Photo: Courtesy of CNN
Think Ron Paul is just a fringe wacko supported by online chat-board trolls in tin-foil hats?Nope.
That was the Ron Paul of four years ago.
This year, in addition to being supported by those folks, Ron Paul is capturing the hearts and minds of a very important voting block — young people who will grow up to control the country in the next decade or two.
It is true that most of these voters are Republicans. But Paul will likely appeal to young independents and Democrats, as well.
These young voters are not gravitating to Paul just because he wants to legalise pot.
(Although it must be said here that legalizing pot would obviously be a good idea. The fact that booze and cigarettes are sold and promoted on every city block and marijuana is illegal is preposterous. Legalizing it would create a big new industry and a lot of tax revenue. And it would also eliminate one of the many absurd double-standards in this country’s ethical, political, and legal landscape.)
These young voters are gravitating to Paul because:
- He is so obviously different from most politicians.
- He acknowledges the huge financial problems this country faces and has the balls to actually offer a concrete plan for dealing with them (it would temporarily destroy the economy, but at least it acknowledges the problem).
- He is willing to take positions far from the mainstream and therefore is clearly not a prisoner of the same “I’ll-say-anything-to-get-elected” ethos so prevalent in our dysfunctional government.
In short, what Ron Paul represents to young voters is change.
Change, of course, is the same thing that a lot of young voters thought they would be getting in President Obama. But instead, young voters feel they have gotten more of the same. (More of the Wall Street bailouts, more of the spending, more of the government dysfunction, more debt, etc.)
You don’t have to be a genius to see that, if our government continues on its present course — borrowing and spending way more than it takes in — the country is going to be screwed.
Ron Paul acknowledges that. And Ron Paul’s ideas, though radical in some cases, promise major change.
Older voters, for obvious reasons, don’t really care that the country’s finances are unsustainable (they’ll be dead by the time it matters). Older voters also have a big personal stake in things staying pretty much the same (they’re now transitioning from paying for government to getting paid by government).
Younger voters, meanwhile, don’t like the fact that the country they will soon inherit is charging headlong toward a cliff. They also don’t like the super-high unemployment rate, record-high student-loan debt, and the fact that the American dream that their parents enjoyed seems to be evaporating.
In other words, what Ron Paul is now tapping into is a developing war between generations, one that will only get more intense in the coming decades.
Half of voters under 30 just just voted for Ron Paul. Half.
The Washington establishment (and America) dismisses that at their peril.
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