Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ron Paul: Why He Inspires Undying Loyalty


It has been widely-noted that Texas Congressman Ron Paul's 2012 White House bid enjoys the devotion of many die-hard supporters.

Once people become Ron Paul supporters, they tend to not change their minds. As a result, his performance in polls has steadily climbed in 2011.

Contrastingly, support for other GOP candidates has been notoriously fickle. In 2011, GOP caucusgoers have embraced and then dumped Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

They are currently supporting Newt Gingrich. How long that support will last remains to be seen.

As for Mitt Romney, they run back to him whenever they get tired of the current "flavor of the month" candidate. Once a new "flavor of the month" candidate comes, however, they happily cast Romney aside all over again.

Even President Barack Obama, one of the most popular presidential candidates of all time, has lost some of his die-hard supporters as the economy remains fragile, Washington remains as divided as ever and many of his promises remain unfulfilled (or were broken).

Paul is able to inspire his unusual loyal following for two reasons.

First, his political positions (small government, noninterventionism, protecting civil liberties, etc.), voting record and even life choices have been consistent for years.

Second, many of his political positions stand out from the seemingly-disconnected view of "mainstream" politicians. Most people, for example, do not like Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and object to codifying the indefinite detention of Americans. Many people want fewer wars and an alternative to the failed "War on Drugs" policy.

Most Washington politicians, however, hold all of these unpopular stances.

Paul, contrastingly, denounces SOPA, the codifying of the indefinite detention of Americans, unnecessary wars and the "War on Drugs" policy.

"I simply don't know how else to express my appreciation for the Man from Texas," wrote Walter Block, an academic.

"I simply must read everything written about him in the mainstream media. I am forever watching him on television. I just 'wasted' almost half an hour watching him on the Jay Leno show. Of course, Ron was magnificent on that occasion...were it not for Ron Paul, I'd probably have written 5 more books and 100 more articles in scholarly refereed journals," he wrote.

"He's not the most charismatic man, by any stretch. He's not got the greatest delivery by any stretch. But the words he says lights a fire in my soul. I'm ready to run through a brick wall for him," said Todd Bennett, an American and one of his supporters, according to The Associated Press.

"I am voting for Ron Paul regardless, even if I have to write him in. Peace and tolerance are the answer and neither the mainstream Democrats nor Republicans adopt this admirable position, only Ron Paul! Ron Paul 2012!" wrote an IBTimes reader.

Indeed, away from the establishment (Washington, mainstream media, etc.), Paul is widely popular; in blogs and on Twitter, he is by far the most positively-viewed presidential candidate.

Reddit, the most popular social news Web site in the world, is dominated by headlines about Paul.

"The problem isn't that we have too many Ron Paul article--the problem is we have too few presidential candidates who are pro wikileaks, pro OWS, pro legalization, anti-war, anti SOPA, and anti-fascist state bulls---," wrote a redditor.

Writer Margaret Mead once said: "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

It seems like Paul's legion of devoted supporters are trying to do exactly that.

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