08 February 2008

Why Is Ron Paul Still Running?

After McCain received a lukewarm reception at CPAC, the real crowd-pleaser stepped forward: Ron Paul. From The Baltimore Sun:
Paul was playing on the frustrations in this hall, with many voicing worries about McCain, the all-but annointed nominee.

Now the party has an apparent candidate who is a friend of Sen. Russ Feingold--on campaign finance reform--Paul said. And now the party has an apparent candidate who is a friend of Ted Kennedy--on immigration--Paul said.

He raised cheers in the hall--perhaps the first genuine cheers of the day.

“If you think we can lead this country back to conservative principles… you have another thing coming, because it’s not going to happen,’’ Paul said.

“The answer is found in fiscal conservatism--live within our means,’’ he said to cheers in the hall.

“As long as a government can stir up fear, sometimes real and sometimes not real, the people are expected to do one thing, sacrifice their liberty,’’ he said to cheers.
He received a standing ovation at the end of his speech. Those who think Dr. Paul's ideas "kooky" have usually never heard him speak; once they do, they often change their minds. Watch the speech for yourself.

Those who support Ron Paul know it would take no less than a miracle for him to win the election this November, not to mention the Republican nomination. So why the continued support? Why does he continue to run, against all odds? Political pundits have erroneously believed he is simply another politician who wants to become president; they haven't recognized he is a statesman (quite different) who cares about the message. Despite any losses, it is the message that matters, a message that has inspired those of us long-disillusioned by the Republican party. Doug Wead comments:
Ron Paul made a classic political mistake. He told the truth. In debate after debate he pointed at his party, his president, his fellow contenders for the GOP nomination, shouting aloud like the little boy in the proverbial story, “they have no clothes” and lo and behold, we looked and they didn’t. They were all naked.

He showed that the conservative movement has lost its way, its moral authority and its logic.... But in the process, Ron Paul showed us, that we have lost our way. We are no longer conservatives. We are fighting for power not for principles. We have become corrupted by the process and the only way back is to retrace our steps and find all the things we discarded along he way.

Barry Goldwater lighted a similar fire with his Conscience of a Conservative. Its truth and arguments were so obvious and so honest that one laughed aloud while reading it. But Goldwater, himself, was doomed to political defeat. And Ron Paul had no chance to win this election either. One could see that when he first opened his mouth.

And yet, the words and arguments of Ron Paul are still resonating. They still hang over this election. They are haunting and troubling. They are producing blogs and papers and books and like Goldwater’s revolution they will one day very likely produce their own Ronald Reagan. And when those heady days happen a small but hearty band of pioneers, who first had the nerve to join him and start shouting from the street, “They aren’t wearing any clothes,” will be able to say that they could see what the country missed. They were there when history was made.