Why We're Entering the Age of Ron Paul

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will no longer be actively campaigning in forthcoming primaries for the Republican presidential nomination. But the libertarian politician's legacy - including controversial yet popular stands on everything from auditing the Federal Reserve to withdrawing troops from abroad to radically cutting government borrowing and spending - is just getting started.

Paul, says Brian Doherty, a Reason senior editor and author of the new Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, "is leaving in his wake a set of institutions, and a set of hundreds of thousands of energized intelligent youngsters who are unquestionably going to shape American politics moving down the line."

Doherty argues Paul's long-term effect on the GOP will be similar to that of Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator who, despite a crushing electoral loss to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, energized and transformed the Republican Party into the limited-government force that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980.

"His fans understand that Ron Paul is not just out to win an election," says Doherty. "Even if the [party bosses] shut the door in his face at the Republican convention as they did in 2008,...the ideas he injected into the party [and politics] are not going away anytime soon."

About 4:40 minutes. Produced by Sharif Matar, with camera by Matar and Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  • Brandybuck||

    Got a message today from the local Ron Paul Campaign Coordinator. According to him we're ON THE BRINK OF THE END OF THE WORLD!!!! Really, that's what he said. Apparently we're all going to die if Ron Paul is not elected president. I would take him more seriously if not for the fact that the prior RP coordinator told us that 2008 was THE LAST CHANCE TO STOP THE ENDGAME!!!!

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    Calm down Brandy. You'll be okay. The Paul people are a little pissed. They'll be okay also.

  • BOBSAYSO||

    OBAMA AND ROMNEY SERVE THE SAME MASTERS
    These masters are the same people or organizations who overthrew the U.S. Government in the military/political coup d `etat in 1963. If they get their guy in for another four years, and their guy is Obama or Romney, this may very well be the end of America as we've known it.

  • crazyfingers||

    "Doherty argues Paul's long-term effect on the GOP will be similar to that of Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator who, despite a crushing electoral loss to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, energized and transformed the Republican Party into the limited-government force that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980."

    Yeah, cause that worked out just great for libertarians...

  • Romulus Augustus||

    The libertarian element within the Goldwater campaign arguably built the modern day libertarian movement. See Doherty's book "Radicals for Capitalism." I'm looking forward to seeing what the Ron Paul people can accomplish.

  • crazyfingers||

    Sure, but the quote says that the "long-term effect" of the Paul movement will be similar to the long-term effect of the Goldwater movement - which is squat in terms of having a practical effect on the size of the federal government and ideological direction of the nation.

  • Robert||

    The libertarian movement is already built, so what's being accomplished?

  • Robert||

    But Goldwater actually won the nomination for president. How is this comparable?

  • ||

    Oh man, you said Paul has suspended his campaign. You're going to get destroyed in the comments.

  • ||

    If only someone would write a book about this...

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    He he he hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • Bernieyeball||

    "I'm angry beyond belief," said Brian Doherty.
    Ron Paul Biographer...Campaign Shift is Utter Idiocy
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/wei.....iocy_.html
    "How does it feel that Ron Paul kneecapped your book today?" asked Welch.

  • CE||

    I have to agree with Doherty here. If Ron Paul hadn't announced that he wasn't spending any more money, and just stopped spending it, news of major and minor victories and skirmishes at state conventions would have continued, and the Republican establishment would have continued to get worried and/or annoyed. Now they can just say "he's out of it" and go back to ignoring him.

  • R C Dean||

    Paul's long-term effect on the GOP will be similar to that of Barry Goldwater,

    So, 16 years from now, we can expect to see a President elected who will continue the expansion of the State (albeit along marginally different lines), to be followed by decades of big-government adherents?

    Be still, my heart.

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    That's the best case scenario.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. But the libertarian politician's

    Not libertarian--Republican. That's what that 'R' stands for. He's an elected Republican congressman--elected BY republicans in Texas.

    When I watch the liberaltarians swarm around him I can't help wonder what they're seeing. This is a pro-life guy. A guy who WILL leave making gay marriage legal to the states--and given the way the votes have gone so far that means that gay marriage is a goner. Is all the love because he might legalise pot? Do the people who hear him talk about eliminating the Fed think that means he'll support some big communitarian initiative?

    Ron Paul is a Republican. He'd be a Republican president.

    No matter what knots you all tie yourselves into, the fact remains that you want a Republican to be President.

    Most people who want something like that have a name---and it's not 'Libertarian'

  • guy in the back row||

    While you have a point, no politician is going to have everything you want. The issues you mention may affect 10% of the population, and due to these issues being decided by states there won't be national bans on anyone, so people can move to where they prefer the local laws.

    Contrast that with the hundreds of thousands who are killed by Obama/Bush/Clinton etc in the past 20 years. The millions whose lives have been ruined by non violent drug convictions. The trillions of dollars wasted which could have gone to helping the sick and caring for the poor both here and abroad.

    Ron Paul is certainly better for the US and the world than the current and former examples of the political status quo.

  • ||

    Aren't most people here little (l) libertarians?

  • Lord at War||

    When I watch the liberaltarians swarm around him I can't help wonder what they're seeing.

    This is a pro-life guy..

    As am I. What's the problem?

    A guy who WILL leave making gay marriage legal to the states

    I've already read the Constitution--have you?.

    Is all the love because he might legalise pot?

    Nope. I've been a "toker" since 1976. In 1995, I was pulled over on I-71 between Delaware(OH) and Columbus(OH) with 50 'elbows' in my trunk- because my "temp tag" had blown off my back window. I was probably a "dog search" away from a 10+ year prison sentence. Should this affect my vote?

    Is "legalization" wrong?

    Do the people who hear him talk about eliminating the Fed think that means he'll support some big communitarian initiative?

    No. I think that it means he will attempt to eliminate the Fed.

    Ron Paul is a Republican.

    Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for President. I voted for Dr. Paul in 1988-- and I will happily vote for him again in 2012.

  • Lysander Jefferson||

    +1

  • CE||

    I'd feel a lot more like Ron Paul's ideas are winning if the feds weren't adding a trillion dollars to their debt every year.

  • WWNGD?||

    and transformed the Republican Party into the limited-government force that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980

    "Republicans" and "Limited-government", you keep using those words, I don't think they mean what you think they mean.

  • Robert||

    Well, imagine a world in which Jimmy Carter won a 2nd term as POTUS and from which Ron Reagan went away.

  • some guy666||

    I read Doherty's radicals book. Pretty good. It turn me away from the Libertarian movement. This review s***ts on Doherty. Makes him seem like a Ron Paul Sycophant. Cmon Libertarians you can do better than prop up an old crusty Birchian as your speaker.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....-wash.html

  • ||

    Yep, the fix is in. In a wonderful improbability, Ron Paul and the rest of the crew have built a real mass movement.

    But I think the Goldwater analogy isn't the best one. Allow me to suggest another precedent: William Jennings Bryan. With respect to national politics, his populism was defeated. To appearances, he was just a flash in the pan. But, he succeeded in growing a mass movement that change the course of U.S. politics once it was gentrified and assimilated into the Establishment. The Great Depression was the flame that hit an already well-fueled tinderbox.

    It may seem odd of me to compare a proto-statist like Bryan to the anti-statist Ron Paul, but both men have this in common: they rallied mass movements that seemed to fade away but ended up/will end up changing the groundrules.

    Just give it thirty years. Then, the Ron Paul youth will hit their power peak.

  • BOBSAYSO||

    Things are different now. We don't have 30 years!!!

  • luohuluohu||

    It is really a good post,Thank you for you to share it with us.

  • BOBSAYSO||

    What a great video

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