I think that recent developments in the Middle East, starting with the behavior of Hamas during the Gaza war and continuing with the behavior of ISIS, have struck a nerve among those inclined toward the civilization vs. barbarism axis.
Even if you do not believe that conservatives are right, you have to acknowledge that the news cycle suggests that we are in a civilization vs. barbarism wave. In my opinion, that is why Rand Paul is doing so poorly in the polls. You can criticize him as a candidate, but it is hard to argue that the other candidates are so stellar that they outshine him. I just think that the public is more receptive to the conservative axis than to the libertarian axis. This may always be true, but it is particularly true now.
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