Bill Kristol vs. The Daily Show Generation

“Neoconservative” is a loaded term these days — considered a pejorative by most, some on The Right remain the textbook definition; self-proclaimed conservatives who yet see a role for welfare programs in the state’s functions, and support the use of American military power to promote democracy abroad. Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol would have a difficult time taking shelter from such a label, seeing as his father, Irving Kristol is considered the ‘godfather’ of the political philosophy. The younger Kristol himself has been very vocal in support of neoconservative policies — he’s had extensive activity around the beltway with various neoconservative think tanks such as Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

Unfortunately for neoconservatism, the philosophy has proven ineffective, if not disastrous for America, when put into practice.

With Iraq and Afghanistan becoming the endless quagmires everyone wished to avoid, and the military credit card driving Chinese-owned debt up to unprecedented levels– the idea that the Middle East would be set alight with pro-Western democratic movements has effectively unraveled. Even the organic, Millennial-driven ‘Arab Spring’ is running into strong pushback from autocrats in the Muslim world — Egypt remains in a precarious state.

Intervention in the markets here at home is proving equally disastrous, economic woes are malignant. Endless bailouts, out-of-control debt levels, and inflation soaring; the cost of living is exploding. The employment situation remains Lukewarm at best — with the Millennials being socked harder than any other age-based voting block. Many remain under-employed and stuck in the rut of living with their parents… using their college degrees to pursue what big box retailers would describe as “exciting sales careers.”

There is a problem with politics in general, but especially Republican politics.

Bill Kristol agrees with that, but it isn’t the GOP’s recent big-government-liberal-ish behavior that he’s talking about.


The problem is Ron Paul;  his views aren’t going with the GOP’s current, and it’s time for him to go, Kristol says.

[Buchanan] left the party in 1999 and a lot of people, and I was one of them, said, goodbye and good riddance, you’re not in the mainstream of the Republican party, go run as some Reform party candidate . . . he did in 2000 and he didn’t get many votes and actually George W. Bush I think was helped—and the Republican party was helped—to be free of Buchanan’s extreme isolationism, protectionism, anti-Israel views, and the like. Ron Paul is a little different from Pat Buchanan—but he’s no better, in my view. And I actually think we’d benefit in the long run—but even in the short run . . .

Gingrich and Romney both expressed support for bailouts in their various forms. Of course, if you dig around, you’ll probably find Romney flip-flopping on that, as he so famously does. Both he and Gingrich have shown to be devoid of integrity when it comes to opposing individual healthcare mandates. Almost one year after killing Osama bin Laden, Rick Santorum insists that America’s foreign policy needs no serious critique. Santorum also supported Medicare Part D.  Apparently, all of these positions are acceptable to what Kristol would define as the GOP’s “mainstream.”

Ron Paul, who stood firmly against all of the aforementioned liberal positions, is instead the one most deserving of vilification, if you’re asking Mr. Kristol.

Kristol, like many anti-Paul pundits on The Right, seems to be overlooking one critical element when it comes to the future of political demographics,  The Daily Show Generation.

Ron Paul’s following is not the same one that made Pat Buchanan a contender in the 90s. Ron Paul’s rise is not the result of simple protest voting. It’s young, it’s internet savvy, and it’s out in force. It will continue to grow. The Millennials can turn a would-be serious candidate into an internet laughing stock in less than a day (look up the controversy behind ‘Google Santorum’ sometime, but don’t say I didn’t warn you). Very soon it will wield an immense amount of political power, and Paul’s successes in the early primary states were the first signs of that muscle flexing.

Not even taking substance of Ron Paul’s positions into account, he’s needed solely for voter coalescence alone.

The career-challenged Millennials become the largest age-based voting block in 2016. Overwhelmingly, the candidate of choice for young people on The Right is Ron Paul, he took 48% of the under-30 vote in the Iowa Caucuses, and he’s stirred up energy in college students like no other Republican candidate has. The political philosophy is decidedly libertarian.

Anti-Paul Republicans, and conservative pundits like Hannity, Limbaugh, and Kristol might be riding a wave of Anti-Paul sentiment with the aging Baby Boomers, but that wave will crash.  Turning the Repubican Party into a high school clique too-cool for libertarians will effectively destroy the GOP in the next several years. Without the Millennial vote, the GOP’s lifespan drops significantly.

If electability is the issue, and the future of the party is the concern, maybe it’s time for Bill Kristol to leave the GOP. I think we’d benefit in the long run… but maybe in the short run too.

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