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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Paulonomics Factor

This article captures what I like about Ron Paul pretty well. In my short voting life, I have been a strong supporter of third parties for the simple fact that it changes the discourse and no major party candidate has ever inspired me. (Bush did inspire hatred from me in '04, I suppose.) Ron Paul is questioning fundamentals and, whether I agree with his answers or not, I like the questions:

Nut or not, Paul isn’t going away. His message is combining intense opposition to the war in Iraq with a strong agenda for free-market capitalism. So it’s drawing grass-roots support from both parties. Even if it’s a bridge too far for him to capture the GOP nomination, he could mount an insurgent run for the presidency with cross-party appeal and fundraising power, probably as the nominee of the Libertarian party (on whose ticket he ran for president in 1988). He could end up shaping the coming election as H. Ross Perot did the 1992 race — denying either major-party candidate the mandate of a majority of the popular vote, and shifting the center of gravity on important issues.

...For all his apparent extremism, there’s no other candidate who has managed to excite both Democrat and Republican voters by combining an anti-war message that irritates conservatives with a free-market message that irritates liberals. Nutty? Or brilliant?

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