Saturday, April 16, 2016

The state of the Ron Paul R3volution in 2016

Where are all the Ron 'Paulite' libertarians in 2016? - Daniel Libit, CNBC:

April 14, 2016 - "Last month, Walter Block, a libertarian professor of economics and long-time acolyte of Ron Paul, pinched his nose and co-launched a group, Libertarians for Trump.... While he finds much of Trump's domestic agenda odious, Block very much likes Trump's noninterventionist foreign policy positions.

"Still, Block insists his group ... advocates only for Trump as the Republican nominee, and it intends to promptly disband after the primary. Then, Block said, even his vote is up for grabs. 'If it was Bernie [Sanders] versus Donald, I would vote for the Libertarian [Party candidate] for sure," he told CNBC.com. 'If it was Donald versus Hillary [Clinton], I would have a much harder time. I would have trouble deciding.'

"His conundrum is not unique among his kind. Four years after its political awakening, and in the absence of an obvious rallying point, the Ron Paul coalition finds itself in a diffuse, conflicted and confused diaspora. Paul's devotees .. are now erratically strewn across the political spectrum of the 2016 election, ... attaching themselves to Trump's populism, Ted Cruz's conservatism and even Sanders' socialism....

"The current state of the Paul coalition ... suggests ... its support had much more to do with Paul's outsiderism, than his libertarianism. It is this reality that dawned too late on the presidential campaign of his son, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who thought he could expand on his father's base of support by appealing to establishment Republicans as well as true libertarians ... the campaign's internal polls found that of Iowa voters who said they supported Ron Paul in 2012, only about a third identified generally as having libertarian leanings....

"Paul commits his time to leading the Campaign for Liberty and the Ron Paul Institute, a foreign policy nonprofit.... But perhaps Paul's greatest political legacy is Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian student organization that Paul is not formally affiliated with, but which grew out of his 2008 presidential campaign. It currently counts 600 college chapters and 200,000-plus members....

"Cruz, despite Paul's withering criticisms, has arguably made the most consistent effort to attract his former supporters, even name-checking libertarians in his Iowa Caucus victory speech. Prior to Rand Paul dropping out of the race, Cruz had already snatched the support of Iowa state Sen. Jason Schultz, who endorsed Ron Paul in 2012, and Joel Kurtinitis, an activist who served as Paul's regional director. Cruz also won the endorsement of former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr, who has gotten crosswise with Paul in the past....

"But at least one political organization sees a unique opportunity this election — the national Libertarian Party. 'This is a year where things are so uncertain, and where the two parties are split among themselves, that it could be a very big opportunity,' said Wes Benedict, the Libertarian Party's executive director. Past nominee Gary Johnson's 1,275,871 votes in 2012 represented a high-water mark for the party in its 44-year history....

"During the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis ended with almost 7 percent of the vote, the most a third-party candidate has netted in the South since 1970.

"Immediately after Rand Paul's exit from this year's nominating contest, the Libertarian Party saw notable spikes in new donors, according to figures provided to CNBC.com. The party is on the ballot in 32 states (and Washington, D.C.) — the most of any third-party — and Benedict says he's confident it will be on all states' ballots for November."

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/14/where-are-all-the-ron-paulite-libertarians-in-2016.html
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