Don't laugh, seriously don't laugh....
The conference featured several healthy debates about appropriating traditionally liberal ideas: criminal justice reform and the elimination of mandatory minimum prison sentences; marijuana legalization and a pullback on the 40-year-old war on drugs; and reform of the national security state's surveillance apparatus.All it would seem to take is for them to drop their racism, sexism and general bigotry and they might get there. Personally I always thought the Libertarians place was somewhere on the left.
Even as recently as the George W Bush administration, Republicans who espoused these ideas would have been labeled soft on crime, stoners or enablers of terrorism, respectively.
Paul finished ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz by a 20% margin, winning 31% of the 2,459 votes cast. Retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson finished third with 9%. The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who wasn't invited to speak last year for supposed heresies to the conversative movement, came in fourth with 8%.My own pet theory is that the only reason they are out there on the right wing fringe is that both the Sponsored Parties abandoned who they were and became representatives of the oh so very few, bought and paid for as it were. The right jumped upon and exaggerated the fear and division to gain their base, the Democratic party abandoned their own in the mad dash triangulation rush to fill the void. Hence we today's crazy division and an Overton window rusted to the rails.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, second with 23% last year, finished far back at 6% after a year in which his work on comprehensive immigration reform alienated many conservatives.
I come from an area where guns and god were pretty strong motivators, i.e the country yet there was little bigotry, more of a detestation of the government than anything else, yet a strong sense of help your neighbor through thick and thin was always present. The rich folks tended to be East Coast Republicans, hi Mom and Dad, who now have drifted ever so slightly left and become Democrats.
My point is ever since St Ronnie of Reagan [mostly] decided that feeding the rich was the policy and that the Democrats basically followed this line of reasoning most of the population was pretty much abandoned to its own devices. The Republican view is that whatever the crisis it is because we haven't given enough wealth to the oh so few and the Democrats have done very little to negate that view. We jumped into free trade feeding frenzies we outsourced everything not nailed down and then wondered why people felt disenfranchised. The right however saw this as an opportunity and the Democrats just conceded their raison d'd'être of being the peoples party without much of a fight it must be said.
It's funny how both parties manage to ignore the polls since populism has taken a dirty turn meaning that you have to instill hatred rather than unity. The feeling I have is that most of our side of the aisle couldn't really give a damn and that the other side just want to fan the flames of division.
The rush to the mythical center and the reason for our corporate medias hand wringing over bipartisanship is clearly based on a singular reasoning, money.
If you doubt me just look at when our leaders join hands in a bipartisan love fest [Iraq, military financing, tax cuts, Doma] or how our lot suddenly change sides when the status quo is threatened because some of the other side are still not completely crazy.