Is the GOP getting "Goldwatered" all over again?
Allow me to explain.
In 1964, our nation was in a different place. We were still in the midst of a Cold War. However, we were also in a period of an expanding government supported by Republicans and Democrats both. We were coming off of a boom period of the 50's, and were still riding a good wave of growth. Also, in 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson rode a wave of popularity, big promises, and the emotion people felt by the assasination of John F. Kennedy.
Opposing Johnson in the 1964 Presidential election was Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was considered to be extreme, crazy, and "too far-right" for the nation. Goldwater was a proponent of smaller government, fiscal conservatism, and strong national defense. While most of the nation either laughed or scratched their heads at Goldwater's proposed policies and stances on issues, Goldwater had a rabid base of support that believed in what he was standing for.
Goldwater lost in the largest electoral landslide in history.
However, after Johnson's mediocre "Great Society" and escalation of Vietnam, to Nixon's Watergate issues, to the sluggishness of Gerald Ford's presidency, and the malaise and listlessness of Jimmy Carter's tenure...Goldwater's policies and stances became front-and-center in the form of a man who believed in them and improved upon them.....Ronald Reagan.
Is Ron Paul doing the same thing within the Republican Party? Is he planting the seeds for an ideological shift that will lead to an event similar to the Reagan Revolution?
Think about it. Paul has a rabid base of support, a growing amount of interest in his ideals, and a somewhat-radical change of direction and policy. Is Paul planting the seeds for a more-libertarian GOP that will become a popular mainstream philosophy? Will it take another term or two of big-government politics for people to accept a change in direction and philosophy like what Paul is promoting.
The other question is...if not Paul himself, who would play Reagan to Paul's Goldwater?
This whole scenario is interesting, if nothing else, and could foreshadow a shift in American political thought and direction.