If Ron Paul Is Nirvana, Who Is Everyone Else?

"Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived?" the New York Times Magazine wonders today. More importantly: If Ron Paul is Nirvana, does that make Gary Johnson Soundgarden?

Today, the New York Times Magazine published a piece examining the rise of the political movement that's captured the hearts of MMA fans and Opie & Anthony listeners the world over. It is several thousand words long—and all are thoughtful and well-reported, I'm sure—but the only part you're required to read is the opening:

"Let's say Ron Paul is Nirvana," said Kennedy, the television personality and former MTV host, by way of explaining the sort of politician who excites libertarians like herself. "Like, the coolest, most amazing thing to come along in years, and the songs are nebulous but somehow meaningful, and the lead singer kills himself to preserve the band's legacy.

"Then Rand Paul — he's Pearl Jam. Comes from the same place, the songs are really catchy, can really pack the stadiums, though it's not quite Nirvana.

"Ted Cruz? He's Stone Temple Pilots. Tries really hard to sound like Pearl Jam, never gonna sound like Nirvana. Really good voice, great staying power — but the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts."

If Ron Paul Is Nirvana, Who Is Everyone Else?

OK, Ron Paul is Nirvana. A Rand Paul-Gary Johnson presidential ticket would be Temple of the Dog. Barry Goldwater is, uh, the Stones?

Ayn Rand is the Velvet Underground, obviously: incessantly talked about by die-hards; never ran for public office, but seemingly everyone who ever read one of her books did. (Surely Velvets drummer Moe Tucker, last seen railing against socialism at a Tea Party rally in Albany, Georgia, would agree.)

If Ron Paul Is Nirvana, Who Is Everyone Else?

President Obama is...Guns 'n Roses? Biggie?

And right now, on Reddit, there are a thousand Stainds, Nicklebacks, and Puddles of Mudd, just waiting to for their music to be heard.

[Images by Jim Cooke]