COMMENTARY | Last fall, as a part of an undergraduate research project, our class was required to find a client who wanted research done. I offered up the possibility of contacting Ron Paul's presidential campaign and doing market research for him in our area.
This sparked a discussion of Ron Paul and his chances of winning the Republican nomination, and the professor looked at us and said, "Ron Paul isn't running to win. He's running to promote his policies."
I think there is some truth to this assertion. Ron Paul may or may not have operated his campaign with the goal of winning. But he did so with the full knowledge that his policies are not wining policies in America right now.
It is a remarkable thing our current political parties have done. The far right has somehow made "small" government with a humongous military budget popular and they have forever linked capitalism with Christianity when one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity is that material wealth is an obstacle to salvation.
Meanwhile, the social policy positions of the far left promote privacy and hands-off governing while their fiscal policy positions promote higher taxes and more social services.
And in the middle of these dichotomies stands Ron Paul, with his army of young, tech-savvy, excited supporters.
Paul knew he was highly unlikely to win the Republican nomination. But Paul used the platform of the Republican nomination to create an excited, active, intelligent generation of libertarians. He ran to promote his policies.
As an early 20s resident of the permanent swing state, Ohio, I will be supporting Barack Obama this November.
But as a believer in humanity and human ingenuity, I will be promoting the policies of liberty and freedom for my entire life.