The list of Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election keeps growing. I cannot recall any time in the last several decades where there have been so many major candidates. The following is a list of major candidates or likely candidates.
- Jeb Bush
- Ben Carson
- Chris Christie (not officially declared)
- Ted Cruz
- Carly Fiorina
- Lindsey Graham
- Mike Huckabee
- Bobby Jindal (not officially declared)
- George Pataki
- Rand Paul
- Rick Perry
- Marco Rubio
- Rick Santorum
- Donald Trump
- Scott Walker (not officially declared)
I did not include other candidates that are not well-known because they have virtually no chance in this field.
There are at least a dozen well-known candidates already in the race, with the likelihood of more coming. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, it is Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. I expect there to be one main challenger for Hillary Clinton, and it will not likely be Bernie Sanders.
I am not going to go through each Republican candidate at this time. They are all too much alike. They are mostly pro war. They will talk a good game about fiscal conservatism – some more than others – but most of them are part of the establishment and generally favor big government.
Bush would be interesting if he goes up against Clinton. I would wonder if the American people would finally wake up that we live in some kind of oligopoly. “Oh, it’s Bush vs. Clinton. For some reason, that sounds familiar. Where have I seen that before?”
The most notable candidates to me are Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Donald Trump.
The reason I include Lindsey Graham is because he is the major war hawk. They are all pro-war to some degree, but Graham is frightening in just how much he continually bangs the war drums. He should be the most feared candidate for anyone. I hope his campaign goes down in flames quickly.
I have written several times before about Rand Paul. He is the closest thing to libertarian in the race, and he is pretty far away. He distinguished himself from the field recently in his stance against NSA spying, but I believe it was mostly for political show, as we ended up with something that is probably worse.
As a libertarian, I do not support Rand Paul. I don’t want to have to defend the things he says and does. I don’t want to have to explain to anyone why he thinks Edward Snowden belongs in a jail cell or why we need to fight ISIS.
Just think about the Republicans who are still defending George W. Bush. It is really pathetic. I can just imagine some quasi-libertarians having to defend their support for Rand Paul. “Well, he had to support the $4 trillion budget so that he can get re-elected to a second term. Then we will finally see smaller government.”
Rand Paul would probably be another Ronald Reagan. He would talk a good game, but he would play ball with the establishment. Besides, when we get a lot of problems with all of the current malinvestment built up, I don’t want libertarianism to get the blame.
Finally, there is Donald Trump, who just entered the race. Part of me likes Donald Trump because he speaks his mind. He is different from the average politician. He is also not a Bush apologist, particularly when it comes to the Iraq War.
Don’t get me wrong here, because Trump has some bad positions. He is far from being a libertarian. But, if anything, he should make the Republican race more interesting and entertaining.
The general election is still well over a year away, but we aren’t far off from the initial debates. Before you know it, we will be talking about primaries.
I am anti-politician, but I still take an interest in politics, if nothing else for my own awareness of what to expect. I will do occasional updates on the political situation.