As many of you know on April 7th, Rand Paul made his announcement that he was running for president. There has been a media frenzy. They have questioned him about sanctions on Iran, abortions, Hillary Clinton, and the difference between him and Ted Cruz. Everyone seems to be missing a huge factor that played into his announcement, except Jon Stewart. But even Stewart missed the point when he complained about how long it was before Paul announced. Rand Paul made it clear that one of his most important platforms is that he will stand with minorities.

Republicans for a long time have portrayed themselves as not caring about minority groups. Mitt Romney said in an interview that he did not care about the poor. He also was caught telling a group of millionaires that he did not care about 47% of the population because they would not vote for him. During his campaign, he rarely stopped in areas dominated by minorities.

Rand Paul made a clear statement at his announcement that he does care about these minority groups. First, he played a country music video that was about Detroit. The video highlighted his “Economic Freedom Zone” plan that would lighten the load of taxes in impoverished cities around America. Republicans rarely if ever visit Detroit because they believe that they are not welcome. As a result, Detroit hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1962. Rand Paul has gone there and spent time with them putting together legislation that would help relieve the overbearing liberal regulations on their city.

Then the first person to speak at the announcement was J.C. Watt (R-Okla.). He is the first African-American to win statewide office in Oklahoma. He grew up in a poor neighborhood. He believes that conservative and libertarian-leaning values can save America. Rand Paul made a huge statement by having Watt speak first. He is telling everyone that his message can resonate in black communities. In the last two presidential elections, the Republican nomination received less than 10% of the black vote.

There were two other special guests. First, was a young man in a wheelchair who lead the pledge of allegiance. Then Marlana VanHoose gave the best performance of the national anthem I have ever heard. She is an 18-yr-old Kentucky native who is blind and has cerebral palsy. (For those that have not heard her sing it is worth clicking here). In allowing these two to participate in the most important announcement of his life, Paul was showing everyone that just because a person is born with special needs does not mean that you are not valuable. Every life matters and every life can make a positive difference in this world.

The next person to speak was local Rev. Jerry Stephenson came out to give a small speech and prayer. The Reverend explained to everyone that he works with the poorest of the poor in Louisville, Kentucky. Before Rand even started running for public office, he came to volunteer with Rev. Stephenson. Every year since being elected Paul has come back to help the Reverend in the community. From these experiences, the Reverend found himself voting Republican for the first time in his life. Again Paul was making it loud and clear that he cares about poor communities and minorities.

A group that is clearly going to play a major role in the 2016 election cycle is the Hispanic community. This minority group traditionally votes Democrat because Republicans appear to not care. Ralph Alvarado (R), a senator in the Kentucky State Senate, presented a video that showed Rand Paul going on multiple trips to Guatemala. Here Paul is showing that he cares about minorities and not just minorities in this country. During these trips to Guatemala, Paul provides free treatment to these Guatemalans. He is NOT gaining their vote. He is showing that he cares for all races, not just the white males that dominate the Republican party.

Another stereotype that the Republican Party brings to the table is the infamous “War on Women”. In response, Lauren Bosler stood up to speak in support of Rand Paul. She spoke about how Paul stands up for all Americans, males and females. She spoke about how Paul stands for civil liberties, limited government, and increasing privacy. She talked about this new approach and how he is not the “traditional politician”.

The final speaker before Rand Paul announced was a speech from his wife, Kelly Paul. Kelly is a stay at home mom, who has just recently written a book called, “True and Constant Friends“. She spoke about how Rand is a family-man. Kelly Paul spoke from her heart about how they met. She also gave us an insider view of Rand’s personal life. She talked about how he interacted with their children. How his grandmother, who lost her eye sight, was his inspiration to go into the medical field.

It took almost 30-minutes to get through all of these speeches and videos. The media has labeled this “weird” and “odd”, but that is because they missed the point. Rand Paul’s point is clear: He cares about everyone. Freedom and liberty are attractive to all groups of people. We now have a presidential candidate that is not afraid to take the message of liberty to every community in America. This message is not just for conservatives, liberal, republican, democrat, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, man or woman. It is for everyone! Everyone benefits when we ‘Defeat the Washington Machine’.