n. 1. a person who believes in the doctrine of the freedom of the will
2. a person who believes in full individual freedom of thought, expression and action
3. a freewheeling rebel who hates wiretaps, loves Ron Paul and is redirecting politics
By Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch
Sunday, November 25, 2007; Page B01
How to make sense of the Ron Paul revolution? What's behind the improbably successful (so far) presidential campaign of a 72-year-old 10-term Republican congressman from Texas who pines for the gold standard while drawing praise from another relic from the hyperinflationary 1970s, punk-rocker Johnny Rotten?
Now with about 5 percent (and climbing) support in polls of likely Republican voters, Paul set a one-day GOP record by raising $4.3 million on the Internet from 38,000 donors on Nov. 5 -- Guy Fawkes Day, the commemoration of a British anarchist who plotted to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605. Paul's campaign, which is three-quarters of the way to its goal of raising "$12 Million to Win" by Dec. 31, didn't even organize the fundraiser -- an independent-minded supporter did.
When a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism is able, without really trying, to pull in a record haul of campaign cash on a day dedicated to an attempted regicide, it's clear that a new and potentially transformative force is growing in American politics.
That force is less about Paul than about the movement that has erupted around him -- and the much larger subset of Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties' soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels, whether it's listening to phone calls without a warrant, imposing fines of half a million dollars for broadcast "obscenities" or jailing grandmothers for buying prescribed marijuana from legal dispensaries.
Paul, who entered Congress in 1976, has been dubbed "Dr. No" by his colleagues because of his consistent nay votes on federal spending, military intervention in Iraq and elsewhere, and virtually all expansions of federal power (he cast one of three GOP votes against the original USA Patriot Act). But his philosophy of principled libertarianism is anything but negative: It's predicated on the fundamental notion that a smaller government allows individuals the freedom to pursue happiness as they see fit.
Click to view image: '123368-legalize_freedom.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|