Campaigns/Elections

Assessing the Future of the Ron Paul Revolution

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The Politico's entry in the "Ron Paul Revolution" marches on category:

Paul's son Rand is running competitively in the Kentucky Senate race to succeed Republican Jim Bunning, even though the GOP establishment has lined up behind Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Peter Schiff, an economic adviser to Paul's presidential campaign, has raised $1 million in his bid to win the Republican nomination against Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). 

In Texas, a Ron Paul acolyte could have a decisive impact in the Republican gubernatorial primary between incumbent Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. In California, a businessman who backed Paul's presidential campaign has emerged as a serious contender against Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), who is a top GOP target. 

In total, Paul's political action committee — the Liberty PAC — will be unveiling a slate of 10 endorsed candidates this fall and is currently in the process of interviewing candidates to determine their electability.  

While I first predicted such a movement of Paulite politicians back in my February 2008 Reason magazine cover story on Ron Paul, and am thrilled to see it seeming to come true, we should remember that so far the movement is a lot of promise and a lot of interesting possibilities on the horizon and no actual electoral victories. Still, it still seems possible that Ron Paul 2008 will read in the future like Barry Goldwater 1960 (that is, the year he first achieved widespread national attention and began inspiring acolytes, not the year he won the presidential nomination).

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  1. The Peter Schiff candidacy is exciting, if only because Mr. Schiff can be such a blunt asshole at times. I really hope he wins the primary because seeing Schiff v. Dodd debates would be hilarious.

  2. The Peter Schiff candidacy is exciting and I hope he gets elected and frees his hero/martyr father, Irwin Schiff.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  3. Still, it still seems possible that Ron Paul 2008 will read in the future like Barry Goldwater 1960 (that is, the year he first achieved widespread national attention and began inspiring acolytes, not the year he won the presidential nomination).

    Reagan 1976 would be better than Goldwater 1960 from a winning perspective.

  4. I agree with everything I’ve hear come out of Peter Schiff’s mouth. But he sounds like a flippin used car salesman.

  5. I’ll be thrilled when one of them actually wins something.

    Until then . . .

  6. That would be a very unrealistic perspective, I think, John. Seems clear to me Paul is way more like GWater 60 in the sense of creating a wave of popular, largely anti-party powers that be, sentiment and activism that’s driven by a relatively fresh sense of what politics and governance should be about to the GOP, not doing last-step solidification of a change that GWater launched and was close to completion by 76, as Reagan did.

  7. Paul may not be the answer in the form of who we need to sit in the seat. I do think he may be the answer to who we need behind the curtain. Now to find the Wiz of OZ for the front of the room.

  8. Rand Paul and Jesse Ventura.

    Strong peace credentials.
    Very anti-drug war and anti-federal reserve.

  9. Bad news for all you libertarians: I just got a grant from Soros, and next week I’ll be revealing shocking excerpts from Peter Schiff’s EvilRacistNewsletters.

  10. The fun thing will be watching Underzog’s 180 turn-around on Schiff when he finds out Schiff’s position on U.S. taxpayers being forced to pay for “the protection of Israeli blood and Israeli honor”.

  11. off topic really- although concerning how some people view libertarians (not a view I share I might add):

    http://io9.com/5366356/with-transition-iain-m-banks-reinvents-the-multiverse-novel

    from sci-fi author Ian Banks’ new novel “Transition” :

    “Libertarianism. A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

    Scots socialism being such the advanced ideology, Mr Banks?

    And isn’t “left libertarianism” a term actually more used in Europe, so would not he recognize (and to be fair the words were put in the mouth of one of his characters of a novel) that there is a leftish version of libertarianism that rejects corporate _and_ state power?

  12. “Rand Paul and Jesse Ventura.

    Strong peace credentials.
    Very anti-drug war and anti-federal reserve”

    and will be torpedoed when Jesse’s truther views come out.

  13. I’m definitely more interested in libertarians claiming a solid chunk of the GOP rather than floundering with their own party these days. I think Ron Paul really made a good point when running for president, that everything is stacked against third parties so much that they waste all their resources just trying to get on the ballot, and are perpetually marginalized. It gets old.

  14. And isn’t “left libertarianism” a term actually more used in Europe, so would not he recognize (and to be fair the words were put in the mouth of one of his characters of a novel) that there is a leftish version of libertarianism that rejects corporate _and_ state power?

    I’ve never understood this whole “left libertarianism” concept, although I admit I haven’t looked into it much. Isn’t “left libertarianism” (i.e. socialist anarchism) pretty much just a euphemism for communism? How can one reconcile a rejection of the state and egalitarianism? That is contrary to the natural human tendency of self-interest. I cannot conceive of any way that you can get egalitarianism without the use of coercion (i.e. some form of a “state”), unless you are talking about a very small group of ideologically heterogeneous people (like the communism/communalism of early Christians).

    Although I don’t think anarcho-capitalism is realistic or practical, it doesn’t seem inherently contradictory.

  15. Colin | September 23, 2009, 9:41pm | #
    I’ll be thrilled when one of them actually wins something.

    Until then . . .

    I might even be less than thrilled if and when they do win. Depends how they behave in office.

    Besides, I think it might be too late to do anything about the total collapse of the US economy no matter who’s in charge.
    doom
    DoooM
    DOOOOM

  16. Debra Medina (a Republican candidate for governor and the unnamed one in the article) seems decent except “life starts at conception” nonsense. (I can do implantation.) Doubt she’ll be heard in the bitchfest that is Perry v. Hutchison.

  17. Also, to add on to J.’s comment, they are still Christian communities that have a communal economy (can’t remember the ones in Canada, but the Amish are a great example).

  18. Damn it… I meant “ideologically homogeneous”, not heterogeneous.

  19. paternalistic libertarianism… get used to it side-liners!

  20. paternalistic libertarianism… get used to it side-liners!

    I’ll trade a soda tax for Cuban sugar any day.

  21. Ian Banks: One more snotty, ignorant prat who has no idea what right wingers believe, let alone what libertarianism is.

    -jcr

  22. In the post-revolution Paris Assembly, Libertarians sat at the extreme left.

    The right wing was populated by people who wanted to support the ancien regime. Since libertarians care nothing for using state power to preserve the privileges of a ruling class, libertarianism cannot be called a right-wing philosophy.

    The reason why people mistake Libertarianism for beign a right-wing philosophy, the bulk of left-wingers adopted the use of right-wing means of accomplishing political goals (violent distribution of wealth, encouraging class warfare, totalitarianism) and began to turn them against the institutions of the rights. The libertarians, opposed to the use of such right wing means came to be viewed by their former fellow travelers as enemies and the myth of libertarianism as “right wing” was born.

  23. Tarran,

    That is a good point about post-revolutionary France. When you abandon civil liberties to achieve your ends. A Napoleon like figure will be the end result.

  24. Tarran, you are conflating European and American politics and semantics, which makes for a false comparison. The American right is historically unrelated to the European right. As you said, the 18th and 19th century continental conservatives wished to preserve the aristocracy, which was never the case in America. The traditional European usage of the word “libertarianism” has usually been synonymous with “anarchism” (as it is in French, libertaire), which it isn’t (necessarily or wholly) in the United States. In the United States, libertarianism is largely a form of conservatism — to preserve the status quo, if you take that to mean the classical liberalism of the founders — so it would be most correctly called a right-wing philosophy. But really, the left-right political dichotomy is really nonsensical in itself.

  25. Peter Schiff will be just one Senator and he won’t be able to cut off aid to Israel. Incidentally, a cutoff of such aid to Israel would probably hurt the U.S. more than Israel.

    Even Dr. Paul has some good points to make about that, but Dr. Paul was concentrating on the Israeli situation in his Glenn Beck interview and not the response of the Arabs which will seem paradoxical to the ignorant, arrogant Rh?mites here who so hate the Jews that they do not even try to look at the nature of the Arabs/Muslims.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  26. The “nature of Arabs/Muslims” LOL. It’s genetic, guys, this religion thing.

  27. The Muslims will murder stupid right wing hippies as easily as they would Jews like me. I hope I can watch your head being decapitated by the Muslims first. It is only fair.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  28. Why all the Ron Paul worship: he’s no friend of reproductive liberty, or gay rights’ liberty, or liberty for immigrants. Ron Paul, blech.

  29. the anti-paul | September 25, 2009, 11:54am | #

    Why all the Ron Paul worship: he’s no friend of reproductive liberty, or gay rights’ liberty, or liberty for immigrants. Ron Paul, blech.

    Give me a break. “Reproductive liberty” are really just codewords for a repudiation of individual responsibility as it relates to reproductive actions, and “gay rights’ liberty” are codewords for preferential treatment of a special interest group. Those are antithetical to liberty. Ron Paul supports the removal of federal government recognition of marriage altogether, which is wholly consistent with liberty.

  30. If Universal health care passes the libertarian or even the conservative view is dead…WHY

    The political argument after this passes will be who can run the massive entitlements more efficiently and will have nothing to do with freedom or liberty

    Liberty is to big to fail!

  31. Why all the Ron Paul worship: he’s no friend of reproductive liberty, or gay rights’ liberty, or liberty for immigrants. Ron Paul, blech.

    Was reproductive liberty recognized at the time of the ratification of the Ninth Amendment?

  32. Whether all ‘Ron Paul Republicans’ are as libertarian as we would like them to be, they can’t help but be better than who we have now.
    D powerhouse seats will probably not fall.
    AND, nothing says a worthy D can’t be supported. A blue Fiengold type maybe (anti Patriot Act, pro 2nd Amendment).
    Again not perfect, but a step in the right direction.
    This is certainly a good trend regardless of how it exactly plays out.

    Ideal would be an opening of the political process to allow the LP (and yes an occasional Green) get into congress and state legislatures. Then, maybe a Libertarian or more likely libertarian Republican could get to the white house.

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