Republican failure, libertarian victory

As of the writing of this post Ron Paul has received 513,533 votes* (this is with some precincts still unreported in some states including approximately 80% reported in California) in primaries, and 37,274 votes* (Maine is still at 68% reported) in caucuses.

With the exception of the 1980 presidential race in which Ed Clark drew in over 900,000 votes, Ron Paul has now pulled in more votes in the primary elections than any Libertarian candidate ever has in the general election.** Keep in mind that general elections traditionally have a much higher turnout than primaries do. Meanwhile there are still over 20 states that have yet to hold their elections.

This will not be a huge consolation to disappointed Paul supporters who hoped for at least a win in Alaska, but for those of us who have been following libertarian politics for multiple elections this is actually quite phenomenal. It means he might actually top a million in votes (a result better than any Libertarian Party candidate has ever gotten in the U.S.) long before the conventions roll around.

Of course this may not mean a great deal at the Republican National Convention, but it ought to mean a great deal to the libertarian movement in general. The amount of money and support Ron Paul has been able to garner in what has to be the shortest primary season in history actually makes me very optimistic about the future of libertarianism in this country.

While America is clearly not quite ready for a President Paul, it seems an infusion of both libertarian ideas, and candidates into the national debate has become inevitable. And with thousands of Ron Paul Revolutionaries all over the U.S. now learning firsthand how to organize, fundraise, recruit, and actively campaign on a local level, even an abysmal showing for Paul in the months to come will not be able to dampen a very bright future for both the U.S. constitution and libertaria in general.

*Primary data obtained from cnn.com.

**Past presidential results obtained from wikipedia.

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That is good news. For me at

That is good news. For me at least. There is no room for close-mindedness at the era we are living in now. Libertarian victory is a signal of good change.

Shortest primary season?

"... in what has to be the shortest primary season in history ..."

I'm not so sure about that; I seem to remember lots of comments about how incredibly early all the campaigning started a year or two ago.

I hope Ron...

can parlay his movement into a serious tip of the hat to the Republican Liberty Caucus (disclaimer: I am a member). Unfortunately, the RLC stopped short of a national endorsement, but many of the members were awesome in rallying support here in Florida. Thanks to guys like Jeff Flake, and as Ron Paul's success shows, the libertarian movement in the Republican Party is really starting to find some allies in guys like Mike Church.

That said, a lot of my fellow Republicans look at me in disbelief as I wax poetic about the virtues of a Ron Paul candidacy. I get small victories 2 or 3 times a week, though.

I think they have one goal

I think they have one goal and dreaming to serve the nation. So, what should I do for them is prayer. Praying that whoever wins might serve their nation the best they can do.

This is indeed phenomenal!

This is indeed phenomenal! Should we take it as a sign that people are getting tired of how the old parties run the country?

If you had predicted a year ago on Catallarchy

that an Austrian economist--giving speeches like this--would get that kind of support in a presidential bid, I would have considered it a wild fantasy.

While Ron Paul seems to have

While Ron Paul seems to have a good grasp on economics - appartenly more than any other candidate - calling him an "Austrian economist" seems a bit out of proportion.

People are not cheering for a priori reasoning, praxeolog or the business cycle theory, they're cheering because it's pleasant to follow a leader and they're set on Paul who catters to the non-conventionals. Unfortunately, I believe tomorrow you could have almost the same crowd cheering for a sufficiently eloquent radical keynesian.

No, really...

calling him an "Austrian economist" seems a bit out of proportion

After a little less than two minutes of introductions and opening remarks in that speech, he says that his education in economics started with Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" and he continues to pay homage to Austrian authors and concepts from there.

I thought someone was going to question whether I could get away with calling him an "economist" because his work is applied rather than academic. But I thought people here took it as given that he was in the Austrian school.

Except for the fact that he is employed with tax dollars (a failing he shares with many economists--applied and academic--had you seen any reason to think he was not in the Austrian school?

People are not cheering for a priori reasoning, praxeolog or the business cycle theory, they're cheering because it's pleasant to follow a leader

I didn't go so far as suggesting otherwise. It's incredible enough for me that the candidate is an Austrian economist--it would be too much for me to imagine that the thousands cheering him would also be Austrians.

Hum. The Austrian school is

Hum. The Austrian school is a set of economists sharing a common theoretical framework for the study of economics and a certain number of conclusions stemming from theses premises - not a movement in moral philosophy or a club.

I can't grasp why you contrast being an Austrian economist and being employed with tax dollars. Reading Hayek's Road to Serfdom does not make one an economist. When I said he couldn't be called an Austrian economist, the emphasis was on economist, not Austrian.

I'm not an economist, and I'm not here to distribute economist badges, but I don't think that Ron Paul has published any paper on economics. That's a fairly objective criterion.

Ron Paul's output

I haven't read any of his output, but that he has put out books is easy to check at Amazon. As for what is in those books, his book, "Mises and Austrian Economics", gets an Amazon reader review that begins, "This is a good introduction to the basics of Austrian economics." Several of his other books seem to have a heavily economic flavor even if they are not entirely tomes of economics.

Whether you want to call him an "economist" or not, evidently he is a serious student and vocal advocate of Austrian economics. Which may be all that Mark meant.

Just ran across this...

Ron Paul is a most unusual politician—in many ways. In the first place, he really knows what he's talking about. He is not only for the gold standard. He knows why he is for it, and he is familiar with the most advanced and complex economic insights on the true nature of inflation, on how inflation works, and how inflationary credit expansion brings about booms and busts. And yet Ron has the remarkable ability to take these complex and vital insights and to present them in clear, lucid, hard-hitting terms to the non-economist reader. His economics is as sound as a bell.

--Murray N. Rothbard, Preface, Gold, Peace, and Prosperity: The Birth of a New Currency, 1981

That may be but I stand by

That may be but I stand by what I say. His he knowledgeable about Austrian economics ? Sure. His he an economist ? No.

If Rothbard's word isn't good enough, will you believe Rockwell?

Lew Rockwell, Founder and Chairman of 'the world center of the Austrian School of economics', today says:

Ron has been studying the central bank and its depredations for 40 years. His doctorate is in medicine, not economics, but he is a real Austrian economist nonetheless.

For two anarchists (I guess four if you count Lew and Murray), we seem to spend a lot of time worrying about who is an authority!

This is merely a way to put

This is merely a way to put him in a good light.