Sunday, 20 May 2007

Ron Paul: the libertarian Web candidate

Who is he?
A 72-year-old Republican congressman and physician from Texas. Presidential candidate with libertarian stances, with a disproportionate amount of support on the Web compared to in general, where he is not on most polls or in many debates. The libertarian fringe of the GOP's Howard Dean of '08? In short: Ron Paul is a libertarian Web phenomenon

What does he stand for?
American libertarianism and, to some, paleo-conservativsm.

Who are his main supporters?
Many Diggers adore him, as do other geeky (not meant pejoratively) demographics. Also people who hate big government liberalism, but hate freedom-trampling religious right and the Bush administration, etc.

What do you — clearthought — like about him?
He speaks his mind. While I would not likely vote for him, Ron Paul seems to be a voice America needs, especially at a time when dissent is only meant to polarize for political gain, or is squashed. He seems to be an almost purely internet phenomenon. Many have not heard of him, but within the techie circles he is liked more than any other candidate.

Anything else?
This Slate article on "The idiotic GOP effort to silence Ron Paul" is also interesting. Heaven forbid the Republicans support a candidate with rational views and a bit of common sense.

Some Republicans are angry at Ron Paul, the libertarian presidential candidate, for his forthright stance at the Republican debate earlier this week. When George W. Bush repeatedly asserts unpopular opinions in the face of withering criticism, it's seen as a sign of strength and resolve. But when Paul asserted unpopular opinions in a debate, his remarks became the grounds for derision and threats. Paul suggested that the United States' actions in the Middle East—and in Iraq in particular—might have motivated Bin Laden and the 9/11 attackers. Rudy Giuliani immediately jumped on Paul, demanding that he withdraw the comment. Now one GOP official is circulating a petition within the party to remove Paul from future debates. This is silly. Here's why...

Why is he in the spotlight?
Various views and confrontations with the Republican party, as well as Paul being left out of many political events (debates, interviews, etc.) has created some buzz on the internet and in the news. His sensible but blunt views of US policy in the Middle East — e.g. on the cause of 9/11 — have caused many within his party to cast dark glances on him, but those same views have also improved his profile with his main — albeit small — support base.

See also:
2008 election site
House page

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