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Opinion

What's next for the Ron Paul revolution?

The effort to renew the Founding Fathers' vision is good for America.

By John Dillin / May 16, 2008



Washington

Ron Paul and his 1 million supporters aren't going away. And that's probably a good thing for America's future.

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Remember Dr. Paul? He – not John McCain – was the real maverick in this year's fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

While Senator McCain often sneered at Paul during their debates, many voters cheered Paul and poured $35 million into his campaign.

Paul, a Texas congressman and longtime gynecologist, remains in the hunt for delegates to September's Republican National Convention. But his focus has now broadened – widening to what The Idaho Observer calls a "national civics lesson."

To that end, Paul's legions – often young, educated, and tech-savvy – are expanding their influence into grass-roots GOP politics. They hope to recruit Paul-like candidates for local, state, and federal offices, particularly for Congress. That's already sparked clashes at local GOP meetings.

Following in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater, Paul has also just published a 167-page book, "The Revolution: A Manifesto." He spells out his positions on everything from abortion to Iraq to the collapsing dollar. Forty-eight years ago, Goldwater's classic "Conscience of a Conservative" launched a public groundswell that helped propel Ronald Reagan into the White House.

Paul's own politics hark back to classical conservatives, such as Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio (1939-53), and to the nation's Founding Fathers. He favors smaller government with limited powers. To rescue a falling dollar, he'd dissolve the Federal Reserve and urge a reconsideration of the old gold standard. He would close hundreds of foreign bases and would force deep cuts in the Washington bureaucracy by abolishing the income tax.

Opponents denounce his blunt views, calling him unrealistic in an era of global terrorism.

Nor did major media welcome Paul's ideas. They mostly ignored him or treated him as an 18th-century anachronism.

Nothing separates Paul so clearly from most Republicans as his views on the Iraq war. His reasoning goes straight back to the Constitution, specifically Article I, Section 8, which reserves the power to declare war exclusively to Congress.

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