The Ron Paul
revolution has come about quickly in less than a year's time. It
has surprised nearly everyone, including Congressman Paul himself.
Libertarians are accustomed to seeing the same typical Republicans
and Democrats running each election cycle, while the Libertarian
Party presidential candidate gets less than 1% of the vote with
no hopes of winning. So why all of a sudden is Ron Paul having so
In many ways,
there is a bit of a perfect storm brewing. Ron Paul is the only
member of Congress with a strong libertarian philosophy and he obviously
has the experience of running campaigns. By running as a Republican,
he is able to accomplish more since the whole system has been rigged
against third-party candidates. The most important aspect of his
run as a Republican is his presence in the debates, which has exposed
a whole new audience to the message of freedom and small government.
to all of this, there is a high resentment towards politicians these
days. The current president's approval ratings are low and the Congress
(controlled by Democrats) has even lower approval ratings. There
is also a very unpopular war being fought, which neither side has
the willingness to end.
There was a
similar environment in the 1970's with a war that was even more
unpopular because of the draft. There were also the disasters of
the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Although there was revolution
in the air at that time, it seemed to be dominated by socialists.
There was certainly an anti-war revolt, but it was coupled with
calls for bigger government at home.
factor in the whole success of the Ron Paul revolution is of course
the internet. It is hard to say how successful the Paul campaign
would have been without the internet, but most could safely assume
that it would have been much more difficult for people to organize.
There is another
link in the whole rEVOLution that often gets ignored. The libertarian
base has finally developed enough to have a revolution. The internet
is great. Having an unpopular president and Congress have certainly
helped. Having a man like Ron Paul, running as a Republican, has
been critical. But all of this would not be possible if the ideas
of liberty had not been planted in people's heads prior to this.
Browne ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in
1996 and 2000, he knew and admitted that he had no chance to win.
The purpose of his campaigns was not to win. He continually stated
that his main purpose was to educate people and recruit and grow
the libertarian base for the future. He understood that you could
not wave a magic wand and create liberty without the hard work of
convincing our fellow humans of the great benefits of liberty.
Thanks to the
work of Harry Browne, many of the writers and readers of LewRockwell.com,
Ron Paul himself, and so many others, we are now in a position to
make gains for our side.
it seems the government gets bigger and more powerful, while a minor
setback for the government is seen as a rare accomplishment for
libertarians. It seems that libertarians can't do anything to cut
the government. It is a lot of work just trying to slow down its
Now we see
more hope than ever. We see that maybe it will be possible in the
future to make significant gains for freedom. And it is due to the
hard work and determination of past libertarians that fought on,
even though progress could rarely be visibly seen.
Some Ron Paul
supporters think this is the last chance to save our country and
our freedom. While possible, it is not likely. This revolution should
actually give renewed hope, as a whole new generation of libertarians
is growing exponentially. Even if Ron Paul does not win the Republican
nomination, this past year has been an enormous success.
In the past,
we libertarians have heard from many, particularly Republicans,
that the only way to reduce the state is in baby steps. In other
words, we can't be too radical in what we advocate or it will turn
people away. The people that said this and continue to say this
have it completely wrong. It is the radical libertarian base that
has stayed consistent and on message and has done far more to help
the cause of liberty than anyone else.
As the number
of radical libertarians increase (which has happened quickly due
to Ron Paul and the internet), the quicker it will be that the state
falls. It would be nice if Ron Paul were to become president in
2009. It would speed up our agenda into light speed. But even if
Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination, his campaign has helped recruit
radical libertarians that can now help educate other people on the
benefits of liberty.
Congressman Paul for his past work and now for leading our rEVOLution.
Let's also not forget about all of the people prior to this that
never gave up hope and set the stage for where we are today.
Pike [send him mail]
currently resides in Florida. In his spare time, he enjoys sports,
music, investing, and studying libertarianism.