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What Ron Paul's 2nd Place at Ames Really Meant

I worked on the Paul campaign in 2007/2008, raising funds, organizing a 500-strong city-wide Meetup group, planning and executing rallies and marches, holding sign-wavings, renting booths at festivals, and ignoring my wife and kids while I wrote essays and articles on various blogs about how great it would be if Ron Paul were President and why I supported him. Even though my support now comes in tapping out a few words on my laptop in the dwindling hours I have at the end of working each day, and I can't donate any money to his campaign thanks to paychecks being tighter than ever, I STILL believe in his message. Unfortunately, what I don't believe in are the American people, particularly the overwhelming majority American voters.

When Dr. Paul came in at a close second following the Iowa GOP straw poll on August 13, I felt a great excitement, mirroring the feelings I had watching the numbers tick higher and higher during the first completely organic money bombs of 2007, one of which actually being the origin of the name "tea party" adopted (co-opted?) by the disgruntled wing of the Republican party. I was, of course, frustrated, if not surprised, by the major media outlets, particularly those on television, ignoring the congressman's incredible finish at Ames, and I snickered at Jon Stewart's spot-on lampooning of his more "serious" news counterparts' willful avoidance of mentioning Ron's name and results.

Within a few days, however, I came to a startling realization. The results of the Iowa straw poll told a different story than the one I had been imagining. Ron Paul didn't lose by 200 votes to Michele Bachmann; he lost by 12,000 votes to the GOP.

You see, of the 16,000 voters present on Saturday, any vote that wasn't for Ron Paul was a vote for the same Neo-Conservative lies we've been hearing for decades. DECADES. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those in attendance preferred more warfare, more corporate welfare, more hate, more violations of civil liberties and more Wall Street banksterism in opposition to peace, individual responsibility, reason, freedom and sound money. This is why the pundits are justified in ignoring Ron Paul. It was no near-victory for a libertarian candidate; it was a decisive defeat of libertarian ideas.

Do I believe that active Paul supporters should give up? No. Do I believe the campaign should shutter its newly opened offices in Concord, New Hampshire? Not at all. Do I believe that the campaign should change its core values? Heaven forbid! What I am hoping is that if Ron Paul's supporters understand with greater clarity WHY he is being ignored by the mainstream media FOR GOOD REASON it will help to wake up the friends of liberty and the would-be supporters of Ron Paul to the reality of the world in which we live. The American public and, based on the straw poll results, the Republican party are steeped in a powerful denial about the condition of the U.S. economy, the leviathan state, the evil of war, and how little time remains before the day of reckoning.

While Dr. Paul's showing at Iowa was impressive in comparison to four years ago, we must realize that it is only a first, and very tiny, step in the right direction.

I'm a curmudgeon and a cynic, and although somebody, somewhere once said that these are the hallmarks of a frustrated optimist, I don't hold much hope for humanity, particularly of the American variety. However, if YOU believe that tomorrow's history can be re-written today, if you believe that the actions of a diligent few can turn the tide of madness plaguing this present world, if you believe that peace can triumph over aggression, then now is the time to re-double and throw whatever weight you have into supporting Ron Paul and his campaign against these overwhelming odds. Who knows? In the Battle of Queenston Heights, the invaders outnumbered the defenders 4-to-1 and yet those same invaders were repelled successfully.

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ytc's picture

"Is this fight against the monolithic establishment really

worth the sacrifice and frequently ridiculed efforts?" . . . that thought certainly must have come across Ron Paul's mind all through these 40 years since that Nixon Shock day.

Well, as for me, I'm willing to put my 40 yrs in, too. Political landscape will be thoroughly changed by then, but I KNOW that I'll still live for my and my loved ones' LIBERTY.

I hear you, but I still think

I hear you, but I still think you need to take the long-term view on this. In previous years, Ron Paul wouldn't have even registered as a blip with GOP voters (outside of his own district, anyway). In previous years, anybody talking about the Federal Reserve as a massive engine of fraud and corruption would have been looked at like he just said he likes to eat babies. In previous years, anyone who suggested "Well, maybe it's not cool the U.S. government wants to murder so many foreigners" would have been immediately silenced with "ISOLATIONIST!" And so on.

My point is, I've been in the libertarian-anarchist camp for nearly 20 years now and I've never seen anything like what we see going on with Ron Paul. Sometimes I despair, too, because there really are a lot of dummies out there and they are frustrating, because their blockheadedness is wrecking the entire world and they are completely oblivious. Worse, they are often as arrogant as they are ignorant, which really makes it difficult to try to reach them (the temptation is to punch them instead).

But 100 years of government-school brainwashing has resulted in a large population that cannot think or reason; it can only accept the lies it's been conditioned to accept. This takes time to undo. A lot of time. But it is being undone and, I would argue, at an increasing rate. The decentralized nature of the Internet is beginning its great work of disseminating truth and "forbidden" information about the nature of the state and its agents.

I think things are going to get much worse before they get better, but I nevertheless believe the days of the behemoth state and its evil wars and oppression are numbered, though I admit I think this outcome depends to a large degree upon keeping the Internet as free and open as possible.

Anyway, bottom line: We must be patient and continue to support Ron Paul. He may never be president, but that doesn't matter much. What matters is that he now commands an audience of millions and it continues to grow. And everyone who he wakes up to the truth puts us that much closer to the day when the U.S. Capitol, the Fed building and the White House are vacant, crumbling, and covered in graffiti while people go about their lives peacefully and prosperously, keeping the fruits of their own labor, trading and enjoying community with their neighbors, and otherwise reaping the benefits that liberty brings.

What a magnificent day that will be.

One's mind can change one's

One's mind can change one's reality. We do not believe that people will wake up and vote for Ron Paul..we KNOW it. We also know that THIS time, if he does NOT win, there will be HELL to pay, so we do not think about that.

I don't quite see it as you

I don't quite see it as you do. The "tea party" took almost 10k votes out of the 16k cast. Ron Paul owns the tea partiers, they just don't know it yet.

The Two Tea Parties

There are two "tea parties" here, the Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann variety and the Ron Paul variety (Rand straddles both, unfortunately). It's the non-Paulian variety who are rightfully ridiculed by the press and any sensible person because they're simple angry Bush/McCainites who hate Obama and think that the GOP isn't "tough" enough.

The half of that 10,000 who didn't vote for Ron Paul instead voted for an IRS agent who will plunge the U.S. into a war in Iran if given the opportunity. Bachmann has made no secret of either of these things, so those casting ballots went in with eyes as wide open as her insane Newsweek cover pose.