Opinion: Ron Paul’s Message Appeals to Younger Voters

Paul has energized a passionate group of younger voters who are against many current political trends.

So much fun.

So little time.

Mitt Romney may effectively capture the Republican nomination by the end of January—with probable wins in both South Carolina and Florida—and close off the fascinating slugfest of GOP debates and primaries by the end of this month.

A pity. So much more could happen.

Ron Paul is just reaching his stride and energizing the “other base” of the Republican Party—not the angry, imploding Newt Gingrich. Not the pumped-up Rick Santorum. And not the Democratic fill-in, Jon Huntsman, and not even the Tea Party.

Paul is going the distance because of the passion of young, anti-war, anti-bailout, anti-Fed, anti-government, anti-globalist voters. And, if current events keep turning in his direction, Paul may just turn the Republicans, if not the country, around.

Look at the FoxNews.com exit polls from New Hampshire here. Paul trounces Romney among the young.

Watch the faces and the fist-pumping crowd of these young true believers that flock to his “liberty” cry.

And listen to Paul’s speech after placing second to Romney. No teleprompter, no notes, just defiance, conviction and passion for his cause.

Paul has tapped into the rage of many Americans, but especially Republicans, Libertarians and independents who rail against the Federal Reserve (“audit it”); against the bank bailouts (“let them fail”); and against the war on drugs (“it has failed”).

But pay closer attention to his “get out of these wars of choice” message.

This is Paul’s secret weapon—“peace,” the word that became unfashionable after George McGovern’s landslide loss to Richard Nixon during the bedlam and backlash against the Vietnam War.

Paul has re-framed the anti-war debate using accounting, wrecking-ball phases and unanswerable questions to drive his points home.

Why can’t these countries defend themselves?

Why is the U.S. the “policeman of the world?”

Why should the U.S. make the world “safe for democracy” while taking it away at home? 

Read: Patriot Act; latest National Defense Authorization Act (that arguably allows for arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens on American soil, without benefit of counsel or trial); the Internet “kill switch”; and the grumbles about the TSA and the overreach and/or incompetence of Homeland Security (read: Fast and Furious scandal and the latest Washington Post report that U.S. agents laundered drug money for Mexican Colombian cartels).

The price Americans are paying is too high, Paul argues. Not just in costs of the wars (trillions) or the loss of lives (thousands of Americans, tens of thousands of “enemy combatants” and “collateral damage” civilians, but also in loss of liberty.

Paul has given voice to a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction in the country among voters of all persuasions: the never-ending wars.

As Gingrich and Santorum bang the drums for more war—with Iran (pre-emptive if necessary)—they flail and fail in the polls.

Gingrich, now more Sherman-esque than Churchill-like, is seeking revenge against Romney—at any cost.

Gingrich wraps himself in the Ronald Reagan legacy, while simultaneously violating Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” The former speaker’s sole reason for existence now appears to be “destroy Romney.”

Meanwhile, Romney marches along, picking up delegates and endorsements, including a fistful of former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican, while Paul tackles and pins the rest of the field on their hypocrisy.

Paul’s most withering remark was calling Gingrich a “chicken-hawk” for receiving five deferments during the Vietnam War. Paul served as a flight surgeon.

When Gingrich tried to counter with his trademark “professorial snide” putdown by saying that he was “prevented” from serving because he was married with one child, Paul stared angrily into the face of the New Hampshire debate cameras and responded, “I was married with two children and I went.”

Another bunch of ongoing wars, plus another flare-up threatening to escalate from bravura to bombs—in Iran—has Paul’s rallying point on the cusp of replacing James Carville’s legendary mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Paul’s dire warning may become 2012’s latest bumper sticker: “It’s the wars, stupid.”

sjosephm January 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM
"Ron Paul is just reaching his stride and energizing the “other base” of the Republican Party..." And this "other base" is the majority of America. If the media could be unbiased for just one quarter of this political season then Paul would wrap up the Republican nomination and then the general election. We are not just the youth of the nation, not by a long shot. Thanks for the nice oped Colleen O'Connor and Shauntel Lowe.
David Zuniga January 13, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Indeed, it's the wars, Colleen; yours is a well-reasoned piece. American history illustrates that the will of the citizens has mattered little when it came to wars. Most citizens did NOT want The War to Enslave the States, the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, etc.; read contemporaneous newspapers to see that in 1861, 1898, 1917, and from 1936-41, the average American wanted no part of war. From 1861-65, about 20 nations ended slavery without going to war. The USS Maine's mysterious explosion was never proven attributable to Spain, and it had no business in Havana Harbor. No national defense purpose can be shown for the USA in either world war. In any case, after WWII, the U.S. military industry and population are gargantuan; no nation or combination of nations would dare militarily attack the USA. As I explain in the monograph below, presidents and generals have long maintained that a full-time professional military is un-American and dangerous to liberty and rule of law. Of all presidential candidates over the past few decades, Ron Paul is the only one who has held this founding fathers' position about a paid military. Against the huge, self-adulating military subculture, this had become increasingly unpopular, especially under Bush II. Thank God, things are changing. http://thisbloodlesslibertythebook.blogspot.com/2011/12/nation-of-patriotsor-nation-of.html D.M. Zuniga, P.E. Founder, AmericaAgain! Trust www.JoinAmericaAgain.com
Michael Grace January 13, 2012 at 06:20 AM
No BS. As a 56 year old professional involved in Paul and Rand's campaigns since '07 I'm tired of being the youth movement. I love the kids but I'm tired of being told I'm either flakey or I don't exist. If I were young I'd be pissed about how my money/future has been wasted and I'd be very pro Paul and very very angry about how the establishment has tried to steer us away from him. As an older voter I am tired of watching the stupidity and dishonest policies of virtually every elected official we are foolish enough to trust. A vote for Paul is a smart vote.
Jackson Baer January 13, 2012 at 06:54 AM
The media can ignore him but his message of freedom and liberty is spreading! RON PAUL 2012 http://www.whatthehellbook.com/2012/01/05/fired-for-not-believing-in-hell/


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