Listening to Texas Rep. Ron Paul talk to his supporters last night in
New Hampshire brought back powerful memories of an earlier New Hampshire
primary. In 1968, Lyndon Baines Johnson, running as a sitting
president, won that primary, but Eugene McCarthy, a political outsider
and intellectual provocateur, came in second. He was viewed widely as a
winner, as have subsequent candidates who came in second in New
Hampshire primaries. His doing so pushed LBJ to decide NOT to run and
Robert F. Kennedy TO run, and the world changed. The Vietnam War was the
Amid the noisy irrelevance of other Republican candidates' endless debates and television evangelizing about non-issues, gay marriage and abortion and more socially divisive issues that are NOT the issues this country truly faces, was libertarian Ron Paul telling us, correctly, that we need to end the war in Afghanistan and to stop meddling in foreign adventures that cost lives and treasure we cannot afford. The media has not paid attention to Paul's candidacy, but an increasing number of mainline observers have, and this is good.
I hope President Obama is listening to Paul's important point. Independents and Millennials, young people are, and they would be likely Obama supporters, but Paul is co-opting them. It is time the media wise-men and -women paid attention to Paul's important point about our unnecessary wars (ignore some of his off-the-wall other ideas) and gave them coverage and credence. Our wars are bankrupting us, causing serious problems with our best young citizens, and THAT ought to be a subject for serious debate among all candidates.
Thank you, Congressman Paul, for making an important argument in these otherwise pathetic debates.
Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington- and Miami-based attorney, author and literary agent.