South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, the
darling of the Tea Party wing nuts of the GOP, is urging Republican
candidates to listen to Ron Paul. "One of the things that's hurt the
so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron
Paul," DeMint told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "I'd like to
see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas."
Why the sudden enthusiasm of Republican leaders for Ron Paul? Credit
his surprisingly strong showing in New Hampshire, where 47 percent of
primary voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for him.
No other Republican candidate has come nearly as close to winning
over young voters -- and the GOP desperately needs young voters. The
median age of registered Republicans is rising faster than the median
age of America.
The Republican right thinks Paul's views on the economy are
responsible for this fire among the young. Yesterday evening, on Larry
Kudlow's CNBC program, I squared off with Larry and the Wall Street
Journal's Steve Moore. Both are convinced young people are attracted by
Paul's strict adherence to the views of Austrian economist Ludwig von
Mises, and Paul's desire to move America back to the gold standard.
Baloney. The young are flocking to Ron Paul because he wants to slice
military spending, bring our troops home, stop government from spying
on American citizens, and legalize pot.
So do I, but I somehow doubt Jim DeMint would advise Republican
candidates to listen to me, even if I were a Republican candidate for
Paul is attractive to younger voters precisely because of positions
he takes that are anathema to the vast majority of the Republican base,
including almost all Tea Party Republicans.
If other Republican candidates want to cozy up to him, fine. But if
they do, they'll have a lot of explaining to do in Bluffton, South
On the other hand, if Republicans -- or Democrats, for that matter --
want to win over much of the nation's young next November, they'd do
well to listen carefully to Paul's positions on national defense and