It is no surprise that there is a civil war going on inside the Republican Party, as illustrated by the scuffle between Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.). While each side rallies troops to support its vision of how the GOP should progress, Senator Paul received support and praise from a formidable and unexpected ally. During a question and answer session on Google Hangout sponsored by Campus Reform and OurSay, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange voiced his admiration for Senator Paul.
Assange mentioned that college-aged support for libertarians and Sen. Paul represents the United States' "only hope" in politics and that "the libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress." For civil liberties advocates, this may not seem like much of a surprise. But for those who value security over liberties, like much of the Republican establishment in the GOP, it may spell doom.
Senator Paul may find it useful to advertise his endorsement by Assange and broaden his appeal. Right now, his views on the Voting Rights Act and non-interventionism isolate him from appealing to those on the left and right. What he needs to do is to push issues that could unify them. Liberals, traditionally, are not supporters of the suppression of civil liberties while Conservatives dislike lack of accountability and transparency present government agencies. Rand Paul has the political ammunition to address both of these concerns.
If Rand Paul can play up his views that unify both sides of the political spectrum, much like he did with his filibuster on drone strikes, he can become an even greater force to be reckoned with in the GOP. And with that influence, he will move the GOP toward the libertarian ideal that Assange envisions.