Texas Congressman Ron Paul is running for President again, and you can pretty much guarantee he hasn't a snowball's chance in July of being the Republican nominee. It's an exercise we've been through once before in 2008. We're going to see the same result in 2012. That said, I'm glad Ron Paul is around, because he's great for conservatism.
I know, Ron Paul isn't a conservative, he's a libertarian. Libertarianism and conservatism are kind of cousin philosophies. In terms of fiscal policy, there is a lot of the same type of policies advocated (although often for different reasons). In terms of size of government, libertarians also support small, unintrusive government, just like conservatism. The place conservatism and libertarianism differ is either on social issues and sometimes defense.
I've said for some time now that I agree with Paul on about 80% of issues. It's the other 20% where we start to differ...often greatly. So how, pray tell, could Paul be so very good for conservatism? I'll tell you the answer: young people.
Ron Paul is getting college students and high school students and people in their 20s excited about small government! They are getting excited about personal responsibility and government staying the heck out of their lives! They're becoming enthralled with doing it themselves and not needing government!
It's a wonderful trend. When I went to college, there were College Republicans, but finding true dyed in the wool conservatives was a much rarer occurrence. Now we've got small government becoming cool, and we've got Ron Paul to thank for that.
I don't want Ron Paul as my President, but I am very happy to have him in my party. Anyone who preaches small government and personal responsibility is good for America, and good for the conservative movement. So thank you, Congressman Paul, for fighting for small government and personal responsibility. We can keep disagreeing on 20% of issues, but as for the 80%, I'm glad to have you on our side.