“I told you so” isn’t a very gentle or polite opening for a conversation, so let’s just forget that I told you so both in 2008 and 2012 and treat those campaigns as phases you had to get through on your own, without distraction and paying no heed to naysayers, to get where you are now. The average Ron Paul supporter’s energy and dedication certainly commands my respect and, I think, the respect of most others whose path toward freedom didn’t take them down that road.
Hopefully, you can now see that Ron Paul is not going to restore the old American republic and lead you to liberty. Hopefully, you can see now that not only is it not going to happen, but that it never was going to happen.
The deck was thoroughly stacked. Against Paul, against you, against any threat to a status quo which has calcified over the last 120 years (starting with the introduction of “ballot access” laws to narrow the November choice to two, and the evolution of primaries and conventions toward a process that inevitably produces two look-alikes).
That status quo may break or crumble under external pressure, but it will never soften to internal re-shaping of the type that a Republican presidential campaign proposes.
Where to go from here? That is the question.
As a first step, I propose that you examine the two Paul presidential campaigns, with the benefit of hindsight and an eye toward identifying their essentials. You’ll find that much of what you held dear back then can be jettisoned — the partisan and political compromises bolted onto the campaign’s libertarian superstructure as armor or camouflage for the purpose of “working within the system.” Now that you’re about to abandon politics, you won’t need those things any more.
Auditing the Fed, resurrecting “states rights,” attempting to appeal to a base of social conservative voters who fear freedom so deeply that they’ll swallow anything the GOP establishment feeds them … those tactics did not serve you well where you were, and you won’t need them where you’re going.
Did I say you’re about to abandon politics? Yes, I did. Six years, $70 million, numerous lawless actions on the part of the Republican establishment and two heart-breaking failures to penetrate the GOP’s national convention, with a candidate eminently qualified for the presidency by what you thought were the relevant standards, should be enough to convince you that “working within the system” isn’t going to get the job done. Welcome to the real world.
The good news is that in that real world, you’re part of the majority. Most Americans either won’t or can’t participate in the state’s quadrennial “election” ritual. President Barack Obama took office with the express consent of less than one in four Americans. Nearly as many voted for someone else. More than twice as many voted for no one at all.
While it’s true that most of those non-voters are at best only marginally conscious of the significance of their abstention, neither are they fully invested in the system you sought to reform and now understand you must abolish. Even if they haven’t joined your army, they’re bona fide potential recruits, unlike the diehard Republican voters you’ve spent the last six years hectoring for support.
The second step? Status esse delendam: The state must be destroyed.
If not now, when? If not you, who?
The R3VOLution is dead. Long live the revolution.