No Mystery As To Why Young Americans Love Ron Paul

Huntington News
Sunday October 28, 2007

Mock right-wing TV talk show host Stephen Colbert described GOP Presidential candidate this way in a visit Congressman Paul (R-Texas) made to his show last June:

“You are an enigma wrapped in a riddle nestled in a sesame seed bun of mystery.”

Certainly, at first glance, Congressman Paul does seem a bit different than most Presidential candidates running for the Republican Party’s nomination. First, he’s opposed to the Iraq War, while the others defend it. Next, he minces no words when it comes to the Constitution guiding his views, whether on touchy subjects like illegal immigration, government programs, or trade agreements. Yet, of all the GOP candidates, it could be argued that Paul is the strongest when it comes to his pro-life position. A former Air Force doctor, he says he’s rarely seen any need to terminate a pregnancy for the life of the mother. And on the gun issue, he is predictable, which is refreshing with tortured logic reining among other candidates like Rudy Giuiliani: if the Constitution allows for the right to bear arms, that’s all the Congressman from southeast Texas needs to know.

So what is this connection Paul has with the young people who flock to hear him talk? It’s becoming a phenomenon, reminding some of the love affair Ronald Reagan had with young voters who could have been his grandchildren.

Gary Jones, a supporter of Paul’s in Tennessee, has observed that the younger generation may simply be looking ahead–and see Paul doing the same thing. And both Paul and the young people don’t like all that they see resulting from the war:

“The current, administration has placed the U.S. in a war that appears to have no end,” writes Jones. “And as bad and as irresponsible as that is, it gets compounded in another way. If you listen to the Republican candidates, you hear the same status quo: half-heartedly talking about how we need to stay and we will get our troops out SOMEDAY. Or you hear the Democrats speaking against the war and realizing a possible withdrawal no sooner than 2013–which would make this war twice as long as World War II.

“What most people don’t hear that the younger people hear and see very clearly is their forced participation. The current troop deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan have been there far beyond the prescribed tours of duty, and our military has been spread so thin that we are virtually guarding Iraq while America goes unprotected. This cannot continue on a volunteer basis. The young of our country see a mandatory draft in their future to fight in a war they don’t even want. These young people are supporting Ron Paul in droves. They do not want a new Vietnam or continued Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran for their generation.”

Now, if this were simply the voice of the far left, who have never seen a war they wanted to fight, that would be one thing. But these are at the very least centrist, sometime conservative young members of the Republican Party. If they saw a war that was absolutely needed to defend America, a war argument well-articulated well by an intelligent Commander-In-Chief, one gets the impression that they would be willing to do their part.

But to just throw themselves and their friends and relatives into a meaningless meatgrinder? That may be where today’s young people differ from those who dutifully went whenever and wherever their country sent them. Watergate, Clinton, and now Bush have given America cause for skepticism from our national leaders.

At the very least, Ron Paul embodies this skepticism, and his supporters mostly want better justifications and smarter plans before giving open-ended support to any President’s war.

That’s not so much to ask.

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One Response to “No Mystery As To Why Young Americans Love Ron Paul”

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