45 votes

The Liberty Movement, the New Middle, and the End of the Beginning

Last week, Ron Paul sent an email to supporters that indicated that he doesn’t expect to have enough delegates to win the GOP nomination. Subsequently, Rand Paul has endorsed Mitt Romney.

Today, some of Ron Paul’s supporters are hurting, frustrated, demoralized.

Ron Paul’s rEVOLutionaries may not have yet won the war, but they have won so many political battles in recent times that their chances in the war are looking better than many of them would have dared to imagine even a year ago

Paul’s supporters have taken over the top positions and platform of the GOP in state after state. Even where they have not, the new blood in the party is overwhelmingly liberty-orientated. Most new political activists join the fight on their side while nearly all of those who are leaving the field are fighting for the old guard. The enthusiasm of the under 35s and at the universities is extraordinary. Most of Paul’s pet issues are now mainstream. Registration with both main parties has been falling – except for the recent turn-around in GOP registration caused by people becoming Republican to support Ron Paul. Most importantly, Americans who are fighting for liberty are no longer wet behind the ears: they know what to expect – the stuffing of ballot boxes, being thrown out of party meetings, having the cops called on them, even violence. Next time, they can prepare. Moreover, they know who they are, and that they are the most numerous bunch of rabid activists the country has right now - and probably for as long as they choose to remain so.

In a rather excellent video, Israel Anderson of Ron Paul Flix, recently exhorted the Liberty movement to keep its eyes on the prize - which was always bigger than the presidency: it is the country. Anderson rightly points out that a myriad elected offices nationwide are unfilled or filled in uncontested elections. Liberty rEVOLutionaries should be standing for every single one of them, as Israel says, from Sheriff to Dog Catcher. Relative to everything the movement has brought to bear on the Presidential campaign, this is low-hanging fruit: easy to do with a huge upside.

Meanwhile, Paul’s supporters go to the convention in Tampa with a moral mandate to do whatever it takes to publicize what has been done to them by the G.O.P.owers that be. While disqualification of Romney as the beneficiary of outright wrongdoing is unlikely, Paul’s delegates – which may well number 500 - could still choose to vote their consciences at the convention (rather than following the supposed “binding rules”, which may not be legal anyway). After all, the Party cannot credibly ask anyone to follow a rule book that it already tore up to ensure their man would win. This is by way of saying that if the success of the campaign is measured by the effect it has on the country, the best may yet be to come.

But what should the Liberty movement do the day after the convention if Paul loses? The correct answer is, “exactly what it was doing the day before the convention”: Paul has said consistently that it’s not about him, the man, but about the message he carries. It’s not about his campaign, but about the country he loves. Apart from everything else, then, we do a disservice not only to Liberty, but also to the man, if we let the end of his campaign translate into a dip in our efforts to spread the message until it has infected our entire political system.

One of the best outcomes of Ron Paul 2012 is the discovery that the Liberty movement is large enough, energetic enough and talented enough to do whatever still needs to be done. A few may feel differently right now, but that’s just because they’ve taken a sucker punch in the form of an unexpected setback, and they’re reeling. But that kind of shock arises not from the impossibility of the task, but from the inaccuracy of expectations. The correct response is to adjust one’s expectations – not one’s efforts.

After Tampa, many in the Liberty movement may be exhausted. They should take a breather - spend more time with families and less time posting videos … but just for a few days or weeks. Then, we must all come back to the fight stronger. Lives literally depend on it. Activists who are not sure what to do with their passion and energy when there’s no Presidential campaign on which to bring them to bear, should look again to Paul’s words: he has always said that those who love the Constitution and liberty should do whatever they are interested in and go wherever their passion lies. Such people are needed in every nook and cranny of society, after all.

But what about the small matter of the Presidential Election in November? (If it’s Obama vs. Romney, it really will be a small matter.)

I recently polled the Blue Republicans (former Democrats and Independents who’ve become Republican specifically to support Ron Paul) on whom they’d vote for if Paul isn’t nominated. The nearly one thousand responses yielded the following results: 80% will write-in Ron Paul in some way or another. 20% would vote Gary Johnson. Those who would choose their version of “the lesser of two evils” –Obama or Romney, according to taste – don’t even reach 1% combined.

Thank God for that.

My opinion is worth no more than the next man’s, but I am sure that a vote for Romney or Obama is a vote to give up everything that has been built in the liberty movement. It is to forget that we are playing the long game. It is to throw away an extraordinary opportunity to prove to the country that the new middle of American politics - the new swing vote – is a Constitutionalist liberty-loving block. In fact, it's not really "in the middle" at all - but entirely off the Left-Right axis. To write in Paul, (and in states where a write-in is a technological impossibility, perhaps a vote for Johnson,) puts the political class on notice that the best way to win over the non-partisan vote from here on out is to follow the Constitution and do nothing more to abuse our inalienable rights.

This is actually a very exciting possibility: precisely because Romney and Obama are in all ways that matter one and the same, the refusal of the Liberty movement to play ball on Nov. 6th could have a more immediate and deeper impact on the next four years of American politics than a vote between two Republicrat nominees.

How so? If the Liberty movement holds firm, it will now dominate the “new middle” of American politics: in a two-party Democracy, the median voter is the one that must be won over to secure a majority. His influence on policy is therefore disproportionate. By refusing to vote for someone whose politics are antithetical to their principles, Paul’s supporters exploit the weakness of this country’s political duopoly against that very duopoly – by forcing their principles to be accommodated by anyone or any party that must secure that middle to win a majority. The point is that the Liberty movement is not yet a majority of the GOP. But it is likely already to be a majority of politically active Independents. That is power - which we should own even as we continue our GOP takeover.

But we can only be the tail that wags the dog if we reduce the percentage of votes gained by both the Republican and the Democratic presidential candidates to significantly lower than any Republicrat presidential candidate has seen in decades. There are easily enough in the Liberty movement to do so – as long as we remember that in the pursuit of our goals, a vote for the Republicrats is a wasted vote.

Much to the chagrin of some of my purist libertarian friends, I have occasionally quoted Churchill on the dynamics of a nationwide fight against tyranny. Forgive me if I do so again.

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."



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The Thread Worth Reading

...Thank you once again Robin. You are a voice of reason. And, I know you agree, Ron Paul's legacy MUST be a Living Legacy...not a historical footnote.

Please keep putting truth and reason together and helping some of us separate the emotions out and allow forward progression to continue.

That being said...whether Dr. Paul is a historical footnote in the story of a failed experiment or a true living legacy is up to us. How we need the heroic example of one who can hardly be dismantled by those who would pervert the truth and forward their lesser agendas.

Your writing always inspires me.

fonta

Thx Robin! Much Needed Words

and, in ref to Tampa convention delegates & voting,

Scooby-Doo Sez "Rut-Roh, Part Deux!"

Look for Updates !

Words of wisdom!!

This article just convinced me to stick with writing RP in. Thank you. We need to do this as a bloc so, as you stated, we can show the Republicrats who the new swing vote is. I also now believe that Rand doesn't expect any of us to vote Romney based on his endorsement. It was just lip-service so he can stay comfortably within the party while working to change it. I hope this article made everyone put their thinking caps on. RON PAUL OR NOBODY AT ALL 2012

A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.

BMWJIM's picture

Thank You Robin,

This was much needed for all in the Liberty movement.

Jim

1976-1982 USMC, Having my hands in the soil keeps me from soiling my hands on useless politicians.

Look here Robin

This is the kernel of Ron Paul's message:

"Anderson rightly points out that a myriad elected offices nationwide are unfilled or filled in uncontested elections. Liberty rEVOLutionaries should be standing for every single one of them, as Israel says, from Sheriff to Dog Catcher."

My County has 21 seats for the Republican Central Committee, only 8 are occupied. Some districts in my county have no one.

This is what Ron Paul was saying, that "cured my apathy".

My RCC meets for one hour each month. How hard is that to do?

If you've been watching this race for delegates, what you've been seeing is highly contested seats getting allot of attention, but those empty seats, that are not getting much attention, are where you see folks on here BEGGING people to join.

One big problem we have is, people don't believe they are qualified, they don't have "it". YES THEY DO!!!!!! If they would go to a meeting and see what's there... mine, for example, had two people older than Ron Paul, who admitted they were former Democrats that only took a seat because someone had to.

If everyone on DP made the effort to take a seat, we would not have heard Rand endorsing Romney; However, the Lawyers for Ron Paul are going to change this game BIG TIME.

For those like me, there is no break after the nomination... I have allot of work in front of me filling those 12 empty seats in my County with Ron Paul Republicans. I'm not alone, Thank God!

These are Healing Words

I'm one of those people 'reeling' after being sucker-punched. I was physically nauseous when I heard Rand endorse Romney. This is the first post I've read on the subject that actually made me feel better and restored a bit of hope. Thanks for that.

The first election I was able to vote in was 1992, at which time I voted for Ross Perot. I continued to write Ross Perot in every four years until 2008, at which time I switched to Ron Paul, a trend I will continue until another honest man comes along. I just hope it doesn't take another 16 years.

Nicely summed up - where we are and

where we go from here. If Ron Paul is not going to be on the ballot, I think it would make a greater statement if we (the 99%) would vote as a bloc. But with three options, it appears that that's not likely. It will make a great debate among us, but one I'm not willing to give thought to until after Tampa. I don't want to be putting any negative thoughts out there; I already allowed myself to get sucked into enough of the fray a few days ago.

Based on what happened to Hillary Clinton, I'm expecting the Obama campaign to go after Romney with a vengeance. On the other hand, there are a few issues to be resolved regarding the president, as well. There are also apparently a number of delegate counts being contested. And there is Ron Paul to yet weigh in (or not). Who knows what will happen between now and November. Let's stay positive and, like Robin says, just keep doing what we've been doing. Yesterday I helped to spread the word about http://www.auditthefed.com/spread-the-word/. Today I sent e-mails to my three reps in Congress re the administration's secret trade deal http://www.dailypaul.com/240140/urgent-how-do-we-front-page-.... Tomorrow I'll...

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Writing in Ron Paul

Robin,

Your poll of 1000 people about November is similar to mine. I asked everyone around me who are RP supporters (about 50 people) and all but one person said they would write in RP. The one outlier said she would stay home (I bet she writes him in as well).

The country is on the right track. We will win in the end - probably sooner than later.

"Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won,whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory." --- Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

RƎVO⅃UTION NOW!

Awesome

words of wisdom Robin, thanks!

truth is treason

reedr3v's picture

Excellent words of wisdom; and I'm so glad

to learn that you are in it to win it short and long term. Thank you so much for all you've done; I look forward to your continuing great work. Thanks for including Israel's video also -- I love his energy even when I don't 100% agree, only 99%.

bumping and bookmarking--

.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Well said, Robin.

As always.

Great thoughts! Thank you! I

Great thoughts! Thank you! I couldn't agree more.

Blessings )o(