strategy, on Monday, November 21st, 2011, 6:45 PM, said:
I don't know if you noticed this, but the republican base does not give a single fuck about the constitution when it comes to lifestyle choices they disagree with, or anti-terrorism measures, or what have you. which strikes you as more likely: the people who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to personal liberties (the republican base) have wised up in the last four years, or the republicans have found such an incompetent, useless group of candidates that this guy who only half represents what they want is the most appealing option?don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to put ron paul down or anything.
I don't think the base has wised up, I think a lot of people who have always stayed home suddenly have a reason to get out and vote. I also think your second reason is playing a large part. It's a perfect storm: unmotivated base with a motivated subset, incompetent candidates who inspire nothing but derision, 11 years of watching wishy-washy empty suits running the country into unthinkable levels of debt, and a candidate who has been consistently giving the answers since before any of the other candidates knew there was a problem.I think there may be something else going on, and here I'm admittedly going out on a limb. I saw a TED talk a while ago about innovators, early adopters, and the big fat part of the bell curve. Basically, they said there is 1-3% in society that is the innovators. These people have new ideas and pursue them in the face of adversity. After that, there is 13-15% who are the early adopters. They will try anything. If they like it, they start telling their friends, and that's the big mass in the middle who are swayed by the early adopters. This works for all sorts of things, from products to ideas to people to shows to arts.So think about that. Ron Paul has been in the 6-10% range for the last 4 years. This year, he has periodically reached 15%, and a few times has been around 20%, including this latest Iowa poll. Add to that an electorate that voted in Obama that is extremely dissatisfied with him (Obama) but hates traditional Republican candidates, and is sick of flip-flopping wishy-washy nobodies. These are the independents. Most of them are not early adopters. They don't want to be the first to say "hey, I like that guy" and feel the scorn of their peers. But once you start getting up around 20%, now it's not going out on the limb so much.Is this a case of that? Nobody knows, it's always unpredictable, otherwise it wouldn't follow this pattern. But there are a LOT of things lined up -- things like the internet so that small govt types can get a voice on equal ground with everyone else; things like lots of young people getting their news from John Stewart, who doesn't agree with Paul but always shows him lots of respect and admiration; things like OWS which in large part are complaining about what RP has been complaining about and almost single-handedly voting against for 30 years, to the point he is called Dr. No.I'm not saying these are surefire indicators, just that anyone who says this can't happen doesn't understand how these things work and isn't paying attention to the grumbling voices on both sides.Here's the TED talks.
Think about this in terms of the RP phenomenon. Is it an idea whose time has come? Who knows, but it fits the pattern of those ideas that "nobody could've predicted".