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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The Third Party Question, Pro and Con

12th April 2012      by: Tom Woods     

Justin Raimondo had a piece last week on why Ron Paul should run on a third-party ticket. An excerpt:

The fun doesn’t have to end in Tampa: if you decide to run an independent campaign for the White House – a strategy some of your supporters are already urging on you – your celebration of liberty and peace can continue right on up until November, and beyond. Because a third party candidacy will leave a legacy, a lasting monument to your campaign and the movement it created: a viable third party alternative to the twin parties of war and Big Government.

Polls show you getting as much as 17 percent of the vote in a three-way race – and those are just the starting numbers. It’s a long way until November, and a lot can happen: another economic crash, another war, another federal power grab so egregious it makes the PATRIOT Act seem like a mild precursor.

Republicans and conservatives argue that a third party campaign on your part would ensure President Obama’s reelection, a scenario I don’t think is all that credible. If Romney loses it will be because most people simply don’t like him, don’t trust him, and don’t want him anywhere near the Oval Office.

Yet even if it’s true your third party run would cost Romney the election, then isn’t it clear the Republicans deserve to lose? In the face of overwhelming public opposition to their warmongering, the other three GOP presidential contenders have relentlessly advocated escalating our overseas commitments: all three have explicitly threatened to go to war with Iran. Far from listening to your warnings about the dangers inherent in such a position, it’s clear they have nothing but contempt for your foreign policy views. Nor have they made any significant concessions on the domestic front: they’re all big spenders, Big Governmentconservatives,” and if they ever got into office they would continue along the same path.

In short, Republicans need to be taught a lesson, one they will never forget. By disdaining the substantial and growing libertarian wing of the GOP, and ignoring the desire for peace on the part of the larger public, they have earned nothing but defeat. You have said you are trying to save the Republican party, but it’s too late for that: what’s needed now is for someone to save the country from the GOP.

Yes, the Democrats also pose a major threat to liberty and peace, but the Republicans, I would argue, pose a much deadlier menace because their leaders and much of their base are unabashed militarists and dogged opponents of the Constitution. When it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties, the Obama administration is just as bad if not worse, but the difference is rhetorical: the Republicans openly proclaim their intent to continue and escalate our policy of permanent warfare, and take great pride in their willingness to throw the Bill of Rights overboard in the name of an endless “war on terrorism.” Obama, on the other hand, is careful to sugar-coat his authoritarianism and belligerent foreign policy in terms of “liberal” bromides and appeals to “pragmatism.”

Gary North came back with a piece of his own; an excerpt:

The cost of getting Ron Paul’s onto the ballot in every state is prohibitive. The political system is rigged for a two-party system. There will also be little time after the Republican National Convention.

Then there is Rand Paul. If his father openly bolts, Rand’s chances will be zero in 2016, assuming that Romney loses in 2012. There will be pent-up rage against the name “Paul,” in the same way that there was Republican rage against the name Roosevelt after 1912. But in 1920, Franklin Roosevelt got the nomination for Vice President . . . as a Democrat.

Ron Paul sat out the 2008 debacle. He did not get blamed. If Romney loses without his endorsement, he will not be blamed. If Romney loses in the face of a third party move, Ron Paul will be blamed.

If Romney wins, he will get to preside over a train wreck. That still opens the door in 2020….

Third party politics in a non-parliamentary system is the leprechaun’s lure of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 was the last serious candidate to run on a third party. That led to the election of Woodrow Wilson. Taft lost. The Republican faithful never forgave Roosevelt.

That century-old legacy is crucial for a successful political revolution inside the Republican Party over the next 8 years.

When I was on Ron Paul’s Congressional staff in 1976, we had no idea of what he would accomplish. What’s another 8 years?

We need 8 years to quietly infiltrate the Republican Party’s county organizations, especially in rural counties where Democrats are dominant. Nobody wants to be a Republicans in in those counties. Ron Paul Republicans should take advantage of this.

No one wanted to be a Republican in the South, 1877-1960. In 1964, Southern conservative Republicans’ patience paid off. Lyndon Johnson lost the South. The Republicans took it and kept it.

This can happen again in counties that are not inner-city counties. Most aren’t.

Ron Paul, as a good Republican, needs to put aside some of his campaign money to put together a post-election team of specialists in winning local elections. They need to set up an online training program for Republican activists who will become the next generation of leaders at the county level.

He must do what no Republican national leader has done: teach Republicans the basics of local politics. He needs to take a long view of the battle that he is in and we are in. He did that in 1976. He needs to do it in 2013 and beyond.

Both articles need to be read in their entirety to do justice to each person’s argument. Should you choose to read them, I welcome your thoughts in the comments!

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • Joel Poindexter

    I would love to see the GOP punished for pushing out Ron Paul but I know all too well it be seen as Paul “costing” the Republicans the election, rather than their own stupid fault for alienating the one guy who stands a decent chance at winning AND fixing some things.

    Don’t forget this great piece from Ron Holland, either. http://lewrockwell.com/holland/holland61.1.html

  • Ysoserious17

    He started as a republican….he ends as a republican, second article had a good point about the affects it could have on rand paul

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Suchcicki/100001048494524 Kevin Suchcicki

    Both articles make great points. Raimondo scored more points from a philosophical perspective but North was certainly more pragmatic. Wiser men than I work inside the campaign and will need to make this crucial choice. However, if it comes down to Romney and Obama, I refuse to vote for Romney lest it be a sign of approval for the antics pulled by the media and party establishment throughout this entire campaign. Not to mention the fact that a vote for Romney is little else than a vote for the current policy direction anyway. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joel-Munson/590981293 Joel Munson

    The solution is range voting.

    http://rangevoting.org/ 

  • Jake_nonphixion

    Set the stage for Rand Paul? No thanks. The apple fell pretty far from the tree on that one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_APLUFWIBCA7Z7NEHX43J3ZAGMQ Marlus

    Yes,  Ron Paul can take “counties” that are not inter city.  Numerous attempts to get the campaign in Coachella California during their big music festival, a added bonus, to spread the message with residents and young visitors. Coachella Valley is conservative.  California is not a blue state, it’s a Red state,  with two overpopulated, dirty, crazy blue spots.

    When he sees his supporters in Tampa in August, Ron Paul will march on regardless of everything.  This is the beginning of the R3volution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisditt Christopher Lee

    My extreme bias against both “flip flop” Romney and Obama’s change may be speaking here, but I’m quickly becoming allergic to being force fed candidates through the two party system. I think it needs to be dismantled. We need to start looking at the systems that Establishment is using to force their candidates on us.

    Furthermore, I think Ron Paul needs to ride the current momentum into more media spotlight.

    This is no longer about Ron Paul. This is about the values that many people support VS a select group of people who use a finely tuned system to keep those values out – If not now, when? I think it’s time for waves.

    What would have happened if America’s founding father’s waited another 4 more years? The time to act is now. When we can no longer bear another day of being silenced, that’s when we will see change not before it.

  • No

    The GOP will be punished for leaving out Paul, no matter what. Even if he doesn’t run 3rd party, a lot of Paulites (myself included) will just not vote. The difference is, Ron Paul can’t really be blamed for that, there’s no real evidence. I’m afraid I have to side with Gary North on this one, although he forgot the 3rd party serious candidate in 1992. Perot got a significant amount of the popular vote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690784465 Steve Luce

    The Republican party has little left to offer and should become a third party.  Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and all the liberty republicans should jump ship and become full blown libertarians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markcoldren Mark Coldren

    Sore loser laws would prevent Ron Paul from being the LP Presidential candidate, though he could very easily be the Vice-President on the ticket under either Gary Johnson or R. Lee Wrights (depending on which one wins the LP nomination). He can only do this, however, if he drops out of the Republican race soon, well before Tampa, and attends the LP National Convention on May 2-6.

  • Anonymous

    I consider myself a Republican, but I no longer feel as strong a binding sentiment.  I would love for Ron Paul to run on a third party ticket.  We should define what is practical within the bounds of what is right.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WYORTPTY2B6SGE4TJYW64IXLVI Jim Frechette

    I think at the end of the day if Ron is doing this for the progression of the liberty movement, the third party run makes the biggest footprint.  3rd party candidates typically do not poll anywhere near the 15% margin to qualify for debates.   You have to realize the raw amount of voters who do not participate in primary elections nor pay attention for that matter.  His audience will grow enormously from the already large movement.  He will not only be doing Romney a disservice, but Obama as well.  It is worth the time, effort, and exposure.  If he doesn’t want to do the third party run, he should forge a strong alliance with Gary Johnson who already has decided to do the third party run. 

    Justin is right…..the GOP needs to be punished severely if they put up Romney as their choice as an alternative to Obama.   

  • Anonymous

    Blame? The real blame lies with the filthy dirty media bias, all controlled by one powerful group of people who also control the actions of the Fed, the Military, CIA, banking, education, electoral and even the entertainment industry. It has been a masterful take-over of the entire system since the early 1900′s. In spite of this, do we still think Ron Paul can win the GOP with 1144 delegates? Yes. Do we think Ron Paul can go on to win the General election against Obama? Yes. Do I think he will? The only chance is if the people stand up and revolt against the Cartel, and this revolution will not be an intellectual one. It will have to fight against Martial Law and the machine.

  • http://ronpaul2012merchandise.com/ Terri4truth

    Our country does not have another 8, or even 4, more years.  The time for a third party run for Ron Paul is now.  It’s time to stop taking the fear spears that those in current control throw our way.  They want Ron Paul and all of his followers to accept that this race is over.  That’s how they operate.  Rand can make his own choices for his future, but for now, he’s a non issue because he isn’t on the ballot.  I think that serious consideration by the campaign should be given to not only a third party run, but also choosing and announcing who Ron Paul’s VP choice is.  We need all the help we can get to gather all of the anti-Romney and anti-Obama supporters to the cause of Liberty.  This is the most opportune time to take advantage of Santorum’s suspended candidacy and the assumptions of Romney’s triumph.  Let’s show ‘em what we’ve got!

  • Anonymous

     Everyone should donate to the 04/15 money bomb – Ron needs money to keep the attacks on Romney going. $2.5 million, MINIMUM. We can’t start to change the system unless we get him elected

  • Anonymous

    If we cant trust the vote and it has proven in a court, and before our eyes with the GOP primary, the voting system is rigged, how does he win?

  • J Fournier

    I agree with Tom Woods on pretty much everything. 
    Tom Woods likes Gary North a lot.
    I disagree with Gary North often.

    I’ve checked my premises, and I think Gary North is wrong.

    I look forward to Tom weighing in on this.  I have donated about $200-$300 to the Ron Paul campaign.  I think if he Ran third party (and fired Jesse Benton and hired Tom Woods), I might max out my donation limit in the next 6 months.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Watkins/1338564264 Christopher Watkins

     How so? I hear this often but I am not sure how. He seems less aggressive as his father but still similar to me. His latest plan calls for cutting 4 departments and balancing the budget in 5 years (compared to his father’s 5 cabinets and balancing it in 3 years).

    Just curious why Rand is far from Ron?

  • Anonymous

    if he puts himself on that debate stage between Romney and Obomba it’s the best time and place to expose the republican establishment as socialist and the democratic establishment as war mongering neocons.

  • Anonymous

    Why on earth should we believe the Republican Party will be any more accepting of Rand Paul than they are of Ron Paul?  They hate us.  It takes all their effort just to tell us through clenched teeth that we must all put our differences behind us and unite to defeat Obama.  In their eyes we should be seen only when voting for their candidates in the general election and we should never be heard.  Do you think for one second they won’t try to revise the nominating process after this election to make sure Rand Paul or someone else has no chance to ever challenge?  They will also revise it to make sure other establishment candidates can’t continue challenging the designated establishment candidate this far into the election year too. 

    This Republican has voted for the big-government buffoons the Republicans have nominated since 1992.  They always give us the b.s. about putting aside differences and waiting our turn.  Well, I’m used to waiting–it is all I have ever done.  But, like George Soros, I too can see no difference between Romney and Obama.  Suffering through 4 years of either is equally undesirable for me.  I receive no benefit from backing their choice, but only encourage them to disregard my interests with impunity in the next
    election.   It is now time for the Republican Establishment to wait.  The next time I vote for a Republican Presidential candidate in the general election it will be for my choice and if my choice is not their nominee then to hell with them.  Charlie Brown should have b!tch-slapped Lucy when she pulled the football away!!!

  • rojam

     
    Mr. Frechette makes some excellent points that I too share. I especially agree with him about non participation in primary elections. This certainly could explain the huge rallies yet poorer than expected primary returns. One point that can’t be denied is that Ron Paul will most definitely receive more votes from a larger cross sectional base than both Romney and Obama combined. Much more so than Ross Perot did. Of course there is the young vote too. I was a bit too young to remember the 1960 election, but not any elections after 1960 and I have never witnessed such support from the younger generation. Eugene McCarthy had a lot of young support as did Robert Kennedy but they had to share that support, but it was not even close to the support Ron Paul is getting and continues to get. 
    Mr. North brings up a point, however, that worries me a great deal about a Paul third party run. That being the future of Rand Paul in the GOP. I believe his analysis is spot on and since Dr. Paul is such a devoted father I am sure this is something he thinks about a lot and it must weigh very heavy on his heart. Though the positives of a third party run seem to outweigh the negatives, this negative is a huge one.

    I hope he runs as a third party candidate if he doesn’t receive the nomination, but even if he doesn’t he will receive my vote. I will vote. I will not vote for either Romney nor Obama. Those days of voting for bad or really bad are done!!  

  • Anonymous

    Don’t give up on the GOP race. It’s unlikely, but its not over til the fat lady sings.

    My vote is for Paul to go 3rd party.

    My guess is that the GOP will do everything possible to marginalize Rand Paul in 2016 even though he is much more “moderate” than his father. Even if Ron Paul were to enthusiastically endorse and campaign for Mitt Romney and try and swing some kind of deal, the GOP establishment will try and betray Rand.

    Ron Paul needs to make a stand now. The country can not survive 4 years of somebody with Obama’s mentality who won’t be facing another election.
    If Ron Paul is anywhere near the threshold for inclusion into the debates, I hope that he makes this sacrifice for the country and goes 3rd party in some fashion. Physically its not easy for an old guy to run around the country for months on end – I know. But I hope he does run third party.

    We’ll see. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/billardkarr Bill Karr

    I agree with the second article. The partnership he’s worked so hard to build within the Republican party is precious and fragile. We need to work on getting more of our people in Congress and Senate and running for local positions. This revolution isn’t dependent on getting the Presidency. It’s an intellectual and transitional revolution of ideas.

    If he ran third party, even if it wasn’t his fault, the Republican party would blame him if Romney lost against Obama. I’m so scared of Republicans completely rejecting us in that case. The reason why libertarians don’t get very much attention is because they started their own party. We’re trying to change the Republican party. I’d fully support Ron Paul in a third party run, but I’d be scared of the consequences of Obama winning against Romney if that happened.

    Either way, we need to keep this going. This movement CANNOT die if Ron Paul fails to get the Presidency.

  • John Ames

    The Lew Rockwell show has an episode about the history of third party runs in America from about three months ago. The guy lays out the difficulties associated with running third party. He said that just getting on the ballot would become where most of the resources are spent, not in getting the message out.

  • http://nikhilhogan.com/ Nikhil Hogan

    Love Justin, but I agree with Gary North here. It’s better to take the fight to the local level.

  • http://twitter.com/TheOhConserv TheOhioConservative

    The overlying issue I have is that another Obama term may very lead to an end of elections in the United States as we know it.  Another 4 years would give more than enough to buy off a majority of voters and create the welfare state.  We could run 20 election cycles and not have the ability to even garner 40% of the vote.  

    We must stop the bleeding in this nation before we try to mend and re-condition the nation.  The re-election of Obama is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly, as Justin Raimondo seems to do. 

  • http://twitter.com/TheOhConserv TheOhioConservative

     Not voting shows a lack of understanding of the crisis we are in currently.  To not vote in this election particularly would reverse all the progress made over the last (fill in your own number) of years. 

    We must not lose the war because we want to win every battle.

  • http://twitter.com/TheOhConserv TheOhioConservative

     The local level is the strategy liberals have used for almost 70 years, and it has worked as we are now experiencing with our current President

  • J Fournier

    I’m looking forward to the Gary North article in 2020 that says we should wait for the great opportunity we have in 2028.  FREEDOM IN MY LIFETIME, PLEASE!

  • Justin

    What does this even mean. What war are you going to win in a presidential race. Not VotingVoting the same outcome is looming. If Mitt wins then the chose between Mitt and Obama is no choice and not voting seems pretty reasonable. Stop living in fairy tale land.

  • Justin

    And how do you propose to stop the bleeding. Voting not Obama want change anything if the other guy is a Statist which almost all Republicans are. 

  • George

    All things considering, I believe Dr. North has the much stronger
    argument. We have to think about the long-term. Change just won’t happen
    overnight. Statism wouldn’t be as omnipresent today if it didn’t have
    support, and a tradition behind it.

    A third party run would arguably give us as supporters immediate
    satisfaction. But the question has to be if it would do much of anything
    significant for the long-term. (Needless to say, wanting only revenge
    against the GOP is not a good reason.) Would a third party build the
    movement beyond what it is now? I doubt it would (relatively) add much.
    Moreover, Ron Paul would likely only be a footnote in the media
    coverage. So, again, we can’t say his public popularity would increase
    significantly as a result. And a non-Republican and non-Democrat man has
    to be super rich to run for president and then make a voting dent.

    Our democratic election system is biased against third parties. The
    Constitution and Libertarian parties, for example, haven’t accomplished
    much result. That road has been taken by many, and has yet to succeed.
    So it might be better, as an alternative, to try to slowly “take over”
    the GOP a small local election at a time. Perhaps it would be better to
    “take over” than to build an “external” movement/party which from the very
    outset will hit institutional roadblocks. In addition, there still is a
    small (maybe growing) “remnant” within the members of the Republican party. Dr. Woods
    himself can verify this: he can publish in their circles through
    Regenry, he can go on talk radio, etc. After all, if we are ever to win,
    we will need to convince a lot of these people. So here, too, perhaps
    it would be better to convince them, so to speak, where they are “at
    home” than battle them with ideas “externally.”

    Consider also that the national public ethos is too statist. I don’t
    think a top-down plan will bring liberty. If Ron Paul was president,
    it’s not as if he could radically cut the government. Yet we might be
    able to punch a few holes in the system locally with Paul-like politicians, and then build up from
    there.

  • http://flowerpt.myopenid.com/ Bill McGonigle

    Possibly, but Approval Voting is much easier to understand and administer, and essentially as good.  I suspect we’d both be happy with either, but poltiically, the easier system is more likely to gain acceptance.

  • NEWTORPAUL2012

    I think that the third-party thing would be useful and intriguing. It would really send a message to the Republican establishment that the Ron Paul movement for liberty, low taxes, and constitutional government shall not put up with this crap no longer far more than any write-in, vote for GJ, or not voting ever could. I think Ron Paul should make this decision himself, and we should respect his decision either way. Sure you’d get mega-tonnes of flak for it, but you’d ultimately be stronger, more influential as a movement for it. I think the idea is between holding the Republican Party hostage or pursuading the Republican Party to stand with us. The pursuasion option I don’t think will work, just because it is a really large Party and makes up at best 10% of the Republicans’ ranks and so you guys, under normal circumstances, are playing a losing game of chess against the other 90% of the Republican Party. Whereas if you guys consolidate and mount a third-party bid, Republicans will not dare to cross your boundaries with near as much enthusiasm. If you think the country’s going to collapse soon, like in ten years, mount a third-party bid absolutely. If you think it can hold and if you think you can mold that 90% into your ideological image, don’t.

  • http://flowerpt.myopenid.com/ Bill McGonigle

    If the Paulites who think they’re going to take over the Republican Party are successful, I’ll eat my hat and switch back.  But since similar people have been trying to do just that and failing for at least 160 years, I’m not working up a wool appetite quite yet.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
    something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R.
    Buckminster Fuller

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6R2PCW737EJW2E6LSHJRNAR5M Timothy

    Rand is more than likely the most liberty minded Senator we have. However, I was very upset to learn he voted for the Iran sanctions. Even more disturbing, his reasoning made no sense to me.

  • Petermichael1969

    I’m a serious Ron Paul supporter that is tired to death of all the third party talk. If you can’
    t get it together enough to take over the Republican party and become the nominee, then your not capable of taking on both parties in a general election.

    I’m working so that Ron Paul will get the nomination. How about you?

  • Christian Thomas

    Raimondo is wrong.  A 3rd party run will not leave a greater legacy.  In fact it will likely leave a great deal less.  In Britain, which is far more open in this respect, we have seen these things already.  The SDP is a forgotten memory.  UKIP, which is a natural home to Conservatives, is barely recognised as a political force.  The Greens getting a seat in parliament is an utter irrelevance.  17% of the vote is nothing like enough to make any lasting impression.

    Assuming a third party run, which can only do damage, is to assume that these things haven’t been thought out, particularly in respect of Rand Paul.  The job here is to see off the last of the candidates, to put in a respectable run and to have shifted the ground on which the election will be fought, which has already happened.  If Newt is short of funds it will be a two horse race and the outcome can therefore only be respectable.  There will be no doubting Ron Paul’s influence thereafter and that power is far better used from a position of power rather than theoretically.

    It is possibly a crying shame that the Republicans cannot hear the siren call and a particular shame that the US, and the rest of us, will have to endure another term of the same economic policies from either party.  But this is a huge amount of progress made in a very short time.  And much of it will remain as a genuine alternative to prevailing ideology.  Ron Paul has shown enormous stamina and fortitude in what he has done so far and because it isn’t a power-crazed grab at the top, that will remain as a legacy.

    And if Romney can win, which I personally doubt, then who else will the GOP turn to as an alternative as he stumbles.  As long as Paul is in any position other than VP he, and we, can be sure of having a new political base.  

    It’s not my wish, but what has been achieved so far has to be commended.

  • Perfectelement983

    Teddy Roosevelt is a bad example.  He was pretty much an establishment candidate they sent in, in a coordinated attack against Taft. You can’t really compare it to Ron Paul running.  Also, if Rand has a change of a GOP nom but Ron doesn’t, then doesn’t that just mean he’s more willing to sell out his beliefs? Do we really want to “win” like that?  Furthermore, has Rand ever said he’s going to run?  People just talk about it like they assume it’s going to happen.  Are we really supposed to make decisions based on blind assumptions?

  • Christian Thomas

    We all know the problem – as Justin below does too.  Yes, another term of anyone is a disaster but while I personally believe Ron Paul would win against Obama, he has to get through the Republican hoop first.  The question here is what to do if they don’t want him just yet.

  • David

     I don’t think the GOP establishment will be any more friendly to Rand, but from my experience the average GOP voter (for whatever reason) is more friendly towards Rand. However, if Ron were to run third party, and Republicans perceived him as the reason Romney lost (assuming that is what would happen), then Rand definitely could receive backlash from average voters in 2016.  Not saying this automatically disqualifies a Ron Paul run now, just something to consider

  • Jay

    Screw the dying GOP.  It will and should go the way of the Whigs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfr2F8F1xms

  • Josh Pocock

    For liberty, it is always about the message – not the messenger.  And for Ron Paul, it is always about the future – not the election.  If I had to guess, I would imagine Paul endorsing Gary Johnson.

    While I do not think Paul will run third party, I don’t know if he needs to be too worried about Rand’s future in the GOP.  Not all Ron supporters like Rand.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelpshipley Michael P. Shipley

    I agree completely. The local precincts are the tyrants Achilles heel. That is where grass roots are powerful and they are weak. Look how easily Ron Paul supporters take over the delegates in the caucus states. Thats how easy it would be to take over the GOP at the local level. The cunning warrior attacks nether body nor mind. First you attack it’s heart, and that is the states.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelpshipley Michael P. Shipley

    What about Ron Paul running for governor of Texas? What would be his chances? If he won he could immediately begin nullifying unconstitutional federal laws and getting the state on some type of gold standard. Texas could be the fire of freedom that spreads to the other states.

  • Richard Schwarz

    The unfortunate problem with RP running third party is ballot access. Getting on the ballot in all 50 states is NOT easy and the longer he waits, the harder it gets. He could still have a presence at the Republican Convention in Tampa, but if he waits until then to declare a third party run he cannot get on many state ballots, but if he announces his third party intention before then, he is immediately ostracized from the Republican Party (OK possibly a good thing.) Getting on the ballot 3rd party is not just about spending a massive amount of money and collecting millions of signatures. There will be lawsuits. The powers in charge control important judges who will decide on these lawsuits. It can be done, but it is VERY difficult, and there is way to much room for failure which could be quite embarrassing. Ron Paul knows all this which I believe will weigh very heavily on any decision he makes. 

  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    We need more people at the local level because this would allow a higher chance of some forms of nullification.  Who cares about the president if your state can nullify all his stupid laws?

  • Anonymous

    The fact is that this year is like no other. We are faced with a president who appears to abhor the constitution, and who himself may be an unconstitutional incumbent. For the first time we have a president about whom we know much too little. We got here because of the limp equivocation of the Republican Party that no longer knows what it stands for (and so stands up for nothing). We have thus arrived at a point of crisis–from many points of view. The country perceives this. For the first time the willful corruption of our electoral system (e.g. the arguments against photo ids, intimidation at the polling place, manipulation of results) is openly apparent and for the first time the GOP is apparently involved in this dishonesty in its own primaries. The media is openly distorting news rather than reporting it. Our country is being overtaken on economic and military fronts, our freedoms are slipping way. This is not a normal election.
    There is much we don’t know. Only the Ron Paul Campaign knows how much ground Ron Paul’s Campaign is gaining by staying in the race. If there is any chance at all that the tide will continue to swell, it is worth pressing on. If the convention is brokered but dishonestly manipulated, then the people have a right to the choice of an honest candidate, which would mean a third party run.
    Historic parallels are irrelevant. This time it’s different.  

  • Txnemesis

    We need to resort to outright force!  What I mean is, Gary Johnson does the job for us with a 3rd party run.  We should rally behind BOTH.  This way the name “Paul” doesn’t get the blame.  We need to be involved at the grassroots in the libertarian, republican, and democratic parties.   We need to make Romney so concerned about losing that he let’s someone like “The Judge” be the VP. 

  • George

    Ron Paul could never have gotten to where he has if he didn’t belong to the Republican Party. If he was only a Libertarian Party man (for example), it’s unlikely he would have created the movement he has. Likewise, Rand Paul (for all his faults) wouldn’t be in the Senate.

    It is one thing to argue that right now, with that foundation, Dr. Paul could mount a strategically sound Third Party—-or just run independent for president. However, it wouldn’t be correct to argue that working with a “R” next to one’s name means certain failure because the Ron Paul Revolution of today and yesterday is proof otherwise it seems to me. It’s been an amazing, growing movement.

    The public—-including Republicans, Democrats, and independents—-is -not- libertarian. A lot of Dr. Paul’s supporters underestimate this. There is no magic pill or quick solution. Either working to create a Third Party or working within the GOP will be hard. The question is only of relative comparison.

    Obviously, just because it’s been hard with the GOP, it doesn’t therefore  mean it will somehow be more easy outside it. Maybe or maybe not. And it’s not correct to claim that people have only been working a long time to “fix” the GOP. The same can be said about Third Party movements.

    When someone like I (at least) argue that it might be better to “fix” the GOP, it -doesn’t- at all mean to reform it in any conventional sense. It’s more about working covertly, so to say, in it with -particular- individuals. That’s how Ron Paul and Rand Paul got in. We can use the current system to -smash- it. The establishment, I argue, in part hates Ron Paul because this is what he tries to do. He uses their own tools against them. They probably would rather he stayed out of the GOP primary and just among Libertarian Party circle members.

    It’s not (or shouldn’t be) about “fixing” any party simply to make it an outstanding party, but somehow -using it- as a means to an end. Spreading education via a good Third Party man is not necessarily any better than getting eduction out of a good Republican (or Democrat) man. More fundamentally, and to seemingly moderate the anti-third party run position, it may not matter what party a “good” candidate runs in. That’s why, firstly, with all the hurdles a Third Party has, I believe a good candidate might as well run, all other things being equal, in the GOP and work towards getting GOP outsiders with his—not the party’s—-candidacy and more importantly with the ideas of liberty.

    Secondly, democratic politics might be a good vehicle to spread education, but -not- much more than that. Creating a political party can easily get it hooked to politics and its evils. To reiterate, to use the GOP party is different than a mission of totally transforming it so that it is good as a whole. You can’t “fix” government because it as we know it is based on a faulty theory that could never work (if you agree with libertarian theorist Hans-Hermann Hoppe). To be sure, this is not an absolute answer to the question of if a Third Party should be entirely ruled out, but I think it can point to some reasons to take to a more decentralized approach, and that may not need another massive political party organization (which is not a new idea or approach).

    This leads me, thirdly, to think about having the Ron Paul Revolution collectively targeting local locations and elections (independent of party considerations). And ultimately, but far more radically, it needs to target locality to push for nullification and even for secessionism. Political nationalism and centralization can only be defeated by its opposites. We can dream of a D.C. with hundred of Pauls, but all the incentives go in the opposite direction, possibly making it impossible for any length of time. A society with many independent political units we can picture, and its one with better incentives, but the nation-state must go down for it to work.

    In any case, a truly private property society will only win if men embrace correct ideas. Whatever is the best approach to spread them, we should all do our small part. Let’s debate this, but not bicker too much.



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