ABOUT TOM WOODS

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)



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Ron Paul and Iowa

4th January 2012      by: Tom Woods     

A few belated thoughts on Ron Paul and the Iowa caucuses.

Certainly it’s a disappointment. Some people counter that what matters are the delegates, but in my opinion what actually matters right now is momentum, and an Iowa victory would have been great in that department. At the same time, 22% in a state that is not ideologically in Ron’s camp, with all the media hate and ridicule so intense for two solid weeks — and heck, with Ron’s opposition to ethanol subsidies thrown in — is nothing to sniff at.

So many people worked so hard in Iowa for this 20+% showing — particularly A.J. Spiker, David Fischer, and Drew Ivers, all friends of mine — and we owe them our thanks.

As a knowledgeable friend explained to me in 2008, it is extremely difficult to reach many traditional voters, who decide on which candidate to choose on the basis of how much he sounds like the typical GOP product they’ve come to expect. So they listen for a speech that says, “I love America, Americans are the awesomest of the awesome, we need jobs, Obama is bad, war war war — and did I say Americans were the most awesome people ever, in the most awesome country, and the only reason anyone might not be thrilled with our government is because of our sheer awesomeness?”

At the same time, the race is still up in the air in the sense that voters have not settled on the preferred anti-Romney. This morning, while involuntarily subjected to FOX News, I heard a newscaster say, “You can’t get more anti-Mitt than Rick Santorum.” You know what? I’m pretty sure you can.

What lifted my spirits last night was Ron Paul’s speech. The man is as genuine as can be, as we already knew, so his enthusiasm last night wasn’t a put on. He is thrilled that issues once neglected are now being discussed everywhere. He is delighted to see young people flocking to something other than the standard GOP talking points from 1983, which appear to satisfy older voters too set in their ways to have an original thought. He crushed everyone in the under-40 vote. That means his ideas are the future.

He has every reason to be proud right now — of his supporters, and of himself.

Not one of us would have begrudged Ron Paul a quiet retirement had he chosen not to run this year. He had already awakened more Americans to the real American tradition of liberty, along with the Austrian School of economics, than any living person, and he had stared down the Ministry of Information and its war-propaganda politicians more consistently than anyone I can think of.

Yet he chose to impose on himself the unthinkable physical and mental toll of a rigorous presidential campaign. He opened himself up to ceaseless, vicious attack by intellectual and moral pygmies who enjoy nothing more than dragging the name of the one honest man in politics through the mud.

I’m sure Ron could have lived without the exhausting travel, the nonstop attacks from left and right, all of it. But he’s enduring it for us, because — corny as this may sound — he knows these ideas are the key to a better world.

That’s why I’ll be standing by him, doing whatever I can for the cause, in the weeks and months ahead, and helping promote peace, freedom, and prosperity. No way is this not worth fighting for. Now we simply fight all the harder.

I hope you’ll continue to join me.

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • http://twitter.com/coloredopinions Vincent Harris

    Allthough I was disappointed that I lost a few bucks on intrade, I’m actuallly not sure winning Iowa would have helped Ron Paul that much. It’s the ability to formulate an alternative to the prevaling communitarian narrative among Christian-conservatives that focuses entirely on values that will decide these elections. Communitarianism has undermined the grassroot appeal of most mainstream political parties over the last two decades. In particular Christian Democracy. Dutch prime-minister Balkenende used Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian values rhetoric to forge an alliance between anti-muslim & the old christian democratic base.  When the media attacks Ron Paul on some nasty quotes in the Ron Paul newsletters years back, he should point to the anti-immigrant and anti-muslim politicial parties that have mushroomed due to this communitarian judeo-christian values narrative.

    Only if Ron Paul can formulate in a speech  directed at social conservatives across the US a clear alternative to communitarism, will he be able to win. The alternative should not just be about the economy but also adress the way he sees the relationship between Christian faith and politics. A speech that would resonate with those who have listend to the libertarian sounding speeches of Kennedy “Ich bin ein Berliner”, Martin Luther King “quest for peace” or Aldous Huxley’s quote in “Devils of Loudun”: “Civilization demands from the individual devoted self-identification with the
    highest of human causes. But if this self-identification with what is human is
    not accompanied by a conscious and consistent effort to achieve upward
    self-transcendence into the universal life of the Spirit, the goods achieved
    will allways be mingled with counterbalancing evils”

    A speech that would answer those who still believe Ron Paul panders to extremists, lunatics and racists. A speech that would link foreign policy with his unwillingness to just praise Americans. A speech that would also move the debate on foreign policy away from the eternal Israel versus the dangerous Islamic world narrative.

    Many specialists believe we haven’t had clear focus in our foreign policy since the end of the cold war which led to the blind support of undemocratic revolutionaries across Africa, in particular Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame and the idolisation of Mandela. As a Dutch reformed who has read Kuyper & Schilder and Groen van Prinsterer, I am attracted to Ron Paul’s strong anti-(French) revolutionary position on democracy promotion abroad. A position that has the potential to win over many social conservative Evangelicals if emphasized more. Foreign policy is more then a discussion on the Islamic republic Iran and it’s potential quest for nuclear warheads.

  • Lou B

    Thank you so much, to  A.J. Spiker, David Fischer, and Drew Ivers.  What resonates most with me is Tom’s comment about Ron Paul, “He is thrilled that issues once neglected are now being discussed everywhere.”  It’s not just boots on the ground any more – it’s eyeballs in the air. Ron Paul has created an entire new political community that opposes both the welfare state and the warfare state.  He has the guy on the street now aware of the need to abolish the Federal Reserve, aware of the importance of gold redemption for paper money, aware of the evils of fractional-reserve banking, aware of the blowback from 1000 US military bases in 150 countries.  Ron Paul is a hero.

  • Lou B

    Cristobal!  You and your wife are the real deal!

  • Kaj Grüssner

    As a Finnish person, the caucus mechanism is a bit alien to me, but…

    I’ve read reports suggesting that RP will have as many if not more delgates from Iowa supporting him at the convention. I don’t know if this is true or not, just something I picked up from LRC.

    It would seem to make sense though, since Bachmann is dropping out. That being the case, the delegates who would support her would have to move their support to someone else. Yes?

    And it is the number of delegates at the convention that matters, not the percentage in the caucus. Yes?

  • Lou B

    Bless your heart, Graham, but I never hear conservatives complaining about Ron Paul’s economics.  His views are fully consistent with supply-siders, fiscal hawks, and monetary hawks, and they say so loud and clear. 

    It’s the perpetual war group that keeps taking roundhouse punches at Ron Paul.  Look at all the posts in this thread from people outside the US who see that Ron Paul is our only candidate who is not a raging xenophobe.

    Tom, I would donate money for a superpac video specifically showing how President Paul would address US security.  More active military personnel support Ron Paul than any other candidate.  There must be terrific people who could appear in a defense-specific video that is as powerful as another recent superpac video, The Compassion of Dr. Ron Paul (youtu.be/8Rv0Z5SNrF4 ).

  • Lou B

    Paul and Romney and Santorum are all equal right now, with 7 delegates each.

  • Lou B

    Yes.  Ron Paul now has 7 delegates from Iowa, the same as Romney and Santorum.

  • mimi

    Paul’s supporters are not the type that will abandon him, that’s for sure!

    2 points from recent conversations with friends:

    1.  If Paul could — even at this early point in time — name his running mate, then that would allay fears about his (let’s face it!) rather “advanced” age. No doubt he’ll pick a much much younger VP.  If it’s a likeable, worthy running mate, then if announced, or at least alluded to, now, it might increase Paul’s chances.

    2.  Many people say that what makes the situation different with Iran is the religiously fanatical nature of its leaders.  Paul often talks about how we contained the Soviets without an outright war, and say we can do the same with Iran.  But, many Americans are convinced Iran’s leaders are madmen with the delusion of the 12 Immam coming through an apocalypse, so they welcome violent confrontation with America and Israel.

  • mimi

    Paul’s supporters are not the type that will abandon him, that’s for sure!

    2 points from recent conversations with friends:

    1.  If Paul could — even at this early point in time — name his running mate, then that would allay fears about his (let’s face it!) rather “advanced” age. No doubt he’ll pick a much much younger VP.  If it’s a likeable, worthy running mate, then if announced, or at least alluded to, now, it might increase Paul’s chances.

    2.  Many people say that what makes the situation different with Iran is the religiously fanatical nature of its leaders.  Paul often talks about how we contained the Soviets without an outright war, and say we can do the same with Iran.  But, many Americans are convinced Iran’s leaders are madmen with the delusion of the 12 Immam coming through an apocalypse, so they welcome violent confrontation with America and Israel.

  • Dan

    Join you? What the heck else would we do? This is a very exciting time for liberty right now and I believe we are right at the cusp of reaching a tipping point. Whether Ron Paul wins or not the key is still to continue to wake everyone up. Are ability to do this has never been better. We have a great history with names like Rothbard and Mises. We have intellectual titans across the globe in Rockwell, Hulsmann, Hoppe, Woods, Murphy, Thorton, Block, Dilorenzo, Gordon, etc. We have the only movement where the followers, like myself, study the full scope of our message and spread it to our families, friends, and neighbors. We have the only message that will drop the scales from your eyes and allow you to see the world for what it is and what it could be. They can talk about a ceiling for Ron Paul until they are blue in the face because we see through this. My entire family were die hard liberals there whole life until Ron Paul woke me up and then I woke them up. Our movement is almost entirely people who started out republican or democrat before the message of liberty set us straight. There is no ceiling for the truth.

    I see no reason to feel anything other than excitement and determination right now. What happens if it is down to Ron Paul and Mitt? What happens if the social conservatives decide Ron Paul is the better option? It appears that one of these two will win and there is no reason for us to believe that we can’t reach the people with the truth. It will be a hard battle but a worthy one. And one day we will reach enough people that our message will spread like wildfire across this country. The entire establishment is terrified of us and it’s about time for us to start showing a little swagger. Let the establishment run around in fear as we stay focused, confident, and determined to spread our message of liberty.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Ha, I’ve heard that, too in regards to the following the man charge.  I think it’s a massive case of projection from people who are so afflicted with the cult of personality, it really isn’t funny.  It’s his principles that we admire.  

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Ha, I’ve heard that, too in regards to the following the man charge.  I think it’s a massive case of projection from people who are so afflicted with the cult of personality, it really isn’t funny.  It’s his principles that we admire.  

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Unfortunately, there are too many like Levin out there.  They fervently believe that if the United States wasn’t the policeman of the world, we would all die due to terrorist attacks or from other countries’ fantasies of empire.  They never, for one moment, stop to think that maybe, just maybe, our foreign policy of the last 100 years may be a big cause of all that hatred.  I’d call them idiots, but the fact is there are way too many very intelligent people who think this way.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Unfortunately, there are too many like Levin out there.  They fervently believe that if the United States wasn’t the policeman of the world, we would all die due to terrorist attacks or from other countries’ fantasies of empire.  They never, for one moment, stop to think that maybe, just maybe, our foreign policy of the last 100 years may be a big cause of all that hatred.  I’d call them idiots, but the fact is there are way too many very intelligent people who think this way.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Agreed, 100%.  I’d chip in, too.  Listen, most republicans I know love his economics and domestic policies.  However, they are scared to death of his foreign policy and they can’t seem to understand that there is a big difference between foreign policy and national defense.  It is imperative for Paul to make that distinction.  Ron Paul is a strong supporter of national defense.  He needs to shout this from the damned heavens and educate people.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Even smart people think this way.  It’s maddening.  The whole point they seem to miss is that Israel, the actual real potential victim of anything Iran tries, will turn Iran into a parking lot should Iran do anything.  

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Evolution is just a theory.  A theory I agree with by the way, due to the preponderance of evidence.  

  • Rob Nabakowski

    But of course.  I am all in.

  • Dan

    Dr. Woods, no offense intended but you are being a little bit of a downer here. I watched Freedom Watch last night and Judge Napolitano had me fired up and ready for New Hampshire but you seem to take a basic three way split of the vote between Paul, Romney, and Santorum as if it was a momentum killer. I, obviously, would have liked an even better showing but I’m excited right now. Romney didn’t increase from where he was 4 years ago even though more people voted and Santorum has no organization or money. It’s going to be down to Mitt or Paul in a much sooner fashion than I thought and this is fantastic. I don’t know if we get the win but this is a position we can make some noise with. Romney has the establishment, Ron Paul has the small government types, and it will come down to who socially conservative voters get behind when the rest fall off.

  • Rustyw99

    Love you Tom! Great article! I admire Ron Paul in so many ways, it difficult to express.
    You are a GREAT promoter of Liberty and yes, I will continue to join you in the fight, in every way that I can. It is so uplifting to read your subscriber’s comments, to know that there are so many of us now. We fight on together!

  • Pratcrat

    Bless you, Cristobal. It burns me when I see bright, hardworking people with so little economic opportunity. The country is being ruined and most of the people are completely clueless about it. They cry for government to “create” ”jobs” and similar illogical nonsense. It’s the result of government schooling making us illiterate, dependent, fearful, gullible and accepting of the tyranny of elites. I also wised up thanks to Rockwell, Woods, Mises.org, DiLorenzo and the rest of the great contributors at LRC. And Ron Paul!! How can people BE so blind/evil to not see the good, the courage, in this man! I feel so privileged to have been able to attend one of his rallies.

  • David

    Aye Tom, you have my axe…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxPGzj2L3n0

  • Daniel

    Ron will keep working hard.  He is remaining positive, as  he well should. During these last few months I have gone back and forth between candidates.  People are changing there minds all the time. Ron is consistent with his message.  If we  stay informed and use common sense the right nominee will emerge. If we keep reading posts by Thomas Woods and other sensible Americans, we can make informed choices. I have to admit after listening to Rick Santorum: I thought to myself  he worked hard and has some good ideas.  

    But after thinking about his foreign policy, I had to return to Ron Paul.   I think the future debates will be interesting and I am looking forward to them. There’s a long way to go.

  • http://twitter.com/philoec Nora Smith

    Obama must be evicted and the only man with the ability to sign the order is Dr Paul. All the other candidates are the same as Obama, or at least close to him; they ALL think reducing the military spend is a capital sin

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  • Eric

    It is so very sad that you have bought into the Paul rhetoric but you haven’t looked at his record.  He is a lying racist NAZI, and this is well documented in numerous articles.  His RECORD is about the candidate, not the propaganda that he puts out.

      You have been duped.



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