Ron Paul Revolution: What Now?

The Paul campaign definitely isn’t winning first ballot. But there's still much to win.

After Super Tuesday, it’s officially official: Ron Paul won’t go into Tampa with enough delegates to win the presidential nomination.

Still, because of the unbound nature of 197 extant delegates from caucus states, and his campaign’s diligent efforts to ensure that their people rise through the convoluted GOP state convention process, it’s likely that he has many more committed delegates in hand than the media counts.

And as still-excited Paul partisans will tell you: Paul can’t go into Tampa with enough to win on first ballot. As The Daily Beast points out, it seems unlikely that Mitt Romney, clearly in the lead now, can do so either.

This raises speculations about a brokered convention, and Paul’s campaign chair Jesse Benton sees that as hopeful for Ron Paul—in fact, it’s the only hope he’s got to actually get the nomination.

Anything can happen at a brokered convention—in our imaginations at least. Given the general attitudes of the average GOP stalwart, though, it’s hard to imagine Ron Paul coming out of one a winner. Ronald Reagan in 1976 made quite the push to deny leader Gerald Ford the nomination when Ford lacked a clear majority going into the convention, and even Reagan, god-saint of modern Republicanism, failed. Former GOP superstrategist Roger Stone, who lived through those days, reminded me that Reagan actually represented the views and enthusiasms of the mass of GOP activists in his day in a way Ron Paul does not now. This makes it even less likely Paul will succeed with any last-minute Tampa coup.

But in the anything-goes fever dreams of a brokered convention, even the bound delegates will eventually become unbound. Which is why Paul’s vaunted delegate strategy isn’t only seeking to get delegates in unbound caucus states. They are working hard on training and educating their people on how to become delegates everywhere and anywhere they can, even if they are bound to vote their state’s voters' preferences for someone else the first time. Benton says that such delegate training and education is “absolutely one of the most important things” they are doing. Various activists across the country have told me of being contacted out of the blue by campaign volunteers or workers and talked into going through the GOP’s rigmarole (which varies state by state) to seek delegate seats.

So as far as Paul himself, his campaign, and a lot of his supporters are concerned, it ain’t over. Still, Politico described the Paul camp’s mood as frustrated in this story after Tuesday, and it’s easy to imagine that’s true. Look at the dark side: no outright popular vote victories, despite hopes for such victories ranging from Iowa at the start to Maine to North Dakota to Alaska to Washington to Idaho. A clean win now mathematically impossible. Free media dwindling. Opponents who they dreamed they could have rid themselves of a month or more ago riding high. Even Paul’s vaunted and clear command of the youth vote, manifest in the early states, has slipped away lately, with him tying for the grim 5 percent turnout of under-30s with Romney and Santorum.

Still, Benton says that “we are very pleased with where we are right now, this is how we scripted it, this is where we envisioned being at and we are pleased. Certainly we would have liked to win a beauty contest or two [by winning a state popular vote], but as far as our position for delegate allocation we are exactly where we hoped we’d be.”

The campaign has continued to emulate their very promising early strategy of heavy phone calls combined with mail and candidate appearances—though never quite able to emulate the amount of all those in later states, lacking the many months of concentrated build-up that Iowa and New Hampshire allowed.

“Dr. Paul has said many time that if you don’t like what the establishment is giving you, you need to become the establishment, take over the party with people we trust are committed and want to do the right thing,” Benton says. Indeed, in Los Angeles this weekend I attended a meeting where local Paul activists planned to get a slate of pure Paul people elected to run LA’s GOP Central Committee, and to support various of their fellows own runs for elective office.

While there have been stumbles—Nevada came in grossly below what the campaign's own internal polling indicated, and the constant media talk of a Romney/Paul alliance has been an annoying distraction, one Benton sees as “blatantly planted” by Santorum’s team—Benton still cheerily insists Paul knows they are running “a marathon and not a sprint” and he’s fully committed to fighting to the end if their people continue to give them the funds to do so.

Even for those who question Benton’s optimism, objective signs of encouragement exist, especially for those who understand Paul’s candidacy in the context of a long, long game of libertarian advocacy and political, social, and cultural change.

He pulled 1.1 million votes total last time, and already has around 900,000 so far now. He’s consistently far outperformed his state by state vote totals from 2008 to now, generally by twice or more, in some cases (South Carolina, Washington, Virginia) by more than four times. He continues to show great strength with independents and Democrats. Republicans should remember, no one can win a national election only appealing to Republicans (with 40 percent of the electorate identifying independent). His crowds are still huge, his people are still giving, and libertarian ideas have found in him a champion whose effectiveness and pull has been unparalleled in living memory. Looking forward, even those who sigh and realize a Paul victory is even more wildly unlikely than a year ago get excited about a team of Paulite House and Senate candidates.

While after Super Tuesday in 2008 the Paul campaign began to retreat and retrench a bit, two days out there are no signs of that. An email from Paul via the campaign yesterday says, in classic campaign mail style, that:

I am determined to proudly battle on, picking up more delegates and skewering the pretensions and historical rewrites of ALL the establishment candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

And I will continue to proudly speak up for liberty, respecting the Constitution in domestic and foreign policy, and returning to a limited government that acts and spends within its means.

And I will continue to do so as long as you will stand with me.

With all that good news/bad news swirling about, the Paul grassroots are in a bit of a swirl themselves. They are a contentious and talky bunch in their Internet centers such as Daily Paul and Ron Paul Forums. Surveying the chatter there one finds a mixture of Benton’s chin-up optimism, some intelligent realization that the fight they are fighting for an active and effective liberty movement is bigger than just Paul’s presidential run, mingling uneasily with frustration with stupid sheeple, accusations of vote fraud, and slow realization that lots and lots of the huge crowds Ron can reliably draw in faraway places are actually traveling Paulistas, not local votes. Many an assumption that everyone at a multi-thousand-person Paul rally would vote in that area’s caucus or primary has come a cropper, leading to dark assumptions of skullduggery. But as I’ve found at Paul rallies across the nation, he’s just got dedicated fans who will travel far and wide to see him, even if they can’t vote there.

Talking to Paul partisans in various states, I found examples of both cheer and concern, some in the same mind. Lisa Miller, chieftain of the largely net-based activist group Tea Party WDC (Washington, D.C.) which she founded in 2009 in the initial wave of Tea Party fervor, was a former Bachmann woman who went Paul, and was pleasantly surprised that her native Virginia, with no option on the ballot but Romney or Paul, went nearly 41 percent for Paul.

Miller is a single mom who tries to sell Paul to most people she knows outside her profession in the insurance and financial services industry. While it can take a while to “address all the foreign affairs issues my friends and family had, they went through a shock period” on those matters, she says, “but since then it’s been very easy to demonstrate the disastrous mistakes made in our foreign policy.” With the Arab Spring, for example, Miller thinks, “was it worth it to be involved, or better to simply cut off all the money” to Arab dictators. “We could have gotten the same results but without our fingerprints” marring things. Paul’s record on fiscal probity and government-shrinking is far more solid than that of his foes, who are scarfing up the self-identified Tea Party vote most places. “Fifty percent of the Tea party people didn’t do intellectual legwork,” Miller says, or are fearful of the economic correction that might come if government attempts to prop up the economy faltered. “Many of them like to talk about the Founding Fathers, but when it comes to the nitty gritty work of cutting government, that scares them.” But she was cheered that even over 40 percent of voters in Virginia, near the heart of beltway government and bureaucratic dependency, voted for Paul.

Money, as that email that went out from Paul yesterday shows, is vital moving forward. Benton says they have gathered more than the $31 million The Wall Street Journal recently reported. But campaign funds aren’t everything in this age of SuperPACS, the true stars of the campaign narrative this season.

The first Ron Paul SuperPAC, RevolutionPAC, is still active and planning future ad buys in states down the line, according to its treasurer Gary Franchi. While Franchi didn’t want to talk dollars, their last FEC report says they’ve spent nearly a half million. They’ve done TV ad buys in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and also work on independent poll watching and exit polling and develop alternative media for freedom fans, including live news coverage broadcasts on election nights, featuring such Paul-world stars as investment advisor and former Senate candidate Peter Schiff, and former would-be Pelosi-killer John Dennis.

Franchi says they have “over 10,000 people tuning in to our broadcast, quite a number of people who feel disenfranchised by mainstream media turning to our reporting to get essential nourishment that they need.” Franchi’s comment touches on a point I’ve made before—that for many, ideological and political activism and obsession, whether or not it changes the world, can function as a pure consumption expense, something they participate in because they enjoy it.

In the world of Paul SuperPACS, though, far more attention—largely thanks to its colorful main donor, futurist and investor Peter Thiel—has gone to Endorse Liberty, which annoyed some in the Paul camp by announcing post-Super Tuesday that they were rethinking Ron Paul as the center of their pro-liberty activism. Many in the world of Paul fans grumble that the $3.4 million Endorse Liberty spent, which apparently mostly went to online ads, including video ads on YouTube, did not make much of a public impact. (Endorse Liberty itself did not respond by press time to a request for comment.) Benton says as far as he’s seen, Endorse Liberty “to myself or many professional consultants with tons of campaign experience, we haven’t seen how any money they spent has done anything effective.”

Such complaints about efforts misdirected or opportunities ungrabbed flow around all projects of passion that don’t pay off as people hoped—either the people expending the effort or people just watching. I’ve heard complaints from both long-time Paul watchers and fresh fans that failing to win Iowa ruined everything; that they should have realized Virginia was a possible big win and spent and fought there accordingly; that the campaign isn’t laying enough groundwork in Paul’s big-delegate home state of Texas, or the activist-rich California; that Paul needs to do more events, or that they need to spend more on TV. As former GOP strategist Stone says, every penny should go to “communication, television, radio, mail, any dollar not spent on those things is wasted, especially since media doesn’t cover Paul the way they do other candidates.”

What does recent history teach about the possibilities and prospects of insurgent ideological campaigns in the GOP? Scott McConnell, who was a high-level staffer on Pat Buchanan’s 2000 Reform Party campaign (and rang doorbells for the Democratic Party’s antiwar insurgent Gene McCarthy in 1968)—which brought Buchanan’s political career to an ignominious 0.4 percent end—concludes that, no matter how much the threat of Paul bolting might be keeping the GOP fearful of the Paul movement, “third parties are a dead end in American politics.” McConnell looks at young Paulites like Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash and believes there is more space for them in the Republican Party, at least below the presidential level, than angry disillusioned Paulites might think right now. “Pat hurt his influence in the GOP and conservative moment by running Reform, and Paul will help the force of his ideas moving forward by not making a similar mistake.”

Many Paul fans would see victory in Paul’s being actually allowed a prominent, well-covered speaking slot at the Tampa GOP convention—an opportunity Buchanan used in 1992 to relaunch a culture war that some now blame for costing Bush the election to Clinton. Timothy Stanley, author of the new Buchanan biography The Crusader, tells me that Buchanan’s speech was about rousing the GOP base; a similar Paul speech now would have the opposite effect, potentially appealing to the independents and young voters who tend to like Paul.

But if Paul fails to endorse the eventual Republican candidate, it’s hard to say what use the party would get out of throwing Paul such a bone. Bones like that, even like platform changes for Paul positions like curbing the Federal Reserve, might not be that vital, thinks John Carney, now with CNBC and a high-level Buchanan campaign operative from the 1996 run. What Paul’s people need to do is “think about what happens after the nomination," Carney says. "There will be all this ferment about platforms and speeches but those are not as important as keeping your national organization alive, keeping your mailing lists and phone lists and not allowing the national organization to fall into disrepair, continue to get the message of liberty moving after the campaign is over.”

“The things Paul stands for will be as important the day after the nomination as the day before," he continues. "Platforms don’t mean much these days, it’s just a symbolic victory and the symbolism isn’t as important as it once was." Paul does have, since 2008, organizations such as Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty ready for action, not to mention his own LibertyPAC. Benton, though, says they are too concerned with this campaign to meaningfully discuss the potential future of the Paul movement in a world where he is not president in 2013.

Longtime GOP superstrategist Stone, who recently announced he was leaving his lifelong political home for the Libertarian Party, doesn’t necessarily agree that Paul’s movement needs to stay GOP faithful. Even if the fate of Paul the politician is to remain in the GOP, Stone says that “if you are a Ron Paul voter in the primary, then logically you should be a Gary Johnson voter in the general,” presuming the former GOP New Mexico governor wins the Libertarian Party nomination he is seeking. “I have a hard time believing either Obama or Mitt could appeal to the libertarian-leaning voters coming out for Paul, particularly those between 18-30.” Stone, as befits his recent departure of the GOP, isn’t sure Paul’s explicit strategy of trying to feed his people into positions and candidacies within the Republic Party can really work. He doesn’t think the GOP can ever be open to the social views of libertarians, or will even ever get serious about shrinking the government's size and activities.

The expectation game is tricky. One person who has worked with Paul in the past notes that those mocking Paul for his manifest inability to actually win right now would never have credited him with the ability to have done as well as he has actually done—close third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, lots of delegates, on line for a major convention speech and some platform influence—that seemed like a wild fantasy for Paul fans a year ago. “He did better than the Queen of the Tea Party and the popular sitting governor of his own state," that person says. "Look, you’ve been watching Paul since 1988 [like me]. Back then he was yelling at morbidly obese people on the Mort Downey show. Now he’s got tens of thousands of young people excited about reading Mises and Rothbard. What other candidate has fans excited because he’s changed their entire worldview and now they go out and reading books and are on fire to spread this knowledge they’ve gotten? Certainly not Romney, or even Newt, who fancies himself the intellectual of the Republican Party.”

Jack Hunter, the co-author of Rand Paul’s book The Tea Party Goes to Washington and a Paul campaign spokesman, explains in a buck-up-the-troops video that Paul is the only one standing up for the fresh ideas that can save the country from ruin, and that thus “Ron Paul and his movement own the future. Never forget it…keep your chins up and let’s keep fighting.”

It may or may not turn out to be true, but if you believe in justice, liberty, or America’s healthy future, it had pretty much better be (again, beyond the specific electoral fate of any specific politician); which makes it worth believing in and fighting for.

Senior Editor Brian Doherty is author of Radicals for Capitalism (PublicAffairs) and the forthcoming Ron Paul’s Revolution (Broadside).

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • NotSure||

    Politics is a dirty game, to have any chance of winning you need to make contradictory statements to the different voting blocs, take huge amounts of cash from various groups and then promise to reward them for it later and have zero principles. Which does mean this guy has zero chance of winning.

  • ||

    Sadly, I think you may have made the most intelligent comment on Paul I have ever seen.

  • ||

    There have been exceptions to this rule. Unfortunately, those exceptions weren't pushing a freedom agenda. More like a chicken in every pot.

  • ||

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. You can, however, shoot the fucker.

  • ||

    This is far more complicated than meets the eye. The outcome is far from certain. Libertarian presidential front-runner Gary Johnson is adding even greater complexity in determining numbers but people are sure flocking to him from GOP and Dems alike.

  • ||

    This is far more complicated than meets the eye. The outcome is far from certain. Libertarian presidential front-runner Gary Johnson is adding even greater complexity in determining numbers but people are sure flocking to him from GOP and Dems alike.

  • ||

    Last convention w/ no first ballot winner Reagan almost beat Ford w/ unbound delegates. Paul led the TX delegation for Reagan.

    Problem w idea of fall back where Paul doesn't run his own movement is people don't trust others. The idea that a Paul voter would be a Johnson voter makes no sense, he has no record in office of fighting for what Paul fights for, except lower spending. We need to grow our own-there are a handful. But they need a record, if only of having worked with us whole heartedly on this battle.

    Paul may not win, but until he CAN'T, he is our best bet, at the nomination or securing fallback gains, & at growing the movement. He is Pied Piper to the apathetic - who don't always mobilize effectively, 1st time, in an election time frame. Having been one in 2008, I know how that goes. I did vote for Paul, because I was apathetic but registered GOP, and could.

  • ||

    Lower spending is a GREAT first start. Also Johnson's pretty great on civil liberties as well.

    Let's not forget Rand Paul either waiting in the wings.

  • ||

    I like Rand. But no one but Ron Paul will keep people excited about the movement, at this point, however this particular election goes. Ron Paul's long proven integrity and consistency is what opens people's eyes.

  • mike palomino||

    Happily, I think you have made the most intelligent comment on any candidate hopeful I have ever seen.

  • Realist||

    Democracy: A form of government where fucking idiots with no integrity, are elected to power by fucking idiots with no integrity.

  • Tony||

    Your alternative? Libertarian fascists dictate the type of society they think everyone else should live in?

  • Sam Grove||

    Libertarian fascists dictate the type of society they think everyone else should live in?

    Indicative of gross cluelessness.

  • ||

    Indicative of major cognitive malfunctions.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.9.12 @ 12:33PM|#
    "Your alternative? Libertarian fascists dictate the type of society they think everyone else should live in?"

    Shithead, just once try an honest post. And I sincerely hope that strawman beats the crap out of you.

  • ||

    He has been trying, since day one.

  • ||

    That's about an idiotic statement. Libertarians are the opposite of fascists. Like Ron Paul is the opposite of Obama/Romney.

  • ||

    Like Tony is the opposite of someone who doesn't have their head up their ass.

  • spiruga||

    Everyone but Paul is a fascist.

    Obama/Romney not much different.

    Santorum would say "fuck women's rights, your bodies are mine, rape is a gift, bitches" and bomb the middle east and not give a damn. Probably crown himself Pope of the united states.

    Gingrich would probably just not give a damn and advance big gubbernment in favor of his international banker buddies, and screw the American people over.

  • elian||

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  • Auric Demonocles||

    How is that official? Even if he had zero delegates now it wouldn't be "official" that he wouldn't have enough delegates at the convention to win because there is more than the required number left.

  • reason staff||

    Math is hard, lets go shopping.

  • ||

    lol, OK man you just have to love those silly politicians now dont you? lol.

    www.Done-Anon.tk

  • Bender B. Rodriguez||

    It's amazing how the ad-bots keep up with current events...

  • Hugh Akston||

    So wait, Team Red is holding its convention in Tampa?

    It's like they're advertising that they want to lose.

  • Joe M||

    What's wrong with that? I would guess they're trying to drum up votes in the biggest swing state.

  • pmp||

    Please clarify for me and the other simple-minded.

  • ||

    Yes, please elaborate on your fighting words insult to my hometown, which can beat up your hometown.

  • ||

    Folks, please visit and pass along: http://www.kookyronpaul.com
    This not-for-profit, Pro-Paul site with a twist has some great videos, artilces, and info beneficial to all regardless of political affiliation. Peace, and Ron Paul in 2012!

  • ||

    Ron paul may not represent the neoconservatives but he does represent the ideas of Ronald Reagan more so than the other three manchurian candidates. A political ideology which as you say was shared by the majority of republicans at the time.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, Ron Paul is the LAST choice of about 70% or all republicans. After the convention he will fade away. But his ideas are everyoung. If Mitt Romeny get the nomination, he will look for a bone to throw to Ron Paul's supporters. Some will go for it. If it is Santorum, a lot of the libertarian wing will defect or stay home.

  • juris imprudent||

    If this election has proven anything it is that the mainstream Republicans want nothing to do with libertarian ideas. What they want is to use govt the same way liberals do - as a bludgeon against people/things they don't like.

    OMG Ron Paul doesn't want to blow up foreigners! He doesn't want us living in constant overhyped fear! He thinks about shit - he probably wants to feed our babies to terrorists!

    That is your mainstream Republican today. That Santorum isn't being scraped off the floor tells you everything you need to know.

  • ||

    I've heard from quite a few Republicans who didn't vote for Paul that they would've but for his anti-imperial positions. Frankly, as much as I'd like to stop the intervention, I'd get some satisfaction out of having a government that was libertarian on the domestic front.

  • juris imprudent||

    The other good thing that will come out of this election is the death of Republican rhetoric about small govt. Paul is the last advocate of that. From now on, the Republicans will be all about all the govt we can't afford, just like the Dems.

  • ||

    I'm not that cynical. First, Paul was much more successful this time than last time. That's forward progress.

    Second, there are others besides Paul who will carry the torch. There's some small hope that the "reform" candidates that are likely to enter Congress this time around may contain a few more limited government types. Whether they stay that way is an open question, of course.

    Finally, Paul's success will also tempt politicians--the ones that share his principles and the ones who are just opportunistic--to tap into it.

  • juris imprudent||

    First, Paul was much more successful this time than last time.

    Only where he could bring in new faces to the primary/caucus. He has no appeal to solid mainstream Repubs. He has not created a large enough insurgency to overthrow or intimdate the ancien regime. It appalls me to say it - but he will be sidelined during the convention. It is time for those who give even half a shit about liberty to give up on the Republicans. In this regard, I think CA is showing exactly where the Repubs are bound.

  • Realist||

    juris imprudent has it right.

  • ||

    There is still a fight left, RON PAUL will be drafted by AMERICANS ELECT DOT ORG., as The Historic First Internet Presidential Candidate Nominated and on The November 6,2012,will be on The Presidential Ballot.Registered Voters,Go to Americans Elect dot Org."REFUSE TO LOSE" "DISRUPT THE CORRUPT" Liberty and Freedom for all in the fall Vote RON PAUL.
    When The American Voter,wakes up,after Labor Day and notices that the only choice for POTUS,is a Democratic and Republican "R-OBAMA-NEY",They will scream for President RON PAUL.

  • Moogle||

    Eh... let's just run a shadow government like they did in that Mexico place.

  • Moogle||

    [fluttershy] Um, panic?

  • Joe M||

    Great article, Brian. Definitelt looking forward to the book if it's written like this. Are you going to keep it as up to date as possible before publication, or is it already complete?

  • Brian Doherty||

    Joe M---Thanks. Book's have very extended production processes and content-wise, mine is locked in and done. All my post-finishing-the-book Paul writings will likely be right here on Reason Online, everyone's favorite website.

  • Brian Doherty||

    I don't know why I made "book" possessive rather than plural.

  • ||

    That raised my eyebrows. You guys need an edit feature for comments.

  • Tony||

    Why don't the Koch's just set up a superpac? Oh, because they want to turn Cato into an arm of the establishment GOP. Can't wait to see the subtle shifts in Reason's reporting.

  • Kockspiracy theorist||

    When has Reason ever given you the impression they were beholden to the Koch brothers?

  • Tony||

    To its credit, Cato is resisting the attempted Koch coup.

  • ||

    To its credit, Cato is resisting the attempted Koch coup.

    "Founding members exercising their rights under the organization's charter" =/= "coup"

  • Tony||

    But to answer your question, every time it panders to climate change deniers.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.9.12 @ 10:41AM|#
    "But to answer your question, every time it panders to climate change deniers."

    Shithead's every post is dishonest in whatever form that dishonesty takes at the time.

  • tarran||

    Dude, no matter how hard you try to peddle that cult, it won't become science.

    Scientific theories are falsifiable. A 'theory' whose predictions are constantly contradicted by evidence is a superstition.

  • Tony||

    If it's a cult it's the best-credentialed cult in the history of the world, not to mention history's most successful wool-pulling effort. You've got the denier talking points down, now I wonder when you might consider consulting reliable scientific sources on the subject.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.9.12 @ 12:36PM|#
    "If it's a cult it's the best-credentialed cult in the history of the world,..."

    Shithead, ever hear of 'appeal to authority'?

  • Sam Grove||

    Actually, it's failing even as we type.

    You've got the alarmist talking points down (and that's all they've got, talking points), because the data does not support alarmist predictions).

    The data does not support alarmist predictions.

    The "fingerprint" of AGW is not evidenced in the actual measurements.

  • J_L_B||

    panders to climate change deniers

    Not just the deniers, but everybody in general. The largest problem with the debate is the political prospects of the proposed solutions.

    One of those solutions is to use taxpayer dollars to compensate China, India, and other developing nations for the loss of economic activity that will result from reducing carbon emissions.

    Regardless of one's opinion on global warming, even getting a vote on something like that is a considerable step.

  • Sevo||

    Why can't shithead ever post without dishonesty? Oh, because he wouldn't have an argument.

  • ||

    Ron Paul knows he can't win and I don't think his mission is as much winning the Whitehouse as it is rallying for freedom.

  • J_L_B||

    his mission is... ...rallying for freedom

    His support from the left still baffles me.

    Ron Paul stands in firm opposition to the use of government power to override the decisions of individual citizens with one-size-fits-all mandates from seemingly savant bureaucrats.

    No desire to end any war could ever supercede that desire, could it?

  • Realist||

    What good will that do???

  • np||

    Seems like Ron Paul would have a better chance in the Czech Republic

    Still hoping for a brokered convention, of some influence.

    But what about the other big states left? Especially Texas and California. CA has 169 delegates, is an open primary (cross-over potential with voter less effort), and is winner take all.

  • juris imprudent||

    No, CA is a closed primary. I am registered with no partisan affiliation, I can't get a Republican ballot.

  • np||

    Thanks for the correction. I remember 2008 was closed too, but when I checked wikipedia for # of delegates, it mentioned open primary so I thought it had changed recently

  • juris imprudent||

    It did change, but the parties get it changed back. God forbid that they don't control the electorate.

  • pmains||

    According to Sean Trende's column today, "California divvies up almost all of its delegates by congressional district." I heard it was winner take all as well, so maybe Sean is wrong.

  • ||

    WOW this piece is trying to think for the American People. The GOP race has JUST BEGUN! check out this article for real information: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/.....r-tuesday/

  • shrike||

    Third Party time, Ron Paul!

  • ||

    Good article but There is a fall back position or "Bastogne" as I like to call it.In the vein of:You can still win a Poker Tournament "with a chip and a chair";Americans Elect dot org.will be fielding an Internet Presidential Candidate officially on the ballot.RON PAUL registered voters go to Americas Elect dot org.,RON PAUL is the most popular choice.Make sure he's on the ballot in all fifty States.We can do this,BELIEVE ! ACT !

  • ||

    I'll be honest: I didn't read the article. I read the first few lines and that was all I needed to read. Please stop trying to pass for a libertarian website. You are a wolf in sheep's clothing. This article, this website, and this group (including and especially Nick Gillespie) are nothing but a bunch of fakes. Please just stop.

  • Sevo||

    Wrong plaid?

  • Joe M||

    Drink?

  • juris imprudent||

    You have to make reference to Postrel if you really want to pull that off.

  • ||

    No matter what they say about Ron Paul, one thing is for sure: He definitely changes the discourse in this country. He was a little known Congressman 5 years ago. Now he is 'rock star.' Even if he is a terribly flawed candidate (i.e. speeches, debates, looks) his ideas are absolutely correct. The GOV. has gotten out of control and it needs to be stopped, NOW. I respect Ron Paul for enlightening me and I can assure you, that going forward, I will only support 'liberty' candidates. I will re-register as an independent after Nov. and the GOP can go to hell (LOL)!

  • ||

    What are you talking about?? he is the most intelligent candidate out there. He destroys all in debates. You cannot argue against his positions because he always has the law on his side and the peoples interest at heart.. Doesn't look good?? grow up.

  • ||

    Come on, as much as I like many of Ron Paul's ideas, in general he's a horrible debater. He starts talking to fast and gets tongue tied. I'm sitting on the couch shouting at the TV frame it this way so the conservatives can get it, but he rarely does.

  • ||

    Plus, he will continue to pull votes away from the GOP. I will not vote for any other candidate, so the GOP loses mine, and many others' votes, by not nominating Paul...their own faults

  • ||

    In Virgina, Ron got 64% of the independent vote versus. Romney who (obviously) got 36% because it was only Ron and Romney on the ballot. VA is a swing state so where do you think the GOP electorate is leaning, towards liberty!

  • ||

    I think if Paul was registered as a Democrat he could possibly have beaten Obama for the Democrat nomination. In any case he would have have gotten a lot more delegates than he will as a GOP candidate.

  • Realist||

    And if we were on a planet of intelligent beings....things would be different too.

  • ||

    Alas, we aren't. I can (almost) understand backing Romney. But douchebag Gingrich and shit sandwich Santorum? WTF.

  • Kathryn||

    It's worth noting that Campaign For Liberty's website is now www.campaignforliberty.ORG not .COM. Thanks.

  • ||

    Folks, please visit and pass along: http://www.kookyronpaul.com This not-for-profit, Pro-Paul site named with "a twist" has some great videos, articles and info beneficial to all regardless of political affiliation. Peace, and Ron Paul in 2012!

  • juris imprudent||

    Trollin', trollin', trollin' - keep that webcount rolling'.

  • Brubaker||

    Ron Paul won't win on the first ballot -- and he won't win on any other ballot either.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    And Rome keeps burning.

  • Jiffy||

    Instead of reversing the LOVE in revolution you need to reverse the first four letters.
    Limited government and freedom is no longer important to Americans.

  • Realist||

    ^^^THis^^^

  • Royalist||

    Limited government and freedom ceased to be important for the Americans ever since the traitor George Washington started his little populist experiment. Socialism is only possible under democracy, particularly under the one-human-one-vote crap, which includes social groups with socialistic leanings, like women.

    Since most libertarians are White men, it's no wonder that libertarianism is losing on all fronts: libertarians are self-defeating, you support women's rights (including suffrage) and unrestricted immigration.

  • Royalist||

    Limited government and freedom ceased to be important for the Americans ever since they allowed the traitor George Washington to start his little populist experiment in the most unlibertarian manner possible: terrorism. Socialism is only possible under democracy, particularly under the one-human-one-vote crap, which includes social groups with socialistic leanings, like women.

    Since most libertarians are White men, it's no wonder that libertarianism is losing on all fronts: libertarians are self-defeating, you support women's rights (including suffrage) and unrestricted immigration from 3rd world countries.

  • ||

    I knew this was not going to be a slam dunk for Ron Paul. People need to study up on economic law, the inflation tax and the real risks that our National debt poses. Once people truly understand these things they are die-hard Ron Paul supporters. Education takes time. Paul has already won the battle of ideas and his voting record is as solid as it gets. You ask: What now? I answer: We keep educating Americans and the revolution continues

  • Realist||

    It's fun to dream. Educating Americans...that is too fucking funny. Are you talking about the shit for brains that watch the tripe on TV like Dancing With The Stars or any of the other stupid shit?

  • Snidesniper||

    Don't you dare make fun of Dancing With The Stars. THEY ARE STARS AND THEY ARE DANCING!!! This is important shit man,I just wish they had a q&a session so I could find out what they think about current world issues.

  • ||

    If the female dancers didn't wear panties it would be a little bit interesting.

  • ||

    Perfectly put, Nick.

  • thejerk||

    Stick with him to the end if you support his message. What else can you do? He's staying with it to the convention unlike last time so keep supporting and donate. Make your voice be heard at the convention if they try to drown it out.

  • Joe||

    Ron Paul with the one attractive girl that plans to vote for him. I've been through engineering school and the military, and my local Ron Paul rally was still the greatest sausage party. Proof the movement is both genuine and intelligent.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    ((Squints eyes))...Not sure if a douche, or sarcastic...or some combination thereof.

  • Joe||

    Mostly douche. The gender gap for Ron Paul isn't really that great, actually - about 20% stronger among men than women - though I feel like almost all the Paul supporters I see in the streets are brothers. Rally thing's true though; take out the kids, and almost everyone there was a guy.

  • Realist||

    "After Super Tuesday, it’s officially official: Ron Paul won’t go into Tampa with enough delegates to win the presidential nomination."
    What idiot thought he would???

  • ||

    Wake the F up sheeple! All Ron Paul supporters will never vote for any of the other candidates.. EVER! We understand you never vote for the less of 2 evils.. thats how we ended up where we are today. Washington needs an enima & Dr. Paul is the man to administer it. Our views are not something we can change at the will of the political winds like all the other candidates do.
    If you do not want to end the occupation of the world or begin to end the Fed, you will never get my vote. I have a feeling I speak for 99% of the Constitution following americans!
    ~Ron Paul 2012~

  • ||

    What happened to first and his shilling for Petter Hegre and his (mostly) East-European gold-digger wannabe cupcakes?

  • Mike E||

    Last night, the Ron Paul precinct delegates in my suburb outside Saint Paul, MN, unofficially met up on our own to educate each other on how the rest of the delegate nominating process works and we came up with a slate of delegates to vote for that are all for Paul. I am pretty sure Santorum and Romney don't have that kind of organizing going on around here.

  • ||

    While I doubt Ron Paul would be offered the VP slot to try and unite the GOP, why not Rand Paul? He's younger, doesn't have some of his father's problems, and could turn out a large number of libertarians that might otherwise sit out.

    Not saying it's going to happen, but maybe if it goes to a brokered convention, that could be Ron's price?

  • Sevo||

    "and could turn out a large number of libertarians that might otherwise sit out."
    Maybe, but not me. Why would I vote for Obama-lite even if he asked one of the Pauls to act as janitor?

  • ||

    Because it would set the stage for Rand Paul to become president in 8 years (or sooner)

  • Cowboy||

    Fuck character limits. Fuck them right up the ass. And get a decent goddamned mobile site with comments. Fuck. I had a long response I tried to post but it was 100 characters too long. And being on my phone makes it damn near impossible to edit. Fix your shit reason. Fuck.

  • Snidesniper||

    If you had left out all the fucks, you might have had room.. I know, I know, FUCK ME

  • Cowboy||

    Hah. Yeah I tend to get a bit of tourettes going on when Im aggregated and frustrated. My frustration at this election cycle and politics in general compounded my frustration at these new character limits and the mobile site.

  • ||

    I fuck fuck know fuck fuck fuck what fuck you f.. f.. fuck dammit mean.

  • Cowboy||

    Shorter version of what I wanted to post to begin with:

    Public doesn't want actual change, they want more of the same with a different color uniform. Im sick of it. I hope the inevitable war and economic collapse come soon. I want these statists assholes to get exactly what's coming to them. I want them to get it good and hard. In the mean time, Im pretty much done with politics. Were lost and there's no hope.

  • Cornelius||

    Another possibility: Paul explicitly embraces and runs a real coalition candidacy with a progressive.

    This blisses no one but could lead to a victory that overthrows the corporate beast that keeps both ideologies on the margins power.

    Sectarian forces and leaders from both camps seem content to kill the good in pursuit of the perfect.

    Paul has 4 options:

    1. Endorse Johnson and Obama landslides Romney.

    2. Run independent after the GOP convention as a write-in and get less than 10%.

    3. Drop out of the GOP race before the convention and run with Johnson, their names on ballots, he gets 15%.

    4.) Run on ballot with a progressive; win a plurality of the popular vote but finish 3rd in the EC. Congress votes Romney/Biden.

    No option seems perfect but #4 might actually get Paul elected if he finishes 1st or 2nd in the EC.

    Better than 4 yrs sidelined again.

  • ||

    I don't think he will do any of those because they will sabotage Rand Paul's chances, and undo all the work they've put into taking over the GOP machine.

  • Nuckleball||

    I agree with Kroneborge. I love Ron Paul, but he's a terrible debater. I also found myself screaming at the TV screen for him to shut up during the debates. Especially, when he was endlessly ranting about Iran. You would think after the first few debates someone would have told him not to go into great detail on certain subjects, and to slow down on all questions.

    Then again, I wouldn't give up hope. Mitt Romney said it would take an act of God to knock him out of the nomination, after Super Tuesday. So an act of God it will be.

    Keep your eyes on the sky's folks. We're about to take back our country.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    I'm voting for Romney, as are all of my R friends. Paul's domestic policy ideas are great. His foreign policy is dangerously naive and laughable. I don't know any serious R who feels differently about Paul than what I just wrote.

    If RP was a serious candidate (as in he really wanted to win), he would jettison his foreign policy nonsense. He's running for CiC, that's the main part of the job.

    In short, RP is like a job interviewee who really doesn't want the job, but wants to make sure everyone knows he tried. Seriously, why you guys make RP out as some goddamn IDOL I'll never know. He's as much as a politician as Bush, Clinton, Obama and fucking Andrew Jackson!

  • ||

    You haven't been around long have you? Just what kind of foreign policy should we have? The current aggressive one isn't doing anything other that making new enemies and bankrupting us, so wise one, what kind of foreign policy should we have?

  • ||

    I actually felt a lot like you WhC, and didn't like Paul at all in 2008, but after a bit more reflection, I've been coming around to his view more and more.

    Look at the waste Iraq has been a trillion dollars and thousands of lives for what? That sure wouldn't have happened under a Ron Paul Presidency.

  • ||

    We need a bigger foreign aggression budget.

  • Nuckleball||

    Why don't you take a look at your own man? When he came to Tennessee, he claimed he liked Davy Crockett. When he was in Michigan, he claimed he liked the pretty trees, the pretty lakes, and the pretty cars. Now that he's in the deep south he claims he likes; "them thair grits ya'all".

    You want to talk about laughable. You want to talk about a damn politician. Mitt Romney reminds me of that idiot German soldier on Saving Private Ryan. "I like Betty Bop. I like Ameri-Cons. Oh say did you see. Betty Grrrrable, nice yams!"

    In short, What a damned idiot!

  • ||

    Yeah you're right. Governments lie about everything except war. That they are completely honest about. Like that WMD thing. Or the Gulf of Tonkin.

  • ||

    We freedom and liberty loving people are praying our hearts out for Ron Paul to win this thing.

  • ||

    There is a great Claire Wolfe quote that pretty much sums up my feelings at this point. America is at that awkward stage.It's too late to work within the system,but too early to shoot the bastards. People will be in the mood to listen AFTER the bus has gone over the cliff, but not before. That some good may eventually emerge from the wreckage is far from certain and the lives and fortunes that will needlessly be destroyed in the process can never be recovered or justified.

  • ||

    It would be better to stick a brick on the accelerator and jump off right before the plunge.

  • ||

    Agreed, but if you're still living in the country that is the equivalent of still being on the bus. Argentina,Chile or even Canada keep looking better.

  • ||

    Everyone plays the system as best they can.

    A libertarian system might work well for people who are self-motivated to be ethical and also feel very confident in themselves. But, it doesn't work well for a lot of others.

    No rules and the standard of activity drops, it doesn't rise. It allows psychopaths to act with impunity. I know, you're all going to say 'libertarianism isn't no rules', but it is. It takes away controls, and without controls criminals rule. I wish it weren't so. But, it is.

    Also, I have to say personally almost all the Ayn Rand followers I know, not all, but most, are a few steps beyond being selfish. They are approaching being criminal in their need for self-gratification.

    Ron Paul is an out-lier and those who dwell on the extremes are an important part of the democratic process. They should be listened to, but never followed.

  • Anarcho Cosmo||

    Are you saying this as a liberal or a conservative? They both say the same things about libertarians, the difference is that conservatives say that gays and pot smokers are the psychopaths and criminals and liberals say that the psychopaths and criminals are hot dog stand owners and people who don't want one type of healthcare forced upon them.

  • ||

    That's bullshit. The times that the U.S. has had a freer marker and less government were much more prosperous than now. It's not a hypothetical.

  • ||

    Dr Paul is right about this…at least he puts it in perspective when he said "it is not exactly an easy task to repeal approximately 100 years of us sliding away from our republic". I remember in 2008 being frustrated and doubtful that this movement could continue to gain momentum…my doubts were immature... instead it has grown exponentially and its influence continues to be historic.

    In the last election it looks like Dr Paul received around 362,000 from the same states that he has now received 900,499 from … that is over 530,000 new individuals that have voted for Dr Paul's message and against the current status quo.

    The achievements of this movement have thus far been extraordinary and Dr Paul continues to be an exceptional and trustworthy leader in my eyes.

  • Louis Nardozi||

    Ron Paul's run has done a great thing - it has highlighted how the voting process has been derailed by allowing primary voting to be held 'behind closed doors'. If the Party picks the candidate, in what way are you actually 'voting' for anyone?

    Party insiders 'count' the votes. It doesn't matter WHO you vote for - they're going to pick who THEY want to run. When the real election comes along, the two 'candidates' which each 'Party' has selected are just that - what the PARTY selected, not who YOU selected.

    If you're a Paul voter, RECORD YOUR VOTE. Go to http://IVoted4RonPaul.com, or post it on facebook or something where it can be aggregated. Until we expose the massive VOTE FRAUD going on, Paul will NEVER win.

    What else can you do? Spread the meme. Any other work we do is absolutely irrelevant unless we can get an honest vote count.

  • Louis Nardozi||

    Ron Paul's run has done a great thing - it has highlighted how the voting process has been derailed by allowing primary voting to be held 'behind closed doors'. If the Party picks the candidate, in what way are you actually 'voting' for anyone?

    Party insiders 'count' the votes. It doesn't matter WHO you vote for - they're going to pick who THEY want to run. When the real election comes along, the two 'candidates' which each 'Party' has selected are just that - what the PARTY selected, not who YOU selected.

    If you're a Paul voter, RECORD YOUR VOTE. Go to http://IVoted4RonPaul.com, or post it on facebook or something where it can be aggregated. Until we expose the massive VOTE FRAUD going on, Paul will NEVER win.

    What else can you do? Spread the meme. Any other work we do is absolutely irrelevant unless we can get an honest vote count.

  • ||

    The emerging irony is that Ron Paul, the principled candidate, may be the broker at a deadlocked convention.

  • ||

    google warren g harding+brokered convention. Its happened before

  • ||

    "Third parties are the dead-end in American politics." Only since 1860, the year the Republican Party split from the Whig and elected Abraham Lincoln. The issue? Slavery. And what does that mean to us in 2012?? Simple: A Cause can beat The Establishment, any time the people are informed and the Cause is presented to them, loud, clear and often. Rep. Paul isn't loud enough, but the Cause is a good one. Theme song? "Battle Hymn of the Republic", same as before.

  • Herp Derp||

    It's nice to see more and more media outlets covering the backbone of delegates and how they work; However, there are still too many stupid people who will still assume you need states only. As for what to do if Paul loses? Well, I don't believe he'll run for third party, and as long as the GOP leader isn't Rick "Frothy" Santorum, I'll be voting for Gary Johnson. If it is Frothy though, I'm voting for whoever can beat him (including Obama).

    Seriously, I wouldn't put it past Frothy to demand a Church Of America. I'm pretty sure our founders would rise from the grave at that point.

  • ||

    Ron Paul's platform is exactly what the country needs because it's exactly what the country is. But we've got too many brainwashed people who won't accept the fact that the resolution isn't found in what the government can take from someone else to give to them. Sheep is an understatement. Just line up for your chip implants and your bed at the fusion center nearest you.

  • mrdrawingguy||

  • Hal||

    Even though the caucus delegate process is confusing and complicated, all candidates can exploit it equally if their own supporters take the time to learn how the process works. So I'm sure they will. Why does anyone think that only the passionate, devoted, loyal Paul supporters are the only ones who can exploit it and win at this strategy? The delegate process takes a few months. So I'm sure that Romney will employ the same tactics that the Paul campaign has used to take advantage of the delegate selection process. He and his campaign are likely to figure it out and get the delegates they need in popular votes AND by any other means too.

  • ||

    The chaos of the Republican primary is hurting the entire party. Republicans are switching to the Libertarian Party in droves. Gary Johnson makes more sense to them than anybody else.

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