Note from Shepherd: This comment was originally posted by Charles Beck on the Wall Street Journal discussion group, Libertarians. The topic of the discussion was: “Should Ron Paul run as an independent candidate after the primaries?” I posted this question because I thought, after Super Tuesday, it was clear to me the game is over. Ron Paul is not going to be nominated to run against Obama, and voters are going to vote for Obama the true socialist rather than Romney the fake capitalist. I personally would like to see Ron Paul continue the fight after the primaries and spread his messages as a presidential candidate. Moreover, for reasons in “Looking Down from Top of Mountain,” I would love to see a prominent 3rd candidate.1
Since Ron Paul is unlikely to run as an independent candidate, I think Mr. Beck’s idea is worth some serious consideration. Enjoy!
Very perplexing subject, Eric… Instead of a show of support for a specific candidate though, my personal desire in this regard is to shift the paradigm towards the maximum amount of personal freedom and fiscal sanity possible. I know that my pulling the lever for any non GOP candidate will help to re-elect President Obama, which has no appeal to me whatsoever. On the other hand I feel that by supporting any available non-Ron Paul GOP candidate I’m helping to enable the GOP’s business as usual practices, which also turn my stomach.
While I think that the tendency towards laissez-faire capitalism is increasing I feel that we’re still a long ways from a political consensus around such principles. Until a more significant slice of the electorate adopts those principles the libertarian party will only realize tangible progress by coercing the GOP into instituting some of its policies. The GOP will never make any concessions as long as they know that Libertarians will always side against the progressive flavor of the day. The only hope for Libertarians to sway the Republican Party is by making it very clear that they will no longer allow themselves to be coopted or marginalized. This election provides a prime opportunity for delivering that message. Personally, though, I think that a vote of recalcitrance would better be placed with Gary Johnson even though Ron Paul earned it. The message would still come across and… who knows… the Libertarian Party might even “earn” the matching funds available to parties that garner five percent of the vote.
- "Looking Down from Top of Mountain" by Eric Mao