Ron Paul's Fatal Error
Should Ron Paul have run as a Democrat? Creation Date Saturday, 26 May 2012. Hits 3017
I didn't think of this myself until just now, so I'm not faulting Ron Paul and his campaign for not coming up with this themselves. That having been said, I'm not a Paul supporter, nor am I inclined to consider strategy for his efforts. The thought just crept up on me the other day when I was considering the West Virginia, Arkansas, and Kentucky primary results. Since President Obama had a hard time defending himself against a prisoner, an out of state lawyer, and "anybody but Obama" respectively, imagine if he had faced a real opponent. Now the first inclination is to imagine candidate Hillary facing Obama. But continue down the list and eventually you get there. Ron Paul would have likely beat President Obama in West Virginia. Follow that thought to it's conclusion, and the results are stunning.
Since Ron Paul is often portrayed as an extreme right-winger, most will dismiss this suggestion out of hand. However, for those who have stuck around please allow me to make my case. This goes beyond a simple numbers game of comparing what a prison inmate could garner in support versus a marginally legitimate Candidate like Ron Paul. There is actually some unconventional wisdom to what I am saying here.
- Ron Paul's support of civil liberties often finds him sharing common ground with many on the left. For example, Ron Paul's position on gay marriage is and always has been the position that President Obama only recently came around to. Ron Paul also opposed the Patriot Act, which many on the left often try to forget that they supported.
- The anti-war wing of the Democrat party would find a much truer voice in Ron Paul. Not only did he oppose the war in Iraq, but he thought the action in Afghanistan should have been limited to its relationship with the Taliban, and has been working to end our involvement there since 2002. He also opposed our recent foray in Libya, an action that was ordered by President Obama.
- The support for legalized drugs typically tends to find it's home in the political left. Ron Paul has been strong and consistent in speaking out against the war on drugs.
- Ron Paul was one of the few Republicans who sided with Obama standing quietly by during the uprising in Iran, but he goes even farther than the President by opposing even sanctions against Iran.
Now while these are a few of the areas where Ron Paul would find some support on the left, there are many other areas where he would find opposition. But if Keith Judd, a prisoner in Texas without a clear public position on any issues could finish at 40% in West Virginia, wouldn't it be likely to assume that Ron Paul could do a little bit better? Now, factor in the reality that Ron Paul's support is very "mobile." He gets votes as a Republican only because he runs as such. Many of his supporters openly despise the Republican party. They would not hesitate to cross party lines to vote for him as a Democrat. Adding in the "momentum" factor we saw play out with (insert your candidate here) on the right, and a win here leads to a stronger showing in the next state.
At some point, isn't it fair to say that Ron Paul might have won one of these states? And while we are starting our discussion at West Virginia, we are overlooking several States where Ron Paul support is extremely strong. Isn't it possible that he may have won in Iowa or New Hampshire long before the main event ever made it to West Virginia and Kentucky? Bringing his support with him that has no loyalty to the Republican Party combined with the Democratic defectors would give his candidacy strength. Strong showings would have brought some media publicity that would result in many Republicans crossing the line to vote in Democrat primaries and caucuses now that our nominee is decided. It isn't hard to see that it is not only possible that he would have won a few of these states, it is likely. The only question is "How many?"
Even in the unlikely event that Ron Paul were to win enough States to get the nomination, the Democrats would over-ride it with their Super Delegates at their convention. I'm not suggesting for a moment that Ron Paul would be the Democratic Party nominee in 2012, but even Ron Paul has recognized that it was not likely that he would ever be the Republican nominee. What he has said is that it is important that he continue to spread the message. I believe that Republicans have already heard the message. What the Paul campaign missed was the opportunity to take the message to the other side and win some converts there. This is not a case of the wrong messenger with the right message. It is a case of the messenger who missed the grandest stage that any messenger could ever ask for. Could you imagine the anger on the face of the liberal media as they were forced to interview him following a defeat of Obama in his own party primary? And what if he won enough delegates to force the party to allow him to address the Convention? We will never know how far the ship might have sailed, because Ron Paul missed the boat entirely when he ran as a Republican in 2012.