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.