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The Ron Paul Generation

Back when the conservative movement was actually conservative (though not without its problems, to be sure) it was in significant part a youth movement [1]. Students for Goldwater was instrumental in pushing the Arizona senator — even against his wishes — for the Republican nomination in 1960. That fall, the core of the Students for Goldwater organization converted into Young Americans for Freedom, a group which (while again, it had its flaws) kept a rightward pressure on the GOP and conservative movement, facilitating the Goldwater ’64 and Reagan ’68 efforts.

Now what promises to be an even better organization is getting off the ground: Young Americans for Liberty [2], a successor to the Students for Ron Paul groups that flourished on some 500 campuses during the campaign season. Dr. Paul provided an official endorsement of YAL [3] last week — not only putting his good name behind the venture but $25,000 in seed money as well. Of course, it’ll take much more than that to wrest the young Right away from the neocons and party hacks, but I’ve seen for myself how readily Paul’s principles resonate among students, so I give YAL a fighting chance. More than that, I’m giving a bit of my time as well (providing advice on their forthcoming journal, Young American Revolution) and what few shekels I can spare. It’s a cause well deserving of support [4].

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#1 Comment By Jon On December 7, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

Paul is a true conservative(except for his consistent pork requests), but his economic and foreign policy ideas are totally impossible in today’s world.

#2 Comment By R J Stove On December 7, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

Would be interested to find out if a Middle-Aged Foreigners For Ron Paul Albeit With Certain Reservations chapter starts up. I’d be happy to donate to that.

#3 Comment By WRW On December 8, 2008 @ 8:02 am

As much sympathy as I have with Paul’s efforts and those of his supporters, I have to confess that the GOP’s latest hypocrisy in endangering our domestic auto industry after ladling out some 200 times as much public money to Wall Street has left me indifferent to any efforts to “reform” the benighted GOP. (Which remains what is always was, a party of plutocrats indifferent to ordinary Americans and contemptuous of the Constitution in anything more than rhetoric.)

#4 Comment By Mike N On December 8, 2008 @ 8:07 am

Jon, what “pork requests” are you referring to?
It looks to me like you fell for a vicious old SMEAR.
Read all about it (including video): [5]

Or just google “ron paul earmarks”

#5 Comment By WRW On December 8, 2008 @ 9:53 am

It’s no surprise that a Reason reader would be the one who has difficulty understanding Paul’s point (as practical inquiry has no place with a Randian libertarian.) His point is simple. The spending bill will place because few will take his basis for opposition. The level of spending is set in the bill and representatives may only change the allocation. His inclusion of spending allocation earmarks is simply a practical, political action to pursue the self-interests of his constituents given how the system currently functions. That’s it. Asking him to do that is simply to be impractical and give opponents easy ammunition to unseat him.

#6 Comment By Sukrit On December 9, 2008 @ 7:46 am

All the usual suspects are criticizing earmarks again. Being anti-earmark, like McCain and the Beltway types, is a way to seem anti-spending while actually strengthening executive power. Earmarks do not increase spending; they are congressional allotments of proposed spending. If money is not directed by Congressman X to the public library in Topeka, it goes to the presidency, where the federal agencies spend it. Earmarks are, in effect, a legislative blow at executive supremacy. A very minor one, it is true, but you can tell by the neocon yelps, not to mention the opposition of the Club for Growth, that earmarks are comparatively a good thing. So it is no contradiction for Ron Paul to request earmarks that his constituents want. He votes against the spending, of course, but if the earmark goes through, that’s better than Bush and Cheney getting the dough for their nefarious scheme.

#7 Comment By Jason On December 10, 2008 @ 5:54 am

The younger generation may be much more receptive to libertarianism that any generation in living memory. This bodes well for Paul supporters.
[6]

#8 Comment By Jon On December 10, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

Mike N,

Rep. Paul requested 400 million in earmarks in 2007(WSJ), including millions for marketing of wild shrimp. THe Houston Chronicle has his earmarks for FY09:
[7]

$41.073 million for Army Corps of Engineers to deepen and widen Texas City Channel
$13.038 million for Army Corps of Engineers to maintain Matagorda Ship Channel
$42.018 million for Army Corps of Engineers to maintain Gulf Intercoastal Waterway
$3.026 million for Army Corps of Engineers to maintain channel to Victoria
$10 million for Coast Guard to improve Galveston Rail Causeway
$35 million for FEMA for drainage in Friendswood
$1.96 million to replace buses in and around Victoria
$5 million to reconfigure Texas Clipper training ship
$25,000 to install security cameras at Fox Run Apartments in Victoria
$26 million for Washington, D.C. “Reading is Fundamental” program
$10 million for Boston, Mass., “Reach Out and Read” national center

Spare me the argument that he’s “just putting it in for his constituents and votes against them all.” 36 million for reading programs in Boston and DC don’t fall into that, and voting against the bill, but putting them in bills bound to pass makes him hard to take seriously as a pork cutter.

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[…] Editor of The American Conservative magazine, Daniel McCarthy, heralded the group in December: “Back when the conservative movement was actually conservative it was in significant part a […]