The Youthful Magic of Ron Paul

ron paulSouth Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, the darling of the Tea Party wing nuts of the GOP, is urging Republican candidates to listen to Ron Paul. “One of the things that’s hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul,” DeMint told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

Why the sudden enthusiasm of Republican leaders for Ron Paul? Credit his surprisingly strong showing in New Hampshire, where 47 percent of primary voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for him.

No other Republican candidate has come nearly as close to winning over young voters – and the GOP desperately needs young voters. The median age of registered Republicans is rising faster than the median age of America.

robert reichThe Republican right thinks Paul’s views on the economy are responsible for this fire among the young. Yesterday evening, on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC program, I squared off with Larry and the Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore. Both are convinced young people are attracted by Paul’s strict adherence to the views of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and Paul’s desire to move America back to the gold standard.

Baloney. The young are flocking to Ron Paul because he wants to slice military spending, bring our troops home, stop government from spying on American citizens,  and legalize pot.

So do I, but I somehow doubt Jim DeMint would advise Republican candidates to listen to me, even if I were a Republican candidate for President.

Paul is attractive to younger voters precisely because of positions he takes that are anathema to the vast majority of the Republican base, including almost all Tea Party Republicans.

robert reichIf other Republican candidates want to cozy up to him, fine. But if they do, they’ll have a lot of explaining to do in Bluffton, South Carolina.

On the other hand, if Republicans — or Democrats, for that matter — want to win over much of the nation’s young next November, they’d do well to listen carefully to Paul’s positions on national defense and civil liberties.

Robert Reich
Robert Reich’s Blog

Published by the LA Progressive on January 12, 2012
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About Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written eleven books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine.

Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Comments

  1. Ok. I am a libertarian. I have two young children. I want them to go to private school. I should not have to pay property taxes to public schools. Public schools as John Dewey thought are the foundations of a socialist nation. Parents have the responsibility to pay for their childs education. Get rid of public schools and education costs will fall and people will have more money in their pockets to make their own choices. Get rid of medicare and healthcare costs will fall by 50 percent. Get rid of 90 percent of the government and peoples disposable incomes will rise by about 30 percent. I am basing these figures on a total taxation load of 40 to 50 percent which arises because of government medicare, social security, fed income tax, state income tax, local income tax, state sales tax, local sales tax and property taxes. Each one will say ‘we are only taking x percent of your income’. But combined the tax burden is about half of an upper middle class persons income.25 percent fed income tax, some states another 10 percent income tax, then medicare tax, social security tax, 10 percent sales tax where I live in Illinois. We are one of the most taxed nations in the world. And on top of that we have grossly corrupt money grabbing health insurance companies supported by both parties through the employer health insurance tax deduction.

  2. Rachel Contreras says:

    Ron Paul and Mitt Rommney are a danger to America with there racist bigot ideas and there greed anyone that believes there lies should try living there crazy ideas for a month!!!!! IN fact all the young people that are being sucked into there lies should think about there future without public education for there children or any of the things like freedom of anything slave wages and if you don’t happen to be white then your really going to have it hard because Ron Paul is a racist and a bigot and if you don’t believe that listen to what he had to say at the John Birch society meetings how he makes derogatory remakes about women and people of ethnic races!!! Where as Mitt Rommney check out his past when he was CEO of Bain see how much he really cares about you and me then see who you really want for President!!!!!!!

  3. Yes but ;

    Doesn’t he also want to abolish Public Education and deregulate almost everything ? (think Gas prices and Enron) .

    I think he’s dangerous for America .

    -Nate

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