It seems that the doctor known as Ron Paul who is running for President has quite the following from an otherwise apathetic bloc of voters, folks in the 18-22 range. Paul is stirring interest in voters of all ages, but it's rare to see such interest brought about from voters as young as 18-22.
College campuses are abuzz with Paul supporters. Even many high schoolers are chanting his name. It should be a dream come true for adults who are always complaining that kids don't step into the voting booth enough. Alas, the only thing most of us adults can talk about, instead, is why the young are so enchanted with Paul.
Well, in an effort to start getting us to concentrate on what's really important here - the fact that young voters are becoming involved, which is what we are always bitching at them to do - let me propose what I think is a sound reason for why young voters are so interested in Paul, in order for us to start focusing on the fact that they are interested in participating in the first place.
Personally, I think the answer is simple.
Young people, on average, have been attending 10 years of school ranging from middle school to college, during which time they have been taught to value the Constitution of the United States.
They are taught that the Founding Fathers were smart men who knew what was best for our country and that what they knew was that states with their own governments and ways of doing things can be united as a means to ensure protection, freedom, and justice, but only if united under a federal government that was very limited in power.
They are taught that America is a collection of states that are united under such a federal government, one that is limited in power by the Constitution, intended to make official our rights and freedoms. This information is hammered into them year after year.
Then, these kids see our federal government do the exact opposite of what they've been taught. They see the feds completely disregard the Constitution.
They see our Congress vote to give the President authority to wage a war in Iraq and Afghanistan without a Declaration of War and everything that comes with it from Congress (violation of Article I Section 8).
They see our President conduct domestic spying on Americans without support of Oath or affirmation, thanks to the Patriot Act passed by Congress (violation of Amendment IV).
They see our Congress continue to allow a private entity (the Federal Reserve) control our money-system (violation of Article I Section 8).
They even see our President threaten to create new amendments that are in direct violation of amendments that already exist, such as an amendment to outlaw flag burning (violation of Amendment I) or an amendment to make gay marriage illegal (violation of Amendment IX).
Powers not delegated to the federal government are also failing to be reserved to state governments or the people, with such issues as affirmative action, education, and health care (violation of Amendment X), among many others.
Those are only a few examples. The list of blatant disregard for the Constitution goes on.
Young people are more recently exposed to the Constitution than many adults are, since they are in the midst of learning about it in school and college, and they not only see our federal government tossing it out the window, they also see a group of 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates (some of whom have been responsible for what I mentioned above) whose policies do not reflect the Constitution, with the exception of Rep./Dr. Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is the only candidate who stands out as one who bases all of his decisions on the Constitution and his over-a-decade-long voting record proves it to anyone who wants to see for themselves. Ron Paul respects states rights and the freedom that comes with 50 different possibilities of levels and types of government, all living under the same roof of protection and justice.
When the younger generation sees Ron Paul cut short by the mainstream media and ridiculed by a large portion of older voters as being "nuts", "loony", or "wacko", they wonder when it became "nuts", "loony", or "wacko" to respect the Constitution and limited federal government, especially after they have been taught to do exactly that.
We expect our kids to learn the Constitution, to value limited federal government, and to understand how multiple states can provide us with multiple possibilities, and then we wonder why so many of them strongly support Ron Paul, the only candidate who actually pays attention to any of those things.
Those of us who are older would do well to remember what we expect our children to learn and to start practicing what we preach.
It's a Free Country!