By Hunter Wallace
“Pinpointing the exact moment that a human is dead is a tricky medical conundrum. Doubly so for political movements. Perhaps we should wait until Rand Paul’s campaign folds up its tent. Perhaps we should wait until Dr. Paul heads off to the one place with more gold than his investment portfolio. Maybe we should call it when Jack Hunter announces in his grating moralistic tone that he’s had a change of heart about his libertarian principles.
Rats are, after all, the surest indicator that a ship is drowning.
I consider last week’s Republican debate the moment that the paleo-libertarian insurgency died. This moment, Rand Paul’s big debut as a presidential candidate, was supposed to be a crowning moment for a revolution which was decades in the making. It didn’t only end with a metaphorical whimper, but with Rand literally whimpering about constitutional errata after the American mind, the debate audience, and even his corps of notoriously rabid supporters had already moved on to bigger and brighter things. …”
“Contrast this with Ron Paul’s 2008 performances. Whatever you might think of him and libertarianism, Paul differentiated himself from the rest of the field, which was then still caught up in Bush-era neoconservatism. …
Is this the end of the Ron Paul movement, which began in 2007 as a heady, though quite genuine, antiwar alternative to the staus quo? Could we have seen this coming? Let’s put aside the “playing the game” critique, which so many have leveled against Rand Paul and his followers, who made their peace with the Republican establishment and conservative movement. Could we have seen this coming in the shear number of sub-mediocrities who were promoted by the “liberty movement” (some of whom were recently indicted for alleged campaign malfeasance)? Could we have seen this coming due to the nature of libertarianism itself? Libertarianism is, after all, a form of liberalism, in other words, a purified version of the system’s own ideology.
In the end, millions of dollars were raised on behalf of the Paul family, and millions of man-hours invested in a movement that has become barely distinguishable from standard Republicanism. So again—what was the point? …”
I’ve been thinking the same thing … what started as a movement which seemed for a time to be a genuine challenge to the status quo has ended in a conventional Republican politician carping that Donald Trump is a RINO.
It is obvious at this point that Rand Paul has none of the charisma, principles, or sincerity that powered the Ron Paul presidential campaigns. Not only will Rand Paul fail in his presidential bid, he won’t even come close to matching Ron Paul’s 2012 performance in votes or fundraising. He’s the albatross that will sink the “liberty movement.”
Ron Paul’s supporters are already abandoning the sinking ship:
“Senator Paul has raised significantly less than most major candidates, pulling in $6.9 million, including a $1.6 million transfer from his Senate committee. Affiliated super PACs have raised only $5 million. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush’s super PAC has raised $103 million, and Ted Cruz’s got over $37 million.
By comparison, in the last two quarters of 2007, Ron Paul, who had literally zero percent name ID in early internal analyses, raised $25.2 million, second only to Rudy Giuliani’s $26 million. (Governor Mitt Romney’s receipts were heavily dependent on loans made to his own campaign.) Super PACs, of course, were not a factor.
In 2007, Ron Paul’s success was called “astounding.” In 2015, Rand Paul finds himself having to explain “paltry” returns. …”
I honestly don’t think it is too early to write off Rand Paul. I can’t imagine a scenario in which he catches fire. This is like watching the first game of football season and having a gut feeling that it is going to be a bad year. It’s going to be a really bad year for the “liberty movement” which is going to crash and burn in 2016.