Ron Paul Republicans

Now that Ron Paul is essentially out of the presidential race, what will happen to the moment? One sentiment I’ve seen repeatedly is that Ron Paul supporters will leave the Republican Party and do something else – the libertarians, some other 3rd party, or just withdrawing from politics entirely.

I hope, instead, that most will stay with the Republican Party. This “Revolution” has created the potential for a Ron Paul faction within the GOP. If it’s only 5% of the party, that’s not huge but it can be meaningful. But if we do it right then maybe we can build the faction to maybe 25%, and that can not only be meaningful but in many cases controlling.

Please understand that I’m not a big fan of political parties, and I’m not alone. George Washington’s farewell address was quite critical of partisanship as well, going on for several paragraphs. Consistent with those concerns, I am not suggesting that Ron Paul supporters become “rah-rah” Republicans who blindly support the GOP candidate in every race. A good Republican can work within the party to promote the kind of candidates he supports, and then vote for someone outside the party in the general election – and the same goes for Democrats.

Especially now where the establishment of the Republican Party has strayed so far from its moorings (as Ron Paul frequently points out), a Republican voting for “other” is perfectly sensible. Republicans used to be against big government. Under the current President Bush, and especially when Republicans controlled Congress, spending went through the roof. A Ron Paul faction within the GOP can push for small government, lower spending, and so on. This is true not only in presidential elections, but at every level of government.

I understand dissatisfaction with the Republican Party. I have dabbled myself in the Libertarian Party. In the end, the third party or independent route is less likely to accomplish meaningful change. If we want to restore small government, respect for the Constitution, and avoid foolish wars like the current one in Iraq, our best odds of doing so are by building a Ron Paul wing of the GOP.

The Ron Paul Revolution: Hope for the Future

In the wake of Super Tuesday, it seems like a number of Ron Paul supporters are disappointed. They shouldn’t be. The campaign so far has invigorated my faith in the American people.

Sure, I would have liked to see Ron Paul win the nomination, and I admit that doesn’t look likely at the moment. But that would have been an unrealistic expectation. Of course we’re not giving up, but the odds look awful long at this point.

I’m excited because he did so well despite a pretty amateurish campaign. Don’t get me wrong on this. Ron Paul and the campaign staff are heroes in my eyes, and the message worked for me. It worked for the base in general, which turned out to be a lot bigger than anyone in the MSM were predicting. Forget about the states where he came in 2nd or broke 20% for a minute. He got 7% in New York State – a bastion of socialist thinking even within Republican circles – without spending any money. Jim Ostrowski was begging them for $50K and they wisely said no. The money was better spent elsewhere, especially in states where it’s not winner-take-all. But the campaign never found a soundbite that reached beyond the base.

Consider all the hurdles that were thrown in front of the Ron Paul campaign. In just about every state the establishment of the GOP lined up behind someone else. Here in NY they lined up behind Giuliani, then switched to McCain when Rudy dropped out. Having the establishment behind you makes a lot of things easier, including getting on the ballot. Even though he got on the ballot everywhere, a lot of work was required and this took away from campaign efforts.

Maybe the biggest hurdle has been bias in the mainstream media. Early on they dismissed him as a flake. After the money bombs they started to pay a little attention to him, but he still got far less coverage than the anointed ones. The media problem was more severe in local markets, as we saw here in Albany.

Rather than dwelling on the past, we need to look to the future. First of all, the nominating process is not over. I’d love to see Ron Paul get enough delegates to matter. Maybe it won’t happen, but then again, maybe it will.

Second, and maybe more important, we have to focus on congressional races this fall. If the same fundraising efforts are devoted to a limited number of congressional campaigns, we can move from one Ron Paul in Congress to a Ron Paul faction in Congress. The movement raised $20M for Ron Paul in the 4th quarter. If the same amount is raised and spread over four or five candidates, that can be huge money in the right congressional districts.

I reviewed the candidates on the PaulCongress website. No one stands out too much, but my personal favorite is Tom Terbolizard. His issue positions are pretty much dead on with Ron Paul. And he’s running for an open seat race in a GOP district, with disarray in the Republican primary. A $5M money bomb for Terbo would be huge in a race like that.

We have an open seat race here in Albany. The district leans Democrat but is winnable. The Dems are in disarray and there is no clear candidate on that side, while no one has stepped up for the GOP yet either. I can’t run for a number of reasons, but I’d love to help a true Ron Paul supporter who is willing to do it.

The other big thing moving forward is finding a message that reaches out beyond the base. I love the Constitution as much as anyone, but I don’t think it works in a soundbite. Like it or not, candidates are often defined by their soundbite. And when they don’t have a clear soundbite, the media defines the candidate however it wants. They did this to Ron Paul in spades.

As should be obvious by the title of this blog, I prefer “Stop Wasting Money” as the centerpiece of any and all soundbites. I believe it worked for me in my 2004 campaign. I saw how it reached people in conversations with many voters. There can be many variations: “Stop wasting money overseas” was really big for me. You can do a lot with “Stop wasting money on X.” But I’m open to other soundbites.

I’m hoping Trevor Lyman stays involved. He has the contact information for many contributors. He could start up a RP Revolution PAC, or some similar organization.

Revolutions usually aren’t won overnight. I’m in this for the long haul. How about you?

More Times Union Bias Against Ron Paul

Today the Times Union staff went over the top. They stuck their fingers in their ears, their heads in the sand, and any remaining journalistic integrity into a dark and smelly hole. The front page has a big story (not as big as the Giants of course) about Super Tuesday. It shows five presidential candidates. On the Democratic side they show Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. On the Republican side they show McCain, Romney and Huckabee. No Ron Paul. Inside – page A4 – they have a more detailed breakdown of “leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.” They break down the same five, again with no mention of Ron Paul.

Let’s see. Ron Paul raised more money in the 4th quarter than any other Republican candidate – and double what Huckabee has raised the entire campaign. Ron Paul reported more cash on hand than any other as well – actually more than the three mentioned Republicans combined. Ron Paul placed second in both Nevada and Louisiana, and a close third in Maine. Mike Huckabee won Iowa and 2nd place in South Carolina. That’s better, but not that much better.

While a lot of major media show some bias, these days it seems like Huckabee is also getting less coverage as well. For some reason the Times Union has singled out Ron Paul. This is hard to understand. I do get the perception that, at this point, he seems to have only a small chance of winning. But the same is true of Huckabee – that’s why other major media are reducing coverage of him as well.

Locally there is a lot more visible grass roots activity for Ron Paul than Huckabee — the Ron Paul signs are everywhere; sign wavers annoy people at many major intersections; there are so many people in the local Meetups that they had to split up. Huckabee doesn’t even have a full delegate slate for New York. He is missing a lot of alternates. He has no delegates at all for district 10, only one delegate in congressional district 3 and only two delegates in districts 5 and 8. Ron Paul has a full slate of three delegates and three alternates in all districts.

So if they’re going to exclude Ron Paul, why include Huckabee? The Times Union has demonstrated a clear and disturbing bias against Ron Paul for this entire campaign. They deprived their readers of information about a candidate, and deprived Ron Paul supporters of a fair hearing for our candidate. Why?

It would be easy to just say they’re evil, but that’s too simplistic. For me, it makes more sense that they just aren’t intelligent enough to deal with him. He doesn’t fit within their extremely limited world view – for them Republicans support the war and Democrats oppose it. Never mind that most congressional Democrats (including Hillary) voted for the war. Ron Paul’s views on the Constitution defy the kind of binary black/white analysis that is routine for the Times Union, and the same goes for a variety of topics such as federalism, monetary policy, and so on. So it’s probably not a consciously evil choice to exclude him from coverage. More likely it’s due to their lack of intellectual capacity.

You might think I’d be worried that the Times Union will somehow retaliate against me, but no. They were extremely biased against our campaign in Guilderland and we won in the face of that. The voters are smarter than that. In the end, Times Union readers don’t really count on the Times Union for meaningful political news. It’s okay for entertaining stories about cats, and the occasional local story, but most readers know that the coverage is limited and they need to do their own research if they want the truth instead of biased fluff.

For more information on media bias, the Times Union and Ron Paul, I wrote last month about the bias against Ron Paul by both the Times Union and Fox News, and back in April about the Times Union’s bias.