A colleague of mine and I were chatting and he confessed, “My 26-year-old son LOVES Ron Paul. He can’t stand when the media says anything bad about him.” We’ve seen that in spades on Decision 2012. Any time we say anything that can be considered remotely anti-Paul, we’re flooded with comments and tweets.
What is it about the grizzled senior citizen (I’m gonna hear about that one!) that has our nation’s newest voters wrapped around his finger? Has he become the long lost grandfather of the “lost” generation? Has he cast some sort of spell on them? Is their expectation that he’ll legalize Marijuana? Or, crazy thought, is it his policies?
Curious, I made a beeline immediately after Thursday night’s Republican debate to the source of all Ron Paul knowledge to find out. Twitter.
Yep, that was actors Mia Farrow, Juliette Lewis and movie critic Robert Ebert. He’s found particularly fertile ground amongst the glitterati of the nation.
Clearly, his twitter followers, or Paulbots, as they’re known, are passionate about the antiestablishmentarian but Twitter does little good to dispel the mystique, so I decided to see if I could get some of my young friends and family who support Dr. Paul to fess up. I put out a quick and extremely un-scientific e-mail request and started to finally get some clarity.
- His foreign policy of ant-intervention. “We’re tired of the U.S. being the aggressor and terrified of the blowback.” Sound like this came from a polysci student? Yep.
- His healthcare policy. “we need to keep the government out of the doctor’s office.”
- His backing of the gold standard. “Why has the stock market stayed flat while gold grew like crazy last year? Ron Paul knows what he’s talking about.”
- His policy on Taxes. “Ron Paul supports the elimination of the income tax. Enough said.”
These responses and a further review of the issues that concern the good doctor (non-trade protectionism, the “hoax” of global warming perpetrated by the world governments) make it pretty clear that Ron Paul is not just some passing fad to be cast aside like last year’s iPod. He appeals to Gen X because he champions issues that have largely shaped their generation. No wonder they identify so closely with him. That, and the fact that he’s pretty stinking funny. His response during Thursday’s debate when asked what he’d say if Raul Castro called him in the White House, “Hello?”
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich may have been the focus of the final Florida debate. But after his performance, Dr. Paul just might have emerged as the darling. And you don’t have to be a #Paulbot to see that.