It’s Already Ron Paul’s Fault if Mitt Romney Loses
The other day I had a brief Facebook exchange with a friend (who really is a great guy) about Ron Paul. He had posted an image that basically said Ron Paul was the next Ross Perot, and that anyone voting for Paul in November would be actually casting a vote for Obama.
There are all sorts of problems with that. First, Paul isn’t going to be on a ballot in November, so nobody will be voting for him. (Yes, I know he could be a write-in vote, if non-qualified write-in votes are allowed in a state.)
Second, the notion that Perot cost Bush the presidency is commonly argued, but the polling for that race indicated Perot took more votes from Clinton than he did from Bush. If anything, Perot kept it from being a landslide victory for Clinton. But that won’t keep your Republican friends from pointing fingers and calling names.
And finally, let’s not forget that we balanced the budget under Clinton. He wasn’t the perfect president at all, but if my vote in November – for anybody – could guarantee a balanced budget in the next few years, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Our fiscal issues have to be addressed right away if we have any hope of solving our economic woes.
But I digress. The point in all of that was that people are already blaming a man who’s not even on the ballot for a Republican loss in 2012. Then today I saw this piece that talks about how the national GOP is working to keep Paul supporters out of the convention. Keep in mind that these aren’t random supporters who decide to take a road trip to Tampa. These are delegates and alternates that have gone through the delegate process in their states.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. The GOP’s attempts to silence these guys is not going to go well. I believe these Paul supporters are way louder and way more obnoxious than they’ve been given credit for. In order to have a smooth convention, the GOP needs to play by the rules. Of course, if they don’t play fairly, and if (when) the Ron Paul people go crazy over it, Dr. Paul will be blamed for the distraction.
The thing that I don’t understand in all of this is that the GOP needs the Paul voters to win. I’ve even had this admitted to me by some of my warmongering, big government Republican friends. The GOP can’t win without the libertarian arm of the party.
Attempts to push out the libertarian voice, combined with the quality of a candidate the Libertarian Party has in Gary Johnson this year, will send would-be Republicans to vote elsewhere. It’s not like libertarian Republicans don’t have a great non-Romney option on the ballot in November.
Despite what anyone might want you to believe, if the Republicans lose this year, it won’t be Ron Paul’s fault. It won’t be Gary Johnson’s fault, either. It’ll be their own fault. And if that happens, maybe the GOP will learn from its mistakes and embrace would-be supporters in 2016.
Or maybe they’ll still be blaming the principled fiscal conservatives for sending our country to hell in a handbasket.