Will Ron Paul Disappoint Me?

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In the early,
rural primaries and caucuses, Ron Paul has achieved very weak results.
Sure, he took second place in Nevada (misrepresented on some news
pages) and is practically guaranteed to sweep his home state of
Texas, and has gotten ten to even fourteen percent of the votes
in some states, but no matter how you slice it, this is not a favorable
omen when the leading candidates are pulling numbers in the thirty
percent range. Nevertheless, Representative Paul's massive online
donations have been coming from somewhere. It is not out of the
question to think that he has strongholds in internet-heavy suburban
centers in populous states and that these have yet to show his true
strength. It is also possible that his organization will streamline
their processes and get the message across: if people don't vote
in the primaries, Ron Paul will not be on the Republican ballot
this fall. Would a write-in campaign succeed? These are not likely
outcomes, but they are possible.

The question
remains: will Ron Paul disappoint me? Tens of thousands of people
have voted for him, donated to him, believed in his message, and
argued with their friends, co-workers, families, and neighbors trying
to convey the message that real change is possible. Are we all to
be disappointed?

Contenders
are dropping out because they are tired, because finances are strained,
to spend time with their families, or because the votes just aren't
there. It is conceivable that Mr. Paul might be beset by one or
more of these problems. We'll find out in just a few days now whether
his political message has really penetrated to a significant number
of people, and whether they will take the time to vote, so that
they might say when they had an opportunity to change the future
of America, they seized the chance, and cast the vote. At the end
of the primary process, it is possible that not enough people will
have received or understood the message, that they did not take
the time and opportunity to vote for Mr. Paul, or perhaps even that
the time for his ideas has not yet arrived. If this is true, then
I will be disappointed in the people of this nation. While their
spirits may be weak or floundering in a mishmash of propaganda and
conditioning which might not be broken overnight, they have the
ability to change. If they have closed their minds for reason of
their own, in this I will be disappointed. I will be disappointed
that we must wait longer to clean up the sludge that has accumulated
through decades of mismanaged government. I may be disappointed
that the candidates who are leading right now will bring only more
of the same mismanagement and socialism, leading us down the same
path toward failure and shame as a nation, as a people.

But I will
not be disappointed in Ron Paul. This man, who has given so much
of his life in service of the nation he loves, who has thrown himself
into the harshest political race anyone could ever think to endure,
has not failed. He may have been reviled, ridiculed or rejected
for having the audacity to propose meaningful change, but he has
been steadfast and strong. Win or lose now, his message has been
delivered to tens of thousands of people who are only now beginning
to feel their strength.

As the messenger
who bore news of the Battle of Marathon to Athens, Mr. Paul's campaign
may not ultimately survive, but the run, the delivery of the badly-needed
message, is what will be remembered. He has already outdistanced
some runners: Thomspon and Hunter have dropped out. Giuliani is
faltering, and Ron Paul continues. If he completes the race and
the message should be "Victory!" then so much the better,
but no person with a heart or soul could be disappointed in his
magnificent run.

When the time
comes, then, I will proudly cast my vote without fear of disappointment.
I will feel only pride in doing the right thing, in voting for the
ideas of freedom and good government. I will never, ever, relinquish
the dream that we can restore this nation, to promote liberty and
free trade, to once again raise that torch of liberty as high as
it may reach for all to see. I will vote for Ron Paul because his
message cannot disappoint me.

January
30, 2008

Kevin Hildebeidel
[send him mail]
has his law degree and undergraduate degrees in political science
and history with a minor in economics. He practices law in Fairfax,
Virginia where he encounters the effects of loose credit in courts
every week.

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