Paul Undecided On 2012 Run

While there was little which was truly pro-freedom in Ron Paul’s platform of mixing Republican social conservatism and states’ rights ideas with libertarian bumper sticker lines, the Paul campaign was one of the more interesting aspects of the 2008 elections. The Hill reports that Paul says it is “too early” to decide as to whether he is running for president in 2012. For now he is concentrating on his reelection campaign.

While Paul generated a lot of interest, he was not able to receive a meaningful number of votes. It is questionable if he could match his 2008 levels of support without the Iraq war as a major issue. Paul did manage to build a grass roots movement capable of making some noise, but was not able to obtain any meaningful degree of national support.

Unfortunately the libertarian elements of his movement were ultimately drowned out by the racists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazis who also flocked to the Paul movement, often better understanding Paul’s views than his younger supporters. Ultimately Paul’s close relationship with extremist groups and the promotion of racism in his newsletter led many libertarians to disassociate themselves with Paul. Without either the Iraq war or support from libertarians it is questionable if Paul could recreate the excitement of the 2008 campaign.

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  1. 1
    AllenS says:

    Well said.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    What struck me most about the Ron Paul candicacy was the way that establishment neoconservatism (from Ann Coulter to the Republican talking heads on CNN) dismissed Paul as ‘not even being a real Republican’ because of his dissent from neoconservatives on foreign policy. Despite his opposition to the current neoconservative Republican establishment on a range of economic and foreign policy issues, Paul has a lot more in common with ‘classic’ paleoconservatives of the Pat Buchanan stripe than with libertarians. That is a very Republican ideological group, claiming to be directly derived from Robert Taft small government isolationism and certainly resembling it in many ways. Entirely Republican and not ‘libertarian’ at all.
    Indeed, in his day, Robert Taft’s nickname was ‘Mr. Republican.’ It just goes to show how far the modern neoconservative corporate/imperialist view of the world has diverged from ‘classical conservatism.’

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