The Ron Paul Phenomemon

I paid some attention to the efforts by Lyndon Larouche to run for President. I also did my research on Ross Perot, and didn’t care much for the thought of him being in the White House, but certainly appreciated the difference he made in 1992. In a sense I see the Ron Paul candidacy as being more akin to a third party run because his stand on issues is as different from those of the established parties as were the other two gentlemen.

Having concluded, basically, that I see Rep. Paul as having no chance to represent the Republican Party in 2008, I would still love to see it happen. Quite simply, in a field of very weak candidates I see him as being probably the easiest one to beat for the eventual Democratic winner. And this in spite of all of his recent success, like that reported by a couple of days ago:

Ron Paul on track to be biggest fundraiser

Ron Paul may not win his party’s primary, but he is on track to capture another big title: top Republican fundraiser for the final quarter of the money-obsessed 2008 presidential primary.

In the first two months of the quarter that began Oct. 1, Paul already has raised more than $9.75 million, putting him easily within range to best the amount rival Mitt Romney received from donors during the entire third quarter.

The Texas congressman has set a goal of raising $12 million before the fourth quarter’s Dec. 31 deadline, a sum New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t achieve in the third quarter when fundraising events still dominated his schedule.

My personal parting of the ways with Paul is over something that I think would prove to be too great a burden in the general election for him to overcome, his political philosophy. His plank of issues is full of things that I think he would ultimately stumble over if given greater scrutiny, but let me take just one example to illustrate my point:

It should come as no surprise that libertarians love a guy who once ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket. However, to try to argue for no role for government in so many areas is just to confine our society to having no solution to a large number of problems. Take my word for it that smog in my home city of Salt Lake City gets to atrocious levels when we are experiencing weather inversions. As an individual I seriously dislike this condition, but know of no way to negotiate myself out of experiencing it, short of moving. But how would smog be improved if everyone in L.A. who doesn’t like the air quality there all moved to the same place?

So, myself and the ninety some per cent of the other residents here who would like cleaner air still can’t really negotiate ourselves to a successful result. We could, however, join our voices and call for government to work for us on reaching a solution, but Paul would rule that out as the one approach that we’re not allowed to take. Or at least it seems to me that that is what he is saying. And then when we get to even bigger issues like pollution of the oceans or global warming, his apparent approach would be just to grin and bear it, because no effective answer would be permitted. Or at least none as effective as acting collectively.

I don’t know how Candidate Paul would explain his approach in a national debate, but I believe that the result of the effort would be that there are just not a majority of Americans in favor of giving things his way a try.

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8 Responses to The Ron Paul Phenomemon

  1. Dr East says:

    “However, to try to argue for no role for government in so many areas is just to confine our society to having no solution to a large number of problems”

    A classic mistake of conflating “society” with “government”. Private solutions are more efficient and timely than government solutions. Things get solved in spite of, not because of, government programs, even today.

    This is actually an ancient part of our national heritage, the belief that individual liberties should always trump those who would practice tyranny… Tyrants can be benevolent. However, that does not justify the tyranny.

    So don’t be too sure that if Ron Paul were nominated he wouldn’t win the general election. The competition would instantly cease to be Republican vs. Democrat. It would become Statist vs. Libertarian, and that’s a philosophical axis a lot of people don’t even think about. Were they forced to think about it, many of them would find themselves falling back on the indoctrination of their childhoods…

    “…with liberty and justice for all.”

    Just look at the success of Braveheart.

    You may be a statist at heart, but don’t assume that the majority of the country is. Were this election to come up, you’d find a lot of people, even those now on the dole and realizing that the libertarian ideal would preclude the welfare state, and even those looking to requirement and realizing that social security may not exist for their children, voting for the liberty candidate.

  2. Dr East

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have to say I agree with Darrell, I don’t think the American public would resoundingly vote for Ron Paul in the GE.

  3. mike says:

    “Individuals, businesses, localities, and states must be free to negotiate environmental standards.”

    Localities and states… i.e. local and state governments…

  4. alrudder says:

    Ron Paul I think is a big threat to the GOP coalition. While a single campaign can be fused by a personality or fear mongering, coalitions are held together by ideas.
    The fact that Ron Paul will have the money to get his ideas out into the public discourse means that holding the alliance among business interests, social conservatives, and national security hawks will be difficult for GOP leaders.
    If Ron Paul did get any traction, just google the words “Ron Paul racist” and see what you get.

  5. jmklein says:

    How could Hillary beat an anti-war opponent?

    Everyone knows she voted for the war. Everyone knows she enabled Bush to continue the war, and she herself has not committed to withdrawal by 2014.

    If Paul ran against Hillary he would take her base out from under her feet.

  6. Darrell Prows says:

    jmklein: (A) I never said that Rep. Paul lacks strengths.

    (B) How he would fare against Sen. Clinton is a bridge that we would have to cross if we ever get to it.

    (C) I agree with immediate withdrawl from Iraq, but I disagree with Rep. Paul that the Constitution was not complied with in the process of our getting involved there. It is a truly stupid war, but it is not an unconstitutional war.

  7. Adam says:

    I am a Democrat who just registered Republican so I can vote for Ron Paul, even if it means my vote is wasted. I am anti-war. It is my biggest issues and I came to realize that Kucinich has no chance, while Paul has a slim chance of winning his respective Primary.

    Those are my only 2 choices for stopping the mindless slaughter of innocent Iraqi and U.S. lives, and I chose to go with Paul, since it seems like he has raised enough support and awareness to have a shot in hell to win.

    All other issues are seconday and less important in my mind. Let’s face it, most politicans don’t accomplish much during their term(s) anyway.

  8. Darrell Prows says:

    Adam: Very well said, Thank you.