Can Rand Paul Keep Commanding the Ron Paul Army?


David Freelander at Daily Beast has a piece on whether or not Rand Paul can count on keeping his dad's 2 million or so GOP-primary-voting supporters, and more importantly his many hundreds of activist foot soldiers, with many quotes from me (author of the book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.)

Some excerpts:

conversations with several of the Ron Paul foot soldiers who trooped to Iowa and New Hampshire in the winters of 2007 and 2011 reveal a deep skepticism that the son can be a proper heir to what has become known as the liberty movement.

"Some folks expect there to be an automatic rollover in support from his father, and I don't think that is going to be the case," said Joel Kurtinitis, who was Ron Paul's state director in Iowa in 2012 and since has served as an official in the state GOP. "It's not automatic. We feel like automatic loyalty has cost us—one Clinton is just like the last Clinton; one Bush is just like the next Bush. We are going to watch people."

Freelander than points out that a lack of fearlessness–a sense that their guy is speaking his truth and doesn't care what any establishment things–is something some Ron fans detect, and dislike, in Rand. While undoubtedly those harcore diehards are a small percentage of the 2 million voters, their activist enthusiasm is, as Freelander writes, needed–" If he loses them or sees their enthusiasm dip, he quickly becomes just another senator scrambling to distinguish himself from the pack."

The article goes on to quote me pretty extensively on how Rand seems willing to lose some of his father's most ardent supporters and while generally pretty anti-expansionist-foreign-policy in his votes and stances, isn't willing to be vocally anti-empire and actively accuse the U.S. of perfidious behavior overseas.

Freelander ends with a quote from me on a point I enjoy repeating when given the chance:

"We know that something like 40 to 50 percent of Americans don't vote," said Doherty. "Ron Paul created his vote. His people were not previously Republicans. They were disaffected, anti-government activists who hated the political process. He drew them from those Americans who don't vote, and a lot of them are going to go back to not voting."