Ron Paul, the libertarian rock star, has single handedly brought many issues to the mainstream debate over the direction America should be taking in 2012 and beyond.
Here are the Top 5 Ron Paul-inspired memes of 2012:
1. End the Fed!
Dr. Paul has repeatedly questioned the usefulness of the Federal Reserve system, its monopoly on U.S. currency, and its influence on interest rates. Created in 1913, the Federal Reserve System has long existed in a shadowed area outside the U.S. government, bringing its accountability into question. While the debate may rage over how to handle issues regarding the Fed, few will deny that Ron Paul has single handedly brought the issue of transparency of the Federal Reserve system to the proverbial dinner table of most Americans.
2. End the Wars!
This message has exemplified Dr. Paul's ability to 'cross the aisles' in his support. Democrats, Independents, (a few) Republicans, Libertarians, Unaffiliated, Millennials, Gen-X'ers, Baby Boomers: Each of these groups have significant numbers of individuals who believe that U.S. intervention overseas comes at too great a cost, and that it's time to put the concept of defense back into forefront of the United States Department of Defense.
3. Free Markets!
This is the most complex issue for most Americans to wrap their heads around. Most of the 20th century was filled with the Federal government trying its best to regulate markets, through various entitlement and incentive programs, laws that restrict size and scope of business, and bailouts of failed industries. While some people still firmly believe in a strict regulated market, Ron Paul has championed the cause of free markets being the best regulator for the U.S. economy. This issue stretches in to every pie that the Federal government has its hands in, from health care, to energy, to education...you name it.
4. Money Bombs!
This method of quickly raising money via the Internet started in 2007, and their continued success has kept Paul off the fringe and in the conversation of the mainstream. These fundraising drives continue to be the bread-and-butter of financial support for the Paul campaign, and clearly demonstrate that while money is needed to run a successful campaign, it doesn't necessarily have to come from large corporate donors. Chalk one up to the power of social media!
5. Delegates, Delegates, Delegates!
While the mainstream media loves a beauty contest, it's all about the delegates when electing a candidate for the GOP. Paul's strategy of focusing on caucus states has been questioned repeatedly, but as these states hold their conventions for electing delegates, we're seeing its credibility and pragmatism. While it's unknown whether he'll be able to garner enough delegates to keep Mitt Romney from being the GOP nominee, there's no debating that Paul supporters have made their dedication, support, and influence known at the state levels. That's the hallmark of success for any long-lasting campaign.