Here I am in Krasnodar, Russia. Toward the end of an around the world speaking tour that took me to six countries and some pretty exotic locales, like Krasnoyarsk, Siberia and now this delightful, warm, little town near Sochi and the Black Sea.
One gets an interesting perspective outside the USA. And Russia is the best place of all for getting that perspective. There is so much about Russia that America has dead wrong. And the America media, corrupted by that ignorance, makes no attempt to really understand and get it right.
The opposite is true too, of course. There is much about America that the Russians get wrong. And sometimes, in getting it wrong, one could say they are getting it right. For example, in their experiment in democracy, there are freedoms they have in Russia that are long gone in the USA. It kind of gives one pause.
And so today, with a day off in between speeches, my mind wandered back to a phone call I got from Congressman Ron Paul. It was just before I left the country, so I didn’t have time to tell you about it. But I have been thinking about his campaign and where it goes from here.
The congressman is a pretty classy guy. He was just calling to say thanks for coming to Minneapolis and speaking at his Campaign for Liberty.
But I asked him, “Are you going to run for president next time?”
After all, everything he ever postulated about the fragility of the American banking system and Keynesian economics is coming true before our eyes. Indeed, without a whimper or so much as a one hour special on FOX TV the United States socialized its banks. And this on the watch of a “conservative,” Republican president from Texas.
Ha, they didn’t even invent a new word for “Socialism.” That’s how fast it happened. One day we were all led to believe that Ron Paul’s warnings were bogus and absurd and just a rehash of Ross Perot or worse, some anti-communist, right wing kooks from the 60’s, and none of those things would ever happen. And then the next day, they were openly, blatantly talking about it all in public. And with no shame whatsoever. It sort of takes your breath away.
On the phone call Ron Paul said something about it being too early to decide, and indeed, it is too early for him to say publicly what he is going to do in 2012. Who would listen? We are right now celebrating the most popular President-Elect since Andrew Jackson. But it sure isn’t too early for us to say what we want him to do? I am going to do my next blog on why Ron Paul should run for president again. And I would appreciate your thoughts. Maybe he should hear what we think?
Nor is it too early for him to decide privately. I have been a part of numerous presidential campaigns, in various capacities, and I can tell you that it is a multi-million dollar enterprise and many things take time. Unlike President-Elect, Barack Obama, it took Richard Nixon 16 years. Reagan 10 years. The same for George H. W. Bush who first announced in 1978 but wasn’t elected president until 1988.
Running for president is a bit like building a shopping center. You may have all the money in the world and you may have all the political connections to get you through zoning boards’ decisions. But even working 24 hours a day, with big lights making the night day for three shifts of workers, it still takes a little time to build a shopping center. And there are many things to do when you run for president. The laws and rules are different, state by state, as the Paulistas learned the hard way. It is an extreme extravagance to do it only one time.
That’s why late comers like Fred Thompson in 2008 and Ronald Reagan and John Conally in 1972 and Bill Scranton in 1968, never make it, in spite of positive polls telling them that they can.
And then Ron Paul doesn’t have all the money in the world, nor does he, by the very nature of his populist campaign, have the political connections either.
The point is that Ron Paul was right to tell me he hasn’t decided yet but he sure better tell himself. He must decide soon. There is work to be done. And some of it is done three years out or not at all. More on this in the next blog.