Here is my view of Ron Paul:
The MSM afraid of Paul, the GOP establishment is afraid as well. Paul’s emphasis on first principles has been bracing and inspiring — as has been his defense of basic constitutional liberties. He has earned the attention he has received, and although he may never be president, we are all better off if we decide to think seriously anew about why his message has resonated with as many people as it has.
Having said that, much of liberty-loving America is suspicious of Paul, because they fear that he would be insufficiently vigilant to signs of emerging threats from abroad. After all, we do need to keep sea lanes open, to keep the oil flowing, to secure the conditions necessary for free trade peaceably to take place. This is not to say we need to be as grandiose in our foreign policy aims as was Bush 43. I don’t see why, for example, we need to build a hospital in Iraq just so some insurgents can blow it up, so we can then rebuild it. But we do need to be mindful of the old aphorism about how, “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you” — often misattributed to Trotsky — but we could update this saying to reflect the truth that “Foreign Policy” may at some point become interested in You (Think 12/7/41).
But Paul’s popularity has been an overall positive, in my view. He has made many people rethink first principles — the Constitution, economic freedom, etc. And his support among the young has been heartening to see. But it may be RAND Paul — rather than Ron Paul — who may eventually break out some day.
As for Jon Stewart, who recently “praised” Paul, he’s pretty effective at exposing the fatuities of the GOP establishment, but he’s left of center and therefore no friend of liberty.