B.J. Lawson may be the most promising example. Thirty-two years old, with the all-American good looks and dimpled chin of a more boyish Aaron Eckhardt, Lawson is a self-identified “Ron Paul Republican” running for Congress in North Carolina’s fourth district. He studied engineering at Duke and then received an M.D. before leaving a residency in neurosurgery, also at Duke, to start a company that specializes in delivering clinical information to doctors’ wireless devices. His experience as an entrepreneur, he says, led him to start asking questions about our healthcare system, national debt, and other thorny issues.
Lawson faces an uphill battle against 20-year Democratic incumbent David Price but claims his campaign’s internal polling gives him reason to be optimistic. (No public polls are available yet.) He has already overcome a challenge by the G.O.P. in his primary. “Honestly, the party establishment worked really hard to get me not to run,” he tells me after Monday night’s outdoor concert and speech by Paul, whom he introduced. “They actually put up a guy to run against me. A lot of folks thought I was going to get toasted.” Pulling out a copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket (he carries one around with him at all times), he says, “We gave away about 10,000 of these things, we had lots of grass-roots support, and we walked away with 71 percent of the [primary] vote.” Lawson doesn’t call for scrapping the Fed, as Paul does, but he does want to eliminate the income tax, and he shares Paul’s opposition to pre-emptive war and nation building. He cites Paul as “definitely my inspiration,” explaining, “I’d almost given up hope” before the congressman’s presidential bid.
(That part about him not calling to scrap the Fed is misleading. Actually, Dr. Lawson agrees with Dr. Paul that the solution to start with is legalizing competition for currencies, and then we'll see how well the Fed's counterfeit currency holds up against real money!).
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