I must say that early in the 2008 campaign I had occasion to interview a number of college age or college bound kids in an effort to measure the potential for participating in the presidential election. At the time it seemed to me that Barack Obama, the young politician from Chicago riding a wave of change and hope might be able to capture the bulk of the youth in the election.
On the other hand, after years of scientific polling and working on the development of perception analysis rather than stated preference in polling I knew predicting the eventual vote of any demographic group was a most difficult task. I must say I was quite astounded to learn that the most dominant candidate among those youth I studied was not Barack Obama at all but a little known Congressman from Texas named Ron Paul.
Ron Paul broke every mold for being the darling of the youth vote as he was 72 years old, was a medical doctor, was rock solid conservative, pro-life, pro-family and that was just the beginning of my surprise. This standard bearer for youth stood for libertarian values, was a conservatives conservative, wanted to eliminate the Federal Reserve, supported the right to bear arms, opposed the post 9-11 Patriot Act and the torture, national ID cards, domestic surveillance and the draft contained by that act, opposed the United Nations, opposed the Iraq War, opposed the many ways the federal government takes over state functions, and was about as opposed to what I perceived as the youth movement as possible.
Now Ron Paul first took office as a Congressman in a 1976 special election when I was working on Senate races at a time when Republicans didn't win anything, the post Watergate years. Paul lost his election to a full term in 1976 but was elected again in 1978, 80 and 82 before losing a Senate race. He then disappeared from the scene until emerging again in 1996 by running as a Republican against the Republican incumbent who was endorsed by the Republican party and forcing a runoff election which he won. It was his third election to Congress as a non-incumbent establishing him as a true outsider.
Once again he ran as a Republican opposed the Republican party candidate and this time legendary baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan was his campaign chair and tax activist Steve Forbes of New York, Forbes Magazine, backed him against the establishment. Paul won only to face a furious effort by the AFL-CIO in the general election to stop him which he also overcame and he has been preaching his brand of economics ever since.
Paul adheres deeply to the Austrian school of economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian school economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises as well as one of Grover Cleveland on his office wall. Ron has opposed all government spending initiatives, increased taxes and increases in the federal deficit.
Now is this the portrait of a person being embraced by the youth of America? Hardly I think. So what is it about Ron Paul that drew his attention to our youth and made him the standard bearer for youth in America? Well we can look back to a fateful event hosted by MTV and MySpace just three days before Super Primary Tuesday in February of 2008. It was the MTV/MySpace Candidate Dialogue called "Closing Arguments" and Ron Paul appeared with Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
MTV was the backer of Obama and did a poll of those youth listening to the debate, a poll Obama had won with 75% of respondents the previous debate. Of course with his billion dollar campaign Obama had stacked the audience at the debate and was prepared to ride the wave to the presidency.
Listeners were asked which candidate did they agree with on issues like Darfur and Ron Paul, opposed to international intervention stunned the sponsors by winning 61% of the youth online vote to Obama just above 50%. It was the beginning of an avalanche as Paul drew 76% support for his stand on the response to 9-11, 78% regarding energy independence, 81% for his foreign policy, while Obama consistently got about 50% and Hillary got between 20-30%. In fact, just over half of the entire listening audience said they would vote for Ron Paul over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Of course the results were so opposed to what they expected and what they had tried to manipulate that MTV and MySpace never mentioned them again during the campaign. However, Ron Paul's popularity with youth continued to grow. After the election he didn't go away and as the disenfranchised youth who did support Obama have moved back to Ron Paul, the old Doctor from Texas stands alone in being the favorite of our youth.
Ron Paul's message is even starting to be heard by those in Congress who have ignored him all these decades as recently the House approved his bill to audit the Federal Reserve and more and more of our elected officials are starting to talk about big spending and the bigger deficit and national debt. Today, at 74, Ron Paul is the beacon of hope for youth because his life has been dedicated to making sure there is something left of America for them to inherit.
I was honored to have articles I wrote for the Coltons Point Times appear on one of his websites: http://www.dailypaul.com/node/73847
where my article on The Obama, Goldman Sachs & Rothchild Connection still appears and is recognized for connecting the dots between these people and groups.
You should read up on Ron Paul and what he is doing to protect America from itself. You will find that this independent revolutionary is truly acting in the spirit of the Founding Fathers, something our youth seemed to have already discovered for themselves. Is it any wonder that Ron Paul won the straw poll for president this past weekend at the national Conservative convention, to the absolute astonishment of the media and the Republican party?