Rand Paul’s Next Job
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Senator Paul’s decision to drop out of the presidential campaign sets up his next job — which, by our lights, is one of the most important of any politician in the land. This is the job of leading the effort for monetary reform in the Senate. Heir to the Liberty Campaign of his father, Ron Paul, he is born to the cloth in this calling. He deserves congratulations for the effort he made in the presidential campaign, and we’ll be wishing him well in his bid for re-election to the Senate. Kentucky is fortunate to have him.
We offer those sentiments even though we don’t share all the planks in the Pauls’ campaign. We share their sense of the importance of the Fourth Amendment, but we don’t share their view that the gathering of metadata on telephone calls is, as it has been done in the current war, a general warrant of the kind abhorred by the American Founders. We do share the instinct to look at the whole question through a constitutional prism and to stand for office on the slate of American bedrock.
Neither do we mind confessing that covering Ron Paul’s campaign for more than 40 years and Rand Paul’s for several years has changed us in some ways. We have never fallen away from our support of the neo-conservative causes. We attach, though, a great deal more importance that we otherwise might have to gaining for our wars a full declaration from the Congress to which the Constitution grants the declaration power.
It’s not only the Pauls — father and son — who illuminated that point for us. Your editor was, in 1990, the first to call for what became Desert Storm to be made pursuant to a proper war declaration. All the more do we enjoy the Pauls’ obsession with the founding parchment. We like to say that America is, by dint of how divisive its politics have become, in a constitutional moment. The Constitution is the only document to which every official — federal, state and local — must be sworn in America.
That simple fact imbues the Constitution with a uniquely unifying potential. No one gets this better than Rand Paul, who in the course of the campaign he’s just ended traipsed not only through the Republican precincts but into Ferguson, Missouri, and the West Bank in Israel in an effort to get beyond the perimeter his father worked. He is still a young leader, and the Senate will need him. He is, among other things, the author of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which has passed the House and is waiting in the Senate for the man who first proposed it. We wish him luck.