Ron Paul and the Election of 2012
by Walter Block
Recently by Walter Block: If Catholics Adhere to Their Traditions, They Will Vote for Ron Paul
How is Ron Paul doing so far, in the election of 2012? One way to look at this is via the table below:
Results for U.S. Republican Presidential Primaries ~
>99% Source: AP
Here, it does not look as if the Congressman from Texas is doing all that well. No outright winner. A string of thirds and fourths. Is he about to be tailed out of the election? Is he about to be turfed off, by the mainstream media that would like nothing better? Not a bit of it.
Suppose we were to greatly simplify the electoral statistics mentioned above concerning the results of the first eight Republican Presidential Primaries. Let us consider not the actual votes, but, merely, the places taken by the four remaining candidates. Then, the table would be greatly simplified, and look like this:
State Candidate ~ Gingrich Paul Romney Santorum Colorado 3 4 3 1 Missouri (4) 3 2 1 Minnesota 4 2 3 1 Nevada 2 3 1 4 Florida 2 4 1 3 New Hampshire 3 2 1 4 Iowa 4 3 2 1 South Carolina 1 4 2 3 Total 23 25 14 18
About this new way of looking at the matter, a few comments.
The lowest ranking is of course the best. Based on these very rough statistics Romney is now in first place with a score of 14, Santorum places second with 18, Gingrich shows at third with 23, and Paul brings up the rear of the pack with 25.
I had to insert a ranking of fourth for Gingrich in Missouri, because he was not on the ballot there. However, there are several other states for which neither Gingrich nor Santorum qualify for ballot status, such as Virginia. Only Paul and Romney will contest these states. Thus, I will in future award Gingrich and Santorum with a 3.5 "place" in each of these cases. So, while Paul is now in fourth or last place, the prognostication is for future improvement, at least vis a vis these two candidates, is very positive. On the basis of this I offer a prediction: the last two candidates standing will be Paul and Romney. (Well, it is actually more of a hope than a predication, but who knows.)
A question immediately arises: is Paul even now keeping "touch" with the pack? Is he in the race, or is he so far behind at this early date that he is not even part of the story? It is difficult, on the basis of these simplified statistics, to draw any such conclusion. Yes, the duo of Romney and Santorum are now showing some space between them on the one hand, and Gingrich and Paul on the other, but, unless we are willing to stipulate that Gingrich, too, has lost contact with the leaders, the same cannot be said about Paul, either. For there are only two "points" separating the third and fourth place holders. This is important, given the cries from the mainstream media likely to occur to the effect that Paul is just confusing matters, and should drop out of the race. No, he is in it, all the way in it, and in it to stay. If there is an argument for him leaving, it applies to Gingrich as well. Here is my second predication: one of the four candidates will drop out before Tampa, and it will not be Paul. I suspect it will be Gingrich, or, possibly, Santorum.
But, so far, the other three candidates have each won, outright, in at least one race. The same cannot be said for Paul. Alas, u2018tis true. However, this is by no means necessary for success. There are many NCAA track meets where the team that wins the grand prize never succeeds in placing any of its runners in first place. Their team victory is fashioned on the basis of many second, third, and even fourth and fifth place finishes. Ron, a Pennsylvania state champion in the 200 meter sprint, should know this full well, as he has taken part in many such types of track meets. It is entirely possible for Dr. Paul to never reach the top perch on the podium, and nevertheless register the best result, amass the most electoral votes. So far, he has registered two second place finishes, in eight tries. If he steps up his game just a little bit, and emulates this a bit more, he does not need the winner's circle for success, although that of course would be nice.
And, each of his three opponents has Achilles' heels. Indeed, they all have the same identical weakness. Namely, they are all weather vanes. Each of them, when attacking the other two for "flip-flopping," are entirely correct. Indeed, this is one of the rare occasions where I agree with all three of them, when they criticize the other two on this ground. Well, they are all statist warmongers too, but why be critical?
It cannot be denied that Congressman Paul, too, has "weaknesses." Why, this maniac favors freedom across the board, without fear or favor. He, idiotically, wants to apply the Golden Rule, hold on, wait for it, you had better be sitting down when you read these next few words, to foreigners. He got booed for saying this in the South Carolina debate by a bunch of chicken hawks, but members of our armed forces support this basic element of Judeo Christianity. So much so that they donate more money to him than to all of his four competitors (I include Obama, here), put together. I just can't wait until these soldiers hold their march in favor of Dr. Paul. Stupidly, he wants to End the Fed, HUD, Fannie, Freddie, the sources of our present great prosperity, as everyone in the mainstream media knows full well. He doesn't think too highly of the Department of Education, which is responsible in part for our present high student scores; he must be against education per se! What a horrible person he is. Brainlessly, he wants to end our war on drugs, and put these substances on some sort of par with alcohol. Hey, you can't get any more dim-witted than that. Why, millions of (disproportionately black) innocent prisoners who never engaged in any violent acts would be freed if this jerk had his way. So, yes, he, too, has his weaknesses. But, hopefully, as more and more people hear his views, these will be converted to strengths.
But he also has his strengths, even at present. He is what we call in sports, a "winner." He has won 12 elections in his congressional district, amongst the voters who know him best. In contrast, in sharp contrast, the other three are "losers." Santorum lost badly in his Pennsylvania race for the Senate, as did Romney vis a vis Ted Kennedy for the Massachusetts senate seat. And, the less we say about Gingrich's being booted out of congress on morals charges, to say nothing of his personal life, the better. This man's middle name must be "loser."
Onward and upward for Ron Paul!
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.