Previously by Charles A. Burris: Servants of the Empire
There is much diversionary discussion by both the establishment mainstream media and by some enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters concerning the possibility of an independent or third party campaign for the presidency if Dr. Paul does not obtain the Republican Party 2012 nomination.
I believe this discussion is entirely counter-productive.
The media shills put forth this effort to further marginalize and diminish the serious electoral threat to the GOP power brokers the Paul grass roots insurgency campaign represents. The loyal Paul supporters, while unquestionably dedicated and enthusiastically behind the good Doctor, are incredibly naïve and clueless as to what such a campaign would entail.
As someone who was intimately engaged professionally in the day-to-day mechanics of these types of efforts during three presidential election cycles I would strongly counsel against further discussion of a Ron Paul independent or third party effort.
Dr. Paul has flatly stated when asked about such campaigns: "I don't want to do it!" That should end all further discussion.
Because of his 1988 experience as the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, he knows firsthand the incredible frustration of hearing America described endlessly by media flacks and League of Women Voter harpies as the land of democratic pluralism and electoral freedom of choice but is fully cognizant of the dark reality behind that myth.
The American electoral system is organized into fifty-two different sets of election laws (the federal laws and those of the 50 states and Guam). Each jurisdiction has entirely different ballot petition requirements for third party and independent presidential candidates.
These requirements are onerous, unduly burdensome, and chilling in their effect of squashing voters choosing candidates other than the Democrats and Republicans who draft and vigorously enforce these laws to protect their duopoly. I have been a litigant to several legal challenges to these restrictive laws at the state and federal level, some cases reaching the United States Supreme Court.
Dr. Paul further knows that the vast majority of campaign funds raised in such efforts must be expended, not in advertisements or campaign promotion of ideas, but on petition campaigns and ballot litigation suits. The administrative overhead and manpower requirements of enlisting squads of reputable professional petitioners (u2018Road Warriors") in all fifty states and in every major (and minor) metropolitan area is beyond the organizational imaginations of most Paul supporters who see only the good doctor and his noble ideas. No successful ballot petition campaign relies entirely on volunteers, which is counter-intuitive to virtually all efforts of the Ron Paul Revolution.
Finally, Ron Paul knows firsthand that such challengers are frozen out of the televised presidential debates and interviews on the mainstream network news and talk shows and delegated to the shadows.
To the political establishment and their regimist media, the only viable or acceptable choices are "Coke" versus "Pepsi." A Dr. Paul in the guise of "Dr. Pepper" is not to be permitted (nor that of a "Mr. Pibb Lite" Gary Johnson or "Red Bull" Jesse Ventura rogue candidacy).
All Ron Paul supporters should therefore dedicate themselves fully to his Herculean efforts to winning the upcoming GOP primary battles and then the November 2012 general election.
Charles A. Burris [send him mail] a history instructor in an American high school. Before becoming an educator he was involved in over thirty electoral and ballot petition campaigns for third party/independent candidates throughout the country. He served as national ballot drive coordinator in the 1984 Libertarian Party presidential campaign and as state coordinator of the New Hampshire Libertarian Party in 1978.