Friday, October 31, 2014

Rand Paul and Millennials

WaPo's Dana Milbank pretty much nails it:
The Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School released a survey of Millennial voters showing that this 18-to-29-year-old demographic, a rock-solid Democratic constituency a few years ago, is now up for grabs. If this is true, the Republican Party, in the right hands, might be able to defuse the demographic time bomb ticking at party headquarters...

Peter Levine, a specialist in youth civic engagement at Tufts University’s Tisch College, agreed that the likeliest figure to benefit from the shift is [Rand] Paul, whose candidacy “would scramble things up in a pretty interesting way.” Levine said it’s “not out of the question” that Paul could best Hillary Clinton among Millennial voters in a theoretical matchup...

The bigger danger to Paul is that, in trying to win the Republican nomination, he’ll lose the qualities that make him appealing to Millennials. Unlike his gadfly father, he has positioned himself as a conventional pol, taking have-it-both-ways positions on immigration and same-sex marriage. He has inched away from his isolationist foreign policy (supporting air strikes against the Islamic State terror group). He has become a party-line Republican on the campaign trail, embracing GOP candidates of all stripes in some 30 states. His RandPac has been pouring in money to help veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts fight off an independent challenger in Kansas. On Monday, Paul will campaign for fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell, the old-guard Republican in line to become Senate majority leader.
Of course, there is also the danger that Rand will gain the Millennial vote by confusing the hell out of them as to what he really stands for. And diluting the libertarian message so bad that Millennials will think that libertarianism is about "measured government steps" that could result in support for any government regulation or other interference in peaceable free exchange, if it is pitched properly.


1 comment:

  1. If there is a silver lining to Rand running, it is that Ron Paul will get TONS of air time during the process, and I don't think there's any doubt that Ron will continue to speak his mind. The attempt to equate Rand with Ron will force Rand into making sure he points out, over and again, how he is not his father, and this should to some extent lay bare that he's not a libertarian and mitigate some of the confusion. In fact, all things considered I'll take it as it will give Ron a platform to get his voice back out into the mainstream dialogue for a third time, which will have the effect of turning more people OFF from politics as usual and on to genuine liberty.