Sorry for the title, don’t come after me, please, I’m hiding in a closet in an undisclosed place in.. uh… Maryland.. yeah… that’s the ticket.
It’s just that in addition to the obvious problems with Mitt as a candidate, the bigger problem could be Ron Paul.
Obama won the Presidency in 2008 because of the youth movement that he was able to put together. Long-time readers know that I view youth movements with horror. Think Nazi Germany, that was a youth movement. Communist movements are youth movements. This doesn’t mean that the leaders are young – although the oldest person in Hitler’s original cabinet was 40 – it just means that the followers are young and idealistic. Idealism in small doses is great. When it takes over, it is a mob and it tramples and destroys everything in its path.
Ron Paul is leading a youth movement. Many of his voters in New Hampshire, where anyone, even the dead, can get a ballot, told reporters that if Ron Paul isn’t the candidate, they will vote for Barack Obama. Ron Paul or Barack Obama. Sound strange? What do they have in common? Well, they are both leaders of a radical youth movement. The children of baby boomers have come of age.
The Democratic convention will be a tightly scripted TV extravaganza extolling the Prince and his wise and kindly rule. The Republican convention could conceivably feature a major address by Paul calling for the abolition of the Fed, FEMA and the CIA; American withdrawal from everywhere; acquiescence to the Iranian bomb — and perhaps even Paul’s opposition to a border fence lest it be used to keep Americans in. Not exactly the steady, measured, reassuring message a Republican convention might wish to convey. For libertarianism, however, it would be a historic moment: mainstream recognition at last.
Put aside your own view of libertarianism or of Paul himself. I see libertarianism as an important critique of the Leviathan state, not a governing philosophy. As for Paul himself, I find him a principled, somewhat wacky, highly engaging eccentric. But regardless of my feelings or yours, the plain fact is that Paul is nurturing his movement toward visibility and legitimacy.
Paul is 76. He knows he’ll never enter the promised land. But he’s clearing the path for son Rand, his better placed (Senate vs. House), more moderate, more articulate successor.
And it matters not whether you find amusement in libertarians practicing dynastic succession. What Paul has already wrought is a signal achievement, the biggest story yet of this presidential campaign.
You wonder how Obama can win Florida? This is how.