The Long Tail and Long Reach of Ron Paul

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Am I betting
against the long tail in the primaries? No way! Why not? Well, it
seems that every time I bet against the tail, it ends up whipping
me back to reality.

Two recent
examples come to mind.

Jorma Kaukonen
played lead guitar for the 60’s rock group Jefferson Airplane and
later for the blues-influenced Hot Tuna. While still being a great
guitarist, Jorma is now a long-tail musician, with stadium concerts
an almost-forgotten past.

In order to
publicize his latest CD of new music, Jorma staged a free mini-concert
and CD signing at a local music store. I decided to take my family
to enjoy the music and the scene.

The night before
the show, my wife asked me what time I planned to leave the house
the following morning. Given that I am a long-tail audiophile and
that Jorma is a long-tail artist, and that the only notice for this
event was a sentence or two tucked deep in the local newspaper,
I saw no reason to arrive early. I fully expected to be competing
for seats or standing room with only a few other long-tail stragglers.
Boy was I wrong.

The morning
awoke to an unexpected cold front, with blustery, chilling winds
and occasional showers. Not a day to venture out for just any old
event, yet the long tail came to the music store in full force,
and I was out a performance. No concert, no signing, nothing. By
the time we had arrived, the parking lot was packed with a large
group of fellow long-tailers, all facing the elements without any
chance of seeing Jorma, even from a distance. Yes, we had arrived
too late to get a spot inside the store, and barely found standing
room on the parking lot. The long tail whipped me again.

You see, just
because someone appeals to the not-so-mainstream does not mean that
he cannot create a tipping-point crowd. While Jorma showed me this
in clear detail, a more recent example is of immediate interest.

On December
16, Ron Paul proved for the umpteenth time that his long tail could
create a scene. And, Paul’s record fund raising — money received
from tens of thousands of lovers of Liberty — demonstrates that
his long tail can change the face of politics in a flash.

Given that
long-tailers tend to be committed and willing to face the wind and
rain — note the crowd at the Ron Paul Tea Party held the same day
in snowy, windy Columbus, Ohio; and given that primaries typically
have a low voter turnout; it’s easy to see how just a small percentage
of the population can change history. It certainly did on December

However, instead
of a being just a long-tail candidate, I claim that Ron Paul is
also a long-reach candidate. How else do you explain the fear he
creates within the establishment, on both sides of the aisle?

Economist Frdric
Bastiat of France wrote about a similar situation back in the 1800’s.
While serving as an elected official, he transformed a society of
local labors into a committee — the Lower Council of Labor — that
was comprised of those who were not part of the established trade
associations — the Upper Councils of Industry.

To understand
the thoughts of these folks, he had them break into subcommittees
of the various trades and then asked each subcommittee to answer
the question of whether tariffs and other forms of protection helped
or hampered them.

Without the
voice of the power-hungry demagogues — the establishment — spouting
lies and nonsense, the subcommittees unanimously decided that government
policies harm, they never help. That's right, the common man wanted
Liberty in order to go about his business unhampered by the political

I believe that
absent the DC blob and its mind-numbing talking heads, this country
would once again turn toward Liberty, as Liberty still streams through
our veins.

Yes, the ideas
and ideals of Ron Paul are still the essence of this great nation.
And, once he makes inroads in the early primaries, the greater number
of voters will begin to hear the truths Paul speaks. His speeches
will reach into the hearts and minds of voters who have long been
subject to manipulations and lies, awakening the spirit of freedom
that lies within all of us — well, almost all of us, as it is fair
to assume that the other candidates hear, instead, a sinister inner

Finally, put
Paul head-to-head against whichever spinning, statist candidate
survives the Democratic primary, and we will see Liberty win in

I only had
to stand once in a music store parking lot, facing the wind and
rain, in order to recognize the power of the long tail. And, I only
had to hear Paul speak once in order to feel my renewed passions
for Liberty flow warm through my veins, and to recognize the long
reach which freedom has on the increasingly oppressed masses of
this country.

Yes, the long
tail and the long reach of Liberty will win in the end. Go Ron Paul.

20, 2007

Fedako [send him mail] is a
homeschooling father of five who lives in Lewis Center, OH, and
maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

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