Ron Paul’s quixotic campaign for the Republican nomination isn’t really under his control anymore, Salon writes, but rather in the hands of a cult of ardent supporters who have independently flocked to fundraise and canvass for him. For them, Paul isn’t a libertarian outsider—the Texas Congressman is a symbol of freedom and partisan frustration.
For years, Paul has espoused radical libertarian ideas such as abolishing income tax or making gold legal tender. But his antiwar stance and strict reverence for civil liberties lie behind his new image as the GOP’s lone crusader for freedom. One supporter summarized Paul’s appeal: “He's got the brass ones to go where the others are afraid to.”