To Run for Office Like Ron Paul
by Robert Wenzel: Politician
I will receive an email from an EPJ reader, who will inform me of
some U.S. congressional race, or some other race, where a "libertarian"
is doing quite well and might win.
have written before, that the number of people in the United
States, who understand liberty, and want liberty, is under 10%,
so I find it hard to believe that "libertarians" are very
close to being elected in all these races.
I don't think
the emailers understand the essence of the Ron Paul presidential
campaign: He lost.
He lost, BUT
he got an important message out. Millions more now understand that
there is a very well thought out liberty philosophy, but let me
again emphasize, Ron Paul is not going to be president and he lost
in 2008, also. He is a big time political loser. Yet, as an educational
tool to advance the liberty message, his presidential campaign has
to be ranked as one of the greatest marketing success stories ever.
Where he was
a political success, as a member of the House of Representatives,
he really didn't accomplish much, if anything. How could he amongst
a bunch of statists?
Where he was
a political failure, he accomplished much, very much: he launched
what libertarians need to know about running for office. It's not
about compromising your principles to gain more votes, its not about
hiding your true views on taxes and minimum wage laws to gain more
votes, it's about running to get the hardcore libertarian message
hoping that after you give a speech where you denounce minimum wage
laws, all taxes and the local public fire department, that at least
one person, maybe two, wander over to you after your speech and
tell you that what you said sounded interesting.
losing the election, but at the same time advancing the libertarian
In other words,
it's okay for a libertarian to run for office, if it's the Ron Paul
way. If it's about losing the election but spreading the word. If
it's about writing op-eds, appearing in debates and being interviewed
on radio about hardcore libertarianism.
aren't close to getting elected in most places with just a libertarian
message. But the message can be spread. Ron Paul has proved that.
If this is done in enough places, enough times, the message can
be spread even more, and more people will catch on. Then some day,
perhaps five years from now, perhaps ten, we may hear of people
sticking completely to libertarian principle and winning here and
winning there. That will be the signal that large numbers of people
at that time want liberty and understand what liberty is.
As for now,
though, don't email me to tell me how close you are to victory.
Email me to tell me you were on a radio show and explained to the
host the dangers of government charity and the dangers of government
healthcare. Write to tell me that you most assuredly are going to
lose the election, but as you get better and better about spreading
the word about libertarianism that instead of one person coming
up to you after every other speech you give, five and six people
are coming up to you after every speech and are curious about libertarianism.
The real test,
of course, will be to see if the black hole of power doesn't suck
you in and make you a sell-out.
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal
Best of Robert Wenzel