Is Ron Paul responsible?

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There is an editorial entitled “A surprisingly refreshing aftertaste (though maybe not for Mayor Bloomberg) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s supersized soft drink ban is struck down in court. Big Gulp lovers rejoice” was published in Canada’s MacLean’s magazine of March 25, 2013, p. 4. In this editorial, the following passage appeared:

“Moreover, the new rules were to apply only to city-regulated food vendors, chiefly restaurants and food carts. Even though Bloomberg’s initative was widely described as a “Big Gulp ban,” convenience stores like 7-Eleven could not be covered, nor could groceries, bodegas, or vending machines. And ultra-sugary fruit smoothies and fat-rich milkshakes were explicitly exempted. This had petitioners ranging from the New York Korean-American Grocers Association to the Teamsters union complaining to the state court that the drink limits were irrational and economically unfair. Even some Democrats and leftists who are otherwise fans of fairly interventionist government felt Bloomberg was making himself look vaguely silly, and of course libertarians applied the truncheon unceasingly to Bloomberg…”

Focus for a moment, on that last phrase: “and of course libertarians applied the truncheon unceasingly to Bloomberg…”

It is my contention that absent Ron Paul’s contribution, that last phrase never would have appeared in this editorial. If the Paul phenomenon (Ron, not Rand) had not taken place, that quote would have appeared as it was without this last phrase mentioning libertarianism. Before Ron, libertarianism was ignored. Now, it is not.

Can I prove this claim of mine? Of course not. It is not a matter of praxeology. But, based on my own “verstahen” (understanding) of political economy, society, journalism, etc., and my long experience in the libertarian movement (I think I used to be an enfant terrible of libertarianism, now in the view of some I’m an eminence grise; I don’t know what happened. I guess time goes by quickly when you are having fun) I can confidently say that without Ron Paul’s contribution, we would be back in the dark ages of being ignored. Now, amazingly to this old coot, mainstream publications like MacLeans actually mention libertarianism, Fox news pretty boys like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck (falsely) claim to be libertarians. Where will this end? Murray Rothbard is up there somewhere, cacklying away merrily.

12:14 pm on March 31, 2013