The Republican Convention is over. Ron Paul is not the nominee. I swore last year that I would do everything in my power to see that he got the nomination. I have done that, and so have countless other supporters, but it’s not to be.
Many Ron Paul supporters are young, many are political newcomers. I remember my first failed election (hell, they’ve all been failed elections for me). It sucks. I’ve seen grown men cry, ladies cuss, and the proverbial gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. This is my 6th election since being introduced to the philosophy of individual liberty, so I’m used to it. I also feel it is the responsibility of the “veterans” to assist the less experienced advocates of liberty. I don’t say this to be patronizing, I say it because I wish I had someone there to help me the first time.
First, don’t despair. I know there is the impulse to throw your hands up and quit. I’ve even heard of open, armed rebellion. I like the spirit, but don’t do it. We’re a long way from that. Jefferson talked about evils being sufferable, for a while.
In fact, I have never been more confident that I am at this moment. A little history. I joined the Libertarian Party after the 1992 elections and helped start a campus group at Ohio University. The following year I went to the National Convention in Salt Lake City and worked as a volunteer. During a break I saw Ron Paul sitting in the hallway, by himself. Back then, everyone in the liberty movement literally knew everyone else. There weren’t that many of us. I introduced myself, told him what we had done, he offered words of encouragement.
Today, you can’t get near Ron Paul. People have Facebook friends lists with Ron Paul supporters that are bigger than the entire movement was 20 years ago. THAT is some serious change. Gargantuan improvement. As the younger generation likes to say, shit just got real.
We call this the Ron Paul Revolution. Folks, it’s high time we thought about that word. Revolution. And it’s time we acted like Revolutionaries. Rebels. Insurgents. Because that’s what we are. Instead of bullets, we use ballots. And let’s be frank, we’re not yet in a position to take on the enemy in open combat.
We are the Guerrilla Fighters of the American Political Landscape. For the uninitiated, a Guerrilla Warfare battleplan consists of three phases.
1. Statement of political principles, organization and planning.
2. Limited military operations designed to harass the enemy, wear him down, cut his supplies, destroy his morale, gain weapons for the rebel force, all without risking the annhilation of the insurgent army. Also, the gaining of moral ascendancy with the population.
3. When the force is powerful enough and the enemy weakened, meet the enemy in decisive, open, pitched battle.
Our ultimate goal is number three. We ain’t there, yet. But we’re not at number one either. That’s where we were 20 years ago. Right now we’re a strong second phase. Folks, we have gained moral ascendancy with the population. Think about that.
When two thirds of the country is tired of fighting foreign wars which serve no national security interest, then the populace is with us.
When 80 percent of the country wants an audit of the Federal Reserve, then the populace is with us.
When Ron Paul, during the primaries, was polling neck and neck with Obama in a two way race, then the populace is with us.
When a majority of citizens believes that marijuana should be decriminalized, the populace is with us.
But also look at our tactical successes. The majority of delegates in 11 states. Taking over of State Party Chairs, and numerous County chairs. Ousting old time party bosses. Forcing the GOP to use violence, to cheat, to take the campaign to court, then having them suck up because they need us. We are winning skirmishes, clashes, meeting engagements, annhilating the enemy in ambushes.
All that is left before the final stage is numbers. To get that, we have to fight more battles. That’s where we are right now.
Our goal was to get Ron Paul in pitched battle against Barack Obama. It’s not going to happen. So where do we go from here?
Some have advocated a write-in campaign for Ron Paul. Others have advocated a third party approach, such as the Libertarian or Constitution Parties. Some are supporting Romney and the GOP, while some will vote for Obama to punish the Republicans and force them to realize they need us. There are even some who are not voting for reasons of conscience.
Who is right? I have absolutely no freaking idea. Actually, I have an idea, but that is not the point. We are Guerrillas, and we can learn much from Guerrillas of the past. Before anyone soils themselves, let me state that I do not advocate Communism or any form of statism or coercion, and that I think Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and Castro were evil men. But their struggles are worth noting, for therein lies the blueprint for our success.
In Indochina, the Vietcong and NVA were organized by Divisions, but there were also independent Regiments. They would come together and join the larger units for major battles, but in between their commanders were allowed some tactical flexibility, to exploit opportunities, or just to learn how to fight the Americans and South Vietnamese.
That’s what we can learn from Ho. A broad front approach rather than a bold strike might be the best tactic. Hell, write in Ron Paul, vote for Gary Johnson, vote for Romney or Obama, or don’t vote. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see which tactic works best and we can use that in the future. Personally, I’ve done them all over the years. I’m an independent now because it allows me some flexibility. This only came with experience.
But the numbers…that is everything. First, let me say that before we start building up our forces that we have to stop the hemorrhaging going on right now. Ron Paul, as a Doctor, would say “First, Do No Harm.” I have noticed a lot of internal fighting. Divisiveness. Accusations. Insults. I suppose this is inevitable in the face of a tactical defeat, and I understand that some have no stomach for the long haul, but it has to stop or we’re finished.
If a person wants to vote for this candidate or that candidate, or not vote, or write someone in, or whatever, STOP accusing them of selling out, or of being stupid, or of being under some kind of mind control, or whatever. We all supported Dr. Paul because of something in common, the love of liberty. Just because someone has a different idea or plan does not mean they are evil or stupid. Share your knowledge, your results, your successes, your failures. We still have a lot to learn.
Question, you all claim to respect Ron Paul. Do you think he approves of this behavior? Ask him yourself.
Second. To increase our numbers, we are going to have to do some work. The early adopters have been culled out. Time to roll up our sleeves. And as with the internal fighting, we are going to have to stop insulting our potential allies. That’s right, the guy who insults you in the comments section is the guy you have to win over. Calling them “sheeple” or some other insult isn’t going to win them over to our side. They will shut down in a heartbeat. This might be a logical fallacy, but it is a psychological fact. If your aim is to merely pat yourself on the back, then calling someone a mindless, evil vassal of the totalitarian state is the right course of action. If, on the other hand, liberty is your goal, then it’s time to try something else.
Look, with few exceptions, the vast majority of us were, at one time, advocates of the status quo. Were we evil? No, just mistaken. I was a pretty good guy back then. I know some decent folks who are Democrats and Republicans now. The solution, again, is to follow the example of Ron Paul. Paul has a history of contact with people of questionable aims, but he had the uncanny ability to connect with them on that one key issue, and to work from there. Such is the nature of third party, fringe, outsider politics. Understand that each of us has a different history, comes to the game with different goals and ideas, including single issue voters, such as the liberal mom who just wants her son to come home from Afghanistan. With Dr. Paul out of the running, she may well vote for Obama. Tough. We can’t banish her. Use a little understanding, and then work to educate. Do like salespeople. Find out what they object to, then overcome the objection. Our foot is in the door, and we have to exploit the opportunity.
Finally, we need to dispense with the “this was our last chance” nonsense. Horse manure. Whether the system survives for us to change it or it implodes and we have to rebuild it, we will always have a chance. I love Dr. Paul, but there are a number of other worthy candidates for the future. Justin Amash is good. Some people like Rand Paul. Hell, what about all the people who will ascend to office this time that have backed Ron Paul? Follow his example. He said that WE are the Revolution. The fact that you support him puts every last one of you on the same page. At least the same chapter. Heck, I’ve met a lot of you and I would vote for you if you ran for office, including the Presidency. You could do just as well. As Ron Paul is fond of noting, your job description is the Constitution. It’s not that difficult.
Ron Paul has worked for 40 plus years to restore the vision of the Founders. Revolutions often take time. I know that patience is difficult, especially if you’re young (it was for me). But if you admire Ron Paul, take his lead on this. It will take some resilience, but this is the most optimistic I’ve ever been, and a lot of people I talk to that have been in the liberty movement for a while feel the same.
I used Ho Chi Minh as an example earlier. He first thought of the idea of an independent Indochina in the early 1920′s. He would serve as an organizer and trainer in various countries for 20 years, and would fight the Japanese, French, South Vietnamese and Americans for another 30. His dream wouldn’t come to fruition until 6 years after his death.
It will take this kind of commitment to succeed. But the road map for our success has been laid out by the Revolutionaries that came before us.