Politics

Being Realistic On Ron Paul

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So then…

The reason I write this is I keep getting hammered in the comments sections of most of the Ron Paul posts I write…even ones that are positive! In fact, I’ve come to expect that a portion of the comments will be unnecessarily strident, propagandaish or down right mean.

And that’s okay because I don’t take the comments personally, but just so everybody knows, let me share a few of my opinions about Paul so we’re crystal about where I stand.

  1. I like Ron Paul.
  2. I like his message.
  3. I’m extremely impressed with his online strategy.
  4. His ideas about strict constitutionalism are interesting, but seem to be unworkable (in their present form) in our current political system.
  5. I don’t see any clear signs that he has a shot at winning the GOP nomination.
  6. I don’t think his views represent the majority of what GOP voters will want to vote for.
  7. I think his campaign mirrors Howard Dean’s in 2004 to the point that it’s crazy. The notable difference is that Paul hasn’t won any major “non-binding” contests yet, while at this point in 2004 Dean had won MoveOn.org’s poll.
  8. I believe Paul is a candidate who can effect affect the debate, but he’s pulling a lot (not all, but a lot) of new voters into the game.
  9. For all of these reasons, I think he would make a viable 3rd party candidate since that could potentially give him a platform during the general election. Remember, if Paul is polling anywhere in the double digits, he’d probably get invited to the debates.

All clear? I hope so because I want to make it clear that I like him more than any other GOP candidate. That’s the reason I write about him in the first place. In fact, I started writing about him in May before a lot of blogs would even consider writing about him. I’m not anti-Paul, but I am pro-Reality.

Now then, here are some questions for Ron Paul supporters.

  1. If Ron Paul doesn’t win the nomination, who will you vote for?
  2. How was Ron Paul’s 5th place straw poll finish a good showing if Tom Tancredo has less money and is polling below Paul nationally, but he won 4th?
  3. What would a Paul presidency look like given that Paul’s position is a rather simple one…meaning he doesn’t vote for anything that isn’t sanctioned by the Constitution?
  4. Also, in a time where we need unity, do you think Paul’s “Dr. No” way of politics will actually bring the country together?
  5. Have you studied the campaign of Howard Dean? How are you not going to repeat those mistakes?
  6. What about those racist writings in his newsletter? I’ve heard Paul’s response, but I think most of us can agree it’s pretty weak. So if Paul does start leading the GOP race, what’s the communications strategy when that nugget hits the media?
  7. Have you taken a look at Unity 08? They’re offering any candidate who can get enough people behind them the ability to run on the Unity 08 ticket. What that means is Unity will make sure that the candidate will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so the candidate doesn’t have to worry about it. Still think a 3rd party run doesn’t make sense?

Listen, I’m with all of you in spirit and the reason I write so much about Paul is because he’s harnessing a genuine, viable third party vibe…but nobody seems to really want to acknowledge this. At least not from the comments I’ve seen and the public strategy of the Paul camp. And that’s too bad, because his ideas could significantly effect affect the debate during the general election, but not unless he’s an independent candidate.

Roniacs…please learn from the Dean campaign. It’s not about how many people you get to travel to Iowa or New Hampshire to help. It’s not about how loud you shout for your candidate. It’s about how many people you can convince to vote for the Dr. It was that way in 2004, and it will be that way in 2008.

I welcome your comments, but to those who tear into me when I discuss flaws in Paul’s strategy…you’re just making the campaign look bad. Again, I can take it, but Paul needs you to be passionate AND smart.

UPDATE:
Well done everybody. There are truly some outstanding answers to my questions in the comments section, and I’m going to compile the best and put them in a post. Thanks again for the great responses and keep them coming.

I will be emailing everybody who comments when I publish the new post. Even those who think I’m deleting their comments. :)

UPDATE 2:
Hey all, be sure to fill out the reCAPTCHA below the comments section, otherwise you’ll get caught in our spam filters. Thanks!

UPDATE 3:
Actually, I think I may just take some of the complete responses and post them as individual posts. So stay tuned.