Ron Paul @ Google

Ron Paul is speaking at Google right now. The video will be up on YouTube soon I'm sure. Here's the question I asked him:

"As a libertarian, I love your ideals, and I am excited about seeing them aired in national debate, and about the response it has gotten. But as a realist, I look at the betting markets at InTrade and I see your nomination chances in the single-digits. It seems like your greatest impact might be to help move the Republicans away from the current neoconservative insanity and towards a more classically conservative direction. Is that something you are working on, or think will happen?"

He said that his goal is to get as many votes as possible, and what happens happens, which I don't think is a good answer, because I believe that efforts should be directed where they will do the most good, and so it matters what those votes are going to accomplish. But he then gave what I think is an excellent answer, which is that he doesn't think much of politicians, or parties, or their importance in change. What he thinks matters is the opinions that people hold, especially young people, and he has been surprised and encouraged by the degree of response of young people to his campaign. So whether or not he wins, if he is helping young people learn about freedom, that will have an impact.

Update:  Video here.

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He might only be single digits...

His percentage odds are listed only in the single digits, but they're much higher than they were a few months ago.

He's also got a large amount of cash in the bank compared to the second tier candidates and his fundraising is ramping up quite steadily.

I don't know how much of a shot he's got, but I think it is better than that of most of the random dark horses on the Republican side, though of course tiny compared to that of Rudy G. or Mitt R. If people are willing to respect most of the guys in the debates, I think they have good cause to respect Ron Paul too.

Ron Paul

If you love his ideas and think he's the best man for the job, then come work with us to introduce him to the world outside of the internet. We need all the help we can get. It's very rewarding - people are very receptive to his message.

The "job" consists of

The "job" consists of hitting people with a hammer on their toes. Paul's hammer is fortunately made out of rubber, but it's a strecth to speak of "the best man for the job".

Good Response

I think his non-pragmatic response about trying to get the most votes as possible is spot on. He is running an *election* campaign after all.

Libertarians have a habit of being too pragmatic sometimes, and won't vote for the most libertarian candidate in any race because they believe they don't have a chance.

They instead vote for least evil candidate they believe has a shot -- which for social libertarians is often a socialist-democrat and for economic libertarians a conservative-republican. The dogmatic libertarians don't vote because they'd be supporting the 'system' (or appearing on the radar by registering).

This greatly reduces the importance of libertarians as a minority voting block (because they aren't).

I think any response other than the one he gave would not have been in the interest of his campaign.

If intrade's odds were

If intrade's odds were always equivalent to the true odds of all events than I would never be the successful trader there that I am. I bought shares at 0.5% and his last sale was at 2.9%.

Remember there are 11 candidates and only one does not support the war. This represents approx. 30% of republican views, likely more when it comes to support in action. He will always apparently seem like the back runner because the majority of his party does not align with the view but with the given field his campaign may very well receive a majority of the primary vote.

His views like the war are growing support over time while other candidates have invested their support in a good report in September. Im quite certain that wouldn't be considered too likely to turn out well if floated on intrade.

Fundamentally, Rudy, John and Mitt and perhaps even Fred Thomson have some serious problems that a reasonable share of the party will likely choose to rebel against. John McCains campaign has already started to collapse and Rudy and Mitt are facing serious problems that the voting population will increasingly become aware of. There support has huge nominal premiums. If they choose one of the lower tier candidates they'll only further dilute pro war votes which helps Paul. They dont have many other options and Paul definitely looks better than most democrats.

There are numerous reasons why he is misrepresented but on large he is regressing upwards to his true odds while most others regress downwards.

While I like his ideas, I

While I like his ideas, I don't think he is a credible candidate. There were several times when he responded to questions by wandering into libertarian crank mode, ranting about how everything is government's fault in situations where it isn't clear (even to an avid libertarian like me) that that's actually true.

But I'm very glad he's out there speaking the truth on a lot of issues where the mainstream politicos just bullshit (like the war).

At least he answers!

He might ramble on, but he actually answers the questions, which is more than most of the other candidates bother to do.

The combination of his firm belief in the Constitution and the lack of corporate money in his coffers actually makes him the only truly credible candidate.

I can't listen to the

I can't listen to the interview yet (a transcript would be nice) so I can't judge the crank affirmation, but don't you fear you may be overcompensating for a libertarian bias?

What kind of unclear issue does he blame the government for?

I am sick and tired....

I'm pretty sick and tired of everyone calling him a long shot. There is nothing about him that is long shot other than the fact that he is unknown by the masses simply because media doesn't report on him or give him just due national air time. If he was a media darling, he would be the runner up for the nomination. But because he's not the media's darling, they don't even pay attention to him, and then spread propaganda that he's an unknown and a kook. The media are basically making up the minds of ignorant people who haven't heard Ron for themselves. It is media propaganda, nothing more nothing less.

If Ron had equal media exposure and equal time to get his message out on par with the other candidates, it is the OTHER candidates who would be the real long shots in comparison to Ron Paul. He simply blows them all out of the water because he appeals to the rule of law and to intellect. The other candidates appeal to special interest groups, carefully craft lies not to step on anyones toes, and cater to blind emotion. It is so black and white it's not even funny. Truth illuminates the mind, light shines in darkness. Ron's allegiance to the Constitution annihilates any and all opposition.

So then you don't believe in

So then you don't believe in futures markets?

If you are correct, you can easily make lots of money betting on InTrade.

I don't predict, I just report the predictions of the market.

what do you mean believe in

what do you mean believe in futures markets?

do you believe in profitable investing?

further, intrade is not a high volume and highly efficient futures market by any measure - FYI.

Also, i just watched the video of his Google appearance and i personally thought he was communicating his message better than usual. Im quite curious to which aspects you found unclear, with respect to his messages of governmental interference?

further, intrade is not a

further, intrade is not a high volume and highly efficient futures market by any measure - FYI.

So indeed you don't believe in the efficience of the intrade future market. In this case why don't you invest on Ron Paul's victory ? Otherwise you are just illustrating Caplan's rational irrationality, it's comforting to think Ron Paul has a shot and not very costly :)

i bought a ton of shares at

i bought a ton of shares at 0.50 cents. I mentioned this in my post above.

There are way more sell contracts available than buy contracts right now so if anyone thinks he is not a credible candidate they can make much more betting against his listed chances than for.

You can also go long gold if

You can also go long gold if you think he has a shot :)

im long gold for more

im long gold for more reasons than that.

Here's the video

Perfect response

His response to getting votes and winning was absolutely essential. People don't vote for someone who's just trying to influence the debate. In the end votes are worth nothing if it doesn't result in a win. This isn't to say that the message is worth nothing. But did all the votes for John Kerry have any effect on ending the war? Its the same reason he said after the second debate that he wouldn't run as a Libertarian if he didn't win the Republican nomination. If he had said yes then the Republicans could immediately discount him and he would have lost all credibility as a Republican candidate.

That doesn't mean if he doesn't win all he's done will be wasted. He's introduced so many people to Libertarianism.

And his answer about influencing young people and how what they think will shape the future was perfect.

hey Thomas

"In the end votes are worth nothing if it doesn't result in a win."

Um, that seems very wrong. Now, Dr. Paul is old (72 years), but if he gets that elusive 5%, he'll get federal funding next time he runs. A while back, Nadar just barely missed it. Anyhow, the more votes he gets, the more "credible" he and his ideas will be. American politics have to change, most people acknowledge this, and Dr. Paul is preaching something new. Well, really old, but new to us.

!!!In the eyes of many Americans, every vote he receives will make his ideas more "credible." Please don't forget or lose focus!!!

Ignorance is bliss

I did not need to know this:

if he gets that elusive 5%, he'll get federal funding next time he runs.

I'd managed to go through life not knowing about federal funding of candidates with a cutoff curiously well-designed to keep the two main parties in power - as if they needed additional help. I was happy in my ignorance. Well. Happier.

 

Ron Paul taking federal funding?

Somehow I don't see a man who returns a good part of his salary to the treasury taking money from the government for his campaign. Am I wrong?

Libertarians don't vote

Libertarians don't vote because to each individual libertarian, in their own mind, one vote is pointless. This has nothing to do with libertarians in general being a non-voting group. It just turns out that way and it is not in anyone's control. Like all of a sudden every libertarian is going to decide to vote one day? It doesn't work that way and it is ignorant to think that it does.