James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hope, But Not Faith

I had a lot of other things going on today and so haven't thought about the Iowa Straw Poll until now. From looking at Rockwell's blog, it looks like something smells, and thus it's no surprise Paul came in fifth. Not great, but not bad. 9% and fifth place is pretty good for someone opposed to farm and ethanol subsidies.

We should get used to this: Paul doing better than those who ignore him expect, but not as well as his supporters predict. The important thing is for Paul to stay in the race, filling a role and providing a message that will reach more people than third-party campaigns ever will.

But we should become accustomed to less-than-hoped-for results. Possible vote-rigging, being ignored by Establishment media, and the possibility that the tiny poll numbers are real and that Paul's message will never convince a significant percentage of the people.

It's also probable that if Paul defies the odds and the Establishment and is elected President, that he will not be given a chance to succeed by Congress or by the GOP. Paul is too much of a threat to vested interests in Washington. The best shot Paul may have is just shutting down the government by refusing to sign any budget. If that happens, Congress will make up a reason to impeach.

It is also possible that Paul will be physically too old for the job. Or, once in office the head of the CIA will break the news to him that extraterrestrial overlords call all the shots and the President is a mere figurehead with no power. Or, he will make too many compromises that are too incremental rather than drastic. Within one week of his inauguration, we will hear shouts of "Traitor!" from some segments of the libertarian movement.

For me, Ron Paul's campaign is a sign for hope, but placing faith in one person - even Ron Paul - is foolish. Ron Paul alone can't turn things around. But he can strengthen and enlarge a movement stuck in in the 0.3%-2% range. If the pro-freedom and pro-Constitution bloc grows to 10-15% of the voting public, public policy will more likely in a libertarian direction.

I doubt that Ron Paul will save America - no one person can change things. But the people - even if just a determined minority - will.

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