Now, more than ever. Here’s why.
When Ron Paul accepted the idea that, intended by our forefathers or not, we were a nation locked into a two party system and one had better accept that idea or be hopelessly marginalized, he guaranteed that his neo-libertarian ideas would be heard on a national stage. In 2008 he shunned the idea of doing the third party thing, entered the Republican Party presidential race and won a whole new generation of devotees.
Oh, there were purist critics to be sure, old friends of his on the paranoid right. How can you submit to the two party system? They were outraged at this compromise, this constitutional carnality. But before they could grieve too long over the loss of Brother Paul, he skyrocketed to incredible, cult like, popularity and things they had been saying and advocating for years were suddenly racing along the wireless highways of Al Gore’s marvelous invention.
By the way, many of those critics were there in Minneapolis, at his Campaign for Liberty convention, (Ron Paul has a big heart,) selling their books, and admitting to Ron Paul groupies at their tables that, “Yes, he is quite a guy.” And inwardly rolling their eyes and muttering under their breathes to their wives, “I could have done this years ago but I have way too much integrity.”
And their obedient wives were thinking, “Yeah, that’s why we only earned $30,000 last year off your dwindling mailing list of idiots. Thank God, for Ron Paul. Now, at least, we are selling some of your 1960’s ‘classics.’ We may actually be able to get all those boxes out of our garage and park the car in there.”
The fact is, by running for the GOP nomination in 2008, Ron Paul compromised nothing. Unless you think Jesus compromised when he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”
Sure, he has to be sensitive to sacrificing principle to win when that is the very reason people support him and the very reason they are angry at Democrats and Republicans. But the fact is that Ron Paul has lifted the whole, aging, stifling, outdated Neanderthal right wing out of the ditch and up onto dry ground and hitched it to a populist, neo-libertine wagon train. And he has done all of this single handedly, on his broad generous, courageous shoulders. And he has done it without breaking the China.
Oh, there is much, much more. He has woven a slender thread through the crimson cloth of Evangelical Christians and the pink cloth of Gay America, making one garment out of a people who have decided that they never really wanted or needed power, just the guarantee that government would stay out of their lives and not intrude. Who would have thought that this was politically possible?
He has gathered the hurt and wounded families of America who have suffered the extremes of our glorious “War on Crime,” which has become almost Soviet in its unintended consequences.
It is an amazingly diverse and complicated political fabric, with great demographic possibilities.
Still, the question remains, what did it all accomplish? Were the national debates the high watermark? What happened to our new Paulista congressmen and school board members and the remaking of the GOP?
The political reality is this, just as Ron Paul accepted the fact that he had to run in a two party system, he now must accept the fact that he cannot oversee the remaking of the GOP as a coach on the sidelines. Surely the lesson of 2008 made that clear. He has to get in the game. He has to play quarterback. He has to run for president. Again.
The fact is that a successful run for president is the only way to reform the GOP and the only way to take control of the party and the only way to get new congressmen elected. People will only get off the ground if they are shooting at the moon. They need the inspiration of a big dream.
Well, you say, the conditions were right in 2008. We had an unpopular war in Iraq and an unpopular president. And Ron Paul’s moment was great theatre. In one of my earlier blogs I compared it to the little boy who cried, “The Emperor has no clothes.” Ron Paul’s arguments were breathtaking. He was reading the collective minds of millions and saying publicly what they were barely able to admit to themselves, let alone to a spouse or a friend. It came as relief to find that these instinctive feelings, these unconscious worries, rested on a bedrock of principle that someone had been tending and fussing over for years. And when the debates ended, 32 million, grateful, dollars came pouring into the Ron Paul Campaign.
But to relegate the Ron Paul phenomenon to a lucky confluence of events, to say it cannot happen again, is to say it was only a parlor trick and never was an argument based on principles. It is to deny ourselves.
Indeed, the one big, frightening collective thought that has come to the Paulista nation in recent months is the reality of all that he and others have been warning us about. All those things they have been saying about the Federal Reserve and the house of cards of this global world economy are now upon us. If Ron Paul cannot get a political head of steam going in this environment then who can? And if not now, when the daily news confirms their prescience, then when would they ever be able to do it?
We who believe in the original American idea, or even some remote version of it, or ever believe in a free markeplace, must rally now, or forever resign from public life. What will we tell our grandchildren? We didn’t try because we didn’t think we could win? Shouldn’t the American people be given that choice? Shouldn’t the media be forced to confront it as well? Remember, our currently serving lame duck president is a “conservative Republican.” And he willingly “socialized” the American banking system to buy a few good days on the stock market for the Republican nominee.
After being warned about all of this for years, it is still chilling to see it all disappear so quickly, like bath water down the drain. The fact is that Ron Paul must run for president again. He must.
Note: Is he too old? Hell yes, but I will talk to that on Wednesday. And how could he possibly win? I will address that on Thursday or maybe next week. I just got home from an around the world speaking tour, gotta get a nap in before trying to save America.