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Leminnes's avatar

Why is Ron Paul so popular?

Asked by Leminnes (33points) December 21st, 2007

Digg, CNN, God, if I see ONE MORE article about how amazing Ron Paul is, I will have to see if I can find a way to block his name from MY internets.

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14 Answers

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

He is not popular. His message is popular. Freedom is popular.

ketoneus's avatar

I guess a lot of people would like to take the U.S. back to the middle of the 19th century.

Michael's avatar

Chris is correct. He is not “popular” by any definition of the word. His support nationally is less than 5% of likely GOP primary voters, and he has only managed 9% in New Hampshire, a state uniquely predisposed to his anti-government message. He is not popular.

Congressman Paul does have a small, but incredibly dedicated group of fans who believe (wrongly, by the way) that the more noise you make, the more minds you change. Why do these people (some call them Paulites, others call them, less delicately, Paultards) so dedicated. Well, I’m sure Chris would be glad to give you an answer but I think that part of it is that he is an outsider, willing to take on the GOP establishment, part of it is his anti-Iraq war stance, and yes, part of it is his radical anti-government positions.

Incidentally, this kind of political phenomenon is not new. In recent history, similar bands of roving loyalists have sworn everlasting fealty to Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and of course, Lyndon LaRouche.

Leminnes's avatar

Michael: I personally call them Ronbots mostly because they are most active online. Either way, he is immensely popular online from Digg to The Progressive. It’s quite in your face and even more annoying. I highly doubt he’s going to win just because of some intense supporters mostly for the fact people are either scared or annoyed by them.

joshgolden's avatar

His supporters do seem louder than he is popular. However, as Kierkegaard wrote, the crowd is untruth. So popularity counts for politics, but very little when you are dealing with things more important than them. Clinton is popular, so is Guiliani (I hope I spelled his name incorrectly), but voting for either of them isn’t going to change anything. Right now the economy has graver consequences for the US than nearly anything those two are willing to talk about. Therefore, the question, “why is ron paul so popular,” is perhaps the wrong question”

Xpress411's avatar

There is a revolution movement that surfaced as a result of the post-911 foreign policy change and loss of constitutional freedoms. The revolutionaries are backing Paul as a libertarian and because he has a consistent record.

Maverick's avatar

Ron Paul is about as revolutionary as vanilla ice cream. The man is a complete crackpot. As if the Bush admin hasn’t all ready destroyed enough of your civil liberties, world safety, and the economy… Throw RP in there and we’ll see how far and how fast the US can slip into that abyss.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

How do the polls figure “likely” voters. Most of Ron Pauls followers have never voted, were not in the GOP, are young and do not have landlines. I have never been polled, so I do not know how it works. Please explain.

I cant not speak for other supporters, but I am a 25 year old union electrician from NJ. My family has a long history of union construction workers. They would be able to raise their family on these paychecks, live comfortably, and the wife could stay home to tend to the house and family. Now, my girlfriend and I, are somewhat struggling to heat our house, drive to work, and completely struggling to save. I assure you we live within our means, and both of us work fulltime jobs. I always thought the country should be moving foward, not backwards. For all you stockholders that will tell me to stop complaining, remember who builds the buildings you go to work to everyday.

I dont understand how Ron Paul is a crackpot or radical. My understanding of the founding of this country, was to be free. I dont see how we are free today. He is the only candidate talking about this. Maybe I am misunderstood, mostly because of the lack of teaching us about the constitution and freedom from my free public education. As far as I can tell though, he is as close to a founding father that I have ever heard. Sure that might have been a long time ago, but they did stand for freedom right?

joli's avatar

I don’t know much about him, but I did listen to an interview yesterday. I heard him repeat over and over, openly, how he respects George Bush as a person to golf with, share a meal with, but has firm reservations and utter disdain for his policies. I surmise this is the reason for his popularity. Many people, if not most, are miserably unhappy with the Bush administration for numerous reasons, but with a certain crowd, the freedom issue is the number one concern. Ron Paul subscribes to personal liberties and justice for all. He does seem rather old-fashioned, in a mild-mannered caring sort of way.

seek2be's avatar

I think level headed RP supporters see that if the man gets in office he will not be able to accomplish many of the changes he would like to make to reform the government . Ron Paul himself certainly understands this and says time and time again that his PRIMARY objectives in office will be pulling the troops out of Iraq and assessing the monetary dilemma the US is in. Restoring civil liberties (“going back to the constitution”) would be his philosophy in all action. This is why so many people back him. He wants to tackle to two largest problems facing Americans head-on by restoring freedom rather than restricting it.

Michael's avatar

Chris, if you want to post another question like, “How do public opinion polls work?” then I’ll be more than happy to explain.

Leminnes's avatar

@chris6137: Obviously you haven’t read up much on the candidates because he is not the only one talking about freedom. He’s just the only one using it as a campain slogan. Freedom is a great thing and small government is a good idea but there are things that need to be done before our freedom is promised to us and he is not going to do any of them.

He wants to completely abolish Gun Control but I don’t see why. At this moment, I don’t see anything wrong with the gun control that we have. The man wants to end the US’ involvement with the UN which is completely ludicris. Not only that, he wants to remove us from the ICC, NATO, and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. In this time and day, the last thing the US needs to do is distance ourselves from other countries. We are no longer self-sustainable. We need to have good relations with other countries in order to get what we need. And if we decided to remove ourselves from the rest of the world, not only will we suffer, so will the rest of the world. Just going “Shit on them, the US is awesome” is completely uncalled for.

I know why he is taking that position and it is because he wants people to think that the reason why we got in trouble with Iraq and Iran is because of these policies and that is completely incorrect. It is because our current government has possiblely the worst international relations of any presidency we have ever had. Removing ourselves from those organizations will solve nothing.

He also seems to have no plan for illegal immigration at all. All he wants to do is build bigger fences and hope to god that that works. He also believes that children born to illegal immigrants should become american citizens. It is already built into our law system that anyone born within the US is an american citizen and I see no reason to change our 14th ammendment.

And god forbid he lowers the taxes. They’re low enough already and look at the state of our country. Despite his outlook, taxes are a good thing and never in the past did our founding fathers ever say “Taxes are bad!” No, no. The said they wanted to have taxes only when they think they needed taxes and right now, the US needs taxes badly in order to restore ourselves back to pre-Iraq War conditions. Our treasury is in the negative-billions. Something needs to fix that. Of course, before we raise taxes, we need a measure to make sure that the government uses it correctly first and there is two ways to do that: 1. Elect a candidate that we are sure will use it the right way or 2. Make laws against using them incorrectly.

I just don’t like Ron Paul. Some things I agree with him but he is not thinking what is best for our country at all. Less international relations, less government, and less taxes are not the way to go right now. It has been proven, as with FDR that the only way to get such a large country out of such a larger rut is to make the federal government larger. Small governments are saved best for peaceful times and prosperous times. We are obviously not in one of those times.

Maverick's avatar

He also wants to overturn Roe V Wade. I think he’d be perfectly happy to reset the US back to about 1890 cause most of his policy views appear to be from that era.

Poser's avatar

He is the only candidate I’ve heard speak whose views actually jive with my own beliefs. He believes that the government’s primary job is to ensure citizens’ liberty. Our government doesn’t do that.

The average American works for several months of the year just to pay the government. That is ridiculous. IMHO, income taxes are immoral. They are not “the price one pays for the privilege of living in a civilized society,” as I’ve heard argued. The only difference between taxes levied by the government and a mugging, is paperwork. What gives any organization the right to steal my money, and then decide who gets it, when, and for what?

But I digress.

Ron Paul is the only candidate who questions the path this country is on toward socialization. Most people have simply come to expect that the government will take care of them. That is a nice idea, but I don’t particularly want to see the US decline toward communism. Taxes are not low enough, as Leminnes suggested. Taxes are too high, spending is too high. Bush and the Republicans in congress should be ashamed to associate themselves with the party that has traditionally identified itself as the party of lower spending and smaller government. Or, more accurately, Republicans should be ashamed to associate themselves with the party of Bush and the Republicans in congress.

Ron Paul has never voted in favor of any bill that’s not expressly authorized by the Constitution. Why isn’t that a good thing?

He opted out of the Congressional pension plan.

He gives back the unused portion of his Congressional budget each term. That doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but consider this: a government organization’s job is to spend money. At the end of each year, if a department didn’t spend their entire budget, they must either spend the surplus on whatever they can, or get a cut in their budget next year. So there is no incentive for governmental departments to spend less.

And the problem with organizations such as the UN and NATO is that they don’t have the best interests of the US in mind. I think the President of the US should, so suggesting that our involvement with those organizations should end doesn’t sound like a bad thing for a US President to think about. Ron Paul has never suggested that we should end alliances or limit trade with other countries. As a Libertarian, he believes that free and open trade is a great thing. But submitting to organizations such as the UN (whose original mission is now obsolete anyway) against the best interests of the US is not acceptable.

And Leminnes, your statement that the US is no longer self-sustainable is rather telling (though not beyond debate). Don’t you think it’s rather precarious that the US must depend on outside sources to sustain itself?

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