Funding the Grassroots for Ron Paul: It's Now or Never
Well, here we have it. Iowa has come and gone along with New Hampshire and Michigan and all that great support and enthusiasm for Ron Paul was absurdly absent from the vote count. Blame it on fraud? Call for a recount? How about those ignorant voters who don't know what's good for them? Yes, we could try that one as well.
None of the above will help get Ron Paul elected. The massive fraud argument, that is unfortunately all the rage and misdirecting the energy of supporters at this critical time before the February primaries, really doesn't fly. Thankfully, in an official campaign full of miscues this one has not also been taken up. Apparently Ron Paul does not buy the argument. Some mistakes in the count, sure, but nothing that will change the outcome in the end.
And the idea that NH voters don't quite have what it takes upstairs to know what's good for them? Well, let's just say that calling people ignorant is not a sure fire way to get their votes. On the other hand, you have to have a very jaundiced view of the average joe to believe they voted for John McCain et al knowing full well the destruction his policies will cause. Some may think that every John McCain supporter dreams of killing people to make a better tomorrow but if you believe New Hampshire-ites are that evil you might as well call it quits right now. If true, there is no hope for any of us.
So, why the New Hampshire debacle? How about admitting a simple, excusable fact that the campaign has been badly managed and that Ron Paul's message, though supported by the majority of Americans, was not presented to voters in a way that they would choose him over much worse candidates. Certainly, there's been a fair number of ordinary folks complaining about this or that ham-handed campaign office act for several months and gotten very little official response. Sure, this is an *unusual* campaign but sometimes standard corrective steps used by every campaign organization need to be taken -like holding people accountable no matter where they reside in the food chain.
This is not an argument for throwing campaign people under the bus but for timely reassessments. If Clinton, with a lot more money to burn than Ron Paul, had done badly in NH one of two things would have happened-she would have dropped out of the race (unlikely) or she would have 'readjusted' her campaign staff and gotten positive press in return.
Certainly, there’s no possibility of Ron Paul dropping out of the race. At the same time there has been no sign at all that any changes to staff are planned to get more votes. That is the reality. Chalk it up to his being a genuinely nice person and loyal to a fault. It is not a helpful strategy, however, when supporters have good reason to be disappointed by the vote results.
So what to do? Muddle along and, perhaps, die a slow campaign death is one, very bad, option. Another is that as much initiative as possible be taken at the grassroots’ state level, especially in those Feb. 5 primary states out of the national spotlight.
Only $8 million is left in the coffers and though the campaign pledges, as it should, to spend every penny before Feb, 5, that amount (and whatever is raised between now and then from donors who have not given the maximum legal amount to the official campaign) will only go so far. The only way that we have a chance to live another day past Feb. 5 is for the states' grassroots to step up to the plate. This means taking charge of the ball on fundraising and outreach.
Most states are likely to get little or no assistance in the 17 days before Feb. 5. They can not be abandoned. There are 1,048 delegates, 44% of the Republican National Convention total, at stake on that day. Another 304, 12.6%, are up for grabs just a month later on March 4 and 11. If we do not also raise and spend the money locally to support Ron Paul in those states, those delegates will be lost. The campaign over.
The next two weeks are the deciding times for Ron Paul 2008.
Fortunately, the campaign has begun the 'Grassroots' Precinct Captain' effort and everyone should sign up at www.ronpaul2008.com. It's a very good though belated step, one which is likely to be of great use in later primaries and, fingers crossed, the final election.
The grassroots has also begun to take the reins here in Massachusetts. Volunteers have opened a Worcester, Mass office and begun phone banking, an effort not connected at all with the official campaign. The Boston Meetup is raising funds for a full-page ad in the Boston Globe on Feb. 3 and for a direct mailing to likely Republican and Independent voters before Feb. 5. These efforts need financial support NOW in order to win Massachusetts delegates for Ron Paul.
Other states need to take similar initiative. Now is the time. Tomorrow is too late. ‘Super Tuesday’ has arrived.
Boston Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Coordinator
617 436-0320 (h)
857 350-0575 (c)