Why the Liberty Movement is Not Catching On



For the past three cycles, the liberty movement has been a trend in the Republican presidential scene. While liberty was a founding concept of the United States, it became less important over the 20th century. Eventually, this lead to resurgence a with one congressman, Ron Paul.

Paul started his political career in the 1970s, but he did not gain much national recognition until the 2008 presidential campaign. In the campaign, Paul had a very passionate group of supporters and a lot of small donors , but it never turned into a primary win; Paul ultimately lost the nomination to the far less liberty-minded John McCain. In 2012, and with national name recognition established, Paul still struggled to place first in any primary election, and eventually lost to Mitt Romney.

Finally, after leaving Congress in 2013, Ron Paul declared that he was not going to run for president again. Instead, his son Rand Paul–a Senator from Kentucky–would be running, and that Ron planned to support support his son.

After starting with decent polling numbers, Rand Paul quickly fell out of the top contenders for the 2016 election and has barely managed to stay on the main stage of primary debates. It was expected that Rand would pick up Ron’s supporters and continue to build off of his father’s legacy, but his father’s problem arose once again. The problem? A realization that even in the Republican party, the sad truth is that people do not want liberty.

Americans often say that they are for liberty and politicians always proclaim to be protecting the people’s liberty. However, they do not mean liberty in the sense that the Pauls have campaigned for and the type of liberty that the nation was founded on. When other politicians talk about liberty, they mean that they are going to ensure that no one can tell you what you cannot do, but they will protect your ability to dictate to others. With true liberty, everyone gets to be left alone unless someone’s rights are violated.

This is the liberty that the majority of the population believes in, and is why the Paul’s struggle to get past 10 percent support in the Republican primaries. True liberty scares people.