The Ron Paul phenomenon

Patri has an interesting post below about the failure of the Ron Paul campaign to produce any mainstream results. The thrust of Stewart Browne's original post he cites: "The Ron Paul campaign should serve as our final proof that this strategy will never work."

I disagree. Patri mentioned some drawbacks to this position, but left out what I think is the main one: Ron Paul was not on the ballot. He did not accept the Libertarian Party's nomination and did not run as a write-in candidate. The campaign fizzled before the election. Endorsing Chuck Baldwin? Hell no. Political momentum doesn't transfer that way. I knew several people who were awakened to their dormant libertarianism through the Ron Paul campaign who would have voted for him, but who would not and did not vote for Chuck Baldwin.

Imagine an alternate universe in which Ron Paul redirected his own candidacy and was on the ballot. He would have gotten results impressive to us and frightening to the establishment. I still would not have voted, but that's beside the point.

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Ron Paul would have done a

Ron Paul would have done a lot better than Chuck Baldwin, but still, I bet he would be under 5%. Maybe 2%-3%, less in swing states. Might be the best Libertarian showing ever, but it would still be politically irrelevant.

In the primaries he got 29 delegates out of 2146. That's without having to face Obama, the crushing winner. 29 delegates may be impressive to us, but it doesn't frighten the establishment in the least.

I don't think his support

I don't think his support from inside the Republican party would have been that impressive. I thought he'd have gotten more than 5% of the overall total, but who the hell really knows.

The libertarian movement

The libertarian movement does not need to have huge numbers now, it merely needs to grow faster than world population. 1.188% a year, doable.

Imagine an alternate

Imagine an alternate universe...

This is a refutation, of what, exactly?

There have always been

There have always been essentially two parties dominating U.S. politics. The only legitmate goal in the 2008 presidential election, that was remotely attainable, was to get Republicans to get back to a more libertarian platform/position. He did not garner significant votes but he certainally signaled to the Republican party that there are a lot of small government types that are angry with the direction of the party, both by his fundrasiing and the fact that the other candidates had to hear from their supportes agitation about his positions. It remains to be seen how this affects the 2010 and 2012 elections. Normally, after a post presidential loss, there is a gain by the losing party in the house. If Republicans win these seats on a limited government platform, rather than a pro defense/religious/cultural grounds, then his run in 2008 may have had some beneifts for libertarians in general. The unpopulaity of the bailouts wil help with this.