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Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Politics | 18 comments

Ron Paul: The Face of Tomorrow’s Republican Party?

A new Gallup Poll released on August 24 in which Republican and Republican-leaning Independents nationwide were asked to choose which candidate they supported for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination showed Rick Perry in the lead with 29% of the votes, followed by Mitt Romney with 17%, Ron Paul with 13%, and Michele Bachmann with 10%. No other candidate managed to poll more than 4%.

This is obviously great news for Rick Perry, who has gone from a 5% decifit to Mitt Romney in July to a 12% lead in August. Ron Paul, who has been hovering around 9% in national polls for much of the summer, continues to tick upward since his surprise second place finish in the Ames Straw Poll. Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, continues to slide in recent polls, a trend which began immediately after Perry’s entrance into the race.

What is interesting, however, is the crosstabs data, which shows how each candidate fared among various demographics (sex, age, geographic region, political ideology, and church attendance). Ron Paul bests all other candidates (by a fairly healthy margin) among voters aged 18 to 29 years with 29% of the votes, comes in tied in second among voters aged 30 to 49 years with 15% of the vote, but only receives 7% and 4% among voters aged 50 to 64 years and >65 years, respectively.

This poll, I believe, demonstrates a huge generational gap in terms of today’s Republican and Republican-leaning voters, with younger voters being much more open to the ideas of Ron Paul and libertarianism and older voters being much more hostile. Perhaps this suggests that there is hope for libertarianism in the GOP in the near future.

UPDATE: Jonathan Chait wrote an article yesterday at The New Republic that essentially covers the same points that I’ve made here.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • Regardless of whether it’s called Libertarian or Republican, the party’s going to need a new speaker. Ron Paul probably isn’t going to be around when the kids take over.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    But who will be able to take hold the RP torch? His son is a pol version of RP that picks and chooses his issues like any other member of the GOP, meaning the opposite of RP. Gary Johnson is attractive but he needs to get in office somewhere before he is forgotten and even more irrelevant. Other than those two the true RP types that can be trusted are _____ oh yeah nonexistent.

    It is akin to saying the future is Kucinich for the Dems, the youth love him but he is getting old and no one comes close to him, his integrity, his record and his views. Do not get me wrong I so hope and dream you are correct but I refuse to accept a “Reagan” version of Goldwater because that is what got us here. They need to be a true blue libertarian or we get half measures that make things worse or a double investment in corporatism and the DOD while cutting the social safety net yet more.

  • RP

    Magical…Do you believe even if we elect a “true blue Libertarian” as President that much would change given the makeup of congress?

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    RP-As we have seen with every POTUS a great deal of things can be done purely by the Admin themselves. Secondly a true libertarian like RP will not sign many things that are objectionable on ideological grounds. That alone would reverse the trends from both the Patriot Act and the War on Drugs, war and the DOD spending in general.

    If the POTUS is forced to sign a budget that adds to the DOD fine but if they are not being used in any manner the logic behind doing so will be called greatly into question. As to larger issues like entitlements and overall spending the bully pulpit can be powerful when the message is new and especially if it is a truly revolutionary change of course. We have not had that in a POTUS in a very very very long time so it is difficult to gauge just how much effect it would have but changing the discussion and the framework of the discussion would have more effect than anything we have seen in the past few decades. FDR and LBJ had just such a revolutionary message on many things that resulted in changing the way people thought in general and to a lessor degree so did Reagan, only lessor since he worked within the existing framework much more heavily than the other two.

    Not having a “true blue” one is the Reagan result which focuses purely on a few small things that in the end cause distortion like cutting taxes without cutting spending, or talking of freedom and liberty when it was merely freedom from some taxes and regulations that certain industries did not like and the such. Gary Johnson himself showed how much effect an executive can have on just NM where his brand of politics was very different than those that came before and followed the same spirit in a POTUS could not only re-make a single party but the entire nation in the mold of an FDR type change of mind.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Purity in party support or in party ideology is meaningless but purity of internal ideology and right vs wrong can have a major effect if it is of a different variety than those that came before.

  • The idea is not that Ron Paul will be leading the movement from behind his walker 20 years from now but that demographics suggest that his ideas may win out in the long run.

    Ron Paul derives his greatest support from Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents in the 18-29 year age range, which also happens to be the demographic that votes the least frequently. Meanwhile, Ron Paul’s support is so thin as to be almost nonexistent among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents aged 65 and older, which also happens to be the demographic that votes most reliably.

    Twenty years from now, however, that 18-29 year old demographic will make up a much larger proportion of Republican Primary voters while a significant portion of the >65 year old demographic will have–not to be crude–passed away.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Nick-Are you saying that you see a pol that will be able to make the transition in the GOP or purely that young cons are of the RP variety?

    I ask because I am of the opinion that the GOP is so far from the RP side that it is the party of the elders that repels the younger so much that a third party may end up absorbing them and eclipsing the GOP, libertarian party please. It is possible that with a long enough period in the political wilderness the GOP could change but as long as it is the party of social cons I see no movement. Social cons heavily turn off RP types. Whether they hold personally socially conservative views or not they hate the concept of forcing those views on others by law. That is one of the key areas where the RP supporters part ways violently with the TP supporters (and oddly as you note TP mostly elderly and RP mostly young).

    Personally as an avid RP supporter I refuse to vote for economic freedom of those that make more than me while losing social freedoms or other forms of liberty. Give me some liberty to vote for other than financial, many of us make so little that it lacks any resonance.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather asked:

    Nick-Are you saying that you see a pol that will be able to make the transition in the GOP or purely that young cons are of the RP variety?

    The latter. It’s tremendously difficult for a politician to attain high office without being co-opted by the establishment, and I don’t see anyone on the horizon within the GOP that fill the same role than Ron Paul does.

    I think there is some hope among younger Republicans and conservatives (i.e. those 18-29 years) however. Every generation seems to be less socially conservative than the one that preceded it. Younger Republicans and conservatives tend to be more open-minded with regards to marijuana legalization, gays, and religion, which bodes well for the future. Also, people’s political views tend to be heavily influenced by the major events that take place during their formative years, meaning that the unpopularity of the Iraq War and discrediting of the Bush Doctrine is liable to make today’s Republican/conservative youth less likely to endorse such views in the future.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Understood, to be honest though I was really hoping I was missing some pols that I needed to keep an eye on for the future.

    Just to let you know it has been my experience that many RP cons exist also in the 30-45~ demographic but they are in no way a part of the GOP due to being pushed out over social issues long ago(they are mostly Indies or just do not vote anymore). RP really created a surge of young 18-29 activists that rode into the GOP party on a wave where as their older counterparts often cant bring themselves to join the party due to past problems, though they still donate to and often work hard for RP campaigns. Heck they were also a good deal of the backbone of the organizing portion of the TP groups until they went all social con and mainline GOP. Now Prof is the only one in that mold that I know that did not flee, though I do not remember him saying he was a big RP supporter.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    “Ron Paul will be leading the movement from behind his walker 20 years from now”

    And he will probably still be voting against meaningful reforms in Medicate and Social Security too…

    I don’t understand why Ron Paul should receive a pass on his hypocrisy on these issues or on his willing and repeatedly associations with racists over the years or on his frequent embrace of truly bizarre conspiracy theories about control of global banking by Jews.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Logan-RP has some associations with the same groups the TP does. One difference is I have yet to see any racist signs or vocal bigots at his rallies and the such. If you scratch the surface on the pols you always find some bad connections though. On the right it tends to be race groups/paranoid fringe types and dominists and on the left commies and 60’s protestor types some of a more violent variety. The reason is that these groups often are major money donors and king makers of their parties. I am not saying this should be forgiven or ignored outright but merely noting that this hardly makes RP special.

    As for the “Jews and banking” reference do you have a link or something that explains that charge? I know he is avidly anti federal reserve, which has been linked to antisemitism often without any merit so I would like to see something a bit solid. In many ways it is all in how it is communicated. For instance noting that hollywood is filled with Jewish people is not a problem saying it is run by Jews for evil reasons is and banking is rather similar.

    He votes against “meaningful reforms” in the same manner Fiengold voted against other types of “meaningful reforms” Meaning he has a view and refuses to vote for bills that go against his red lines(like Clinton nuking a healthcare deal he didnt like). In other words RP doesnt really make deals, which of course is his entire appeal for libertarian types.

    Dont get me wrong RP has problems, his disbelief in evolution equating abortion with murder and of course his habit of putting pork for his district in bills and then voting against them to keep his hands clean. He is a pol he just happens to be one of the few pols that happens to be a relatively straight arrow. Many do not like the direction the arrow points while others do but it is hard to misunderstand the direction at least. Sadly blemished as he is he currently stands alone in regards to his libertarian cred where as the rest of the GOP fights hard for economic liberty of a type while fighting against social liberty of many varieties while the Dems do the opposite. As I have said many times give me a pol that wants to give us liberty across the board and it will be hard to stop me voting for them, currently RP though imperfect comes the closest. Plus since he is not considered a valid option he is free to call BS where he sees it like on the patriot act and wars (foreign and domestic)and the like, this is merely something he has in common with Kucinich and Chomsky and many others that are wonderful and have great ideas but their ability to communicate them freely is predicated on them not needing to play nice with the establishment and buy into general party delusions.

    He doesnt want reforms, he wants the programs to die, to reform is to fix or tinker around the edges which ensures they do not die. To be honest though I think he is merely being more honest than the rest of the current GOP primary field. They also want to nuke them or “privatize” them he just isnt afraid of openly speaking about it, nor does he support the Ryan option of giving those above a certain age one deal while everyone funding it gets a worse one.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    MSF, when the openly racist group Stormfront endorsed Ron Paul, he not only refused to reject their support, he appeared in person to accept their endorsement. And the “Ron Paul Newsletter” of the early 1990s contained openly racist material in not just one but many issues.

    I don’t think drawing a completely unsupported false equivalence to the fact that some racists have drawn themselves towards the “Tea Party” does anything to rid Paul of the very close PERSONAL associations that he has PERSONALLY built with racist groups.

    Put another way, having a racist show up at your rally is not the same as you yourself going to the racist’s rally, is it?

    I don’t know if Ron Paul is personally a bigot, but he willingly hangs around with bigots and has allowed bigots to write in a newsletter bearing his name. That is tons worse than a bunch of vague stereotypes about the “Tea Party” based on cherry-picked examples of racists who just happen to show up at a TP rally and hold up a racist sign that the anti-TP media and bloggers highlight while ignoring everyone else.

    And even if all the hackneyed stereotypes about the “Tea Party” (and literally every single person who ever disagrees with a liberal on anything) all being racists were true, that still would not excuse Ron Paul’s history of embracing them.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    Oh, I also think the excuses the Ron Paul’s supporters use for his votes in support of increased Social Security and Medicare funding and his votes to block all meaningful reforms of those programs are just too transparently “convenient” to be credible.

    He is either different because he stands on principle or not. He can’t pick and choose on something like that.

    I think Ron Paul is just another political extremist who happened to gain an unusually eclectic cult following because some leftists found it convenient to embrace an anti-war pseudo-Republican for a few years. That is why Ron Paul gets excuses made for him that no other Republican would ever get the benefit of, especially by writers like most of those here that are primarily dedicated to bashing Republicans and giving everyone else a pass. Paul gets the kid-glove treatment precisely because he is too weird and too extreme to ever be a really credible opponent. People who hate Republicans want to hand-pick Paul as the “good” Republican and that itself is enough reason to reject the argument.

    I mean, seriously, do you think it would be legitimate for FoxNews to get to define who the “good Democrats” are?

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    It was his strong ties to the Birchers that I was speaking of. The newsletter issues are primarily guilt by association which if used on much of the current political field they would also run into issues with. For instance Bachmann with the gay “fixers” and dominists and Perry with the dominists, to be fair not all of the GOP field has this problem just those that are currently out in front.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/ron_paul_racist/

    “I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations.”

    ~ Ron Paul, 2004

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/malone2.html

    The advantage of RP is that though he runs with kooks and is a kook on many issues I do not believe he will push those beliefs on the population to feed red meat to his kooks which is unlike most pols. I do not have an issue looking at RP’s darker supporters and views my issue is ignoring the rest of the GOP fields dark associations while going after RP and judging him by a different standard(oddly one of my main issue with the hunt for Obama).

    Please post these direct links of his “personal” ties and how he has “personally” cultivated them. It is a put up or shut up moment on that. I have heard it for years but I have yet to see links that truly concern me anymore than Buchanan but RP unlike him draws red lines of where he will not go(and to be fair Buchanan is kind of on record with some of his views).

    If you do not police those racists or come out and forcefully speak on being supportive of the progress we have made as he did above then yes it is a problem. The TP played footsy with the issue and didnt make a change until the entire movement was successfully smeared(of course some leaders had some dark pasts as well).

    “I don’t know if Ron Paul is personally a bigot, but he willingly hangs around with bigots and has allowed bigots to write in a newsletter bearing his name. That is tons worse than a bunch of vague stereotypes about the “Tea Party” based on cherry-picked examples of racists who just happen to show up at a TP rally and hold up a racist sign that the anti-TP media and bloggers highlight while ignoring everyone else.”

    The above makes him differ from the major GOP field in the newsletter only and I would note you have many times not accepted the “running with bigots” problem in relation to the TP so why feel differently with RP? I noted it was a problem and that they needed to clean it up and many on the right charged me with playing a guilt by association game which you are doing here.

    “And even if all the hackneyed stereotypes about the “Tea Party” (and literally every single person who ever disagrees with a liberal on anything) all being racists were true, that still would not excuse Ron Paul’s history of embracing them.”

    No but it does show you are using different metrics which begs the question why.

    “Oh, I also think the excuses the Ron Paul’s supporters use for his votes in support of increased Social Security and Medicare funding and his votes to block all meaningful reforms of those programs are just too transparently “convenient” to be credible.”

    Do you have links to these votes? Sorry I had not heard of him voting to increase funding on those so if you have the info education would be appreciated. I have no issue shifting from RP support to RP like “but means it” support since at this point I am more in support of people in the mold of RP rather than RP in general, as I have noted he is a kook but a kook that at least interests me much more than the other kooks he is with in the field.

    “I mean, seriously, do you think it would be legitimate for FoxNews to get to define who the “good Democrats” are?”

    But Logan that has been done already which is why Lieberman and a few others that come out publicly against Dem POTUS nominees are the only ones that are not “in bed with terrorists.” Just because centrists and Dems dont listen doesnt mean that this is not happened and that many GOP voters do not 100% believe it.

    **When discussing the GOP field I am not talking about Romney, Huntsman, Johnson(great guy) or Pawlenty unless I missed something.

    ***It may not be liberals that treat RP nicely. Libertarians are actually very common in media and other areas and they lack any real voice in our process. They merely get to choose between economic liberty and social liberty and even then only up to the point that party allows at that moment. Someone that speaks of a broad range of liberty would be highly attractive to these types of which I am one.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    “The newsletter issues are primarily guilt by association”

    The newsletter was not merely an association, it bore his name. That spin won’t work.

    I think you are using a pretty obvious double standard here by giving Ron Paul the benefit of charitable interpretations and benefit of the doubt thinking that no other politician — and around here especially no other Republican — would EVER get.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    BTW, claims of “Tea Party” racism are usually exaggerations concocted by people who hate the “Tea Party” and who hate everyone who disagrees with liberal thinking on every issue and who seize on a few fringe people who just show up to the rally and then dishonestly present those people as the entirety of the “Tea Party” movement (and all conservatives generally). It is a bigoted stereotype dressed up as a pose for tolerance and it’s disgusting to watch it trotted out over and over and over without ever being challenged. Especially on this site, the people who are calling the “Tea Party” racist are those who call EVERYONE they disagree with racist. There is no credibility to the charge when it is just a partisan weapon.

    Ron Paul’s association with racists isn’t limited to people who just showed up at his rallies. HE WENT TO STORMFRONT, not Stormfront to him. That is the fact that no spin and no false equivalence and no “hey look over here the Tea Party is worse” subject-changing can escape.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    “I think you are using a pretty obvious double standard here by giving Ron Paul the benefit of charitable interpretations and benefit of the doubt thinking that no other politician — and around here especially no other Republican — would EVER get.”

    And I think you are doing the same. The difference is that you are wrong on one point. I would give another member of the GOP such a long rope if I trusted that his personal views would not be pushed on the nation due to his extreme ties to the constitution and libertarian ideology. Dude you are speaking to a Goldwater republican. Goldwater was problematic on many many levels but if he had ran prior to or after the civil rights era I would have voted for him because I care a great deal less about a persons ties and views when their personal ethos is “do your own thing.”

    What I find odd is your defense of the TP and other members of the GOP over your time here while going after RP using the same tactics that you usually fight against when done by the lefties. Why does RP get such a special status when you are deciding who to malign? I ask because I have just explained why I give him extra rope.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    “BTW, claims of “Tea Party” racism are usually exaggerations concocted by people who hate the “Tea Party” and who hate everyone who disagrees with liberal thinking on every issue and who seize on a few fringe people who just show up to the rally and then dishonestly present those people as the entirety of the “Tea Party” movement (and all conservatives generally). It is a bigoted stereotype dressed up as a pose for tolerance and it’s disgusting to watch it trotted out over and over and over without ever being challenged. Especially on this site, the people who are calling the “Tea Party” racist are those who call EVERYONE they disagree with racist. There is no credibility to the charge when it is just a partisan weapon.”

    I think things are starting to come into focus, you seem to be a strong TPer otherwise you wouldnt take this so very personally and you do seem to.

    See me and many of the people I know were part of the RP revolution movement and when the TP popped up I didnt join but most of my friends did, I warned them that it was like the militia movement back in the 90’s and was just a cover for the GOP base of the more extreme variety.

    They stuck around until the racists and Christianists showed up and then they left as well. We are libertarians not GOP or liberals though we now vote more to the left after the W years since the GOP is basically viewed as utterly invalid.

    As for Stormfront he refuses to give back nor deny the ability to get donations from them or endorsements for that matter(I suppose he could have pulled a Barr and told them to screw off). If the KKK wanted to donate to Obama I wouldnt care as long as I didnt see it making him buy into KKK views and actions. Do you have a link or anything about him personally showing up to get the endorsement because I have found nothing. I have found that they endorsed him but an endorsement by a group does not equate to his support of them or their views but instead notes he is closest to what they currently think is possible(which makes sense since he wants to end entitlements and move to a states rights model, similar to racists support of Goldwater though Goldwater actually said many dark things on race and vocally supported segregation which is where RP’s son is closer to Goldwater than RP himself is).

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