Realistic, long-term thought vs Paranoid, short-term thoughtSubmitted by Bryan96 on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 11:39
I'm convinced the national staff made some serious errors in running the campaign. I'm equally convinced that the kooky behavior of some Paul supporters cost us just as many or more votes beginning in January. Look at how the tone of DP changed once the votes started coming in and they weren't what people wanted/expected. Then the conspiracy and paranoia ramped up to a fever pitch.
We would have a sounder judgment of these things if we could put this campaign into historical context. It's unique in some ways, but it's in a long tradition in other ways. Every time Pat Buchanan lost a primary election in 1996 were the results fixed? Were the voting machines rigged? Were votes programmed to be flipped from Buchanan to Dole? Was Jesse Benton sabotaging the Pitchfork Brigade? What about Robertson vs. Bush in 1988? Or Reagan vs. Ford in 1976?
Who was to blame? It must have been some "they" engaged in treachery. Or perhaps it was a set of circumstances, one of the most basic being it's very hard for an anti-establishment candidate to beat the establishment within the GOP on a national scale. It's happened once during the past century: Goldwater in 1964. That doesn't mean such efforts are wasted. It doesn't mean there haven't been many victories at the state and local level.
This do-or-die, all-or-nothing rhetoric encourages disengagement. If every election is rigged, why bother to vote? If corrupt party leadership has total power over everything, why bother to stay involved in the party?
If you want to hate on the Republican Party and be a Libertarian or an anarchist, fine, but don't pretend that you were ever serious about winning the Republican nomination for Paul. The rest of the Republicans, at least, could see that you weren't serious and that undercut your argument.
In other words, they knew you weren't a "real Republican." You were a Paul follower. Then it's easy to dismiss everything you say, especially if you announce in advance that you'll never vote for any Republican except Paul. There's nothing wrong with that stance and there's a lot right with it, but when you announce it you lose all credibility in the eyes of the people you're trying to convince and you fulfill their argument that Paul people aren't real Republicans, that they're just hitching a ride on the party but won't be involved in the long run.
As much as I like Ron Paul and as much as I continue to support his effort, there will be a different Liberty-Conservative-Insurgent-
Anti-Establishment candidate pushing the envelope 10 years from now, and a different one 20 years from now, and 40 years from now. Let's not be so myopic and dramatic. It lends credence to the widespread perception that Paul and his supporters are nuts.
For what it's worth, this is my perception as someone who's been involved for 35 years and will be a delegate in Tampa.