Ron Paul celebrated the Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party by raising more than $6.0 million by 8:30 PM pacific time. He has already beaten his own record for the highest fundraising drive of any GOP candidate ever and, at $17 million and counting, he will probably be the best-funded Republican candidate in the 4th quarter. By the stroke of midnight, more veterans, homeowners, businesspeople, and families donated to Ron Paul's campaign than to any other campaign on any single day in history.
What this says about power dynamics:
An imposing new band of political allies have formed to take back the GOP. The Old Conservatives have returnedfor another battle over the Barry Goldwater / Jerry Falwell divide, including Goldwater the younger. We witnessed American mayors, wall-street traders, and quick-witted Texas judges open their pocketbooks to end neoconservative influence on the Old Conservative wing. In addition, the two youngest voter generations who will suffer the consequences of governmental largess are tipping this old balance of power.
Generation X is under fourty-five but they are coming into power. Their parents' obstinant polarization has become a burden. The government has already sold their their Social Security Trust to China and sent them to fight a preemptive war on a half-baked theory. Now it is taxing their own children before they are already born. They can only secure their future if they discipline the federal government's monetary diet and eliminate its incompetance.
Also, the college-aged generation has risen from its helplessness-induced lull to give the old political machine a proper sendoff. Paul convinced them that they don't have to be Democrats to be right, they just have to think more Republican than the GOP. They know the federal government compromises their freedom becase it cannot deliver on what it promises. With that new attidtide, they will revilatalize academia and challenge the assumptions that underlie it.
Entire states may follow suit. Unlike many of Ron Paul's opponents, he is leading in at least one state (In Alska, the citizens make the state pay them for the privilege of governing). Many other states already feel the crunch of federal mismanagement and they are taking increasingly devolutionary positions.
What this means for Ron Paul:
Ron Paul has already won huge. For his entire political career he has stayed fast to a core principle of governance while his colleagues buckled under the fear of party ostracization. So he took this chance to make his case in front of the public and he won, big time. His campaign did not have an infrastructure or an endowment. Instead, armed with only an idea, he motivated hundreds of thousands of people to volunteer their time and donate $23 million over the course of his campaign.
His supporters have freed him as well. When Paul is approached by supporters who say he cured their apathy, he responds that they cured his skepticism. Just as Nelson Mandela had to be liberated in order to liberate, Paul's ideas ideas of conervatism had to be broken from the bondage of a below-average media and Washingtonian groupthink. To achieve this, he did not convince people that he would be their perfect leader, but that they are better fit to lead themselves. (that's right, I compared him to Mandela).
This is a measurable defeat for Ron Paul's opponents. They locked themselves inside all day away from the press. Now they will badger their staffs about the internets and try to invigorate their bases by kicking them. They will regret every flip-flop, every public equivocation, and every soul-selling vote- If for no other reason, then because they envy Paul's spending power. (Except Romney who donates to himself).
No doubt, they will all misunderstand this victory as well. They will surely strategize to harness the grass roots. They will search for ways to reconcile a new platform of honesty and public empowerment with their own political ambitions, but they wil miss the crucial point: you cannot pick this new demographic, it picks you.
Regardless of whether Ron Paul is the next President, he has taught hundreds of thousands (see the donations) of Americans that they need not tolerate secrecy and incompetence from a government that is prostituted to special interests. These Americans will be the new politicians in the next ten years. They already have vast networks of passionate, educated supporters united under common causes. The state GOP infrastructures will be wise not to stand in their way. Soon this will nudge-out an entire generation of spineless Washington indoctrination. Many of those who will campaign on Paul's political platform will communicate it with even brighter, more articulate, and more compelling zeal than he. They will be his legacy.
Paul's Constitutionalist platform has become the new populism. In this new era of information exchange, populism can finally flourish. Today the people proved they can circumvent the media news cartel to choose their own front-runner. They mandated that he discipline their government for violating the very terms of its license to exist For their authority they need not cite articles, nor sections, nor amendments. They will invoke their power under the first three words of the Constitution.
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