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.