An Update on the Ron Paul Campaign
Presidential Candidate Ron Paul continues to exceed many people's expectations. Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party nominee for President in 1988. Since then, he has been elected to the U. S. Congress from Texas District 14 as a Republican, and he is currently seeking the Republican Party nomination for President.
Some Libertarian Party members have been supporting Ron Paul's campaign as a donor or volunteer, as I have.
But remember, Texas election law prohibits anyone who votes in the 2008 primaries from participating with the Libertarian Party as a candidate, a county chair, or a convention delegate. (This does not apply to National Convention delegates.)
Clyde Garland, an activist from Brazos County, suggested that if you want to support Ron Paul, you can do a lot more to support him by running for office than you would by simply giving him one vote in the primary.
Why? As an individual, you have one voice and one vote. But as a Libertarian Party candidate for public office, you can use your bully pulpit to let people know you support Ron Paul. (Only if you wish to - - I recognize some Libertarians do not support Ron Paul for President.)
Some Libertarians have worried that Ron Paul's presidential campaign will hurt the Libertarian Party by taking away from our fundraising efforts and candidate recruitment. I respectfully disagree.
We may be losing old donors, but we're also gsining new members and new donors, and I'm sure some of the new interest in the LP is a result of Ron Paul's campaign. Long-term, I expect the Libertarian Party will benefit greatly from Ron Paul's publicity for Libertarian ideas.
Just think of all the liberty-loving people who Ron Paul's campaign is bringing out of the shadows. If we can identify who these folks are, it will benefit our party tremendously.
Frankly, I think activists from some other states, whose efforts haven't been as successful as they'd like, may just be using Ron Paul's campaign as an excuse for their own failures. I don't care for that attitude.
That's one page out of a six-page letter devoted to a candidate who is not running for the party's nomination- indeed who has repeatedly disavowed any interest in the party's nomination.
Furthermore, it was written by the LPTex Executive Director, Wes Benedict...
... so I'm reading this as official Libertarian Party endorsement of Ron Paul.
And let's look at the things Benedict says. First he describes who Ron Paul is- a candidate for President and for Congress as a member of the REPUBLICAN Party.
The whole point of my supporting the Libertarian Party is that they are the party which best represents my views. The Republican Party is NOT such a party. If I wanted to support Republicans, I'd join the Republican Party.
As for the suggestion that a Libertarian candidacy supports a Republican candidate... not only is that innately offensive, but it as much as admits that Libertarians cannot actually win elections. "Why, no, I'm not running because I want the job- I'm running because I support Ron Paul, a member of a party I oppose, for President!"
(And the little quip recognizing that some Libertarians don't support Ron Paul is the back of the hand to those people- myself included. The tone of the rest of the section is the strong presumption that all true Libertarians want Ron Paul for President- despite the many good reasons I've presented here why Paul should NOT be President, nor even the Libertarian Party nominee. It's the same smug "of course, we don't all have to agree" tone that Democrats use on anti-abortion Dems or Republicans use for the Log Cabin caucus.)
As for injuring Libertarian prospects, workers for Libertarian candidates in Louisiana, Indiana and Virginia reported potential donors telling them outright that all their free money had been given to Ron Paul. Go ahead and shrug off the churn of old and new members... the churn that happens EVERY election cycle, as voters investigate options and try new things. Finally, utterly fail to mention places where voter registration and primary votes determine ballot access for the 2010 cycle- places where Libertarians will vote for Ron Paul, avoiding the Libertarian Party, and thereby causing our party to lose the ballot access we've fought so hard for.
And what, in the final paragraph of the page, is Benedict's response to those who object to Ron Paul and to his effect on our party?
I'm not quite ready to make a final, bridge-burning decision...
... but at this point, I officially see no reason whatever to continue supporting the Libertarian Party, not if it acts like nothing more than a splinter of the Republican Party.