Three factors have kept Paul from being a real contender: not only the hostility of the leadership and the age demographics of the average Republican primary voter – which is well over 40 – but also the ideological factor. After a decade and more of neoconservative domination, not only of the party but of the conservative movement, the GOP is the War Party. For the Paul campaign, this is fatal. Ron has made his anti-interventionist views the linchpin of his campaign: he never fails to bring up the issue of war and peace, even when discussing some economic or social topic. That’s because he realizes – unlike some “libertarians” – the issue is central to the question of rolling back the power of government to rule our lives.
While Paul regularly invokes the “Old Right” and the legacy of Robert A. Taft and the Taft Republicans, this tradition has been long forgotten by Republican voters – and deliberately buried and disdained by the party’s intellectuals, such as they are, who regularly rail against “isolationism” and hail FDR and Winston Churchill as their chosen icons.