I freely admit that I was hoping for a Ron Paul victory in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night, but Matt Welch finds seven bright spots in Paul’s third place finish. Appropriately, I found number one to be the most important:
Paul more than doubled his vote over 2008, while Mitt Romney’s stayed exactly the same. Seriously, Romney got 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2008, then 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2012. Paul vaulted from 10 percent to 21, from 12,000 votes to 26,000. His message of freedom, limited government, attacking the Federal Reserve, and ending wars foreign and domestic is undeniably on the grow.
There was a time when I was about 22 years old that I knew almost every serious libertarian activist around my age. Now I don’t even know all of them in the Saint Louis area. I go into bars to gather signatures to place an initiative that would end cannabis prohibition on the Missouri ballot in November, and the first question many people ask me is “Are you a Ron Paul supporter?” When I answer affirmatively, the person usually spends the next few minutes gushing about how much they love Ron Paul and what he stands for. The libertarian moment may not have arrived just yet, but it is approaching, you can be sure of that.