I gave $25 to Ron Paul Monday because I couldn't resist being part of the largest grass-roots fundraising day in the history of American politics. The libertarian Republican raised $4.2 million from 37,000 contributors, according to a final tally provided to USA Today, from an effort that wasn't even organized by the campaign.
The idea to raise his profile with a "money bomb" on Nov. 5 was the brainchild of Trevor Lyman, the publisher of ThisNovember5th.Com. Lyman adopted the incendiary metaphor of Guy Fawkes, using a literal anti-government revolutionary to attract attention to a rhetorical bomb thrower.
In an email Paul sent contributors, the straight-laced doctor sounded more like a child of the '60s than any of the Democratic candidates:
I have to admit being floored by the $4.2 million dollars you raised yesterday for this campaign. And unlike the fatcat operations of the opposition, the average contribution from our 36,672 donors was $103.
I say "you raised," because this historic event was created, organized, and run by volunteers. This is the spirit that has protected American freedom in our past; this is the spirit that is doing so again.
Some of the mainstream media have sat up and taken notice. Others have pooh-poohed our record online fundraising. But the day is coming -- far faster than they know -- when they will not be able to ignore our freedom revolution.
I like Paul, in spite of the fact that I believe in most of the government programs he'd like to see abolished. Liberals can find common cause with Paul on issues like opposition to the Patriot Act, an end to the war in Iraq and preservation of constitutional liberties. (On Social Security, Medicare and the Department of Education not so much.) Paul's one of the most ideologically consistent presidential candidates, voting his beliefs reliably during 29 years in politics, and he's a throwback to the days when Republicans had an uneasy relationship with government. Today's borrow-and-spend Republicans are just as likely to break the bank as the tax-and-spend Democrats of old, but they spend the money on military adventures and corporate welfare instead of social programs, and they lay the bill on our grandkids and great-grandkids.
The chord Paul's striking with disenchanted Americans is impressive, even as they drive right-wing sites like RedState to hysteria with their online activism. The stuff that disciples of Paul are creating on their own has been the most effective campaigning I've seen thus far, like the iconic Ron Paul Revolution banner:
This astounding fund-raising achievement should compel the media to take Paul more seriously, even though he's yet to show enough polling success to be a realistic threat to win the nomination. He's raising money at a faster clip than the other Republican candidates and can carry his effort all the way to Election Day as a third-party candidate, which is where he ran in 1988 as the Libertarian nominee.
I feel pretty much the same about Paul, I disagree strongly with him on many things, but at least you know where he stands about most things. Between him and Kuchinich, you could have something like 1992 where a wildcard candidate shakes up both parties. In spite of his being a nutjob, Ross Perot gave both parties some serious food for thought. I still think that it was his harping on a balanced budget in 1992 that made that a priority for Clinton. If the two outliers start a trend towards honest policy discussion without pandering towards the "safe votes" of either party, your money's been well spent.
I'm also encouraged by the recent flurry of interest in Bill Richardson. The Dems seem to be so blinded by the sexiness of their leading candidates that they're not holding their feet to the fire on any issues (other than Iraq). What they're going to end up with is the "anyone but Bush" vote, and I believe we'll all sorely regret that. This is how we ended up with Bush in the first place, he was a Republican who could beat the Clinton machine.
Ron Paul is a damn idiot. Every time I hear him open his mouth I cring and/or snear. The guy is a complete fool.
It's difficult to beleive anyone would take him seriously, let alone give him some of their hard earned quan.
The trouble with Paul supporters, when someone puts a microphone in front of them, is that they tend to start talking about how the Holocaust was faked. I don't know why this is so, I've never heard Paul say that (not that I've heard him say much of anything), but his peeps never fail to horrify. Plus they seem nuttier than Kos Kids when it comes to other conspiracy theories.
On righty sites, they tend to write even more horrifyingly crazy stuff, and they'll vote their lives away in internet polls to make Paul look a lot more viable than he actually is. That may be part of what Red State's got a red ass about.
Before anyone gets all nipple-hard about Ron Paul, they should take a good close look at what the guy is really all about.
Yes, he's the only Publican willing to speak the truth about Iraq and how us being there IS the problem...but ya ought to take a look at his voting record and the things he believes in.
I'm just sayin'...
As far as I can tell Ron Paul is the only one running with an ounce of common sense. It's unfortunate he can't be the king of 30 second sound bites as this seems to be all that matters to most of the "sheepel" (citizens) in this country. But, it's going to take much more to fix some of the huge problems facing this country, and I'm not talking about the fear-mongering "terrorism" pitch.
It seems like everyone has completely forgot how important financial stability is and Ron Paul is the only one willing to tackle this problem.
God help us.