Will Ron Paul Strive to Become a Third Party Loser or a Republican Winner?
The year is not 1912 when three serious candidates ran in the general election for the White House. The year is 2012 when simply getting on the ballot is enough for third parties to cheer.
I’m not the partisan type and the weak "success" of simply getting Ron Paul on the ballot won’t be enough for me to even break a smile this autumn. I want to see Ron Paul in the White House. That will be success.
When I look my children in the eye and tell them the history of the revolution, the minor victory of ballot access for Ron Paul will not be mentioned. Ballot access is an important fight. It's a step in the right direction. But right now in the spring of 2012 with Rick Santorum leaving the race, we are confronted with a choice. Will we Ron Paul supporters continue to take over one of the two major parties, or will we settle for a third party run?
Here’s a Brief Checklist of How a 3rd Party Run Will Look:
* Continuing the trend of poor media mention
* Getting blamed for four more years of Obama
* Helping to build the base of a third party
* Reducing fundraising potential
* Increasing talk of "unelectability"
* Losing some significant percentage of Republican partisan support, gaining of minimal support in return
* Getting a percentage (maybe 5 or 10%) of dissatisfied voters on top of the nonpartisan Ron Paul base
* Having the opportunity to teach a lesson to the Republican establishment that the Republican establishment is not bright enough to listen to – "If you don’t make room for us in the GOP, we will take a victory from you any time we want."
There are good and bad aspects to a third party run, but the only reason to bring up a third party run for Ron Paul for the White House in 2012 is if you've resolved to lose. That’s the sad fact of national politics in America in the year 2012. And the only way you've resolved to lose is if you are not following accurate delegate counts. Accurate delegate counts acknowledge that very few delegates have been decided. Iowa, for example, was not decided on January 3 and will not be decided until June 16.
Additionally, if one has resolved to lose then that person probably isn’t paying attention to what is happening at local Republican parties in state-after-state. The party insiders are losing their own party. Ron Paul supporters have become so strong in some state Republican parties that it is very unlikely that Mitt Romney will get much more than lukewarm help from his own party.
We are not even 15 weeks into a 9 month primary process. By the end of this weekend, only four states out of the 50 will have held some form of state convention (North Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, and Colorado) – something that not every state will have, but that most will. This process has barely begun. Right now, while we are in the thick of a fight, now is not the time to give in.
What it is the right time to do is to turn off that depressing television that never mentions Ron Paul, to stop your subscription to that depressing paper, and to instead spend your time and money bolstering that lone man carrying the message of truth to the people across the country. If your state hasn’t voted yet (which is the case for 48.9% of Americans) then you should vow to recruit 10 voters to join you in voting for Ron Paul. If your state has voted already, then stay involved with the process. Get involved with the Republican Party, try to become a delegate and dig deep in giving to Ron Paul’s campaign in his April 15 money bomb. Importantly and often forgotten – get out there to motivate other Ron Paul supporters to do exactly the same thing. We are in the early stages of this year’s primary fight and now is not the time to give up on that fight.
The only effect of resolving to lose is that you hand victory to your opponent. I'm not just saying we should make the opponent work for it. I'm saying WE CAN WIN THIS.
Here's a Brief Checklist of How a GOP Run for Ron Paul Will Look:
* Ron Paul becomes the man who must be debated by the President.
* Ron Paul becomes the man who can and will hold Obama’s feet to the fire in those debates.
* Ron Paul becomes the only alternative to Obama.
* Ron Paul inspires, which will make him not just an "anybody but" candidate. "Anybody but" candidates, after all, have a very high rate of failure - 100%.
* Ron Paul becomes the candidate who takes from Obama's own base and who wins the independent vote; this nearly guarantees a presidential victory against Obama one-on-one.
* Ron Paul becomes the man who has the leverage to inspire a national debate, a national discussion between neighbors.
* Ron Paul has the potential to win the presidency and secure control of the GOP from the statist neo-cons for at least a generation.
* Ron Paul has the potential to grow and consolidate an organized anti-war movement within a party.
I mean seriously, there's no contest between which of these two options is better – 3rd party run or GOP run. Of course, one is much harder than the other, but the rewards are so much more meaningful in the harder contest. A year ago the mainstream media distracted from the important issues by insisting it knew who the front runner was - Pawlenty, Bachman, Perry. Who were they kidding?
You can fault them, the media, for weakening our movement if you choose(I don't), but by that same logic you should also fault anyone who has spent the last year talking about a Ron Paul third party run whether that person saw themselves as an enemy of Paul's or a friend. A third party run helps that third party, but from where I stand in April of 2012 it weakens our movement.
Our candidate is the finest thinker among any American politician living today. He deserves the publicity of being mainstream and prime time. That's not what third party will offer us. We must not abandon an opportunity for success.
Mitt Romney doesn't have the delegates today, and I don't think Romney will get the delegates, but that relies on those of us in the liberty movement who want to see a win. Ron Paul’s victory, our victory, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we want it, we will work hard for it and will work effectively for it. If we work hard and effectively for it, we will get it.
We are Ron Paul's secret weapon. Twenty states and 1,047 delegates worth of process have yet to start. Few delegates have been decided out of the 2,286 total. It's looking increasingly likely that Iowa will be a monstrous Ron Paul victory - our most formidable competitor in that state just left the race. Despite what happened in the caucuses on January 3, Iowa has yet to have a state convention (again June 16, 2012 is the scheduled date), which means Iowa has not yet been "won" by anyone. At state conventions the mandatory delegate bindings can be unbound. Maine, Nevada, Colorado, and many others might look exactly the same – strongly in favor of Ron Paul. What will the GOP do when thousands of us show up at Tampa to insist that the voices of our thousand Ron Paul delegates be heard?
What should the plan for us grassroots supporters be at this point? For each one of us who wants a Ron Paul win to redouble our efforts.
Make sure you get ten friends out to vote, donate to the campaign, read posts and books that talk about ways to work more effectively on behalf of liberty – then get out and do those things.
You and I are Ron Paul's secret weapon. Without us he ends up being just another politician trying to talk over the din of the media. With us he can speak through us to our friends. With us his message reaches people it never would have otherwise.
What should the strategy of the official campaign be at this point? To me that's irrelevant. Winning the White House is up to us, and if we push forward for Ron Paul he’ll be the next president of the U.S. whether he likes it or not. Not the media, not the party insiders, not a single person can stop us from making Ron Paul the President if we each resolve to make that happen.
Allan Stevo is author of How to Win America for Ron Paul and the Cause of Freedom in 2012. The book can be downloaded by readers of the Daily Paul here free of charge.