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)
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 Government “conservatives,” 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!