What the Revolution Should Do Now
Change Our Focus to House and Senate Candidates and
Build the Movement One Ron Paul at a Time
by Bradley A. Porter
Bradley A. Porter
about 8 o'clock on Saturday night, and Murphy's Taproom is going
nuts with flash bulbs and cheering…
minutes earlier, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a lithe 72-year-old obstetrician
running a quixotic Republican campaign for president, arrived
at the bar with a wide-eyed state policeman in tow. You would
have thought Bono had come to Murphy's. Young and old crushed
to the door, waved their arms and stood on chairs to get a glimpse
of the man….
the room with his security, Paul is again bombarded with chants.
"Speech, speech, speech," holler his supporters. The congressman
climbs onto a chair, looking giddy. "You have gotten rid of my
skepticism. I was a skeptic," he calls out. "You are the
campaign. I have joined the revolution."
So went a Salon.com
article on the Ron Paul Revolution in early December. Those of us
who have seen Dr. Paul speak on multiple occasions and at this point
I'd guess that's most of us recognize the bit as a standard component
of his stump speech and one of the most integral, not just to the
speech but to the campaign, to the man, to the movement.
Revolution is at a crossroads. Our own spinning giddiness has to
meet the road of reality. Ron Paul is not going to win the Republican
nomination. Ron Paul is, more than likely, never going to be President.
Frankly, Ron Paul has never had much of a chance to do either, as
most of us probably recognized from the very beginning.
These are not
somber facts, or ones we should apologize for; the deck has been
so handedly stacked against us that no one campaign was ever going
to be enough. But our saving grace, our common thread, our guiding
purpose, is that neither of those goals are, or have ever been,
the point at all.
all along, has been the realization that we we are out there.
And that we
can still create American revolutions.
There is a
going on right now about what Ron Paul should do with his Presidential
campaign. Some suggest he ought to run on the Libertarian ticket.
Others urge him to stay Republican and end his run at the convention.
Still others say he should run independent or on some as-yet-unnamed
third-party ticket and keep this thing going until November. A few
say he should drop out now and concentrate on his own re-election.
All of these
suggestions are interesting, and have merit, and are worth debating.
But the truth is Dr. Paul will surely make his own mind up as to
what path is right for him, and the movement that his singular courage
and integrity has spawned.
we need to be asking is what we ought to be doing. The answer
is something that is not mutually exclusive with any of the
options that Dr. Paul has open to him.
What we ought
to be doing is beginning to build up, and elect, more Ron Pauls.
To begin electing our own candidates Revolution candidates to the
House and the Senate.
The task is
both enormously difficult and stupidly simple.
that it requires Dr. Paul's leadership. Nobody is going to agree
100% with any candidate, and everybody will have qualms with anybody
put forward. There is not going to be another Ron Paul. But we need
to begin putting single-issue differences aside and start pushing
forward candidates who advance the cause that Dr. Paul has led us
in championing. These candidates will vary from district to district,
from state to state, from party to party, but if they're willing
to stand with Dr. Paul in Congress, and if Dr. Paul is willing to
endorse them, then we ought to be willing to put aside our own partisan
tics and ideological crib-sheets and start working towards something
that, taken as a whole, can make a real difference. Republican,
Libertarian, Democrat, it doesn't matter. If they're willing to
sign on with The Revolution, than all of us should be prepared to
sign on with them.
How this is
managed, of course, remains to be worked out. It might be a good
idea, in the beginning, for Dr. Paul to found and personally staff
his own PAC something similar to the Republican Liberty Caucus (if
not that exactly) and seek out and personally put his stamp of approval
on candidates as he sees fit. We should keep our Meetups, our organizations,
our connections, and begin to orient them towards identifying and
supporting candidates all across the country. It is not enough to
be satisfied with playing the role of mere critic. We need to begin
the machinations necessary to advance our own agenda. It is not
enough to sit back and sound off from the comfort of the sidelines.
We need to actively get in the game.
The fight starts,
of course, with Ron
Paul himself. Let's all, hand-in-hand with his constituents,
make sure that he retains his House seat for as long as he seeks
it. Call it a "first order of business."
that the candidates, already, are out there. Readers of this site
know well Murray Sabrin,
who is running for Senate in New Jersey. He represents the first
Senate candidate endorsed by Dr. Paul. His campaign, like all of
ours will be, is an uphill climb, but there are already efforts
underway to help him on his course. A money bomb has been scheduled
for February 29th, aptly called Scholar
For Freedom. A Senator Sabrin, needless to say, would be an
incredible step forward for The Revolution.
The House and perhaps less well known is Jim
Forsythe, running for Congress in New Hampshire, also endorsed
by Dr. Paul. Anybody who worked in New Hampshire knows Jim well;
I'd go so far as to say that nobody in The Revolution has worked
harder for Dr. Paul than Jim Forsythe. A PhD in Aerospace Engineering,
a successful business owner, a veteran Air Force pilot who flew
tours in Bosnia, Iraq, and Somalia (and a founder of the Military
for Ron Paul Meetup), Jim is running for Congress as a Ron Paul
Republican, and his too is an uphill battle. A money bomb has been
organized to support him also, Fly
To Liberty, scheduled for the 21st.
Put both of
those dates on your calendar now.
Those are just
the two endorsed by Ron Paul. There are already many more of us
stepping up to the plate, even this year, to take the Revolution
to its next phase. Foot soldiers in the Revolution all over the
country are coming forward, running for delegate, state houses,
and larger races. It was never going to be enough to push Dr. Paul
to a great showing (and, despite what the hand-wringers or mainstream
analysts might say, Dr. Paul's run has already been extraordinary,
re-writing the book of what is possible for strict constitutionalists
and libertarian candidates working within the major parties). Dr.
Paul has proved that liberty candidates can raise money. That there
is a veritable army out there willing to fight for the cause. He
was at his most competitive among the young, among the independents,
among new voters. Most importantly, he has shown that what's necessary
to succeed in these ways is to create the networks, to bring us
together, and to channel us. That is a role he can retain long past
candidates Jim and Murray and the myriad of others are just the
opening salvo in what could be a true Revolution.
key: all of these races will be tough slogs. As we've discovered
with Dr. Paul, resistance to liberty, to the constitution, to free
markets, to peace, runs strong.
But even if
we lose, if we fight, we win.
As Dr. Paul
has shown, to win a single campaign is not always the end-all-be-all.
The first order of business is to draw the forces of freedom out,
to advertise that there is still a place for them in the political
landscape, to bring our voices to the national conversation, and
to use those voices to persuade. This has been phenomenally true
of Dr. Paul's campaign; indeed it has been the central truth of
it all of us, I expect, have had the experience of attending a Ron
Paul event and being amazed at how many and how varied we were,
after years of us all, individually, feeling alienated and lost
in the dark in the realm of contemporary politics. And the experience
of marveling, in spite of ourselves, at how powerful the message
But it's even
more true for other campaigns. Congressional candidates who lose,
but who show an ability to raise money and to viably compete, gain
respect and a place at the table, for themselves and their ideas.
Most people who lose congressional campaigns but lose well are put
on a bench for the party, and the next time they run, they find
more support than they might have otherwise expected. The more we
run Ron Paul candidates, the more we begin to remake the respective
parties from within. And the more we win, the more we begin to reshape
Congress, and the national paradigm with it.
upon Ron Paul's retirement (many years from now, we hope), he is
no longer Dr. No, a single voice in a choir of statists. But if
he is instead the elder statesman of a small but powerful and vociferous
caucus: 20, 30, 50 Ron Paul congressmen at his side, a contingent
in the Senate as well. To get there requires that all of us stay
active, continue pressing our advantage, but it is possible.
I said it would
be stupidly simple as well.
It would take
Ron Paul another 1020 million dollars to be reasonably competitive
in this Presidential race. All of us would be willing to front that
money to him in a heartbeat should he so ask it of us.
But a million
dollars makes a candidate for the Senate instantly competitive.
A half a million dollars vaults anybody into viability for
a House seat. The need is different for every district and state,
but the point is that 1020 million, dispersed to candidacies
every two years for a variety of seats, can, in short time, go a
long, long way.
There are many
candidates out there deserving of our efforts who will otherwise
never be a blip on the radar for the major parties which means we
will never be a blip on their radars. If we begin to show a select
group of them even half of the time, effort, money, and creativity
we've shown for Dr. Paul, we can change America.
This is already
beginning. Sites like Liberty
Congress.org and Paul
Congress.com have begun to spring up, and projects like the
Liberty War Chest
have followed. But to truly succeed at turning our movement's focus,
we need to all begin pivoting towards these and related endeavors,
we need to work as hard as we have for the Presidential race, and
we may well need the leadership of Dr. Paul himself to do so.
It is time
to move from this run for President to this run for liberty.
It is time
to begin thinking beyond one campaign, and to start thinking about
where we again, we go from here. To go from one campaign to many.
was never about the Ron Paul campaign.
It was always
about the Ron Paul movement.
And The Revolution
[send him mail] is a freelance
writer and public policy fellow, as well as a blogger for The
Crossed Pond, named one of the 10 best blogs for political coverage
in 2007. He's been a director for The
Free Assembly for Constitutional Thought and a longtime Republican
activist. He currently lives in Pittsburgh.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com