Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God bless Ron Paul

I listened to Ron Paul's speech in North Dakota, yesterday. And frankly, it sounded exactly like almost every other Ron Paul speech that I've ever heard. That is staying on message. Paul hit the usual notes: end the Federal Reserve system, no undeclared wars and bring the troops home, follow the Constitution as written, and make real cuts in Federal spending (get rid of baseline budgeting). If you've never taken the time to listen to a full speech by the man, I suggest doing so. Here is last night's:

Here is a partial transcript.

He's not a thrilling speaker, at all. And he tends to repeat himself quite a bit in this particular speech. But some of his points really stick. That's probably why Paul attracts a new cadre of young followers every time he runs for office. When he's run for President, the same happens nationally. It happened in 1988 when Paul ran as a Libertarian, which of course translated to very few votes on election day.

After leaving politics for a while, Paul returned with a vengeance in 1996 and has been "on message" ever since. His run for President in 2008 exposed his ideas to a new generation of young voters across the country and a fair number supported him throughout the primaries. The 2012 primaries have seen Paul maintain the allegiance of this core group and even add to it. Paul's overall all support is around 12% and a breakdown of those numbers would show Paul doing better among younger voters than any other group. In fact, there are fair numbers of younger voters outside of the Republican Party--some of them even Democrats--who support Paul.

That's an easy thing to explain, of course: idealism. Paul has it, as do many young people. But Paul's campaign isn't going anywhere. Despite his ability to stay on message and despite the validity of much of that message, Paul is hopelessly flawed as a national candidate. Still, his is a good voice to hear, his is a good message to consider, for it helps to keep the rest of us honest and--from time to time--forces reality to be faced. So, I hope he keeps at it. He has my respect, for what it's worth.

And though I'm not a big fan of dynasties, perhaps his son Rand has a future on the national stage. I had the great honor of meeting Rand Paul and hearing him speak at a Cato event not all that long ago. While not quite in line with all of his father's views, Rand does carry the banner--so to speak--very effectively and understands his father's fiscal and monetary policy issues completely.

But even if Rand's future is not on such a stage, even if Ron can never hope to do more than he does now, his presence has had an impact, in my opinion, a very positive impact. And we are all in his debt for that.

Cheers, all.


  1. Nicely said, Robert. I'm a bit more effusive with my praise, though. I think his impact is greater than you, but that's to be expected, given my more libertarian leanings. I hope you don't mind some blatant pimping of my viewpoint here. :)

    As always, feel free to take similar advantage over at The Tireless Agorist.

    What's Your Candidate Done to Change the World?

  2. I'm always surprised that Paul's camp doesn't do more to emphasize his consistency. I think that would entice many voters, especially those that voted for Obama who feel he was inconsistent regarding his campaign promises, and actual record.