Friday, September 28, 2012

Downside of Paul 2012

There were many who were challenged by the 2012 campaign by Representative Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign for president. There were unique challenges for both liberals and conservatives as they were forced to confront what they really believe. Now that the campaign is over there is a whole new challenge for libertarians based on the campaign.

His campaign has given new life to the old lie about how libertarians and conservatives have some sort of closeness that excludes liberals and progressives. Because Representative Paul ran in the Republican Party instead of the Libertarian Party, he somehow demonstrated that libertarians have a home there.

It doesn't matter how poorly Ron Paul was treated through the primary, and how reprehensibly his supporters were treated at the Republican convention. It doesn't matter that Governor Mitt Romney and Representative Paul have nothing in common ideologically, or how much Governor Romney and President Obama do have in common. It doesn't matter how Ron Paul's ideas were kept out of discussion through the whole process from first debate to convention close.

None of that matters. All that matters is that Ron Paul has an "R" after his name. The fact that he ran in the Republican Party instead of the Libertarian Party is proof of that closeness. Never mind that in order to have a reasonable chance at victory he had to run in some major party - that he ran in a major party proves that there is some special affinity for the major party he ran in.

Since the argument being made is not a logical argument, there is no logical counter-argument. One could point out how much Ron Paul was at odds with his own party. One could point out how he wasn't even given a speaking spot at the convention. One could point out how he had to fight for speaking time at the debates. One could even point out how Romney cheated Paul of his delegates even though Romney didn't need to because his victory was already assured.

This isn't an argument meant to appeal to the intellect. It is an argument meant to appeal to the emotions. There is no counter-argument to be made as a result. Although one can say many good things about the Ron Paul 2012 effort, it also gave new life to the big lie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed - the GOP is a poor fit for libertarian ideas. Presumably you'd also agree that it is a poor fit for Objectivist ideas, even though many self-proclaimed Objectivists have had a long-lasting love affair with the GOP. We'll need to grow our own identity and make it big enough that people of all persuasions seek to identify as libertarian, rather than us seeking to attach ourselves to their identity.