It has been a disappointing couple of weeks for many of the Ron Paul Revolutionaries. Ron Paul received about 10% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and then received about 8% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, just missing out on third and fourth place in both.
Iowa was somewhat understandable, being that Ron Paul does not want to subsidize the ethanol industry, which of course means that the whole nation subsidizes many of the people of Iowa. But New Hampshire, home of the free state project, where independents could vote in the primary, was surprisingly low. Unfortunately, the mild weather that day brought out a high voter turnout, which was certainly a disadvantage to the Paul campaign. If it had been freezing cold with blizzard conditions, mostly the hardcore voters would have turned out and Paul may have received double digits. But the results showed that there is still a lot of work for us to do.
It would be really easy to get into a permanently bad mood and become apathetic. These are the times that many will take a less than optimistic view of the intelligence of the American people. The only thing that will make some libertarians feel better is a reading of someone like Mencken and his references to the Booboisie.
If you must go through that stage, then it would be wise to at least wait until the Ron Paul campaign is over, as we continue to recruit more libertarians every day. It would be even wiser to not let it be permanent. Most people, including libertarians, never could have dreamed one year ago of Ron Paul getting 10% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Who would have dreamed, even 4 months ago, that he would raise over 19 million dollars in one quarter? Just remember that Ron Paul didn't even get one percent of the vote in his 1988 run for president. His vote total for just the Republican primaries will likely blow away his vote total for the general election in 1988.
Although we would have liked to see an even stronger showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, significant progress has been made. There are tens of thousands (and probably more) of people who have been exposed to ideas that they had never really heard articulated before.
We must always remember that this is a battle of ideas. It is a matter of convincing our fellow human beings that we will all (with a few exceptions) be better off living in a society with more liberty and less government.
The best thing about the Ron Paul Revolution is the demographics of those that support him. He receives support from all different groups of people, but young people have been especially enthusiastic about this campaign. But the most encouraging thing is that these young people actually understand his message. They don't just support him because of his antiwar views. They don't just support him because that is the cool thing to do. They support him because they understand his message of freedom and how it can benefit us. They understand that freedom is the most moral system. They understand that government is force. They understand that the Constitution should limit the power of the federal government. They understand the concept of states' rights. They understand the basics of monetary policy and that creating fiat money out of thin air causes price inflation.
The young people of the Ron Paul Revolution are a significant group and an educated group. With the free flow of information through the internet, we have reason to be very optimistic. The only way to win this battle is to continue educating others on the benefits of liberty. The ultimate success for liberty would of course be a repeal of the state. But the main step towards that goal is convincing and educating more and more people on how much better their life could be with less government force.
We don't need to elect a libertarian president to become free. We have to change the hearts and minds of the people. The colonists didn't measure their success with an election. After all, a king ruled them anyway. The American Revolution took place because the idea of liberty spread like wildfire. It was people like Thomas Paine, who published his Common Sense pamphlets that persuaded people that they could rule their own life and didn't need a king to tell them what to do.
We can have a peaceful revolution here and it probably won't happen in a voting booth. As more people continue to see how destructive the government is, the weaker the system becomes. The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the entire Soviet Union didn't happen because of an election. It didn't even happen because of benevolent leaders. It happened because the system was a failure and could not be supported any longer. The federal government of the United States could collapse just as easily.
Gary North has written an article on taking this whole movement local. This is certainly important and possibly the most effective way of building off of the success of the last year. But whatever you do, don't give up hope. A popular slogan from Ron Paul supporters is: "Dr. Paul cured my apathy." Make sure you are cured permanently.
Even if you think Ron Paul has no chance of winning, you should still be taking advantage of this time to recruit more libertarians to our cause. This is a critical time right now that you can't get back. Ron Paul has not given up on his campaign and you shouldn't either. We have the opportunity of a lifetime with a great spokesman for liberty in the national spotlight. We owe it to ourselves, to Ron Paul and to the cause of freedom to continue spreading his message now and in the future.
Take care of yourself and your family, but don't give up fighting for freedom. We might be closer than you think.
January 15, 2008