Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Libertarian Problem and Why Ron Paul Will Never Win
Ron Paul is probably the best representation of what a libertarian candidate looks like. He's passionate, well-spoken, and extremely consistent in his message. It is true that he does take advantage of earmarks, under the notion that the money's going to get spent, anyway. I suppose that this practice, while not completely ideologically rigid, is understandable in the context of Washington politics.
In the recent Iowa straw poll, Dr. Paul placed second behind Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. For a seemingly unclear reason, media on both sides of the aisle has chosen to ignore this outcome and has designated Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney as the "tier 1" Republican candidates. Perhaps they do so because Ron Paul has run for President unsuccessfully twice before. Perhaps they believe that Ron Paul ultimately has limited appeal to their base constituencies. However, the true reason for the passing-over of Ron Paul, and why he will never win, is because of an inherent fault of libertarianism: our positions do not make good sound bites.
The truth of the matter is that many libertarian positions, including the ones I've already written about and ones that are forthcoming, sound absolutely insane to the average person when broken down into five second clips. There is no way to hear that we want to get rid of schools or that we have a problem with drunk driving laws without having an immediate (and often visceral) reaction. The explanations, though lucid, take too long in our culture of instant-gratification and even more instant decision-making.
I started this blog in an attempt to educate and to show that we are not crazy, that we truly want the best for all people, and that our policy suggestions would not create a lawless free-for-all of constant danger. To us, our positions, though sometimes personally uncomfortable, are the only way of ensuring the most freedom for the most people. I imagine Dr. Paul feels the same way. Unfortunately, none of us can say it in ten words or less.