Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ron Paul's greatest strength is also his political Achilles Heel.

When the busy obstetrician told his wife, Carol, that he wanted to run for Congress "to get a few things off [his] chest" thirty years ago, she expressed her concern of the danger. "What could possibly be dangerous about running for Congress," Dr. Paul asked. "Because when they hear your message, they're going to elect you." And history proved Carol Paul right.

The one thing no one can accuse tenth-term Congressman Ron Paul of is being disingenuous. Because he really doesn't care if he gets elected. Did he, he might be taking the more popular position on some issues. He doesn't. Ron Paul views things differently, as if outside the context of Washington and the pollsters. Luckily for us, Ron Paul's brain could run circles around all the other presidential candidates' brains combined, were they squished together. Unfortunately, they're not.

But the Constitutionally hungry voters aren't going to let Ron Paul get away from us while we see, before our own eyes, a founding father in our own time.

So while he proceeds to get things off his chest, we have the daunting task of educating the tired, mainstream press as to why this country doctor has become such a sensation on the avant-garde internet, the new media; why this groundswell is not registering on their tired, mainstream polls. (There are numerous other reports of why the previously scientific polls no longer work both in the internet age and with a newly-inspired electorate, so no need to explore that here.)

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Ron Paul does not care if he gets elected, and as such, has indeed attracted a politically homeless crowd for all its bane and glory.

Having been in and among these politically homeless, they can be glorious in their passion, their pride, their principles.

Hailing from the GOP, I can see the homeless hindrance on the campaign. Ron Paul would never see this, which is why he is so adored. Because I can see it through his eyes, even I can welcome these homeless, while still wanting them to understand that, to achieve the greatest feat in recent political history, they should, um, bathe. [Editor's note: THAT was entirely unnecessary.] Of course it was unnecessary: even the one guy who keeps showing up in Iowa with the 911 Truth shirt looks as if Martha Stewart lint-brushed him.

Ideologically, the gold bugs are as right as Hayek; you can't argue with their pure philosophy. On the Constitution and the grounds of pure liberty, you can't dispute that it's wrong for the government to take the fruits of one's labor. If you're for states' rights on abortion and death penalty, why not on drugs? Yes, yes, they're all ideologically correct.

But since when did being ideologically correct matter to the American -- or any -- public? Not only are most Americans' IQs equal to or less than average (fancy math), but Americans are vastly either busy, lazy or both.

So which would you want, dear squire of the Constitution? Would you prefer to stand on the street corner and yell anti-war slogans that happen to rhyme at passers-by? Or would you rather get the one Constitutionalist you may ever see at this level in your lifetime elected? Because you can't do both. You can either educate (painfully slow, often two steps back for one step forward), or you can elect. But not both at once.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Letter to [hypothetical friend]

(In response to email from [hypothetical friend] forwarding WSJ article, Of Bridges and Taxes, August 18, 2007; Page A6)

Light rail in every pot!

More than enough dollars have always been there for the proper government role of roads and the safety thereof, unfortunately siphoned off.

[Hypothetical friend's name deleted], you've always been a beacon for truth in politics for me: we happened to be together for Sullivan, and I respected your vocal stance against the party before that, when it was called for, so bear with me on this.

Why are we spending a trillion dollars a year to bomb, then rebuild, bridges in the name of nation-building?

I know I've immediately lost you, because I was there too. "We have to attack them there so they don't attack us here." I had to force my brain cells to reconcile themselves with principle; not easy to admit I was wrong. (i.e. we didn't go after bin Laden. He was never in Iraq -- none of the terrorists were, they were primarily from Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden is, or was, in Pakistan, and we've surrendered there. But I digress.) Why, I had to ask, are we welcoming 25,000 to 75,000 Iraqi immigrants HERE because of the war? Isn't that bringing them here instead of fighting them there? Why aren't we going after bin Laden as Ron Paul insists we should?

Which brings me to Ron Paul. It's always nice to be behind a sure-fire winner.

Naw, actually, it's a hell of a lot more fun to be behind the dark horse.

I've been a periheral fan of Ron Paul for years -- who wouldn't be? The guy has NEVER voted for an unconstitutional bill! Hence, the nickname among his peers: Dr. No.

When he announced, I assumed he was a longshot, but dove into the waters regardless. You only live once, and how often does a Barry Goldwater come along? Since January, I was joined by only a handful in handing out Ron Paul lit at the Tax Rally, and have had that rare experience of being at the front of a tidal wave.

Just today, Ron Paul won -- by a landslide -- both the Alabama straw poll (81%) and the Strafford Co, NH straw poll (73%). It's true that he only came in a close 3rd in the IL straw poll this last week, and 5th in IA last Sat, but that is because he does not participate in busing in supporters. I predict a solid win in the anxiously anticipated TX GOP straw poll Sept 1.

On and on I could go, and all to ask that you consider the merits of supporting a dream candidate for president. The GOP used to sing of eliminating the Department of Education. Only one candidate is now making that promise.

Personally, I have contributed $1,500 cash to the campaign itself, and over $1,500 in independent expenditures or to PACs supporting Ron Paul, have written radio ad scripts and participated in print ad production, and have spent easily a couple hundred volunteer hours toward this campaign. I only say this to show how serious I take the best chance we have had for a long time, and likely for a long time to come, to get an actual government reductionist into the big house.

Don't rule out the dark horse. Even if he were just today's Barry Goldwater, his wave of support could bring about the next generation of reductionist city, state and federal candidates.

Thanks for thinking about it, [hypothetical friend].