead of simply mumbling what his party wants him to say. For this reason, he appeals to a broad range of youth voters — Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and independents alike.

Like millennials, Sen. Paul knows that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. He is willing to explore new ways to tackle age-old problems.

The youth knows that the bulk collection of innocent Americans’ phone records has made us less safe. We understand that sifting through millions of Americans’ records in hopes of uncovering a terrorist plot is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. Instead of continuing with the same failed policy championed by both Republicans and Democrats, we want to try something new: we want the government to obey the Fourth Amendment so it can begin collecting more records on terrorists and less on innocent Americans — a common-sense solution that only Sen. Paul seems to comprehend.

The youth knows that criminal justice reform in this country is long overdue — because cutthroat punishments and excessive taxation don’t cure poverty, but rather increase it. Sen. Paul is the only presidential candidate that has worked to finally make the punishment fit the crime, so that non-violent “criminals” will receive a second chance and broken families will become whole again.

We worry about our future and the widening gap between the rich and poor, and Sen. Paul seems to be the only Republican willing to acknowledge that such a perverse, negative disparity exists. However, instead of advocating for higher taxes and more spending — the standard Democratic solution that has only worsened the problem — he wants to leave more money in the hands of the people who earned it. He wants to drive a stake through the heart of the IRS and lower everyone’s taxes with a low, broad-based flat tax of 14.5 percent.

Unlike his Republican colleagues, Sen. Paul is also not afraid to say that the Federal Reserve’s printing press has made the rich richer, the poor poorer and the middle class much smaller. He wants to audit the Fed so its actions can no longer go unchecked — and so the succeeding generations that will be forced to pay off our $18 trillion debt will be adequately protected.

For all of these smart, unique positions and more, Sen. Paul is the preferred millennial candidate for president. Appealing to this voter block is an important secret weapon for the upcoming primaries and caucuses, especially since most presidential polls typically only survey ‘Old America’ — those that are 50 and over.

The pollsters are failing to account for a very sizeable portion of the voting-age population, while the mainstream media is all-too fixated and reliant on their inaccurate samplings.

So while Sen. Paul may appear to be lagging in the presidential race, he actually has an important hidden advantage that his opponents should fear: the youth vote. We’re fed up and you should be too. Lovers of liberty, young AND old, have a chance to say enough is enough. Let’s make a statement on Feb. 1 and stand firm with Rand Paul for president of the United States.