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I must admit that I had my doubts when I learned that Ron Paul was going to campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Yes, I was well aware that he had been elected as a member of the GOP every time he ran for Congress but, this was the presidency. In Congress Dr. Paul and his message can be swept under the rug, so to speak. For example, note what time it is as he is introduced before giving this speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. And as we all know Dr. Paul actually takes his oath to obey the Constitution seriously, making him very unpopular with the neoconservatives who have hijacked the Republican party. On this topic I highly recommend a book by one of the most influential libertarians of all time, Murray Rothbard. It is entitled The Betrayal of The American Right and can be read online here.

As for yours truly, well, I felt betrayed by the Republican party in the Fall of 2005 and changed my voter’s registration to Libertarian. I was very enthusiastic for several months and believed that joining a “third party” was absolutely the correct thing to do. But one thought was nagging me. It occurred to me that if the goal of the Libertarian party (LP) was to swell its ranks and become a “big tent” party, then it would inevitably end up just like the Democrat and Republican monstrosities. And surely, I believed, to make that happen, the very principles on which the Libertarian party was founded would be severely compromised. Well, it appears my concerns were well founded as the Libertarian party decided to gut its platform at the 2006 national convention. From that point on I identified myself as a “small ‘l’ libertarian,” meaning I really wanted nothing to do with the national party, but still considered myself a libertarian. I’m actually kind of glad that the LP took the actions they did a couple of years ago. I learned a very valuable lesson from it. I learned that political parties are essentially meaningless . Political principles, however, are vital. And the more I read the writings of Ron Paul, the more I realized that he was a man who was unwavering in his commitment to the principles of liberty. He emphasized free trade with ALL nations, while opposing government managed trade agreements such as NAFTA, that masquerade as free trade . He underscored the importance of civil liberties in a free republic. He denounced aggressive war as the greatest enemy of liberty. He advocated drastically smaller, constitutionally limited government. AND, he was a Republican. Sure, he ran as the Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, but he was out of Congress at that time. The point is, I saw that Ron Paul was a genuine “Republican.” He favored a return to the old American Republic of the Founders.

All of a sudden it made perfect sense that he was running for president as a Republican. Furthermore, Dr. Paul is well aware of the fact that our electoral system is biased against third party candidates. And if you think the media coverage of his campaign for president has been alternately appalling and non-existent, you are correct. BUT, running as a third party candidate, or independent, he would have received practically NO mainstream media coverage at all.

At this point I think Ron Paul chose an excellent strategy. He has used the established system to speak out against that very same system. And although this strategy may not have resulted in as many votes for Dr Paul as we all would have liked, it made many media types and politicians realize that there exists a large, rather young contingent of voters who are just beginning to understand how severely their government is ripping them off everyday.

The mainstream media will continue to ignore him but, Ron Paul’s campaign has injected a large dose of principle back into politics . He has shown all of us just how important it is to place commitment to principle far above loyalty to members of “the party.”


One Comment

  1. Very inspiring post. I’ve been a little down because of Dr. Paul not getting the votes or attention that he deserves, but you put a positive spin on the results and I feel better. Thank you

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