Ron Paul''s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is nearly at an end. Paul has failed to win any state primary or caucus but still he soldiers on, attracting donations and crowds of students with his libertarian message. Soon his supporters can go back to playing video games, indulging in conspiracy theories, or re-reading Ron Paul's classic anti-Semitic and racist newsletters from the 1980s and 90s. In Germany, however, Ron Paul's fans are just beginning to organize. They have founded a new libertarian party - Partei der Vernunft - the "Party of Reason" - and have put forward a list of candidates for the upcoming state elections in North Rhine Westphalia.
A glance at the Web site of the Partei der Vernunft (pdv) shows that the founders have pretty much adopted wholesale the Ron Paul platform: adherence to "Austrian Economics", adoption of the gold standard, elmination of the Euro and rejection of the European Union. They see themselves as a splitter group from the liberal Free Democrates (FDP) and make a direct appeal to FDP supporters:
Beteiligen Sie sich an unserer Revolution. Ron Paul in den USA macht es vor. Auch er hat Anhänger aus allen Schichten und seine zentralen Forderungen sind die Abschaffung der Zentralbank und die Abschaffung der Einkommensteuer. In den USA klingt das schon lange nicht mehr utopisch, es ist inzwischen Mainstream geworden. Nach neuesten Umfragen votiert schon die Hälfte der Amerikaner für die Abschaffung der FED. Wir Deutschen brauchen für derartige Erkenntnisse immer etwas länger. Aber nichts ist mächtiger als eine Idee, deren Zeit gekommen ist, wie Victor Hugo so schön sagte.
("Join our revolution. Ron Paul has shown the way in the US. He too has supporters from all social classes and his central demands are the elmination of the central bank and elmination of the income tax. In the US is no longer just a utopian pipe dream; it has become mainstream. Surveys show that half of all Americans want to eliminate the Fed. It will no doubt take us Germans a bit longer to come to this inisght. But there is nothing more powerful than idea whose time has come, as Victor Hugo so beautifully put it.')
Unfortunately, just like the Paul campaign, the pdv has attracted all kinds of conspiracy theorists, including 9/11 Truthers, climate change skeptics, UFO enthusiasts and even Holocaust-deniers. After the NRW elections in May they too can go back to their video games.