Kick Butt or Lose

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Recently by Allan Stevo: The Great Debate: How Ron Paul's Presidency Will Reshape America

     

It's long been understood in U.S. politics that the one who wins an election is the one who has the power to treat Americans like total garbage while enriching his buddies. On the other hand, the one who wins the election could do something entirely different from what presidents for years have done. The one who wins the election could wind up being a guiding figure as we Americans tear down the system that is slowly enslaving us. That's what we hope for. That's what we work for. If we work tirelessly and effectively, that's what we'll achieve.

I write this not for the folks who are opposed to political participation, but for those who recognize the importance of political participation. Working half-heartedly or ineffectively in these times that so matter is simply not enough, because victory is so close for a candidate who is so threatening to the forces that oppose freedom.

What Ron Paul threatens to do is to take the free meal ticket from many men and women who currently depend on government's corrupt corporate "welfare" in order to live well. There are lots of people who need Ron Paul to lose, because they see that their livelihoods depend on it. Simply sharing links on Facebook and getting into online debates will do little to make Ron Paul president; in fact, the powers that be would love to see Ron Paul's proponents stay online "where they belong" or just coming outside every once in a while to wave signs. Those actions are entirely ineffective in winning a campaign. Do them and you are just as bad as any neo-con — because you have a chance to effectively fight for liberty, yet you do nothing. Your silence, your comfortable obeisance in your day-to-day life, only strengthens the existing system. You spend your day strengthening that system, just like a neo-con. In fact, I'd say you're even worse than a neo-con, because a neo-con doesn't get it. A neo-con isn't wasting the opportunities to destroy the shackles, because he doesn't feel the shackles. You who feel those shackles, yet do nothing effective in response to them — you are villains in this story.

The first day this spring when Ron Paul loses an online poll is the day that I know the movement has refocused its attention on something better — winning a race instead of acting like we've already won a race. Rejoicing about our strength and our numbers is exactly that — acting like we've won a race. We have no reason for gloating, yet so many Ron Paul supporters gloat. We have not won the race.

We can do this. We can win this election. America is ready for us to step up and lead. If we don't, if we can't capture the nomination and then the presidency, well, we are losers. We are pathetic. We had the most beautiful possible chance in our hands — a peaceful revolution — and we blew it. I'm 32 years old. I know that in the next 12 months, the people of this age will earn one of two titles that will be applied to us 40 years from now — either we become "the greatest generation" or we become "the ineffective screw-ups that doomed America even though they clearly saw the future." We'll get other chances, but this will likely be the easiest, most comfortable method of change.

Ben Novak, in a letter written to Ron Paul supporters in April of 2008, pointed out some very important issues — the old media has stopped reliably delivering truthful coverage; the internet exposes that; as the American people aren't stupid, this situation will eventually lead to great outcry from the American people; Ron Paul is positioned, and has been positioning himself for decades to be exactly where he is at this moment in history, to be a leader capable of correcting the course in America. I'll let Novak speak for himself:

"I like to think (but do not really know) that this is the way Ron Paul understands the situation. As the old saying goes, u2018Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.' Well, RP has the idea, and he has the wisdom and the patience to wait till its time has come. So far, he has beautifully positioned himself for when that time comes. He has waged his campaign to take the word out to the people. Only a few heard, but they have seen for themselves how the MSM works. Ron Paul has earned their trust. He is the only one who has come through this campaign more trusted than he entered it. One out of twenty voters already knows and trusts him.

"That means when the wind of truth begins to blow, each one of those one-in-twenty Ron Paul supporters need only bring the facts to nine or ten people to create a majority in the whole country. And when the jolts and shocks of reality hit and break through the web of obfuscation and lies of the MSM, people will be looking for real facts and truth. And Ron Paul supporters will already be armed to give it to them.

"And it may come sooner than expected. All the things Ron Paul said about the economy are coming true in spades — with credit collapses, falling dollars, rising oil prices, and recession (perhaps soon to become “Depression”), and most of all, spreading wars and endless quagmires."

Think about Novak's observation — 1 in 20 voters trusted Ron Paul in 2008. If those one in twenty each find 9 or 10 friends to bring to the polling place on the morning of the primaries, we win the nomination. Part of the good news is that more than 1 in 20 voters trust Ron Paul today. Maybe it's 2 in 20 or 3 in 20. We don't know. There is someone out there who does know. And while our movement is good at fundraising, good at being heard, good at winning straw polls, there's no room for resting on our laurels right now, because the truth of the matter is ugly. Here comes the most important thing I have to tell you. It's that defeat is just around the corner, waiting for you and me to sit idle.

The Numbers

The numbers that Ron Paul has today aren't going to cut it. That's the fact of the matter. If you are reading this right now, you need to personally deliver 10 votes for Ron Paul on election day. You need to personally bring in 10 voters who otherwise wouldn't have voted for Ron Paul. If you bring in a minimum of 10 voters and thousands of other Ron Paul supporters bring in a minimum of 10 voters, Ron Paul wins. One vote doesn't cut it and seven votes won't cut it. You bring in 10 voters, you motivate the people around you to bring in 10 voters, you make sure those 10 voters show up to vote for Ron Paul on the morning of the primaries and Ron Paul wins this nomination.

You don't do that and Ron Paul loses. Ron Paul becomes the greatest candidate who never became president.

In 2008, on the Eve of the New Hampshire primary I was talking to Fox News commentator Frank Luntz, the author of "The Contract with America," the man that freedom lovers despise for his Goebbels-ian ways. He bet me $1,000 that he could call Ron Paul's percentage. He knew Ron Paul wouldn't see 20%, because Frank Luntz knew the available polling data, and he knew what the good data was saying. He confidently stretched out his hand to me to offer the $1,000 wager. I refused to accept the bet and shake Frank Luntz's hand, and with his confidence Frank Luntz quieted me down for a few minutes.

I could tell that Frank Luntz didn't really want to say that to me, because he didn't want to hurt my feelings with that certainty. I think somewhere in him, he appreciated my devotion to the principles of freedom. In time, I would come to realize that Frank Luntz was right. Ron Paul supporters were out shouting and waving signs; we were the most populous on the streets, the loudest, the most excited, and we definitely had the biggest signs.

However, when it came down to what mattered in an election, we didn't deliver what was needed for our candidate of choice. We lost because we didn't deliver. I spent weeks in New Hampshire in 2008 campaigning for Ron Paul. To this day, I don't know if I brought in even 10 votes for Ron Paul in all of those phone calls I made for him in the Live Free or Die State, all of those hours of hearing what was on the minds of voters and asking for a vote for my candidate. I didn't personally follow up; I didn't personally get those voters into the polling place on election day. I wasn't the one following through, so I have no idea how, or if, that follow-through happened. You see, no matter how many people you "convert" to Ron Paul's ideas of freedom — something plenty of Ron Paul supporters brag about — if you don't get them to vote for Ron Paul on election day, you've accomplished little toward winning a race.

This year, I'll bring in many multiples of that. I won't be talking to strangers; I'll be talking to my social precinct. I'll be reaching out to the people around me.

In elections, you don't get into a fight that you don't have a big enough stick to win. You get into fights to win. You pick the fights that you have a darn good chance of winning. Ron Paul isn't travelling the country, sleeping in hotels, getting battered by the media because he doesn't want to be the president. He's doing this because he knows he can win. You get out and get those 10 votes, Ron Paul wins. You get 10 Ron Paul supporters around you to go out and get 10 votes each, Ron Paul wins. You get 10 pro-peace voters to register Republican and to vote for Ron Paul, Ron Paul wins.

Victory rests in our hands today. With hard work and focus each one of us can deliver those 10 votes. Will you deliver 10 votes for Ron Paul or will you be one of the others, that segment of Ron Paul supporters that will long deserve the scorn of friends and opponents alike?

This text is excerpted from the newly-released How to Win America for Ron Paul and the Cause of Freedom in 2012.

Allan Stevo [send him mail] is a writer from Chicago. He's the author of several books and numerous essays dealing with issues of liberty.

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