rand paul

Libertarianism goes mainstream

by JAMES HOHMANN, Politico.com  |  published on April 10, 2013

Stereotyped for decades as pro-pot, pro-porn and pro-pacifism, libertarians are becoming mainstream.

Fair or not, Ron Paul epitomized to a swath of voters the caricature of a goofy grandpa who invests in gold, stockpiles guns, sees black helicopters whirling overhead and quotes Friedrich Hayek.

His ride into the sunset — combined with an evolving electorates’s move away from hot-button social issues — gives a new libertarian guard the opportunity to rebrand their governing philosophy as more reasonable, serious and compatible with the Republican Party.

Led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), libertarians hope to become a dominant wing of the GOP by tapping into a potent mix of war weariness, economic anxiety and frustration with federal overreach in the fifth year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The country’s continuing fixation on fiscal issues, especially spending and debt, allows them to emphasize areas of agreement with conservative allies who are looking for ways to connect with Republicans who aren’t passionate about abortion or same-sex marriage. A Democratic administration ensures consensus on the right that states should get as much power as possible.

Ron Paul, who has been speaking at college campuses since retiring from the House to Texas at the end of the year, feels that more Republicans are either engaging or co-opting the ideas he spent a career espousing on monetary policy, foreign policy and civil liberties.

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