Lessons From Wyoming

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Last weekend I
blogged
about the Wyoming GOP county conventions rejecting Ron
Paul’s bid, denying him any delegates. I pointed out that the voting
was mainly
restricted
to party hacks elected in 2006. However, I was happily
corrected that the Ron Paul forces made headway against the Wyoming
machine, losing a delegate spot by just a few votes. Here’s their
story. ~ Eric Garris

Let
me tell you all a story of how it all went down,
In the barrens of Wyoming, in an isolated town…

Wyoming's counties
chose their delegates to go to the national convention on Saturday,
January 5th. Some counties had little or no organization
and few active supporters, but for me and the rest of our meetup
group, it was the culmination of a lot of work and campaigning.
In the end, my county gave the Ron Paul delegate 45.6% of the vote.
We stormed the barricades, crashed their party, and almost, almost,
won it all. Unfortunately, Romney's guy got 54%. So we made a good
show. If we could have switched over 4 Romney people or got 8 more
of our people out, we would have had it (you can calculate this,
but the result was 37–44). Oh well.

It was probably
largely my fault for not doing enough early enough to get everyone
registered and jumped through the hoops back in December. We had
several Ron Paul supporters that could not vote because they hadn't
met registration deadlines and this and that, some that even came
to the caucus this Saturday (for moral support and to see it, man
the table, and help however they could; they couldn't vote, due
to not doing aforementioned hoop-jumping). Despite the discouraging
loss, step back and I think you will realize that 45% is not exactly
haplessly weak. We did well! Ron Paul clearly had more enthusiastic
supporters at the caucus than any other candidate, and we won the
straw poll at the caucus with a plurality. We just couldn't win
the real vote because we didn't have a raw majority — the other
neo-con candidates' supporters joined hands in neo-con brotherhood
to vote for the Romney guy.

Even one delegate
from Wyoming would have been major victory. Iowa gave Paul 2 delegates,
after a ton of focus, time, campaigning there, millions of dollars
spent, etc., and they are a much larger state with millions of people.
If little Wyoming with just a half-million people could have got
1 delegate for Paul, especially when we've had very little attention
from the national RP campaign, I would have considered that we pulled
our own weight.

Alas, it was
not to be for my county.

And finally,
I saved the best (or maybe the worst) news for last: in Fremont
County we also lost… by one vote. One vote.

Ron Paul is
a front-runner, make no mistake. Non-front-runners don't get 45%
of the vote. We just weren't very organized.

The lesson
is this: All you meetup people need to realize: you ARE the campaign.

If YOU do not
make it happen, no one else will!

Own your turf.

Your county/town/suburb/whatever
is Ron Paul territory now, as of this moment.

You will inundate
your streets with signs.

You will put
slim jims on car windows everywhere.

You will talk
about Ron Paul to merchants you visit.

You will wear
a Ron Paul shirt and other gear everywhere you go.

This will help
you to run across other supporters who will comment on your shirt.

You will get
the contact info of any supporters you meet.

You will follow
up with these supporters, get them out to your meetups, go over
to their houses, associate with them and work with them.

You will research
your own state's convoluted process and do everything you can to
convince these people to do whatever is required to have their voice
heard.

This election
is yours.

You are legend.

You are a one-man
campaign wrecking ball.

You can't win
the nation. But you can win your county or equivalent 35,000-person
area. Or you can at least come up 7 votes short like me. And you
can then be sad and disappointed but you can at least know you can
tell your grandchildren you did something.

I wish I could
come bearing a delegate. I really wanted to. Eight votes made the
difference between sweet, sweet elation and bitter. Bitter. Defeat.
Do better than me. Go win. And remember to have fun.

Be a legend.

January
10, 2008

John
Wiltbank [send him mail] is a
long-time libertarian and an associate of the Free
State Wyoming
, currently living in that state. His
personal web site is here.

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