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Jesse Walker asks what impact Ron Paul could have on the 2008 campaign even if he can't fend off John McCain's fringe campaign and win the nomination.

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  • ||

    The one single reason Ron Paul won't go anywhere. He's not promising people boatloads of free stuff.

    Maybe he would be taken seriously if like John Edwards he claimed to have magical powers.

  • ||

    Edwards doesn't claim to have magical powers; that's silly. He's laid out a clear, definite plan showing how the repeal of the Bush tax cuts will allow the end of poverty, war, famine, and the return of the unicorns. That's not magic, that's just good policy.

  • ||

    I"m tired of this 'he can't win' attitude. If someone knows something about why he can't win or will be prevented from winning, then we have some serious work to do about revolutionizing this government as to just who is in charge.

  • ||

    Well according to the polls, the fund raising report and well pretty much every other source other than the MSN and land line phone polls.... Ron can win.

  • Doug||

    Ron Paul can win. Why? Because voter turnout in the primaries is so low, typically less than 20%. If the unmotivated supporters of Giuliani and McCain and Romney and Thompson turn out at the usual 20%, and the wildly enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters turn out at 80%, he could win the nomination without ever topping 10% in the polls.

    The general election against Hillary Clinton? Now THAT would be a cakewalk.

  • Highway||

    NH, we do know 'just who is in charge'. It's a populace that includes a lot of people who look for their government to 'help them' or 'do something'.

    I do really like how Ron Paul has managed to make a lot of the conversations that usually go 'X is a problem, what are you going to do about X?' "Well, I'm going to have the government pay to get rid of X!" change to 'Well, the government is making X worse by doing Y. If the government stops doing Y, then X will be better on its own."

    That's the message a lot of people have not been getting from their candidates. Hopefully more people will understand it.

  • ||

    It seems you like Ron Paul yet you disparage his chances to win. Remember that it is mind over matter, the more positive energy (prayer for some) that you give him the more likely he is to succeed. It is too important to be insecure. Remember the neocons took over through confidence and force of will even though they were a minority

  • tsoldrin||

    If Paul doesn't win the primary it won't be because he doesn't get the votes... his supporters will certainly be getting out to the polls in numbers many times that of any other GOP candidate and of course he has a lock on 100% of the anti-war republicans. The problem is, as we've seen from the GOP leadership regarding just debates... they want to exclude Paul. Thus, I think it's likely that the delegates may disregard the votes and not select him.

    Personally I'd wish he started a viable third party... the Internet Party or something.. the coutry has never been more ripe for a NEW third party.

  • Edward||

    2+2=4 Death is inevitable. Ron Paul can't win.

  • ||

    Fish need water to live. Edward is a douche.

  • ||

    This is beginning to remind me of Rocky IV.

  • ||

    I sat in silence as Tinkerbell's light dimly flickered. Yet I believe Ron Paul will, in superhero fashion (only without the tights), save this nation.

    RON PAUL '08

  • ||

    This is beginning to remind me of Rocky IV.

    If it came down to a boxing match, I'd bet all my money on Fred Thompson.

  • diogenes||

    Jesse Walker can't win the Pulitzer Prize, but there is more to life than winning...

  • ||

    Ron Paul will not win. Period.

  • diogenes||

    Jose Ortega y Gasset | July 16, 2007, 2:33pm | #
    Ron Paul will not win. Period.

    Isn't it comforting to know that the US elections are decided before the voting? I'm glad to know there is no point to vote, as the winner has obviously already been decided.

  • robc||

    If he dies, he dies.

  • ||

    Fred Thompson's manager: Whatever he hits, he destroys!

  • ||

    Barring a complete meltdown of the party gatekeeping apparatus, Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee next year.

    Such a meltdown is inevitable. When it comes, it will be like the collapse of the Soviet Union. It will happen quickly, no one will see it coming, but in hindsight it will have been obviously overdue.

  • Casey Khan||

    Good article. Only, I'm sick of the Ron Pau will not be the Republican nominee next year attitude as well.

    That paternalistic, know it all attitude that is the essence of DC, really rubs off on the libertarians in residence there. George Stephanopolous, Jesse Walker, what's the difference?

  • ||

    Edward | July 16, 2007, 2:21pm | #

    2+2=4 Death is inevitable. Ron Paul can't win.


    Death is inevitable? Why - because it always has been? As they say in the financial instruments advertisements, in the fine print: past performance is no guarrantee of future performance. Or something like that.

  • ||

    Dennis Keeblercinich "will not win."
    Mike the Rock-Thrower "will not win."
    Tommy Pimps-the-cheddar-state-way-too-much "will not win."

    Ron Paul "is very unlikely to win."

    Big difference.

    So sayeth I.

  • disinter||

    No, Jesse, he probably won't win with idiots like you constantly saying that he won't.

  • Ran Scot||

    Historically at this point in his campaign in 1991, Bill Clinton was polling at 2%.

    Food for thought.

  • ||

    Just remember, there's another quantum reality out there where Bob Dole won in 1996 and 2000 and President Gephardt is running for re-election in 2008. Just because something is extremely improbable does not mean that it's impossible.

  • Jesse Walker||

    That paternalistic, know it all attitude that is the essence of DC, really rubs off on the libertarians in residence there. George Stephanopolous, Jesse Walker, what's the difference?

    Well, for one thing, I don't live in DC.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Historically at this point in his campaign in 1991, Bill Clinton was polling at 2%.

    Historically at this point in 1991, people still thought Mario Cuomo and other well-known Democrats might enter the race.

  • ||

    Thus, I think it's likely that the delegates may disregard the votes and not select him.


    The delegates are selected by the campaigns. They are loyal to the candidate, not to the party. Giuliani delegates will vote for Giuliani, and Paul delegates will vote for Paul.

  • ||

    I love reason, but you don't understand quite how powerful and how VIRAL the support for Dr. Paul is.

    Imagine Howard Dean 2004, only with real ideas, a proven voting record, millions more Americans online and using Web 2.0, and the likelyhood of a YARRRRR! meltdown eliminated.

    We live in exciting times: the political paradigm is shifting before our eyes.

    Saying Ron Paul can't win is like calling the game over at the top of the first inning and demonstrates your ignorance rather than wisdom.

  • ||

    I really don't get the point about whether or not Paul (or any other candidate) can win. Either a candidate represents the positions and values you hold, or he/she doesn't. The fact that your vote helped Dimmy Diddlefuck win is not going to be much consolation when the US invades Iran and Pakistan in 2010, or approves a 100% income tax increase.

    Voting for someone with "no chance of winning" isn't wasting your vote. Voting for someone you can't stand simply because they can get elected is.

  • ||

    It looks to me that McCain is ready to implode.

    I think we are a LONG way off from the elections and there are lots of dirtys secrets out there ready to be exposed by Larry Flynnt. I don't know who the repubican canditates are going to be but I'd bet a testicle that the democratic ticket is going to be some sort of a combination of a Clinton/Obama (ticket.

  • crxvfr||

    While a doctor, Dr. Paul did not accept Medicare or Medicaid as a physician; instead, he would do the work for free or work at a greatly lowered payment or payment plan for needy patients.

    Go Ron!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_paul

  • ||

    "the democratic ticket is going to be some sort of a combination of a Clinton/Obama (ticket."

    Two minorities on the same ticket? I doubt it. Hillary would need a Southern centrist white man to balance the ticket.

  • erm||

    Trying to explain away Ron Paul won't work. It is his message of freedom and liberty and the ideas behind the constitution that people are following.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I love reason, but you don't understand quite how powerful and how VIRAL the support for Dr. Paul is.

    I thought that was what the article was about.

  • ||

    It would be so sweet to have a President Paul fighting the good fight against Congress--dominated by either party, it hardly matters.

    If nothing else, he'd set a record for the number of vetoes, probably in his first 100 days. Yee-hah!

  • ||

    1. Ron Paul more cash on hand than McCain and any of the other so-called "second-tier candidates."

    2. Ron Paul has more cash in hand than seven other presidential hopefuls combined (Tancredo, Brownback, Huckabee, Kucinich, Hunter, T. Thompson, and Gravel).

    3. Ron Paul has almost as much net cash on hand as Mitt Romney (to get that number, you deduct the $9 million of debt that the Romney campaign owes).

    4. Ron Paul has been the number one most searched person on the entire blogosphere for the last three months straight per http://www.technorati.com

    5. Ron Paul has more than 4 times as many volunteers as Obama, 22 times more volunteers than Hillary, and hundreds of times more volunteers than Giuliani or Romney, per Meetup.com. In addition, new Ron Paul volunteers is growing at a rate of 36 times faster than Obama, and 96 times faster than Hillary as documented at:

    http://www.meetup.com/topics/polact/cand/pres/

    6. Liberty is popular and honesty is popular. Ron Paul leads in polls of people who have heard him speak. And it is still 5 months before the primaries, so there is still plenty of time for people who haven't yet heard Ron Paul's message to hear it.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/haman1.html

    Go Ron Paul 2008!!!

  • Ventifact||

    Troy - does that mean if you win you get a third? What would you do with it?

  • ||

    Voting for someone with "no chance of winning" isn't wasting your vote. Voting for someone you can't stand simply because they can get elected is.



    This is true. Voting is a statement of belief, not a wager on a sporting contest.

    I will most certainly support and vote for Ron Paul (maybe even to the point of registering R to vote in the primary). Sadly though, I harbor doubts as to whether enough of my fellow citizens will.

  • ||

    I believe that most of the British likewise thought that it would be impossible for the Americans to win the American Revolutionary War.

  • ||

    "I love reason, but you don't understand quite how powerful and how VIRAL the support for Dr. Paul is."

    It's one thing to create an Internet buzz. It's another thing entirely to win a presidential election. And sure, it's possible for the Baltimore Orioles to win the world series this year... but it ain't gonna happen. Now... if I can only find some "wise" people to lay down some money against my "ignorance," I can stop worrying about paying for my daughters' college tuition.

  • ||

    The Online bookmakers have changed Ron Paul's odds of winning from 200 to 1 a month ago to somewhere betweein 15-to-1 and 7-to-1 today. If you think Ron Paul cannot win, you had better put your money where your mouth is.....

    Ron Paul's odds of winning aren't going down anytime soon....

  • ||

    "Liberty is popular and honesty is popular."

    Where?

  • ||

    "The Online bookmakers have changed Ron Paul's odds of winning from 200 to 1 a month ago to somewhere betweein 15-to-1 and 7-to-1 today."

    That's impressive.

  • ||

    I have voted republican for 23 years (I am registered to vote in primary) and if Ron Paul is not the nominee, the GOP loses my vote, PERIOD

    His message transcends fear, terror and completely moronic musings of desperation like "offense".

  • ||

    "it's possible for the Baltimore Orioles to win the world series this year... but it ain't gonna happen."

    I remember a joke a teacher told the class back in 1960. He asked what has 18 legs and lives in the cellar? He said it was the Pittsburg Pirates. The Pirates went on to win the World Series that year.

    It ain't over until it's over. (Talking about Ron Paul, not the Orioles)

  • ||

    Once the line is set, bookmakers adjust odds to reflect the market rather than probability. The goal for a bookmaker is to balance the books. Ron Paul isn't even on the tote board on some major sports betting sites... although I cannot tell you how I have come to know this information on the grounds of self incrimmination.

  • ||

    I went to factcheck.org and looked at their take on the GOP debates. I didn't find anything about Paul. I don't know if they are ignoring him or if they didn't find anything inaccurate.

  • ||

    GO RON PAUL! GO RON PAUL! GOD BLESS RON PAUL!
    RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2008!

    Ron Paul "Dream On" Video!!!!
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=IWfIhFhelm8
    Ron Paul "Don't Tread On Me" Video
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FG_HuFtP8w8

    Ron Paul is a constitutionalist.

    Ron has never voted to raise taxes.
    Ron has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
    Ron has never voted for the Iraq War.
    Ron has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
    Ron has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
    Ron has never voted to raise congressional pay.
    Ron has never taken a government-paid junket.

    Ron voted against the Patriot Act.
    Ron votes against regulating the Internet.
    Ron voted against NAFTA and CAFTA.
    Ron votes against the United Nations.
    Ron votes against the welfare state.
    Ron votes against reinstating a military draft.

    Ron votes to preserve the constitution.
    Ron votes to cut government spending.
    Ron votes to lower healthcare costs.
    Ron votes to end the war on drugs.
    Ron votes to protect civil liberties.
    Ron votes to secure our borders with real immigration reform

    Listen To Ron Paul Speeches: http://www.ronpaulaudio.com
    Review over 100 Articles Ron Paul Authored by Subject:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul-arch.html

    How can you not love this guy listen to him he is truly a man who
    tells the truth "We The People" are taking our country back and
    restoring the original Constitutional Republic and returning Amerika
    back to America not the Homeland.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot
    survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable,
    for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor
    moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling
    through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself.
    For the traitor appears not a traitor---he speaks in the accents
    familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and
    he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He
    rots the soul of a nation---he works secretly and unknown in the night
    to undermine the pillars of a city---he infects the body politic so
    that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.

    --- Cicero: orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and
    philosopher of Ancient Rome.

    "In the time of universal deceit, telling the truth
    is a revolutionary act" GEORGE ORWELL

    "None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
    -- Goethe

  • ||

    Well the market is speaking. And the market says that the odds of Ron Paul winning the presidency has improved from 200-to-1 a month ago to between 15-to-1 and 7-to-1 now. If you're so sure Ron Paul is not going to win, put your money where your mouth is. I'd like to see you bet your entire life's savings...

  • ||

    To get Ron Paul info:

    http://www.RonPaul2008.com

    or just go to Google Video or YouTube and search for "Ron Paul"

  • ||

    When a guy runs for President with the record Chris highlights, and only gets single digits in the polls, that says a lot more about the country than the candidate.

  • ||

    The Iowa Straw Poll is in less than a month - what kind of performance does RP need to turn in order to be taken seriously by the MSM?

  • Fluffy||

    It doesn't matter if Paul WINS the Ames straw poll. If he were to win it, it would be redefined to be irrelevant. "Giuliani didn't come, Fred Thompson didn't come!" would be what would be said. I guarantee it.

    Polls of "likely Republican caucuser" Iowans would still show him with 0-1% the day after the straw poll, too.

  • Steve||

    I've ordered my Ron Paul bumper sticker and T-shirt. I'm not a spammer. I'm a 53-year-old voter, who voted for Bush both times. And there are a lot more of us out here that aren't in the meet up groups. It is time for a new direction in this country. Ron Paul is the only one offering that new direction for the Republican Party. Furthermore, you know he is going to manage his campaign money wisely. All the other ones are in debt just like the Federal Government. They run their campaigns like they are big government. So if you donate to Ron Paul, you know your money will be put to the best use. America wake up!

  • ||

    This article surprises me a little. In fact, it is a positive one in the main, then makes a point of saying Dr. Paul has no chance to win. Sure, he's a longshot, but NO CHANCE? NONE? Really?

    I suppose saying that Ron Paul cannot become the Republican candidate could be somewhat analogous to saying that Reason Magazine cannot become a magazine relevant to Americans. Sure, it has lots of good ideas, but since it's more likely to line a bird cage than be read, what are the chances? Reality is what it is. And trying to parrot the mainstream is quite a temptation. If there were actually any market for real ideas, Reason would have the largest circulation in the country, rather than being a boutique birdcage liner. So, enjoy being in the lifeboat with Dr. Paul while the world goes to Hades. Saying Dr. Paul is currently a longshot is one thing. Declaring his loss a certainty is more than a little premature.

    And as to a movement being created with Dr. Paul's ideas. Forget it. This is the one and only chance we have to change things. If Dr. Paul loses, I go to the mattresses and do what I can to educate my family in ways to survive in a collectivist, government-loving world. Dr. Paul is a miracle. He is the one and only libertarian-thinking congressman elected in my more than 50 years. And there is no other candidate who espouses his ideas who will be elected before I die. The oods against that are actually greater than the odds against Dr. Paul winning the presidency this time.

  • ||

    Nobody thought buster douglas could beat mike tyson.Nobody thought the 1980 U.S. olympic hockey team could win the gold medal.I don`t believe any republican,OTHER than Ron Paul can beat ANY of the democrats. QUESTION: Can Al Gore be VP again? (CLINTON/GORE 2008?)

  • ||

    I believe that most of the British likewise thought that it would be impossible for the Americans to win the American Revolutionary War.



    Are you suggesting that the French will help Ron Paul win?

    Sorry, couldn't help it.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Isaac Bartram asks if the French will help Ron Paul win, as they helped US beat the Brits.

    C'est possible! Take a look at http://ronpaulfr.blogspot.com/

    Anyway, good article, Jesse. The Ron Paul effect will outlast the election. I posted a link to your article @ http://www.libertariansforpaul.com/

  • Jerry||

    I know that foreigners cannot donate financially to the campaigns of presidential candidates, but what about PAC contributions? Can I make those?

  • ||

    Jerry -- nope.

    Remember there was another short libertarian from Texas in 1992 that nobody thought could win -- his name? The now former 2 time president Andre Marrou.

  • ||

    It doesn't matter if Ron Paul wins like it was some kind of a ball game! This is all about each of us as individuals running out and standing up with a friend we highly respect who is outnumbered by powerful and unprincipled bullies who have taken over the ball field by force. Ron Paul is honorable and logical, has a backbone made of titanium and just as important, he is correct. I'd be honored to take a bloody nose for him, after all, he's been taking hits for me in the House of Representatives for ten terms without backing down once.
    Screw 'em all! Vote Ron Paul!!

  • Jesse Walker||

    I suppose saying that Ron Paul cannot become the Republican candidate could be somewhat analogous to saying that Reason Magazine cannot become a magazine relevant to Americans.

    Not really, because there's room for many magazines that are relevant to Americans. Politics is winner-take-all.

    This is the one and only chance we have to change things.

    And you're calling me a pessimist? Holy crap.

  • Jay||

    Jesse, it seems a bit ironic that you would grasp, and seemingly admire, the broad appeal and true strength of Dr. Paul's campaign and message, which resonate with Americans now more than ever, as well as acknowledge the unparalleled activism of his support base- and then completely dismiss essentially as ludicrous the idea that he might earn the GOP nomination. You seem confused, to be blunt. Your article gives the impression of an internal struggle; one in which you have come to a great realization of the true viability of Ron Paul's campaign, but you can't shake free of the self-fulfilling prophecy that is persistently foisted upon Americans in the form of the media label "longshot." In this article, you are the politician who screams for withdrawal of troops, only to vote in the affirmative on the next war appropriations bill. You don't take what seems to be the next logical step in your revelation, apparently out of apprehension or denial. Non-committal I believe is an appropriate adjective to describe your article. While I commend you for bringing to light the positives of Dr Paul's campaign, which most media deliberately avoid, doing so only to dismiss him once again as a longshot is contradictory in a cowardly manner. To me, it is quite apparent that in adopting the "longshot" label, you only perpetuate that self-fulfilling prophecy- presumably, to you, the safe thing to do- in order to leave yourself an out; i.e. "Hey, I pointed out the positives, but I never said he would win." A bolder person would have taken that next step- noting that with the strengths aforementioned, Dr. Paul's campaign may just pull off an upset of monumental proportion- and deservedly so.

  • ||

    "if I can only find some "wise" people to lay down some money against my "ignorance," I can stop worrying about paying for my daughters' college tuition."

    You're in luck!

    Sportsbook.com has paul at a 15-1 shot right now. It was a 200-1 shot a few months ago.

    If you want to cover those odds (15-1) I'll help you get that college fund started for say . . . $1000? (requires $15k to cover).

    http://www.sportsbook.com/betting/2008+Presidential+Election-betting-odds-754.html

  • Schmendrick||

    Subtitle: 'The libertarian longshot won't win the presidency'

    The writers for Reason should desist at once from telling its readers who will or will not become president. I believe that is still a function of the voters in this country, not of the media.

  • Derrick||

    I'm just gonna repost what I said on an earlier article:

    Enough already from the "Ron Paul doesn't have a chance" crowd. If that's even true, it's due largely to self-fulfilling statements from defeatists - people who are destined to lose because they don't even bother trying.

    Winners say "this is possible" and then find ways to make something happen. Not to sound like Tony Robbins, but that's pretty much how things work.

  • ||

    Not to be a pessimist or anything (I promise I'll convince everyone I know to vote for Paul), but we should probably not get too emotionally tied to Paul's compaign. If we can convince enough people that he is worthwhile, we'll have done a great deal to the political dialogue. I hope we do, but I was also a fan of another internet favorite Kinky Friedman (for governer of Texas) and I see a great deal of similarity popularity wise between him and Paul on the net. I didn't want to believe the polls, and I voted for him duly, but in the end, he got the support predicted and came in 4th in the Texas race. Now his politics are not anywhere near Paul's, but getting too excited about Paul's chances may hurt a bigger idea of slowly turning public support away from big government by uniting as a group against it even after the election is over. We (Paul supporters) believe in restoring a small, ethical leadership for our country, but it will take a gathering of effort over a while potentially before we can accomplish that goal. So please, even though we will all be trying our best to put Paul in office, understand that while Reason may not share our optimism, they share our goals and will work hard to see them put in place just as we are.

    Just sayin...

  • Jesse Walker||

    Enough already from the "Ron Paul doesn't have a chance" crowd. If that's even true, it's due largely to self-fulfilling statements from defeatists

    No, it's due to what's required to win the nomination of an institution dominated by people opposed to almost everything Paul stands for. It's theoretically possible, but it would require, as I wrote in the article, "a complete meltdown of the party gatekeeping apparatus."

    Paul's campaign could still do a lot of good without "winning." If he, say, gets more than 10% in the New Hampshire primary, it would have a real impact on how the pro-war candidates behave & it might pave the way for an independent antiwar campaign down the road, if not by Paul then perhaps by Hagel or someone like that.

    More importantly, it could help build a movement that's focused on more than just winning elections. Real power doesn't come when you elect politicians who agree with you to office -- it's when the politicians who disagree with you still feel obliged to do what you want.

  • ||

    So Sportsbook.com has the odds for Paul getting elected at 15-1.

    And Intrade lists his conract at 2.8/2.9. Seems like a clear opportunity for arbitrage--except I'm guessing Sportsbook doesn't let you bet against whatever bets they have. Otherwise you could make a mint betting the field-at the current implied odds, at least two people will be elected president in 2008.

  • Roy||

    The problem with this article and many of Jesse Walkers comments is that it is utterly elitist. Whatever Mr. Walker thinks the election process is about, the point that Ron Paul CAN win completely flies over his head, as all he is thinking about is what Ron Paul's campaign will do for some kind of 'movement'. The movement is happening now and dismissing all chances of Ron Paul winning the election do not help that movement, now or in the future.

    "-- it's when the politicians who disagree with you still feel obliged to do what you want."

    Is that something like bribery or lobbying?

  • ||

    I would rather cut off my hands than ever vote for a Republican.

    Since Rep. Paul takes more of a States Rights sort of position than a thoroughgoing libertarian position on a number of matters, I'll just have to wait to see who the LP nominates.

  • ||

    Jesse Walker | July 16, 2007, 8:55pm | #
    I suppose saying that Ron Paul cannot become the Republican candidate could be somewhat analogous to saying that Reason Magazine cannot become a magazine relevant to Americans.

    Not really, because there's room for many magazines that are relevant to Americans. Politics is winner-take-all.

    This is the one and only chance we have to change things.

    And you're calling me a pessimist? Holy crap.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well, I don't know how old you are, but I've been around this "liberty movement" since it's very early days back in the seventies. And for all intents and purposes, and for all the hot air from Cato and Reason, it still doesn't exist. The liberty movement in real terms is Ron Paul. He's the only remnant of the movement who has ever been elected to a meaningful office.

    I never said you were a pessimist. I said you were parroting the mainstream media by odds-making. By saying with certainty that Ron Paul won't be elected, you're saying that someday your magazine and the ideas in it will be relevant, and that's the real hope in this election.

    Here's the problem with that thinking. Liberty is not a gradualist phenomenon. Socialism and fascism creep toward their goals. Liberty either breaks out in a thunderclap or not at all. Ron Paul is either a thunderclap, or nothing at all. You say his ideas will survive. I say you haven't lived long enough to see enough failure, and you won't live long enough into the future to see gradualism and liberty educating make any dent in our statist future.

  • ||

    adamson | July 17, 2007, 12:44am | #
    I would rather cut off my hands than ever vote for a Republican.

    Since Rep. Paul takes more of a States Rights sort of position than a thoroughgoing libertarian position on a number of matters, I'll just have to wait to see who the LP nominates.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The job of the president IS to leave things to the states for which he has no constitutional authority. He wants to make gold and silver legal tender. End the drug war. Bring all the troops home. End the war on the second amendment. End the income tax. Abolish the useless federal departments. Transition the end of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Yeah, I can surely see why you'd want to wait for the libertarian candidate. Can't anyone around here take yes for an answer?

  • ||

    I smell a rat!

    Anyone who has won a difficult struggle knows that their number one asset was the unwavering belief that they would win, no matter what the odds, despite how ridiculous it seemed to others.

    The number one problem Ron Paul is presenting to his opponents is that he's actually convincing his own supporters he can win, giving them this critical mental edge.

    Funny then that Reason would come in and plop down such a momentum deflating propaganda piece stabbing the liberty movement right in the heart of this critical psychological asset.

    This proves what I have been subtly suspecting for about a year now... Reason has been taken over by people who wish the crush the liberty movement from the inside.

  • Edward||

    Safe predictions:


    1. The sun will rise tomorrow.
    2. Ron Paul won't get anywhmore than 10% in the New Hampshire primary.

  • ||

    "Safe" predictions are for LOSERS!

  • ||

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    - Mahatma Gandhi

    I believe that Dr. Ron Paul will win. To make sure of it, I am contributing to his campaign. Winning is possible only when defeat is NEVER conceded.

  • ||

    "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

    - John Quincy Adams

    Who then deserves our vote more than Dr. Paul? To hell with defeatism! Friends, this is a Revolution!

  • ||

    I can't believe there are people on this thread who actually seem to think he's going to win. If you are excited that Paul's candidacy draws attention to issues and viewpoints which you think need a stronger airing, more power to you. But he's not going to be the nominee, and he sure as hell is never going to be the President.

  • ||

    Ron Paul is inappropriately characterized as a Libertarian. He is more accurately described as a "conservative classical liberal." In other words, by following the constitution, he conserves the classical liberal values of the Founding Fathers. In fact, this is why Judge Andrew Napolitano has called him "the Thomas Jefferson of our day."

  • ||

    Dave....Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter showed up as low in the polls as Ron Paul. I don't believe, though, that they experienced the kind of mainstream media suppression that Paul has endured. I, also, believe you underestimate the grassroots, online support that has morphed out into the real world. There are now more than 20,000 activist members of Meetup groups that are out in the world, even as I write at this hour, and they are working diligently to bring Ron Paul's message to the offline public.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Funny then that Reason would come in and plop down such a momentum deflating propaganda piece stabbing the liberty movement right in the heart of this critical psychological asset.

    You didn't read the article, did you?

    I say you haven't lived long enough to see enough failure

    I've been an active libertarian for nearly two decades -- long enough to see people inflate their electoral expectations over and over again, then get disillusioned and drop out when their hopes don't come to pass. The thing is, the Paul campaign can accomplish a lot -- much more than the LP -- without winning the election. But for pointing this out I'm called a defeatist.

    The problem with this article and many of Jesse Walkers comments is that it is utterly elitist.

    Believing popular movements are more important than politicians is "elitist"? I've said it before and I'll say it again: Holy crap.

  • ||

    Amen, Jesse.
    My first vote was for Ed Clark in 1980. Later, I did some LP stuff locally, working with a candidate for governor. A realistic goal for us then would have been the 5 percent necessary to retain the arduously won ballot access for the state LP. But whenever I'd suggest we focus on that attainable goal, I'd be shot down. We're going to win! was the battle cry. I determined I was working with idiots.
    I don't know if a realistic goal would have made a difference (the candidate got barely one percent) but I know all the overblown expectations caused a lot of burn-out.
    I've never voted for a Republican, but I certainly will if Paul is the nominee. Heck, I'll even register with the evil Rs to vote for him in the primary. But let's keep expectations reasonable and try, in the oh-so-unlikely event that Paul doesn't crush the evil bastards, to at least maintain some of the momentum and enthusiasm his campaign is generating.

  • ||

    I walked out of my office last night to hear Jesse on WBAL 1090. Now that was a strange moment.

    I agree with Jesse. A successful push by Ron Paul could shape public policy in a positive way (at least for folks with libertarian leanings). On the other hand, imagining that Paul has a realistic chance of winning is just spanking the monkey. The Internet is a series of little echo boxes. Sure, get excited. Woo hoo. When I see Ron Paul getting the AARP endorsement, then I'll start paying attention. Until then, my life savings is available for wagering.

  • Robert||

    I've been in this longer than Jesse Walker and probably as long as A.K. Smith. I do think Ron Paul has a decent shot at vice prez if he plays his cards right -- doing well in pre-primary polls, then dropping out in time to let the front runners bash each other into incompatibility. I shudder, however, to think of Dr. Paul as sec'y of st.

  • ||

    Are you suggesting that the French will help Ron Paul win?
    @Isaac Bartram
    Yes, we are actuelly organising ourselves to support Ron Paul and invite medias to cover an event :
    Ron Paul represent ideas that no media nor any political parti dare to expose here.

    "I know that foreigners cannot donate financially to the campaigns of presidential candidates, but what about PAC contributions? Can I make those?"
    I saw french people on forums grouping themselves to send money to one of them who has an US address !!!
    The "Ron Paul effect" is at the beginning. It's talking about recovering our self-respect, the deep identity of western world success.

    Eric - from France - the last true communist country, snif !

  • ||

    Eric,

    How's Sarkozy working out for you?

  • ||

    Hi GT,
    Sarkozy has mystified everybody here with his "super-active" attitude. He'a actually showing his talent to install himself in long term and ruin the socialist party forever.

    But has he any vision of where france should go ?
    Is he ready to eject communists from syndicates and direction of social services ?

    Is he ready to stop huge public expenses in the social security system ?

    He's ready for nothing except spending money to gather positive public opinions.

    Give him a 6 months delay before french realize...

    We also need a Ron Paul in France, but the fact is that we are absolutely unprepared for this.

  • ||

    Eric,

    I wish you guys all the luck with liberalizing your economy. Hopefully, if nothing else, he'll end the punishment of productivity (ie, the 35 hour work week, with disincentives for working longer) and trim atleast some of the less popular beauracracies. He still is a fan of subsidies and nationalized companies, but maybe he's the first step to unlocking France's economic potential.

    BTW, I enjoyed my studies in Metz when I was there. It was a beautiful town and full of friendly people. Cheers.

  • ||

    Paul is the first candidate, of either party, to run on genuinely libertarian priciples. As libertarians and lovers of freedom, we MUST support his candidacy en masse or completely abandon any hope of transmitting our message on a national scale. Sadly, I predict that we will fall prey to the lingering tendency on our part to infighting, complacency and near total disunity. I pray I am wrong . . .

  • ||

    Robert | July 17, 2007, 10:10am | #
    I've been in this longer than Jesse Walker and probably as long as A.K. Smith. I do think Ron Paul has a decent shot at vice prez if he plays his cards right -- doing well in pre-primary polls, then dropping out in time to let the front runners bash each other into incompatibility. I shudder, however, to think of Dr. Paul as sec'y of st.

    Robert - If you've been in this movement anywhere near as long as I have, then you know that Ron Paul as vice president or secretary of anything is an impossibility. Those positions only go to the "good soldiers" of the Republican party. Not to the rabble rousers. And even though Dr. Paul's tone is civil and his manner shy and retiring to a fault, he is the worst type of rabble rouser in the eyes of the Republican establishment. A.K. Smith

  • ||

    Ron Paul is going to win the Presidency.

  • ||

    Jose Ortega y Gasset | July 17, 2007, 9:57am | #
    I walked out of my office last night to hear Jesse on WBAL 1090. Now that was a strange moment.

    I agree with Jesse. A successful push by Ron Paul could shape public policy in a positive way (at least for folks with libertarian leanings). On the other hand, imagining that Paul has a realistic chance of winning is just spanking the monkey. The Internet is a series of little echo boxes. Sure, get excited. Woo hoo. When I see Ron Paul getting the AARP endorsement, then I'll start paying attention. Until then, my life savings is available for wagering.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Jesse - I don't know you, but I have this idiot sister who knows nothing about politics, or anything else. And when I mentioned Ron Paul's name she had never heard of him, yet she dismissed him with a waive of her hand saying, "He doesn't have a chance."
    She doesn't know what he stands for. She doesn't know that he's been elected to congress ten times. She doesn't know anything except that she hates Hilary Clinton and she's ashamed of herself for voting for George W. Bush . . . twice. And yet, she's come to the same conclusion as you. So what you're saying doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out. Sure, the odds are tremendously stacked against Ron Paul winning. But just today, he showed up at 3% in the Gallup poll. the margin of error is 5%. So he could be as high as eight, or as low as negative 2%. The point being that he is showing up even though he's often not included in the questions asked by the pollsters. I was polled recently. My choices? Judy Ruliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, John McCain. . . . . and that's all. Not even a choice for "other."

    When a candidate can get 3% and has not run a single commercial or had a single commentator comment that he could win, I think that's possibly a significant showing.

    Will he win? I think your money would be safe. Is he increasing support? Yes. Does he have motivated troops, willing to work for him? Yes. Does it take a moron to bet his life savings on him? Yes. Does it take a genius to try to look smart by saying he can't win? Obviously not.

  • ||

    Someone (Boston T. Party?) once called primary elections the "soft white underbelly" of the political establishment. Why? Because turnout is so low that a small but dedicated group of voters could nominate a candidate the establishment would never approve of.

    Would such a candidate then be doomed in the general election? Not necessarily. Many voters just punch the ticket for the party label. Others vote on one or two main issues. Some attempt to judge the honesty and integrity of the candidates. A few are won over by charisma.

    I've never understood why the liberty movement doesn't use this strategy. With turnout at 20% in the primaries, say 10% in each party, a movement with 5% support could nominate major party candidates. In most districts, the predominant party nominee wins easily. This strategy uses the apathy of the average voter as a strength.

    Contrast this with trying to start (or build) a pro-liberty third party. Even if you have 5% support, many votes never materialize because of the "wasted vote" syndrome. Apathetic mainstream voters reflexively punch the ballot for their favorite major party, or take their cue from the mainstream media and polls, which paint your party as irrelevant. You need to reach the 35% support level to win a three-way race, but it's tough to do when you get 1 to 2 percent of the vote at most.

  • ||

    Excellent article. I want to believe Paul has a chance but have been burned so many times I am leery of having getting my hopes up again. On the other hand Paul is rekindling those hopes again and maybe there is a fire in there yet. Go Ron Paul. You got my vote!

  • ||

    I still think if "The Surge" doesn't work out, that GOP primary voters may well be savvy enough to realize a Republican can't win in Nov 08 unless he is credibly against the Iraq war.

    Thus Ron Paul might actually be a shoe in to get the Republican Party nomination.

    If Jesse can say he has no chance, I can say he is a shoe in (caveat: with "Surge" failure) to win.

    I know no one wants to talk about it, but if per chance he does manage to lose, he may well have done enough to become a fixture on the tv show circuit (not to mention a syndicated column), much like Pat Buchanan did when he made a showing as an anachronistic outsider, but with some sense (as opposed to Buchanan). Imagine a libertarian the mainstream media will actually talk to all the time!

  • ||

    Our country needs a radical turn-a-round, at the same time, it's the kind of turn-a-round that will have to have a VERY SIGNIFICANT majority of people behind it to carry it through to its logical conclusion; i.e. decentralization of costly, inefficient, "government services" in exchange for many of the same types of services handled more efficiently and directly at a the local level.

    In other words, as Supporters of Liberty and Ron Paul, our work is just beginning, and the way I see it, if we can't succeed in getting him into the Whitehouse, then that will be a sign to me that "we" as the collective citizenry of this country are not ready for the kind of "Liberty" AND Personal and Community Responsibility that he is, in effect, proposing for all of us.

    For many people, simply "paying their taxes" is (at least in their minds) a way of supporting community (and even foreign) "welfare". Apart from that, they don't really have to "get involved" in solving the "problems" of their local communities or the world.

    I had a conversation with one of these people just recently, and my rebuttal was this: you may be paying your taxes, but has the government really done with that money what you hoped it would do? What percentage of each of the dollars you have contributed do you think actually serve the purposes for which you think they are intended? And how do you feel about having given up your control over the more personal choices you could have made if you had that money to spend or to contribute more directly to the causes you care about?

    I feel we are dehumanized by not being able to make those choices ourselves and I KNOW RON PAUL UNDERSTANDS THIS. I hope his current supporters will also recognize this most basic power of FREEDOM and FREE CHOICE as it relates to how we share our Personal Resources (both tangible and intangible).

    Respectfully,

    Lori

  • ||

    I like the gist of the article, and I think Ron Paul's biggest challenge is defeating the republican machinery and actually getting a fair chance at the nomination.

    As a commenter mentioned, the general election would then be a cake walk. Given that Ron Paul would have gained enough exposure to get the nomination, I don't see a democrat in the running that could beat him.

    Another commenter mentioned that among those who have actually heard Ron Paul's message, a large majority would vote for him today. And that fits with the national polls--The number of people who recognize his name is increasing at about the same rate as those who say they're likely to vote for him.

    And yet another commenter mentions switching parties to gain the privilege of hanging their chad for Ron Paul.

    I see similar comments everywhere. About the only one I haven't seen on this thread yet is, "I've never contributed to a candidate before, but I've sent $$ to Ron Paul."

    So that will be my input here.

  • ||

    Thank heaven there are fewer and fewer people around today who bend over as easily as Jose, Edward and Dave seem to be doing.
    Thankfully,
    a whole bunch of us have turned off the msm editorials and actually started thinking for ourselves - because of that Ron Paul has more than a good chance.

  • ||

    If Ron Paul wins the election, send me an email and I'll post an apology for doubting him. No, I won't be writing one in advance.

  • ||

    "a whole bunch of us have turned off the msm editorials and actually started thinking for ourselves - because of that Ron Paul has more than a good chance"

    And that right there is the problem with the internet's echo chamber. You don't have to agree with the MSM editorials, and you don't even have to consider them reasonable, but you'd damned well better pay attention to them if you are serious about running an actual campaign, and not a wank-fest for fellow travellers. Or you could tune it out, have a great time ,and feel like you're starting a revolution. Until the night when you are utterly and completely shocked that he doesn't even come close to winning.

    All of Howard Dean's "NetRoots" supporters were SO SURE that he was going to win, I mean they'd all told each other so a billion times!

  • ||

    PS The difference is Ron Paul doesn't get to be chairman of the Republican Party afterwords.

  • ||

    I'm only being critical because I think libertarian ideas are not well served by spending the money on unwinnable elections every four years. That money would be FAR better spent on campaings to forward libertarian ideas themselves, whether it be through commercials or Michael Moore-sized documentaries (some support for a guy like Evan Maloney at BrainTerminal could have a huge impact). Also, concentrating funding and efforts into winnable local/state elections, or maybe even House elections would make a bigger difference than a libertarian losing the presidency by 50 trillion votes every four years.
    Think of how many tax/business/emminent domain issues could be positively influenced by these lesser offices.
    A .45 caliber handgun is a lot more powerful than a .22, but a .22 that hits its target has infinitely more stopping power than the .45 which misses every time.
    I think Sun Tzu said that.

  • ||

    I like your comment Dave because we do have the same kind of problem here in France :
    Is it preferable to spend money and energy to spread libertarian ideas in a direct manner or to invest in
    presidential election ?
    The fact is that presidential election is much more efficient as a vector because people are about to make a
    choice. Once every 5 years, they are ready to spend 5 "active" minutes of their lives to the politic field.
    Most of the time in between, you can do nothing but miss your target because they are simply NOT INTERESTED.

    It's a common mistakes for guys like you and me very personnaly concerned with political life to PROJECT ourselves
    to the rest of the population. For most of people, politic is just like canvas. Do you feel interest by canvas ? You should.
    It's a passionating world... Among so many others.

    that's why a agree with Lori a little ahead: Libertarianism (?) goes along with individual and collective responsability and involvment.
    Are all those supporters of Ron Paul ready to dedicate a bigger part of their free time to support local life, civil societies,
    managment of towns and states ? This goes along with liberal ideas.
    For Ron Paul, this is self evident : he returns his pensions to the tresury and keep his activities as a physician while going
    to the congress. Are we all ready to do so ?
    Swiss politicians do. They do not have any compensation as deputy or (equivalent) senator and seperate their life in two: morning
    for congress, afternoon for their job.
    This is another R LOVE UTION !

  • Robert||

    If you've been in this movement anywhere near as long as I have, then you know that Ron Paul as vice president or secretary of anything is an impossibility. Those positions only go to the "good soldiers" of the Republican party.

    And he can win good soldier credit by building up considerable support before the primaries start, then bowing out in the name of party unity.

    And I would not be so sanguine about his chances of winning the presidency in 2008 against whichever Democrat runs. I actually think he'd be slaughtered as Goldwater was. Only this time it'd be the Democrat running as a hawk, portraying the Republican as an extreme dove.

    If we can get to some later election when foreign affairs don't loom as large, then I think Ron Paul could be a serious contender, provided he's achieved a higher office by then.

  • ||

    Actually, I think it's his foreign policy that is winning him the most attention and potential voters.

    And there is no amount of "good soldiering" Ron Paul could do that would get him anywhere but what he's always been, the congressman from Lake Jackson. And even that is over the objection of the Republican party.

    I doubt if he would win a general election. But if he had gotten the R nomination by some lightning strike, it's not impossible. There is a lot of country that voted for the insipid George Bush twice, and his insipid father once. That land mass exists somewhere between New York and California. Being a states' rights candidate should have some appeal there.

  • ||

    Mark my words.. If he doesn't win the Repub nomination it will only be becasue of internal caucus shenanigans.

    Only one person who I've talked to about him isn't going to be voting for him... and even he said he would look into it more seriously.. And I'm is SEATTLE for Christ's sake.

    This country is so messed up right now, and people are beginning to understand how much the government messes up everyones lives. I have, within the last week, had West Coast Progressives grinning from ear to ear at the thought of destroying the IRS and fixing the money supply.

    Things should start to get real hot in the next few weeks, as the 20,000 or so volunteers accross the country move from organizing to canvassing.

    Chris

  • MO||

    A.K. Smith
    Liberty is not a gradualist phenomenon. Socialism and fascism creep toward their goals. Liberty either breaks out in a thunderclap or not at all.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I'm gonna be diggin on that all day

    Also, this discussion board is of no help, my inner thoughts have been vacillating between the irreconcilable duality of absolute Ron-Paul-hysteria and languid statism. I see no way forward; If only, to muster the grapes necessary to simply vote for the candidate I most like.

  • ||

    Right on; the reason the Ron Paul campaign has legs is the fact that he is perhaps the only candidate with solid principles. Furthermore these principles of No Force and No Fraud are the basic tenants of all major religions of the world.

    I hope everyone will tell their friends about Ron Paul.

  • ||

    Screw you and you're he can't win attitude. He's growing like wildfire and there is plenty of time left. Suck my big fat balls. There I said it.

  • ||

    Ron Paul could very well be the next president. If Ron Paul is to become the next president, it would require a seismic social shift in what Americans believe the roll of government (politicians and bureaucrats) should play in our lives.
    Seismic social shifts have happened many times in our history.
    A good example happened during the last few weeks of the 1980 Carter, Reagan campaign. It seamed that voters realized, almost overnight, that the government (politicians and bureaucrats) wasted our hard earned money and they had, had enough. This awareness was a seismic social shift and like all seismic shifts they happen in a relatively short amount of time. We could very well be on the verge of another seismic social shift. It is a very exciting time.
    P.S. (Put the latest comments at the top.)

  • rho||

    Jesse:
    Paul's campaign could still do a lot of good without "winning." If he, say, gets more than 10% in the New Hampshire primary, it would have a real impact on how the pro-war candidates behave & it might pave the way for an independent antiwar campaign down the road, if not by Paul then perhaps by Hagel or someone like that.

    No. It will never be that. Libertarians and libertarians and conservative Republicans would do well to see the Paul candidacy as their last stand. The GOP gatekeeping apparatus that you reference will forever keep libertarian ideals out of the arena of ideas, as libertarianism has no value to a political party. Worse than that, it's antithetical to a Party.

    This is not to say that you should hook your last hopes to Ron Paul, but you do fight every fight as if it is your last. Compromise never swings towards the libertarian--short of complete surrender the only choice is eternal combat.

  • ||

    How sad that no one here seems to understand that this is about winning. No wonder American politics is such a mess. Has the physic greed of Americans become so massive that even amongst those professing to put the needs of the country ahead of their own, and amongst those professing to be libertarian, that they cannot let themselves back a losing horse because it is the right thing to do?

  • Custom Nike Dunk||

    thanks

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