Libertarians say they have an issue that's perfect for the 21st Century—Internet freedom. And many of them are counting on libertarian hero Ron Paul and his son, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, to carry the theme into the future.
The two Pauls are expected to place their personal imprimatur on the Internet issue soon. Campaign for Liberty, a libertarian group supported by Ron Paul, has already issued a manifesto opposing more government regulation of the Internet. "Around the world, the real threat to Internet frreedom comes not from bad people or inefficient markets—we can and will always route around them—but from governments' foolish attempts to manage and control innovation," the Campaign for Liberty manifesto says.
The group also plans to continue pushing for auditing and eventually ending the Federal Reserve, which has for many years been a goal of Ron Paul, the GOP congressman from Texas who has been seeking the Republican presidential nomination this year.
The Internet issue is expected to be particularly popular among young people, who have been a big part of Ron Paul's grass-roots support system.
In a related development, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico, is asking supporters to demand that he be included in national presidential polls. This is part of his campaign to push his way into the presidential debates this fall. He needs 15 percent in a series of national polls in order for him to appear side by side with President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. A recent Gallup poll gave Johnson only 3 percent nationally; other surveys have excluded him from consideration.
Johnson says his philosophy is simple: he is "pro-choice with regard to everything."
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes a daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.