Brian Doherty on Ron Paul, Man of the Left


At Occupy Wall Street encampments around the nation last fall, most of the activists rallied against modern American capitalism and in favor of government aid to the now-famous 99 percent. But from New York to Philadelphia, from Seattle to Los Angeles, Occupiers were joined (or infiltrated, in the eyes of some) by activists talking up the benefits of a truly freed market, without government giveaways to favored interests or central bank manipulations of the economy. This minority took its inspiration from Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. The confluence between libertarian and progressive activism surprised many, including Paul himself. But as Senior Editor Brian Doherty explains, it was the strongest indicator yet that the Ron Paul uprising poses a unique challenge—and potential attraction—to the American left.