Ron Paul’s Hour of Decision
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
...The idea that Romney is going to offer the vice-presidential nomination to Ron – or his son, Rand, freshly elected to the Senate from Kentucky – is a pipe dream. The party leadership would never allow it, the convention might well rebel (as a way of expressing conservative discontent with the candidate), and – in my opinion – Romney would never offer it in the first place.
As for changes in the party platform [.pdf] – so what? No one pays attention to these documents, not even the candidates, who are not bound by them. A cabinet position would be a paltry prize indeed, and accepting such a deal – handing the nomination to Romney in exchange for, say, making Nick Gillespie the drug czar – or, more likely, making Rand Paul Transportation Secretary – would be a humiliating end to what started out as a noble crusade.
In each case, the price the Paul campaign would have to pay for such ill-gotten “gains” would be so high that the result would be the effective end of the Paulian movement: that’s because the price would be supporting the nominee, i.e. Mitt Romney, with a personal endorsement from Ron. I, for one, can’t imagine him doing that: whenever he’s asked if he would consider supporting the eventual nominee, Paul gives every indication that the answer is no. He explains why in this interview, in which he emphasizes the Republicans’ warmongering as a major reason not to endorse any of them.
Viewed objectively, and with the long-range goals of the Paulians in mind, there is only one road forward for the movement: the third party route.
Running on a third party ticket would give Paul access to the votes of his natural constituency: the young independents disgusted with both parties who yearn for real change – i.e. a revolution – in Washington. It would give the Old Right remnant in the GOP, which Paul has reawakened from its long sleep, a place to go in November, while also making room for independents, antiwar voters, civil libertarians, disillusioned Obamaites, and other constituencies unlikely to be caught dead voting in a Republican primary.
Polls indicate Paul would get anywhere from 18 percent to 21 percent running as a third party candidate, and the percentage seem to be climbing as the actual election draws nearer. These same polls indicate he would draw two-thirds of his votes from the Republican column, but I don’t think these “drill-down” analyses hold much water: what they leave out is non-voters, new voters, and – most important of all – future events. If the US starts bombing Iran before election day, or, say, we have another economic meltdown, as we did in the winter of 2008, then all bets are off – and the prospect of a Paul victory becomes more than mere wishful thinking.
A Paul third party candidacy would not only open up a prospect that, right now, seems highly unlikely if not impossible – i.e. Ron Paul sitting in the Oval Office – it would also place significant constraints on the other candidates, including President Obama. Faced only with a warmongering Republican, Obama can pretty much do whatever he likes when it comes to provoking, sanctioning, and threatening Iran: after all, antiwar voters have nowhere else to go. With Paul in the race, however, Obama is going to have to be very careful not to lose his left-ish antiwar constituency, which has so far stuck with him as the lesser to the two evils. If and when Obama makes his move against Iran, Paul’s third party campaign will be right there, scarfing up votes from the President’s disillusioned and angry former supporters.
Indeed, the ultimate effect of a Paulian third party ticket could well be preventing the outbreak of a major war in the Middle East. This, it seems to me, is a factor the Paul campaign is going to have to weigh in the balance as it considers its options. In terms of the Paulians’ own principles – especially their characteristic opposition to wars of aggression on moral grounds – this is a powerful argument for launching a third party campaign...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Ron Paul should definitely keep the door open to the possibility of running independently of the GOP, because once he officially cuts any deal and throws in his lot with the establishment candidate, both he and the Ron Paul Army will be taken for granted.
With the specter of him breaking away and going rogue hanging over the Republicans, he will at the very least be able to squeeze them for the absolute best deal available, and if that's not good enough, he can go anyway.
Frankly, I don't know about the logistics of getting him on the ballot in all 50 states if he did go rogue, but he's got a very sophisticated machine of his own that I'm sure could come up with something.
The other smart principle behind keeping open the possibility of running independently is that Barack Obama is reportedly being "blackmailed" by the Israelis to start a war against Iran well before the election. This would throw everything up in the air, and theoretically even enable Ron Paul to waltz right into the White House when the Dems lose half their voters to a candidate like Paul as a consequence.
So in summary, the specter of an independent Ron Paul candidacy keeps both the militant neocon wing of the GOP and the corrupt Democrat establishment honest, at least until final election season, and after that the imperative of not doing something too radical (inertia) kicks in.