In this Weekly Standard article, Rand Paul is depicted as a different kind of politician, different even from his father. Ron Paul, Rand's father who was a representative from Texas, delivered a libertarian, non-interventionist message during his career that caused a lot of heat in rallies but failed to garner broad support. The elder Paul, however, was able to bring new voters to the voting booths, mostly young, single issue voters who learned a little about Austrian economics along the way. Can Rand build a broad coalition of dissatisfied conservatives, true liberals disgusted with the Progressives's statist agenda, non-interventionists who are beyond war-weary and ready to vote to get us out of the mideast, and new voters who lean libertarian on most issues but aren't that politically active?
The key, I think, is creating a larger pie. Just like our economic problems will be solved by creating a larger pie, even many pies through a free market revolution, in order to get government out of the way, politicians like Rand Paul will have to expand the voting base. On average, around 100 million qualified American voters don't vote or vote infrequently. Oddly, there are very few studies that tell us why there are so many non-voters or infrequent voters, or who they are. Even the one study I could find of California non-voters wasn't all that informative. The study revealed that although most people think it's important to vote, non-voters and infrequent voters say they're too busy. It could be that voting is too difficult for people with full-time jobs and a family. In other articles which simply suggested reasons why there are many non-voters and infrequent, one reason is that people have become cynical watching Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert and don't think their votes will matter. I've seen this argument quite often, even from some who're very intelligent and highly educated.
Although some very smart people believe individual votes don't matter, regarding the make-up of non-voters and infrequent voters, the study shows that education levels have a lot to do with who votes and who doesn't, with those receiving more education voting more. About 59% of the non-voters are caucasian. Young people vote less than old people, but we knew that.
The Democratic Party has put much effort growing the voting pie, trying to create more voters. But Republicans shouldn't get into a contest with Democrats offering government goodies to get more votes, or promising special interest groups favors for their support. This is too detrimental to the country, and any victory would be a Pyrrhic victory. No, politicans like Rand Paul have to gain new voters through attraction, not through promotion.
Most of the non-voters, I imagine, are turned off by promotion, plus they don't believe the promises. The feeding trough in Washington DC has become so big and valuable, it attracts the worst in society, and it even attracts those disgusted by it who must play the lobbying game or lose out to a competitor who knows more about the political game than business, but, nevertheless, could win in the market through political favors. When voters witness the Money Game in DC, and how politicans are bought and sold, the potential voters lose confidence in the system and stop participating in politics. I don't know how many times I've heard people dismiss government as a bunch of crooks who'd sell their mothers to stay in power.
I believe politicians like Rand Paul can attract many of these non-voters and infrequent voters. But Paul will have to maintain integrity and resist the temptation to play the political, crony games. It's a herculean effort for a Republican renegade like Rand Paul to get his message out through media megaphones. Instead, media will likely shut out Paul so that they, media, can define him and those like him, such as Ted Cruz, Tim Lee and Justin Amash. If Paul gets attention through the new. alternative media, then mainstream media, mostly supportive of Obama and Democrats in general, will begin their hit jobs to counter the excitement (especially cable news outlets like MSNBC). If Paul decides to run for President, he'll have to innovate to get his message out. Paul has already shown a gift for innovation, so I think he's up to the task.