Why Ron Paul’s Candidacy is Critical to America

by on January 18th, 2011
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Let’s face facts: Ron Paul has about as much chance of winning the White House as Adam Sandler winning an Oscar anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean that Paul’s campaign is an exercise in futility. In fact, Paul is blazing an important trail, bringing libertarian issues to the forefront of national politics for the first time. His campaign isn’t about winning delegates, it’s about changing minds.

All indications seem to say that it is working, too. Limited government, constitutionality, and liberty are more than just buzzwords to Paul; they are his very reason for running. Although writers and economists (think Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman, especially) brought up libertarian ideals decades ago, we have never seen a libertarian presidential candidate last so long and become so prominent in a presidential nominating process.

This is something that can be appreciated, regardless of your political bent or party affiliation. Paul’s dedication to ideas–and, in turn, to public policy that would radically reshape broken systems–shows that people in America are tired of the same rhetoric from the two-party format. We may never disband the Federal Reserve, decriminalize drugs on a national level, or cease all foreign military intervention. But in a time when people are mainly concerned about jobs and the economy, Paul’s message resonates. That message continually asks what government is doing and why it is doing it.

People sometimes wonder why, if libertarian ideals are so solid, that the national Libertarian party isn’t stronger. This is a legitimate question. But the same mistrust of organizations and leadership means libertarians aren’t given to being herded; thus, an organization of libertarians becomes somewhat futile–like herding cats.

I won’t be voting for Paul in Pennsylvania’s primary in April. The nominating race is too close to use a vote that won’t help to decide anything, and the race already provides clear contrasts in ideals between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. But as long as Paul is in the race, I am listening to him, as is the rest of America. That’s a good thing for public policy, if nothing else.

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