History

Ron Paul: He's Got the Kids, and He's Got the Numbers, and He's Furthering the Spread of Libertarianism

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In case there was any doubt….Beth Fouhy of Associated Press yesterday surveyed the much-talked-about and even true appeal of Ron Paul to the youth, the future of these here United States:

Nearly half of all voters under 30 went for Paul in the first two states to vote, helping to propel him to a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and third place in Iowa's leadoff caucuses….

Paul's campaign events are charged with an energy that any politician would love, attracting an eclectic band of youthful activists ranging from preppy college students to blue collar workers to artists sporting piercings and dreadlocks. At his party after the New Hampshire primary, there were spontaneous chants of "Ron Paul Revolution! Give us back our Constitution" and "President Paul! President Paul!"

A tickled Paul told the cheering crowd: "Freedom is a wonderful idea, and that's why I get so excited. But I really get excited when I see young people saying it."

Paul's strong New Hampshire second is giving him a poll bounce, with one American Research Group poll having him in third in South Carolina at 20 percent (though that polling group has had questionable results in the past) and one Reuters poll (pre-New Hampshire) having him at third nationally. UPDATE: Rasmussen today also has Paul tied for third in South Carolina, with Santorum.

As someone who has been actively participating in and reporting on and writing histories of the libertarian movement since 1987 or so, I believe that Ron Paul's presidential campaigns last time around and this have been a godsend for the spread of libertarian ideas.

Matt Zwolinski writing at Daily Caller believes that the academic aid, training, and seminar organization Institute for Humane Studies, to the contrary, is kicking Paul's ass and deserves more attention and respect and support than does Paul's campaign:

Two things have happened in the past year that ought to be of some interest to libertarians. The first is the phenomenon of the Ron Paul campaign. The second is the 50th anniversary of an organization called the Institute for Humane Studies. My guess is that almost everyone reading this post is familiar with the former, and almost none with the later. And this is a terrible, terrible mistake. Libertarians, like everyone else, have limited time, money and other resources. And if we want to advance the cause of liberty, we should use those resources in the way that has the highest expected return. The Paul campaign is not it.

A lot of libertarians are excited about Paul because they believe that a Paul presidency could help put an end to the drug war, or to overseas military adventures, or that it could bring about a return to a golden era of sound money and constitutional constraint. But how likely is any of this? Even after New Hampshire, Paul is still a longshot to win the Republican nomination. But suppose that he does? Before he can start making any of the changes libertarians are hoping for, he'd still have to win a general election in which his libertarian views on environmental regulation, Social Security, health care and a host of other issues would be a much bigger target than they are in the Republican primaries. And even if he won that election, he'd still have to implement policy with a Congress and judiciary that is largely hostile to many of his views.

Of course, Paul himself is smart enough to know this. As recently as the Iowa caucuses, Paul admitted that he doesn't see himself waking up in the White House. What he sees himself doing is producing a philosophic revolution. He is convinced, he says, that "a nation does not change just for partisan/political reasons. What has to happen is there has to be an intellectual revolution to energize the people and get people to understand the problems in economic and political terms."

So, you ask, can't the Paul campaign contribute to the cause of liberty by educating people about these ideas? Maybe, but don't hold your breath. As political theorist Jason Brennan has written, "politics teaches enlightenment in much the same way that fraternity parties teach temperance." As human beings, we are subject to all kinds of rational defects and biases. And researchers like psychologist Drew Westen and political scientist Diana Mutz have shown that politics makes these defects worse, not better. We're set up to view politics as a game of us vs. them, and in a game like that, the search for truth and new ideas does not fare well.

This all seemed so resolutely dedicated to ignoring reality right in front of the author's eyes I didn't know how to react, but a few points. I should preface this with: I admire IHS; the two most important events in 1988 that cemented my own libertarian ideas and career were the 1988 Ron Paul campaign and attending an IHS seminar; I lecture on IHS's behalf when asked and I believe it has been and will continue to be a very important part of the libertarian social and intellectual change project. (In IHS's case, it made me way more radical than Paul's '88 campaign did.) I believe an article arguing that IHS's academic approach is, like Ron Paul's campaign, a great way to further libertarian ideas, would be entirely correct.

That said:

*Does not the very fact that Zwolinski leads with, that everyone has heard of Paul and no one has heard of IHS (roughly) indicate that political campaigns are in fact a great way to expose people to these ideas? This does not mean that the context of a political campaign is the most thorough or universally effective way to ensure that exposure to ideas will lead to intelligent consideration or acceptance of them. But even a minuscule rate of success of politics compared to academic seminars will still equal to a higher raw number of new libertarians. I am pretty sure when I look at the crowds, the money donated, the polling numbers, the sheer number of bodies and minds discussing these ideas intelligently on social networking sites, that we are seeing this successful spread of libertarianism happen with Ron Paul.

*There's a lot of goalpost shifting in just these paragraphs: are we talking about electing a libertarian-minded person president, or exposing/converting people to libertarian beliefs? Because that whole part about Paul's electoral prospects, or prospects for success with pushing through libertarian ideas in Congress with certainty in the short term, seems off point. Because if that's the standard Paul is falling short on that applies equally to IHS, which is not, I think, doing well in any presidential polls right now or pushing through policy.

*And Zwolinski's dealing with the patently obvious fact that Ron Paul is "educating people about these ideas" with a quick  "Maybe, but don't hold your breath" and falling back on some poli sci theory about how people absorb or accept ideas and truths in a strictly political science context is just ignoring what is visible: all the new young (and old) people who very much because there is a national politician with all the attendant attention paid to him pushing these ideas, are hearing them and deciding they make sense, and that they want to help spread them. 

Again, this does not mean I think every polled Paul supporter or Paul voter is now or will become a full-on movement libertarian. But I do think in raw number terms it will produce more of them than an IHS strategy aimed almost entirely at graduate students and those who will be taught by them or read what they write. There is a hugely important section of American life, culture, and ideas that will never come near the old Ivory Towers of grad school, first hand or second hand. For better or worse, elections are the very context in which most Americans are at all prepared to grapple with political philosophy and ideas. And with Ron Paul there is a politician actually selling, with more rigor than you might expect from a politician (especially in his books and the books his books point you to), a real and good political philosophy. (And a surprising number of his young fans do go beyond the speeches and the YouTube videos to the books, and the books they are led to from there.)

Hayek's social change ideas emphasized academics because it was thought academic ideas trickled down to masses. Paul is taking them straight to the masses, and doing a shockingly good job of it. It is not an epiphenomenon or coincidence that him being a politician is why he is such a great mind-changer. Again, the context of electoral politics may not be the best way to change minds. But for an enormous number of people, it's the only way. 

I've been engaging with many movement libertarians lately who want to deny any of this is true–if there isn't gold standard social science surveys proving it, they don't want to believe it, and that is their right. Alternately, some seem to think it would be great if someone they liked better than Paul were running for president, how much better that would be for spreading libertariaism. I believe it is exactly Paul being who he is, believing what he believes, and selling his ideas the way he sells them that is responsible for his success. I just don't see how you can look at the world of discourse, the world of giving, the world of votes and bodies at rallies, and not understand that Ron Paul has been very, very good for libertarianism.

Back to the gritty world of electoral politics, where ne'er a mind is changed:

As state senator Tom Davis, a Tea Party leader, is said to be ready to endorse Ron (giving some credence to my declaration yesterday that Tea Partyers, if they are still out there, should be ready to run for Ron when it's just him and Romney) South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint continues to publicly love Paul without an explicit endorsement:

Ron still has a son, and that son is still taking flack on TV for his father's positions, and making decisions designed to make dad proud, like returning a half-million of his office budget to the Treasury and holding up treaties that he thinks will give the IRS too much snooping power. From the Hill:

The pacts would allow the United States and the three European countries to more freely and broadly share tax information — and also bring the countries' information-sharing agreements in line with standards developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a key forum of market economies.

Treasury officials have called the pacts an important tool in fighting tax evasion, as the United States works to close a tax gap — the difference between what's owed the IRS and what's paid on time — that grew to $450 billion in 2006.

Reason's Paul archives. My forthcoming book Ron Paul's Revolution.

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66 responses to “Ron Paul: He's Got the Kids, and He's Got the Numbers, and He's Furthering the Spread of Libertarianism

  1. Punch bowl turd is turd.

  2. The libertarian movement has been eggheaded for a very long time, and at least unconsciously hostile to mass movements. The thinkers — not the very few true leaders, who have the wisdom to know otherwise, but the middle layer of activists and armchair activists — feel threatened by someone like a Howard A. Stern who has a following of his own and threatens to deflect att’n from them.

  3. Frequently a call for “purity” has been a cover for an appeal to the caller as authority, and is therefore just the reverse of what it claims to be. It’s the major reason I left the Libertarian Party a decade ago.

  4. Yea – Romney has 20 of the 1100+ delegates required to lock-up the nomination – time to throw in the towel.
    Ron Paul – going for the gold!

  5. Ron Paul makes more sense when you realize that he tried to stop the bad foreign policy that led to the 9/11/2001 back in 1999. He sounds like he is spouting some kind of conspiracy until you see the information that was hidden from you. Watch this until the end it’ll send chills down your spine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f…..guvMUUtTtI
    Obama is scary. Watch this from one year ago.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmdpXNIwunc

  6. If Libertarians ever were to get even a bit of power in this country rest assured plenty of their douche bag original supporters would drop the ideology like a hipster dropping a band that just had a hit single.

    Such is the price of accomplishing anything. You lose the douchebag vote.

    1. I’d bet there more douchebags registered for either party than there are total people who self-identify as libertarians.

      1. Fair enough.

      2. What standard are we using?

    2. Nah, they wouldn’t drop anything. They’d just come out and show their true colors.

      We might make the teensy-tiny observation that RP didn’t sell anarchism to get where he’s at. As I’ve long said, if the libertarian movement ever wants to get anywhere, the first step is making the anarchists walk the plank.

      That story is never going to sell on the national stage.

      I predict a sizable fraction of your “douchebag vote” will consist of anarchists. The rest of that crew will be quite motley.

  7. Thanks for the article. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see http://?www.Libertarian-Internation?al.org , the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization

  8. Agreed 100% about Ron Paul and IHS. Both great, but RP has been more effective.

    Also, lots of typos in this article. Better editing is in order.

  9. Interesting article I read today threw out the idea that Paul isn’t in fact trying to run for president; he’s starting a movement, and that isn’t a bad thing.

    1. Yeah, but the article was a disguised hit piece designed to diminish Ron Paul’s chances of winning the nomination, since the unseen forces manipulating the media are afraid that he’s starting to really catch on.

      Ron Paul is running to win.

      1. “…the unseen forces manipulating the media…”

        Visible only to you apparently.

        1. No, alot of us see that the press is being biased and ignoring ROn Paul in a way they don’t other candidates.

  10. Ron Paul makes alot of since to me, and will restore faith back to the electoral process. Yes I’m jumping on the band wagon for Freedom, RON PAUL 2012 !!!

  11. like returning a half-million of his office budget to the Treasury and holding up treaties that he thinks will give the IRS too much snooping power.

    ——–

    What an anarchist!

    1. Shouldn’t he keep the half million to further the cause of liberty, to keep it out of the hands of the Treasury?

      1. Not if he wants to be reelected.

  12. http://austrianrationalist.wor…..-ron-paul/ Show this to the Romneybot you know. Ron Paul 2012!

  13. I’m surprised Treason Magazine hasn’t fired you yet.. 🙂

  14. the two most important events in the year 1988 that cemented my own libertarian ideas

    Mine was being born.

  15. It will be interesting to see the ratio of IHS supporters vs. Ron Paul supporters who comment on this article. 😉

  16. IHS is a fabulous organization and Mrs TWC owes her career to those guys. I love the Kochtopus, baby. But that’s just one approach.

    The RP campaign has been a very visible manifestation of libertarian ideas, and, thankfully, can’t be ignored anymore.

    I suppose you could argue that RP’s campaign success came from the groundwork laid by IHS, Reason, Cato, and all the other people and organizations working for change. And there might be some truth to that.

    The point is that the movement needs dreamers, pragmatists, purists, politicians, & philosophers, each plays a part, each moves us forward.

    When I was a vagrant yoot if you told somebody you were a libertarian they’d look at you like you from Mars and say WTF is that?

    We’ve come a long way, baby.

    1. Great point about the variety of viewpoints the movement needs. I agree completely.

    2. “Philosophers and plowmen, each must know his part/To sow a new mentality/Closer to the heart…”

  17. The way i see it, Ron Paul has a wide age range, however he does have many young adults.
    But as for the “kids”….the only kids I see are the employees of CNN, FOX (Hannity, and O’reilly), MSNBC, The WSJ….and so on,…also the members of the GOP who do not play fair. In fact, the childish media coverage and the childish attacks on this man are really the work of such childs play.
    One more thing…when it comes to going to war….you will call a child a man,….but when he supports Ron Paul, you will call a man a child….that itself is child’s play!

  18. Is the ‘Mitt the Mexican’ meme the funniest thing we’re going to get this election cycle, or will there be more?

    1. Is “Mitt” a verb this case, sort of like “smear the queer” or “bag the fag” or “punch the Pollack”?

  19. I hear the word “libertarian” 4 or 5 times a day on NPR.

    1. That didn’t happen before Ron Paul’s recent successes.

    2. Familiarity makes it look less extreme and more like what it is: the moderate, tolerant position between the extremes of compulsion and prohibition.

    3. Simple regression to the mean tells us that the proper usage of libertarianism among reporters and pundits who weren’t terribly familiar with it before will likely mean that some of the ideas will take root in their thinking.

  20. Ron Paul, as a candidate, simply hasn’t got the time or resources to engage in a massive educational campaign – although he is doing much, much more in this regard than the others. Instead of focus-grouped soundbites, he delivers small talks about the economy, foreign policy, and other serious issues.

    However, his campaign perfectly complements the rise of both the internet and a large number of people who are educated about libertarian ideas. As several commentators have noted, what other political campaign has induced millions of people to dig deeper and learn about libertarian ideas? What other candidate has actually changed so many people’s minds, whether directly or indirectly?

    We all have a role to play.

  21. Many libertarians, liberals and others want to distance themselves from Dr. Paul because of the yucky newsletters and some unsavory tactics he and others have used in the past to spread the libertarian message. They would prefer a “purer,” more unsoiled or “PC” messenger.

    But, I agree that it’s who Ron Paul is as a man that is making him an excellent messenger for the libertarian causes. His consistent and principled record in public office alone makes him stand out from anyone else running for political office. Even his unpolished speaking style, ill-fitting suits, and his age all add to his quirky character and make him stand out from the others. He is drawing attention and making waves.

    I don’t know that I totally trust Jim DeMint’s motives for singing Paul’s praises over the last week. I think Republicans are trying to figure out how to co-opt Ron Paul’s followers. Right now, they’re trying to make nice. Even Grover Norquist is making a big deal about Ron Paul, saying that it’s his endorsement that Romney needs most. (If Ron Paul endorses Romney, I will be pretty devastated.)

    1. Romney does need Ron Paul’s endorsement to win the election. I just don’t see him endorsing Romney without discrediting himself in the process to alot of his followers. If Paul doesn’t endorse Romney he faces the Republican machine backlashing against Rand in the future.

      1. The party apparatchiks are going to do everything they can to thwart Rand regardless of what Ron does. They like the Tea Party/limited govt until it gets them back in power, not so much afterward.

    2. Here’s my very dark horse prediction: Romney announces Ron Paul (or Rand) will be his nominee for Treasury Secretary in exchange for his endorsement or at least non-competitition as a third party. Ron Paul will not win, but he holds a position of strength as the ideologically divorced runner up who would radically swing the election if he goes commando.

      This is a position most everyone on the Right could stomach, since his limited government credentials are second-to-none but he’s a somewhat safe distance from the State/Defense department.

      Ron Paul might be willing to swallow the stench of being in the Romney regime to have the chance at a position to actually damage the government machine as much as possible.

      Romney would be willing to swallow the stench of having a Paul in his government in order to win the presidency. Then again, there’s only about a 30% chance his nomination would succeed in the Senate (unless it’s Rand, and even then barely a majority if that). It would be filibustered to death, and Romney can go back to nominate some Goldman Sachs stooge who will continue the works of Geithner and Paulsen. Low risk, high reward – even if Paul is anathema to his economic views.

      Still, because of this, there’s a good chance Paul wouldn’t accept the offer because it would hurt the momentum of his movement and look like a sell-out. He’d have to tread lightly.

      It’s all going to depend if Romney or Paul put an offer on the table, and we aren’t anywhere near that point yet. I strongly doubt Romney would choose him as VP, but he can safely float the promise of another cabinet position.

  22. I’ll wager that more people know of the IHS (and the Mises Institute) specifically because of Ron Paul ovement than the reverse.

  23. I believe an article arguing that IHS’s academic approach is, like Ron Paul’s campaign, a great way to further libertarian ideas, would be entirely correct.

    Or entirely wrong.

    Can libertarianism, a set of ideas about/for limiting the sphere of politics, be promoted via political contest, by generating or capitalizing on specifically political enthusiasm(s), by mass subordination to politics?by making people into votes? Certainly not self-evidently.

    And what deformity does “libertarianism” undergo in the process, in its joining with electoral democracy? Does it, e.g., become limited to explanations of and objections to Stuff Ron Paul Says? Apparently. Does, e.g., “libertarianism” become a word for what people reject when they reject Ron Paul? Pretty much. Does it become what they accept when they bond with Ron Paul? I guess it could. Haven’t seen it happen.

    OK, so, also:

    Can libertarianism, a repudiation of expertise’s claim(s) on power, be reliably transmitted through academia/”intellectuals,” who here in non-libertopia are a mere class, defined primarily by its S/M relationship with the (para-)state?

    What do Roderick Long and these “Bleeding Heart” jackholes and big-media pet libertarian columnists actually do, in the name of their “libertarianism?” They make lists of almost entirely specious and ad hoc reasons why people who aren’t members of their class are shitty people (which is to say, not members of their class), and they make lists of those people, and label them “right wing” (i.e., not members of their class), so they won’t be mistaken for them.

    Is the grand destiny of libertarianism?its “furtherance,” its entry into the pantheon of Serious Ideas that Serious People are allowed to have?to serve as an alternate means of generating lists of undesirables? Do we need one more of those?

    Because that’s all we’re getting.

    1. “Can libertarianism, a set of ideas about/for limiting the sphere of politics, be promoted via political contest”

      If someone’s pointing a gun at you that you know they’re going to use, you might as well go for the gun yourself.

  24. Fuck those “liberaltarian” guys.

    1. 31% of people with self described ‘libertarian view’ on the government supports romney over paul while paul has 41%.. the label ‘libertarian’ is just for show these days.. i agree it has grown too large for anyone to write someone off as ‘he can’t possibly be a libertarian’

      but ironically, i think what has contributed to this is exactly the old libertarians who can’t stand paul and decides to vote romney. if they wish to look for monsters to slay, look no further than the mirror

  25. Skimmed out of the Zwolinski comment thread at the Daily Caller, addressed to a Ron Paul supporter:

    Xerographica
    Ron Paul is giving you fish…but he’s not teaching you how to fish. For example, in this article Matt argues that you should spend your limited resources in a way that will maximize your benefit. What is the economic term for this?

    Like
    Reply

    22 hours ago
    in reply to Christian Evans
    1 Like

    truebearing
    A frightening percentage of Paul supporters can’t answer you because they aren’t really interested in rational problem solving or understanding the ideology Paul preaches. They want a Hero-Daddy-Leader who will think for them and magically create a utopia that has more to do with license than liberty. Any intellectual test to their poorly informed dogmatism is met with fear and rage.

    Thanks for trying though.

    ___________

    **cringe**

    That’s almost a caricature of stereotypical libertarian faux intellectualism and the condescending tone! Ugh.

  26. Paul has a 1 in 23 chance of winning the nomination according to Predictwise.

  27. IHS and Ron Paul
    a) Rock
    b) Are needed for a strong, growing, dynamic libertarian movement.
    c) All of the above x 1000

    Answer: c

    This tendency among libertarians that ‘things have to happen my way or libertarianism is doomed and marginalized’ is fucked up and bullshit

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  31. Some have stated that Ron Paul’s views are “?well out of the Republican mainstream?.” and give it a derogatory bent. Actually, his views are well out of the Republican AND Democrat mainstream. And that is a very good and refreshing thing.

    It is surprising that he even registers on the political polls considering the constant negative comments made by nearly all of political talking heads ? including the so-called conservatives. No one in the political establishment on either side wants Dr. Paul to ascend to the presidency. They know for certain that if he was elected it would not be business as usual. They know that he alone among the candidates is the only one that will rigidly adhere to Constitutional government; that he will not be influenced by money, but by Constitutional principle.

    He has been attacked mainly because of his stance on foreign policy. As I understand Ron Paul’s position, he deeply believes the United States should not go to war unless: 1) it is truly necessary and in the best interest of the United States & 2) it is entered into in a Constitutional manner. For this he is berated. I completely agree with Ron Paul.

    Just a few thoughts:

    ? Do those who promote unnecessary wars really consider that people die in them? Do they not watch the evening news when the lists of young dead servicemen scroll across the television screen? So far, 6,331 American servicemen have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Paul’s foreign policy has been attacked by his critics as “dangerous.” What a bunch of simple minded individuals his critics are. How can they criticize Dr. Paul’s position on not fighting unnecessary wars as “dangerous” as opposed to the thousands of American service men and foreign civilians killed during the Bush and Obama administrations? Those self-righteous people who condemn Ron Paul’s views on war do not seem to mind the killing and maiming of young United States soldiers. They do not really treasure human life, though they try very hard to persuade the electorate they do.
    ? If you kill (bombing, etc.) a person’s family members, this person will intensely hate the country doing the killing for the rest of his/her life. Many innocent people are killed in needless wars. This breeds terrorists who may one day bring such terror to the United States. This is a no brainer. It is estimated that 132,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    ? China is not spending money fighting wars. China is spending money on infrastructure and making loans to the United States. Meanwhile, our government is squandering money fighting in three countries.
    ? The senselessness of war stands out when we see veterans of past wars on both sides meeting and shaking hands (U.S./Japanese, etc.). The men are now friends, but the dead are still dead. It is governments that cannot get along ? it is not the people.
    ? Those who promote wars should be in the vanguard of the first attack. If the war is so important, they and their families should be intimately involved in the actual fighting.

    Presently, the government does not adequately protect our borders; instead it chooses to make a police state out of our country. It does this in the name of keeping us safe from terrorism (because there maybe terrorists in our country). Instead of attacking our personal liberties, the United States government should protect our borders and keep terrorists out of the United States. If this was competently done it would not be necessary to restrict the liberties of United States citizens inside the United States.

    Electing anyone but Ron Paul is just asking for more of what we have had for years ? it is time to renew Constitutional Government & the American Spirit ? it is time to elect Ron Paul.

  32. Some have stated that Ron Paul’s views are “?well out of the Republican mainstream?.” and give it a derogatory bent. Actually, his views are well out of the Republican AND Democrat mainstream. And that is a very good and refreshing thing.

    It is surprising that he even registers on the political polls considering the constant negative comments made by nearly all of political talking heads ? including the so-called conservatives. No one in the political establishment on either side wants Dr. Paul to ascend to the presidency. They know for certain that if he was elected it would not be business as usual. They know that he alone among the candidates is the only one that will rigidly adhere to Constitutional government; that he will not be influenced by money, but by Constitutional principle.

    He has been attacked mainly because of his stance on foreign policy. As I understand Ron Paul’s position, he deeply believes the United States should not go to war unless: 1) it is truly necessary and in the best interest of the United States & 2) it is entered into in a Constitutional manner. For this he is berated. I completely agree with Ron Paul.

    Just a few thoughts:

    ? Do those who promote unnecessary wars really consider that people die in them? Do they not watch the evening news when the lists of young dead servicemen scroll across the television screen? So far, 6,331 American servicemen have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Paul’s foreign policy has been attacked by his critics as “dangerous.” What a bunch of simple minded individuals his critics are. How can they criticize Dr. Paul’s position on not fighting unnecessary wars as “dangerous” as opposed to the thousands of American service men and foreign civilians killed during the Bush and Obama administrations? Those self-righteous people who condemn Ron Paul’s views on war do not seem to mind the killing and maiming of young United States soldiers. They do not really treasure human life, though they try very hard to persuade the electorate they do.
    ? If you kill (bombing, etc.) a person’s family members, this person will intensely hate the country doing the killing for the rest of his/her life. Many innocent people are killed in needless wars. This breeds terrorists who may one day bring such terror to the United States. This is a no brainer. It is estimated that 132,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    ? China is not spending money fighting wars. China is spending money on infrastructure and making loans to the United States. Meanwhile, our government is squandering money fighting in three countries.
    ? The senselessness of war stands out when we see veterans of past wars on both sides meeting and shaking hands (U.S./Japanese, etc.). The men are now friends, but the dead are still dead. It is governments that cannot get along ? it is not the people.
    ? Those who promote wars should be in the vanguard of the first attack. If the war is so important, they and their families should be intimately involved in the actual fighting.

    Presently, the government does not adequately protect our borders; instead it chooses to make a police state out of our country. It does this in the name of keeping us safe from terrorism (because there maybe terrorists in our country). Instead of attacking our personal liberties, the United States government should protect our borders and keep terrorists out of the United States. If this was competently done it would not be necessary to restrict the liberties of United States citizens inside the United States.

    Electing anyone but Ron Paul is just asking for more of what we have had for years ? it is time to renew Constitutional Government & the American Spirit ? it is time to elect Ron Paul.

  33. The Paul candidacy has recently received endorsements from:

    A. The Honey Bunny Ranch and Brothel in Nevada
    And
    B. Phillip G. Kayser, Ph.D. a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska.

    The Paul Campaign has gleefully acknowledged one endorsement and ignored the other. Guess which is which.

    B wins the prize.

    “We welcome Rev. Kayser’s endorsement and the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs. We’re thankful for the thoughtfulness with which he makes his endorsement and hope his endorsement and others like it make a strong top-three showing in the caucus more likely,” said Ron Paul 2012 Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers.

    Reached by phone, Kayser confirmed to TPM that he believed in reinstating Biblical punishments for homosexuals ? including the death penalty…

    One would think that support from the Hunny Bunnys would fit in with the Make RonLove not War Platform of Paul’s Campaign better than a preacher who wants to kill gay citizens!
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.c…..ay-people/

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.c…..-ron-paul/

  34. Has Doherty ever pulled his head out of his fat ass?

  35. People keep explaining to me why Ron Paul can’t possibly win. But no one is explaining why Newt and that Texas governor guy can’t win.

    Quite frankly I’ve heard the Pope has started an investigation to locate the guy that got Mr. Paul into double digits because that’s a holy mary mother of god miracle in itself and the Church hasn’t had a Saint to canonize since Mother T.

    The man has the big mo’.

  36. Go Dr Ron Paul. Great to see more people actually listening to what he has said.

  37. There is another Libertarian principled organization trying hard to educate the youth of our country, The Foundation for Economic Education (fee.org). In there own words;

    A TRADITION OF FREEDOM
    The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States, was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read to study and advance the freedom philosophy. FEE’s mission is to offer the most consistent case for the “first principles” of freedom: the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion.
    Check it out.

  38. I attended the IHS seminar in 1983, but the fact remains, Ron Paul has done more to further then libertarian cause than has forty years of the IHS. Ron Paul is planting the seed, perhaps organizations like the IHS can help it grow.

  39. And he’s got the Ron Paul Giant!

  40. Not a great article but I am enjoying the picture of Ron Paul supporters in Seattle circa 2008.

  41. No love for the MISES INSTITUTE????

    Without an intellectual foundation, no movement can last.

    EVERY myth and fairy tale of American history and American economic history is addressed by a MISES scholar–great for re-schooling my ignorant lefty friends.

  42. Ron Paul, a patriot, who has honorably served his country, defends both the constitution and civil liberties, and is for peace and prosperity. Dr. Paul has the wisdom, foresight, honesty and integrity to be president.

    Dr. Paul believes spending and deficits are destroying this country. Dr. Paul’s budget plan would save $1 trillion in the first year. Besides the spending cuts, there are other issues of importance to voters. For conservatives, Dr. Paul scores an A+ on all of them: Second Amendment protection, pro-life record, right-to-work, pro-business, anti-tax, states’ rights, you name it.

    Dr. Paul also believes America should have the strongest national defense on earth ? which he believes begins with not trying to constantly police the earth. Right now, our government puts our best and bravest in harm’s way on a regular basis for questionable reasons and with no discernible notion of victory. This is not supporting the troops. It’s abusing them. Dr. Paul wants an end to this absurd, costly policy.

    The voters have declared Dr. Paul the alternative to the liberal, flip flopping Mitt Romney. The other candidates are simply irrelevant. In the New Hampshire Primary, Dr. Paul received more votes than all the supposed Anti-Romney (Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry) candidates combined.

    The question for Republican voters is not whether they can afford to vote for Dr. Paul – it’s whether they can afford not to.

    America Needs Ron Paul.

  43. I find it quite interesting that one a Libertarian comment thread there are some many who speak in herd mentality about how “people” think, or are exposed to ideas.

    I am in individual. One man, not part of some herd who can be dismissed because of some special interest “study” or other.

    I was exposed to Libertarian ideas by Ron Paul. I, ME, chose to pursue knowledge of those ideas.

    I chose to accept the logic presented, and embrace that logic as part of my own system of personal beliefs.

    Not some herd, or groupthink entity. Me.

    The absolute most difficult part of embracing true Individual Determination is not in accepting, or even demanding if for yourself; it is accepting and conferring it onto others. Anything less makes you a tyrant.

    I see a lot of tyrants who call themselves libertarians in these comments.

  44. Seems like the most important thing is to get MORE libertarians running high-profile primary campaigns in the major parties. That way people paying only marginal attention will see “libertarian” as a political affiliation and movement, and not as an adjective synonymous with “Ron Paul supporter.”

    The think tanks and advocacy efforts are great. IHS, IJ and Cato have probably led to more reductions in arbitrary government authority than every libertarian election campaign combined. But without a presence in the campaign field as well, libertarians are just an exotic footnote from the perspective of even many intelligent people.

  45. Unfortunately, the powers that be will never let someone as principled as Dr. Paul ever get elected. They will not go at him directly but I have a feeling there will never be a 2012 presidential election. The drums of war are no longer faint but are getting louder by the day. This is just a universally larger concept of the shell game. If it looks as if Dr. Paul has a very good chance of winning one that can not be undone by the slight manipulation of vote counts the great distraction of WAR will be set in motion. They will never let someone who can not be controlled, can not be bought and always tells the truth have the keys to the house. They would rather burn the house down and take a chance at building something from the ashes than ever let him take the helm. Similar to what the Mob does with a business after they have taken it over and financially run it into the ground. They burn it down and take the insurance money and move on to the next one. God Bless and God Bless (I don’t believe in luck).
    P.S. ? Everyone must pay very very close attention from here on out.

  46. Doherty – well done. I teach undergrad political science, mostly to non-majors, and I can tell you that the Ron Paul movement has made a HUGE difference in the amount of interest in and respect for libertarian ideas among the students. I don’t actively push libertarianism, of course, since it’s a college course, but having the Ron Paul movement around means I’m suddenly getting tons of feedback about libertarianism from students. And about 95% of it is positive.

  47. I don’t actively push libertarianism, of course, since it’s a college course,

    Since college courses are traditionally for pushing lefty doctrine, I loled.

    Yes, I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

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