Reuters this week reported on the aftermath of a phenomenon I wrote about here at Reason in March 2012 and in my 2012 book Ron Paul's Revolution: the march of Ron Paul-inspired "liberty kids" to positions of power and influence in the local Republican Party in Los Angeles.
Amir Zendehnam passionately supports marijuana legalization, same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the Republican Party.
He is not alone. The 26-year-old aspiring restaurateur and chairman of the party's West Los Angeles central committee, is one of a raft of ethnically diverse young libertarians who hold seats in L.A. County's huge GOP apparatus, injecting youthful energy into its operations at a time when the state's Republican Party is nearly moribund.
After winning control the executive board of the Los Angeles County Republican Party in December 2012, the "Liberty Kids," as they call themselves, are seeing the fruits of their activism. This year one of their own is running as the Republican nominee for Congress from the San Gabriel Valley, with Zendehnam serving as policy adviser.
The Liberty Kids are challenging the party's social conservatives and are drawing the attention of Democrats, who see liberal youth as part of their base. And in what could be a harbinger for the GOP, they have begun campaigning in other states, aiming to increase their influence beyond California……
The Liberty Kids hold four of seven seats on the local party's governing board and dozens of spots on its 200-person central committee, representing a county that is home to 10 million people.
Raised during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and excited by the non-interventionist philosophy of Ron Paul, the former Texas congressman and presidential contender, many registered as Republicans to vote for Paul in the 2008 and 2012 presidential primaries and then stayed on in the party….
Despite personal politics that might seem more in tune with Democrats—world peace, ending the war on drugs and addressing global warming top the list of concerns for many—these millennials say they are more comfortable with Republicans' emphasis on freedom than Democrats' penchant for regulation….
The newcomers have clashed with Tea Party libertarians, who skew more conservative on social issues. Many Tea Partiers bristle at the newcomers' views on abortion and immigration, and their deep distrust of the National Security Agency.
One more, localized, data point for the discussion we've been having round these parts, and all across the national media, regarding the "libertarian moment."
Hat tip: DEATFBIRSECIA