A friend who was at CPAC writes me the following:
I was at CPAC for three days and people affiliated with Campaign for Liberty are everywhere. Paul is extremely polarizing. Everyone who hasn’t become part of his cult of personality hates him. That’s how he was able to win 31% of the straw poll votes but get booed when the announcement was made that he’d won! It’s really unfortunate, because on domestic policy all his views are extremely popular. When Ann Coulter was asked if she favored ending the federal reserve, she replied that if Ron Paul is for it and it doesn’t involve foreign policy she supports it! The crowd cheered.
You should really check out Glenn Beck’s speech. He came out against building democracy. He talked about Woodrow Wilson establishing the federal reserve and asked “How’s that working out for ya?” He lifted these ideas straight from Paul, but in Beck’s mouth everyone cheered for them.
I watched Beck’s speech, and what strikes me is his complete rejection of egalitarian premises. Usually Republicans will say things like “Sure, everybody should have health care and education, but the free market is the best way to make that happen.” Beck doesn’t pretend that in a free society everybody will be able to have everything. You may not get everything you want or even deserve, but asking the government to provide it for you is theft. All claims to the property or labor of others should be rejected on those grounds.
Beck’s short rant against spreading democracy is a good start on foreign policy. In my dealings with Republicans and conservatives, I’ve always found their buying into the “war on terror” to be the most disturbing thing about them. Their military and 9/11 fetishism strike me as creepy, the subservience to Israel strikes me as pathetic, the willingness to sacrifice liberty for security is cowardly, the refusal to accept that not everybody in the world needs or wants multicultural democracy smacks of Trotskyism, and relying on anecdotes of dead Americans instead of being able to understand the statistical arguments as to why terrorism isn’t a big deal is a result of plain stupidity. What’s called the “national security” issue is a stain on an otherwise beautiful revolt against federal activism, statism and egalitarianism.
While CPAC grew over the last year, the expansion of Campaign for Liberty has outpaced that of the conference as a whole. There were 1,757 ballots in the straw poll in 2009 compared to almost 3,000 this year and Ron Paul’s share of the vote went from 13 to 31%. The election of Rand to the Senate would ensure that the fed obsessive and anti-war libertarians aren’t going anywhere. May they come to completely overwhelm CPAC and destroy the scourge that is the neo-cons.
According to The Politico,
Paul’s victory renders a straw poll that was already lightly contested among the likely 2012 GOP hopefuls all but irrelevant, as the 74-year-old Texan is unlikely to be a serious contender for his party’s nomination…
CPAC organizers were plainly embarrassed by the results, which could reduce the perceived impact of a contest that was once thought to offer a window into which White House hopefuls were favored by movement conservatives.
A spokesman for the conference rushed over to reporters after the announcement to make sure they had heard the unmistakable boos when the screen first showed Paul had won the straw poll.
Not supporting someone because they can’t win is the clearest example in the world of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as who people support determines who wins in the first place.
The important thing for Campaign for Liberty will be to not leave the establishment alone. Ron Paul is where the passion is and good luck trying to get people as excited about Tim Pawlenty.