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Home » The N.C. Way » Ron Paul, what have you done for me lately?

Ron Paul, what have you done for me lately?

by Sean Haugh

Sean HaughI’ve been following the Ron Paul campaign with great interest and yes, not a little bit of sheer excitement. I cheer every time I see him on TV, and it sure is nice to see the word “libertarian” used with much greater frequency in news outlets like CNN and the Washington Post.

Honestly though, when I consider the effect this campaign has on the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement as a whole, so far all it has to offer is this excitement. Meanwhile I have witnessed how it has already caused us some real damage. What’s worse, in the blind rush to support this Champion of Liberty, I see little so far to indicate we will we better off when this campaign has run its course.

Now I love Ron Paul a whole lot. In all the debate among Libertarians about him, the only real reason offered not to love him is that he is a Republican. It’s sad that the existence of parties muddles up everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that parties dominate American politics. The mere fact that we formed as a political party ourselves shows we acknowledge this basic fact.

So sure, let’s be excited about Ron Paul, and let’s help him spread the good news of Liberty. But let’s be smart about it folks. With all the glorious promise of the Ron Paul campaign, we need to ask ourselves, what are the actual results?

On the positive side, Ron Paul has enjoyed some significant success using the big podium of a Presidential campaign to promote the ideas of Constitutional government and all those wonderful libertarian ideas that come along with it. This simply is an extension of what he was doing in Congress all these years, and it really is thrilling to see that stuff he’s been saying all this time finally get some play in the major media. I personally have witnessed many examples of people in the unlikeliest of places, such as fantasy football message boards, spontaneously arise and start talking up Ron Paul. There really are a lot of folks who weren’t interested in politics before who are activated now because they finally heard a Republican get up and talk some sense.

That’s it really for the positives. In them I see a whole wide world of opportunity, but so far that’s all it is, opportunity. Seriously, can anyone cite to me an example of person who has joined the Libertarian Party because of Ron Paul’s campaign? Are our affiliates fielding new inquiries generated by it? I don’t know of any.

Do we have a real plan of any kind to reach these people and get them in the party? If so, I’d love to hear it. Becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ron Paul campaign really doesn’t strike me as much of a plan.

The positives only go so far. I am telling you now, my dogs have as much of a chance being elected the next President as Ron Paul. For all of the publicity Ron Paul has received, this has not translated into any public support whatsoever according to the polls. None. The most recent Rasmussen poll (an outfit historically very sympathetic to libertarians, mind you) shows Paul still languishes among the five last place Republican candidates sharing 3% support. Any talk of what Ron Paul could do as President is utterly irrelevant because it simply will not happen.

Everybody feels great about how Ron Paul stuck it to Rudy Giuliani on the lessons of 9/11 in the South Carolina debate. But did you hear the audience reaction? They loved Rudy! Yes, a downright stupid sack of lies came out of Giuliani’s mouth in response, yet the audience still ate it up. You think *Republican primary voters* are going to make Ron Paul their candidate? Please, don’t be a fool.

Meanwhile, the real negatives are starting to pile up. Fundraising for libertarian causes has taken a massive hit. Groups which kept diversified sources of fundraising, like the national LP, are surviving, but those who went solely to internet fundraising, such as Downsize DC, have seen their income approach zero in the last 2-3 months. If you go look at the FEC reports for Paul, you would find quite a number of names of regular big donors for the party and libertarian causes. The rising tide of support for Ron Paul could very well wipe out several small but important libertarian efforts.

I see a whole lot of Libertarians putting their energy into Ron Paul while we have a party of our own to build. I would feel better about this if I saw any flow of energy in the other direction. Where is the new blood for the LP?

And that’s where the one reason not to love Ron Paul becomes significant. It is still a Republican campaign. As much as he is cast as a party outsider, his mere existence gives people the false hope that the Republican Party can be a vehicle for restoring Liberty. We can’t allow that destructive illusion to tear us apart any longer. The very first thing I would like to stop is Ron Paul as an excuse for Libertarians to be at odds with each other. That’s why I’m not terribly judgmental about people who want to support him. But I still expect Libertarian Ron Paul supporters to show me what his campaign does for me, really, and I haven’t heard too many good answers yet.

Even the one good answer is limited. Sure, everyone can lovingly cite how Ron Paul always voted against the war and voted against the Patriot Act, and yes that is beautiful stuff. Yet while using his Congressional office as a platform to promote Liberty, can anyone name one piece of legislation that Ron Paul actually got passed? Not just to help restore Liberty, on any subject at all?? No matter how big he gets, he’s still just a voice in the wilderness crying out “no!” God bless him for it, but he’s proven one vote doesn’t get you too far in Congress.

The one and only thing Ron Paul does for me is that he has put the notion of Constitutional government back into the debate at the highest level. Don’t get me wrong, I do not wish to dismiss the significance of this. This is big stuff.

But what are we doing about it? How are we preparing for the day when Ron Paul has to withdraw from the Presidential race, which is no later than next spring? Will we come out the other side of that stronger, with his supporters looking for a new political home and finding us? Or will they stay within the Republican Party and look there for a new limited government savior? Or worse, will they just go home burnt out and twice as jaded as before?

Consider also, how many of our own people who have followed Ron Paul’s Pied Piper will do the same, stay Republican or give up in disgust?

So far I don’t see much of anything that shows me the first option will win out over the other two. It won’t happen on its own. We have to make it happen.

So yes, I am very interested in supporting the Ron Paul campaign, but not because I expect he might could actually become President. I just want to steal his mojo. Show me how your support of Ron Paul is going to take all that newly activated libertarian sentiment among the people and bring it where it all belongs, in the Libertarian Party, and you will have my full support. Until then, I have a job to do for my own party.

 

Sean Haugh is assistant editor for Liberty For All. Sean is married to longtime Libertarian Pam Adams, and they have a family of three dogs and five cats.   Besides them, Sean loves God, Liberty, and Oklahoma Sooners football.   Write to Sean at seanhaugh@mindspring.com.

95 Responses to Ron Paul, what have you done for me lately?

  1. Aaron

    June 25, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Hey, I went to the local Libertarian meetup because of learning about Ron Paul only recently. Surely it is bringing more folks toward the Libertarian party–It has brought me closer to joining.

  2. Ron Stringfield

    June 25, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    It’s up to the LP. If they actually moved towards a more moderate libertarian position they could capitalize. If not, they will lose out. I will be back in the LP after the campaign is done. But I won’t be giving them much money, and I would not even if Paul had not run, because it’s a waste of my resources.

  3. NH

    June 25, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Forget the LP. They are useless losers here in NH and are supporting George Phillies…like who even knows him?

    Doesn’t matter about party affiliation, it matters about the candidate.

    And I want Ron Paul to roll back government and DO NOTHING for us, except protect our life and liberty and property.

    Just remember, Pat Buchanan had 6% in the so called ‘polls’ the week before the primary and WON NH by 26%…so there!

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  5. Eric Sundwall

    June 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Sean,

    Your insight about fund raising and burnout are very relevant. I know in NY that some folks are trying to passively integrate with Ron Paul meetups and local chapter meetings. Not sure this is a formula for success or that I even condone it . . . but you’re the one fishing, there’s some chum. Hope the sharks aren’t circling.

    Will you be in Pittsburgh, July 21st ? Hope to see you there.

  6. Don Lockwood

    June 25, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Dr. Ron Paul has said many times that he is NOT a Libertarian, he is a Constitutionalist. A third party candidate has virtually no chance of winning against a republican or democrat. The worst possible scenario is for Ron Paul NOT to get elected. To get elected he needs to get nominated. Running as a republican is his best chance of winning. It is in our national interest to put aside all of our petty differences and get behind Ron Paul in a big way. What has Ron Paul done for YOU lately? How about giving Americans hope for real freedom for very the first time in 150 years. Personally, I am an anarchist. However, I will go against my total despise for the state and register to vote this one time in order to try and elect the most decent man in politics today. Dr. Paul needs and deserves ALL of our support, including our time, money, resources and maximum effort. Sean, I have no reason to believe that you are not a good person, but try thinking about someone other than yourself just this once.

  7. Sean Haugh

    June 25, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you Aaron, that is exactly the kind of info I am looking for and I hope you will feel welcome in the LP. Our Buncombe County (Asheville) affiliate is trying something similar, and I am watching their efforts closely as well.

  8. jon

    June 25, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I’m a Republican or I guess you would call me a Ron Paul republican now. People in the Libertarian party should not be upset about funding drying up because it will be returned to them 10 times as much after this election is over. Ron Paul is the best thing that has happend to the libertarian party. It hurts right now but the base you all will gain from him will put you on the national stage. I will be a libertarian as soon as this election is over but now I’m voting for Ron Paul

  9. Chris Chandler

    June 25, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Sean,

    It’s articles like yours that promote the thoughts that Ron Paul has no chance of winning. Do you know how many people I’ve talked to that say, I really like what he’s saying, but he’ll never win.

    First it was, nobody knows him. Now they do.

    Then is was he wants to run from the Terrorist, or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
    Now people know he’s citing credible sources such as the 9/11 report and CIA reports.

    Then it was..well, he doesn’t have any money.
    July 1st, I believe he’ll be over $5,000,000 and that would put him firmly in the race.

    Guys like you, as much as I hate to see these kinds of articles, are actually helping Ron Paul win us over, one at a time. Because people are rallying, and naysayers just motivate believers.

  10. mdh

    June 25, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Your defeatist attitude is unhelpful to anyone. Some people, it seems, come to the LP to languish in defeat. To seek sympathy among like-minded friends as loss after loss are recorded. I’ve been around the LP long enough to understand a simple fact – for national offices, third parties have a near-impossible chance winning. Ron Paul’s campaign as a Republican changes that. We won’t be running Ron Paul ballot access drives. We won’t be clamoring at how angsty we feel about how he can’t get into the big debates. He’s got ballot access. He’s in the big debates.

    All of the disadvantages that we as LP folk traditionally complain about and tout as our reasons for not being victorious are gone in the case of Dr. Paul’s campaign. And make no mistake, he is one of us. So he’s given us this opportunity now, and it’s up to us to make something of it. If he’s elected, it’s because we helped to show people what this platform we’ve been talking for years is all about, and gave them a candidate they could vote for in the real world. If he isn’t, it’s because we failed. Not because of ballot access. Not because of exclusion from the big debates.

    Positive attitudes and hard work will get us there. Defeatism and “what’d he ever do for me…” won’t. After all, what’s the last thing any politician – even one on an LP ticket – ever did for you?

  11. John Howard

    June 25, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    “Show me how your support of Ron Paul is going to take all that newly activated libertarian sentiment among the people and bring it where it all belongs, in the Libertarian Party, and you will have my full support. Until then, I have a job to do for my own party.”

    Libertarian sentiment belongs wherever it occurs. What nonsense to claim it is of little value if it isn’t confined to a particular party.

    People who make predicitions tire me out. Pretending to see the future is pretending. The internet is new on this planet. Ron Paul’s message is new to the majority of government-educated voters. The government is obviously accelerating into the irrational and corrupt and the growing awareness that something is terribly wrong with government is accelerating even faster. And some condescending fools want to tell us how it’s all going to turn out.

  12. Angelatc

    June 25, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been a dues paying member of the LP, probaby since you were in elementary school, and I’ve been a fan of Ron Paul for almost as long. I’ll vote 3rd party, as always, if Paul isn’t on the ballot, but I won’t give up until he does.

    I gave up on the LP years ago. Love the ideals, but they can’t seem to get past their image problems.

  13. Mike Solimanto

    June 25, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    If the argument he is a Republican is your biggest fear, remember our other options: none. He deserves all the support he can get. He is going to give the libertarian ideals more of a push than anyone has ever done for the party. You differences aside, look to push for unity on this one because if we do he has a shot, a good one, but have to unite. What’s the worst case scenario if he becomes president vs. a libertarian with no shot whatsoever. Register Republican (I know that thought hurts) and vote for Paul in the primaries. A vote for Dr. Paul is a vote for freedom and the best success of furthering the parties ideals.

  14. Kevin

    June 25, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Sean,

    Principle before party. Saving our nation should be take a back seat to “building your party”.

    I have had conversations with LP leadership and Consittion Party leadership here in Utah and they pretty much said what you did – “Yes Dr. Paul is what the country needs, but we have to think about building our own party.”

    How about this concept? (I suggested the same to the Constitution Party) What kind of news would it make if the LP or the CP OFFICIALLY backed Ron Paul? I think you both are missing a HUGE recruitment opportunity by showing that principle matters more to you than your party. Yes people are registering Republican to support Ron Paul in the primaries, but do you think those people would not remember a third party stepping out of their “kingdom building” mindset and supported a candidate from another party?

    Kevin

  15. Chris Fountain

    June 25, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    I think by focusing on party, you fall into the same trap that so many Democrats and Republicans have fallen into. Ron Paul repeatedly points out that it is the mesage of liberty, not his party, that matters. A Paul presidency puts a lot of people who believe in the cause of liberty in positions where they can actually affect change. Even if he loses, I think he inspires a lot of people to follow in his footsteps. Reagan was that inspiration for many conservatives, and JFK continues to be the Democrat-Demigod. As someone who has voted ‘L’ in the last 3 presidential elections, I would think that most Libertarians would agree with that perception.

    Peace be with you.

  16. Mark

    June 25, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    I honestly can’t understand why anyone registered libertarian wouldn’t be enthusiastically backing the Paul campaign. This is the best chance we’ve EVER had of actually getting a libertarian elected president. The stars have totally aligned for a Ron Paul presidency. The entire republican field is a joke compared to Paul. The American people hate the war. They hate congress. Everyone hates “party politics” and our current President. You can already pencil in Hillary as the democratic candidate next year and most of the country hates her too. Ron Paul WILL WIN New Hampshire because it is an open primary. I am convinced that will happen. After he does that the smear campaign against him will commence (Please see Buchanan in 1996). His whole candidacy will come down to him surviving this and convincing people like you to register Republican to vote for him.

    I’ve been registered Libertarian for years now but until the LP adopts a big tent policy I’m going to have a hard time supporting their candidates or giving them money over established small government paleo-conservatives who are already in office and already working for change from the inside.

    Ron Paul is not an “outsider”. He’s been working within the system for over 20 years. This is why he is and will be “credible” to the general public and that is why I firmly believe he has a chance to become president.

  17. Chris

    June 25, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Sean,

    I’m going to give you a pass on this one. I can tell you are a nice guy, perhaps just a bit pessimistic. I know you’ll be a happy dude when RP exceeds your expectations.

    I’m going to tell you something that may throw you back a bit, but the only reason you are speaking like this about Dr. Paul is because you fear the ‘letdown’ of a defeat. You fear to throw you full weight behind RP and be optimistic about his chances because if he doesn’t win, then you’d feel like a loser. Let me tell ya somethin’ dude, I’ve been there. Have no fear. Don’t even fear fear itself. Ron Paul could get 1 vote in the entire election, from me, and I’ll still have won. If all of my friends are going to jump off of the bridge, does that mean that I must jump too? Nope, I’m going to walk home dry and alive, even if means alone.

  18. AZ Libertarian

    June 25, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    The only effect a Ron Paul Candidacy has on any TRUE libertarian is ELATION, with a dose of HOPE.

    Remember why Ron is running for POTUS? Let me refresh your memory…

    “…to reinstill the Constitution and restore the Republic.”

    What have YOU done for your COUNTRY lately – except try to downplay the ONLY person running that ACTUALLY COULD WIN, and INSTILL LIBERTARIAN VALUES INTO THE WHITE HOUSE!

    p.s. The only reason I am NOT re-registering from libertarian to republican is because I hold 5 positions in the LP at precinct, county, and state levels, and I am firm in my commitments.

  19. jj

    June 25, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Go Ron Paul 2008!!!

    Think of what’s best for the country first.

    The more Ron Paul exposes Americans to the concepts of liberty, the better in the long run this will be for the LP.

    Go Ron Paul 2008!!!

  20. Michael

    June 25, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    L. Neil Smith wrote an interesting article about why Libertarians should back Ron Paul. Have you read that, Sean? What do you think? I think it’s a good idea.

    http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2007/tle417-20070513-02.html

  21. Conor

    June 25, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    The question is whether you’re more concerned about the Libertarian party or the liberty movement. If it’s the former then I don’t know how much of a bump the Ron Paul campaign will give you (although it will give you *some* sort of bump). If it’s the latter then there’s real hope.

    First of all, I DO think Ron Paul can win. I’m not saying he will, but the chance is there. Worst case scenario, I think we get his poll numbers up to 5-7% and maybe steal New Hampshire. That’d be quite a feat. And the beauty of the campaign is we’re educating a lot of people, waking them up to what’s going on in politics and the media in particular (I know it’s been a revelation for me — I used to never buy into that controlled media stuff). These people are going to be organized and want more action, especially after we’ve gotten the whiff of what’s possible from this campaign. Once you understand and believe the message of RP you’ll never go back. I don’t know if this will mean more prominence for the Libertarian Party or whether it’ll mean taking back the major parties, but this will pay dividends down the road. If nothing else the lovers of freedom will now understand how to get in contact with each other, mobilize, disseminate information etc.

  22. cowbot

    June 25, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    This is one of the most pathetic underhanded articles i’ve seen against Dr. Paul.

    To attempt to undermine his candidacy because you are a selfish benefactor of the welfare/warfare status quo is one thing.

    To attempt to undermine his candidacy despite the fact that you profess to a set of political ideals that is nearly identical to those of Dr. Paul is pure mendacity.

    Mr Haugh’s statement “I just want to steal his mojo” is all we need to remember about him. A fevered ego who cares more about personal power than saving the country.

    To the above posters, your points are excellent. Lets take the message of liberty and limited constitutional government to every friend and neighbor, every coworker and congregation. Let it not be said that we did not do everything in our power to save the republic.

  23. Ron Holland

    June 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I’ve been a libertarian since 1974 but during all of these years all of the efforts of the Libertarian Party pale in comparison to the PR efforts and public awareness that Ron Paul has created in the last two months. Go Ron Paul, Ron Holland, Asheville

    Read How Ron Paul Became President

    A fictional case study about how a future terrorist attack against the US and the Bush administration response elects Ron Paul as President.

    Learn what could happen when the United States is hit by another terrorist attack by Islamic extremists that creates an extreme response by Washington in The Final Presidential Executive Order at http://www.swissconfederationinstitute.org/swisspreserve14.htm

    This is from a new free online book, “The Swiss Preserve Solution” & the over reaction results in the election of Ron Paul as President, not in 2008 but in 2012.

  24. Steve Trinward

    June 25, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Sean – As usual, a good overview, from the perspective of a lonstanfding and tireless activist for liberty and hardcore LPer.

    To my eyes, there are three other good reasons to talk up Ron Paul, at very least until he has been tossed from the primaries late next spring. First, there is the continuing chance to give him that podium, at debates and elsewhere, to speak of liberty, constitutional limits on the Feds, etc. (ending IRS and drug war, bringing the troops home …)

    Second, there is the longshot chance that enough people using the primaries as their own soapboxes (i.e., the way smart LPers try to use the first ballor at convention?) might actually show up on the primary results, in at least enough numbers that Ron hung in a little while longer than the first three weeks of January 2008.

    Third, and maybe most inportant, he would almost certainly have to be reckoned with at the GOP con … and have to be given some speaking podium even then, due to the clear piece of support he had garnered. (No I don;t see a Howard Dean here, Ron doesn’t want to run a party anyway, he just wants it to run us less …)

    comments?

  25. Tom Blanton

    June 26, 2007 at 1:14 am

    What will Ron Paul do for the LP? Nothing. What will he do for the libertarian movement? Perhaps quite a bit over the long term – and this could possibly help the LP.

    The real question is what has the LP done for the LP lately? I can think of others. What has Cory Shane done for the LP? Seems like membership has steadily declined since he and Seehusen took over LPHQ. Why wasn’t Cory booted after the ill-fated IES or when Seehusen left?

    What have the reformers and pragmatists done for the LP lately? Besides electing Bob Smither – ooops, he didn’t get elected. What has the LP done for donors lately, or ever? Did the donors ever see one news story, TV ad, or newspaper ad? What was the return on their investment? Besides happy-talk and pie-in-the-sky promises – oh, and amateurish half-baked political strategies designed to bring in disgruntled conservatives.

    Speaking of which, what has Bob Barr or Neal Boortz done for the LP lately?

    What has the LNC done for the LP lately?

    What has the LP done for the libertarian movement lately?

    It seems to me that the LP has a lot more to worry about than Ron Paul.

    Perhaps a good new start for the LP would be to shed the nerd cult image (toss out the stupid pictures). Maybe then focus on basic principles instead of on increasing membership and winning unwinnable elections. Use campaigns to build the movement. Build the movement and the LP will build itself.

    Finally, if there can be support for people like Boortz and Wayne Root within the LP, certainly there can be room for those who support Ron Paul. I don’t seem to be hearing the pragmatists’ incessant chant about the perfect being the enemy of the good.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    June 26, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Sean,

    Thanks for talking sense. I could have told you you wouldn’t get anywhere that way, but at least you tried.

  27. S. Stephens

    June 26, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Sean,
    I, too, agree with your assessment. I’m pulling for Dr. Paul, but after his inevitable loss, I fear that his supporters will suffer the same kind of discouragement we Libertarians have felt all these years and disappear. I hope I’m wrong, and that most of them discover Cato or Reason or even the L.P., but I have my doubts.
    As for me, I’m used to that kind of disappointment, having begun voting in 1980 and never having picked for a winner for an office above township trustee. But at least, when I support Libertarian candidates, I feel as if I’m helping an enduring (if not exactly growing) cause and don’t feel dirty exiting the polling booth.
    If Dr. Paul appears to have any chance at all, I might even register as a (I can’t believe I’m typing this) Republican. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee having to make that decision.

  28. Sean Haugh

    June 26, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Haha, thanks Tom. This reminds me of the time when I was in Sunday School and started conjecturing about the scientific explanations behind God’s miracles. I had to quickly assert that I wasn’t doubting God, just curious how He did stuff, to avoid being immediately excommunicated by everyone in the room. Anyone who read my article and comes away thinking I am a hater or attempting to undermine the Paul campaign is speaking out of a blind quasi-religious fervor that frankly scares the bejeezus out of me. I always freak out when I find myself in the middle of a cult, even if I still agree with all of the cult’s aims.

    I looked at Ron Paul’s website after I wrote this. Take a look yourself. There’s nothing there about winning. It’s all about Meetups and the like. Seems to me the intended goal of the Paul campaign is not to win, but to try to get everyone who agrees with him to meet each other. I’m all for that. I’ve considered all the comments above and my opinion remains the same – if we are doing the right thing with the wrong goal in mind, without considering the right goal as even a backup plan, we risk holding a bag full of nothing but disappointment when this is all over.

    I realize I wrote this from the LP party animal perspective, mostly because it was in response to a thread on an LP list. I thought some more about different perspectives and realized there are a couple right answers to my questions. Aaron gave me one right off the bat, which warms my heart. Forget the LP if you like, just think about the libertarian movement as a whole and my analysis remains the same.

    One particular “right” answer dawned on me and I was going to mention it, but Chris showed up and said it perfectly…

    “Ron Paul could get 1 vote in the entire election, from me, and I’ll still have won. If all of my friends are going to jump off of the bridge, does that mean that I must jump too? Nope, I’m going to walk home dry and alive, even if means alone.”

    That is beautiful Chris. It is the true test of any political activity – the mirror test. I vote the way I do because I want to look at myself in the mirror the next morning without regrets. Anyone who gives me the same answer to explain their behavior has my utmost admiration and respect.

    Btw, Eric, I have no current plans to be in Pittsburgh next month but that may change.

  29. Pat Davis

    June 26, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    To answer your questions about what people will do if Ron Paul loses the nomination – his supporters will make sure he gets into the White House as a write-in candidate.

  30. RSDavis

    June 26, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    My fondest wish is that he gets enough people all across the spectrum excited about him. It won’t help him win the primary, but when he backs out, it can open up doors for him as an independent or Libertarian candidate. Running as that, he wouldn’t have to worry about primaries and could start trying to cull people from the two major parties.

    I don’t know if he could get enough. I guess he’d have to pull at least 33%, but if you add libertarian voters to the mix, it might actually be possible.

    – Rick

  31. chris lawton

    June 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    GO RON PAUL! GO RON PAUL! GOD BLESS RON PAUL! RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2008!

    Ron Paul in CNN debate on June 5, 2007!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwJKGfAWQUo

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.

    — Cicero: orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and philosopher of Ancient Rome.

    “In the time of universal deceit, telling the truth
    is a revolutionary act” GEORGE ORWELL

  32. Steve Dasbach

    June 26, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Fundraising isn’t a zero sum game. Most people, including Libertarians, don’t give a fixed amount to libertarian causes irrespective of what various organizations are doing to promote liberty.

    I give to Ron Paul’s campaign based on what I see him doing to promote liberty. I give to the LP based on what I see the LP doing to promote liberty. If/when the LP starts doing more, and communicating some real success, they will get larger donations from me. How much I choose to donate to Ron Paul’s campaign is irrelavent to what I choose to donate to the LP.

  33. Bob Broda

    June 27, 2007 at 12:25 am

    I am quite excited to see Ron Paul’s campaign take off because it being done on a grassroots level. It is an opportunity for members of the Libertarian Party to reach out to the supporters of Ron Paul. That is our task at hand is to reach his supporters.

    I went to a meetup event for Ron Paul, it was a neat feeling to be around some new and some old who all are for Liberty. When Ron Pauls campaign is finish I hope that some of his suppports will join our ranks. So far signs are good, it is just too early for them to jump from the Ron Paul bandwagon to the LP’s bandwagon.

  34. John

    June 27, 2007 at 7:39 am

    An Open Letter to Sean Haugh

    Sean,

    I read your article about Ron Paul. The last thing libertarianism needs right now is division in the ranks. Even if what you said were true, what good could your message do?

    Are we to believe that Ron Paul is not putting libertarianism on the map? By what logic could his success hurt libertarianism? Even if Libertarian voters temporarily swing to the GOP in this libertarian moment, should he fail in his presidential run, would they not continue to seek candidates with the same libertarian ideals?

    Heck, should he lose the Republican nomination, I have a gut feeling that he may even defect to the Libertarian party, and use this new-found muscle as a Libertarian presidential candidate. Would that hurt the Libertarian party? How could it? He is already creating an unofficial alliance between constitutionalists and libertarians – and this, without any direct support of either.

    Shouldn’t you be attacking Giuliani or something?

  35. Bill Moore

    June 27, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I’ve been a member of the LP for over a decade, I was their candidate at one time for the US House of Representatives. I had hope for liberty in America at one point. That is, until 9/11 and the people of our country showed how they were big pussies that threw out the concept of “live free or die” at the first sign of trouble and turned to “please help us big government”.

    I gave up on trying to help my fellow American to achieve that life of freedom. Why help someone who doesn’t want it? I decided to look out for number one, try to make a whole heck of a lot of money and try to get away from all of the government BS. I went to Iraq on Uncle Sam’s dime to soak up as much of the free spending bucks as I could.

    I’d pretty much given up on politics until Ron Paul hinted that he was thinking about running. Now I’m full bore behind him. I see him as our last hope. If he wins the primaries he’s got the general election wrapped up. And as the only anti-war candidate going against 5 pro-war candidates he only needs so much. If we get as many people as Harry Browne had in voters in the primary, we’ve got a libertarian president. That’s the significance of Ron Paul.

    If Ron Paul doesn’t win…well, you probably won’t see me championing liberty for others. I’ll actually probably choose the most lucrative option for my future and that of my children. Perhaps I’ll join the Communist Party, or whatever group stands to gain the most from the next rulers of our nation. I’ll stop fighting government force and find out how I can get behind government force for my own gain, because that will be the most powerful thing in America. No longer will it be innovation and thought. It will be the force of the gun.

    So your comment about people becoming double jaded is accurate. Because people will knowingly have the option of freedom this time around. No longer do we have to wait several decades for people to learn about the LP. They have a libertarian option now. If they choose no, why work so hard to give them that option many many years down the road just so that they’ll do it again? It’s gut check time in America. I hope they choose wisely.

  36. Jasmin

    June 28, 2007 at 8:40 am

    SSean,

    First off good letter. I understand YOU ARE NOT ATTACKING RON PAUL. I am very active in the Kansas Libertarian party and this is an issue there. I have been caught up in the “Ron Paul effect” and have seen others in my party swept up as well. Hence OUR local efforts and focus has been hurt. Our State Chair wrote a similar blog post (http://kclibertarian.blogspot.com/) regarding this very issue.

    The sad thing is that most Ron Paul supporters can not take even a nibblet of criticism (Ron Paul hurts Libertarians) before they become rabid animals. Because of this, when he is defeated I do not see large numbers of his followers going to the LP. Ron Paul (for good political reasons) has made his message Ron Paul’s NOT Libertarian.

    However I have often stayed up at nights wondering how we could steer them to us when the bubble pops. On the upshot this has given many people a passion about politics. So the approach I have been taking is talking to Ron Paul supporters about running for office themselves. Letting them become mini Ron Paul’s on the local level. I am not sure how effective this will be but being in a group of people that already know some of the Libertarian philosophy via Ron Paul and the fact that they are interested in politics is a rarity (take it while you can get it).

  37. wes benedict

    June 29, 2007 at 1:38 am

    As a Libertarian Party activist, I can appreciate the calls by other Libertarian Party activists to remain loyal supporters of Libertarian Party candidates. However, I don’t see much need for conflict between Ron Paul supporters and Libertarian Party candidate supporters. I address this issue further on my blog here:

    http://wesbenedictforlnc.blogspot.com/2007/05/my-600-says-ron-paul-presidential.html

  38. Sean Haugh

    June 29, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Wes, I must confess I am deeply disturbed that a member of the Libertarian National Committee is proud of his $600 donation and other support to a candidate of another party in a race where we will almost certainly have a candidate of our own. While I am understanding of individual choices, you are no longer an individual, you are a member of the LNC and everything you do represents the LNC. I learned this the hard way myself – it is impossible to separate yourself into two personae of independent citizen and LNC member or state executive director. You need to either ask fro a refund or resign your seat on the LNC.

  39. R Lee Wrights

    June 29, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Wes,

    Sean is exactly right, in my opinion. What you do as an individual is your business, but you are also a representative of “other” Libertarians that supported you in good faith. They expect you to support Libertarians NOT Republicans, no matter how good you think your reasons are.

    If you must support Dr. Paul, so be it… but you should resign from the LNC if you are going to do so.

  40. wes benedict

    June 29, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Sean,

    I’m the person primarily responsible for raising funds in Texas. Fundraising for the Libertarian Party of Texas is going great, and yet, Ron Paul is from Texas.

    Lee,

    You might be surprised how many people who elected me to the LNC have also contributed to Ron Paul. Nevertheless, I’ll go check with my region and see how many want me to resign.

  41. Carl

    July 1, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Wow! I agree with both L. Neil Smith and Wes Benedict!!!

    BTW, the Buncombe experiment is yet to be launched. Due to complaining by LPNC members, I dropped my remaining LP position so I can “legally” set up a Ron Paul meetup.

    But, I think I’m going to drop my LP life membership while I am at it. No point in putting up with abuse and compromising my own values to stay in a party that is without clue politically.

    Such a meetup could have been a great way to recruit Paul supporters into the LP. And may still be, if other Buncombe activists make it so.

  42. Sean Haugh

    July 1, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Carl, good luck achieving your dream of the Totalitarian Libertarian Party. Just do it as far away from me as possible. If you were literate you’d realize I was not one of those who opposed the Buncombe LP. Just do me a favor, when you utterly fail again, realize it’s you’re own damn fault, not ours. I cannot express how much you disgust me.

  43. Carl

    July 1, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Sean, I did not cite you. I cited “LPNC members.” There was in fact a formal request to the Judiciary committee.

    BTW, regarding your comment on TPW, I did NOT get what I wanted at Portland. What I wanted was to either win big or not win at all. My main criterion for whether to stay in was the oath. When I lost that vote fair and square I left the floor. As someone who believes in some government; i.e., some taxation, I can no longer claim to fulfill the requirements of the oath. (At the time I joined the party (as a college freshman), I was an anarchist.)

    The Portland Purge was due to a convergence of factors, of which the LRC was but one. Many radicals also voted for the purge because the platform was so poorly written — after years of accumulation, and then the reformatting. There were also many reform-minded Libertarians who were not LRC members, who had been voting against retention for years.

  44. Cyrus Greed

    July 3, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Sean Haughty says we must all stay in the party and do as the leaders tell us. Unless we all march together, we can never build the people’s utopia. Sean loves God, but hates Carl Milsted. Carl is a totalitarian and an enemy because he’s not a party member. For hate week, let’s hate Carl Milsted. And keep supporting the LP because otherwise Haughty won’t be important. Let’s build a statue for Haughty.

  45. Nick Wilson

    July 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I used to support Ron Paul until about three days ago, when the Dallas Morning News pointed out that, despite Paul being one of the foremost crusaders in government against pork and wasteful spending, he asked for 64 pages of earmarks, including money for marketing shrimp, money for converting a ship into an educational vessel for a college and tons of other projects not “sanctioned in the Constitution.”

    See for yourself:
    http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/allpolitics/0706/popup.congress.earmarks/pdfs/tx.14.paul.pdf

    While I still think he’s the best candidate in the race, I also now find him to be possibly the biggest hypocrite in all of government. I understand that politics and principle are usually clashing, but you just can’t claim to be a saint and a constitutionalist and then participate in earmarking money extraconstitutionally. My congressmen, Jeb Hensarling, asked for zero earmarks. Why can’t Ron Paul? For that reason I will no longer give him any vocal support.

  46. Nick Wilson

    July 3, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    To clarify, I don’t mind a politician acting in an “unprincipled” manner per se, as long as they aren’t violating their own code of ethics set for themselves or spoken publicly. Political realists can’t afford to be principled – they have to look at each situation and find the best solution that can win – and I understand that we need those people in government.

    However, when a politician derives their entire political ethic from strict adherence to one principle (in Paul’s case, the Constitution) and then violates it, that politician makes everyone who shares that ethic look bad and demonstrates why it is impossible to be both strictly principled and politically viable at the same time, thus the big problem of the Libertarian Party. Ron Paul obviously gets earmarks for his district because it gets him re-elected.

    So maybe he’s not an exception to the rule who wins on principle alone after all. He’s just “our” sort of politician.

  47. Sean Haugh

    July 3, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Fascinating stuff Nick. That deserves an article all its own.

    While comments by people who don’t have the guts to identify themselves make me laugh, I will say to “Cyrus,” you are nowhere near smart enough to come up with a joke based on my name that I didn’t hear by the time I was 8. Someone who resorts to that cheap trick has basically openly admitted that he is not smarter than a 3rd grader.

    Since Carl and others are apparently still reading this (and I want to get to 50 comments whoo-hoo!), his baldfaced lies should be addressed. There was no “formal request” to our state judiciary committee by “LPNC members.” There was squawking by Susan Hogarth, and the JC nonsense was withdrawn within 24 hours. Dude, if you back down because of criticism by Susan Hogarth then you are even more gutless than I imagined.

    You lied when you threatened to revoke your life membership. You did that weeks ago. So don’t go around intimating that whatever you are responding to might convince you to leave. Take personal responsibility for your own decisions, and stop being a whiny grandstanding piece of crap.

    You also failed to mention LPNC Executive Committee members who defended (and continue to defend) the Buncombe LP’s plans. Led by who? The Vice Chair. And who is that? Me.

    And since you want to continue the conversation from TPW over here, well it did make me smile when you compared yourself to Chris Farris. I totally agree. Just like you, he is totally without any honor, a whiny lying piece of crap who keeps complaining even after everyone around him bent over backwards to accommodate him, eternally mad because he can’t force other Libertarians to think the right way according to geniuses like yourselves who have it all figured out. At least you have some self-awareness.

    So no, I don’t have any problem with someone who leaves the LP to try something else. I do have a problem with dishonorable liars whether they are in the LP or not.

    In other news, I did send an email and phone call of apology to Wes for calling for his head. Look, I have a dying cat in my house so I am *not* in a good mood. I’m still done pissed off that an LNC member would make a donation to a Republican candidate, and I am sure I’ve made my point to Wes. Should’ve just called him in the first place. But calling for his head is extreme and rude, at least coming from me. Others may have a little more Liberty to get hot about it, but hey, I got to work with the guy, and I must confess it’s hard not to love him when you actually get to speak with the guy. I appreciate that his good nature made it easy to discuss it with him.

    But I’d still consider a personal favor if he asked for a refund. ;)

  48. Sean Haugh

    July 3, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    And since people are still reading this (amazing, isn’t it?), I might as well publish here the email version of my apology to Wes:

    “Howdy Wes! I wanted to apologize to you for my blog comment that you should consider resigning from the LNC. While I still disagree with you on your donation to Ron Paul’s campaign, saying you should resign over it was rude and extreme. Good Libertarians can disagree on strategy while maintaining the same goal, and frankly we are all trying our best to wrap our heads around how we can welcome what Ron Paul’s campaign is doing to spread the message of Liberty while staying loyal to our own party. You personal record of accomplishment, and that of the Texas LP as a whole, in growing and supporting the Libertarian Party is so strong that it can survive the occasional disagreement in strategy. Thank you for all you do for the party in both Texas and across the country.”

  49. Cyrus Greed

    July 3, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Haughty doesn’t like his new name, but I do. He needs better stuff for his peace pipe, because his dying cat is stressin’ him. What a party! What a party where the state vice chair refers to opponents as “whiny” “gutless” “crap”.

    Haughty says, ” While I am understanding of individual choices, you are no longer an individual, you are a member of the LNC and everything you do represents the LNC. ” Haughty is a party apparatchik, apparently. He has the line on what everyone is doing. Maybe party members shouldn’t have friends in other parties, either?

    Haughty should like that Milsted is leaving, but he insists on throwing insults. Why? Because he knows that every person that walks out makes his little title smaller and smaller. His past efforts for nothing. Haughty wants to tell us what to believe, but he also wants members. How painfully contradictory when the members don’t want to believe the party line. When they want to have ideas of their own.

  50. Cyrus Greed

    July 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    See a picture of Haughty at: http://www.lpnc.org/organization/execcom/index.html

    The one up top seems unrepresentative to me. Fake. A lie. Untrue.

    Where’s your baggy sweatshirt Haughty?

    – Greedy

  51. Carl

    July 3, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Sean, I have talked walking out for some time, but kept being talked into staying in by those who still think the LP is worth something to those who love liberty more than grandstanding about liberty. Sent my official resignation letter to LPHQ yesterday. Resigned from LP-Buncombe committee on June 22 (in order to defer to Susan Hogarth).

    Thanks for the defense of LP Buncombe. Still think you are a cool person generally, but you have been suffering bouts of uncool lately.

    Even your current bout of uncoolness is bush league by Libertarian standards. Google my name sometime to see how a REAL Libertarian hurls insults.

  52. Sean Haugh

    July 4, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Hey Carl, I still like you fine too personally. Just drop the fake histrionics and take personal responsibility for your own choices and you will have no further argument from me. Just do your own thing and be proud of it.

    Bill, you make it too easy. I must say, that has to be the absolute lamest accusation anyone has hurled at me. Like what, I have to keep the same hairstyle and wear the same shirt in every photo to remain truthful? Your signature, Bill, is no one in this world is so petty. You should just use your real name anyway.

  53. Pingback: Libertarians for Ron Paul

  54. bob

    July 10, 2007 at 11:37 am

    under your logic, the Libertarian Party as a whole never has a shot of ever winning any political office, because of its low polling. Screw you – i’m not giving up on putting actual libertarian principles into office because you think it hurts the party. maybe we should start a “maybe libertarian” party that attempts to win office, independent of party affiliation of our candidates.

  55. Jim

    July 10, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Lack of support for Ron Paul by the LP is the reason I am not re-joining. They are putting the party above principles. Instead I will be active in the Republican Liberty Caucus.

  56. Robert Denner

    July 10, 2007 at 11:58 am

    How on God’s green earth can you possibly say that Shawn? He has done more for the cause of liberty than anyone I can think of in the past 100 years.

    MY GOD we are standing on the precipice of history here, and you want to squabble about who gets the credit. Jesus H Chris you people just make me crazy!!!! I’ve been a Libertarian at heart for almost 20 years, and in that time I’ve NEVER seen the excitement generated for liberty than since Ron Paul got into the race and caught fire. We have 50 people in our meetup group in less than 3 weeks.

    Guess how many at our local NWOLP Meetup…… Maybe 10 at best. This isn’t a knock on our NWO Libertarian Party, but a stunning turn around in the message of freedom. People are actually listening to the message of less government, sound money and a non-interventionist foreign policy… AND GETTING EXCITED BY IT…

    Get over yourself and get on board this once in a life time event. When it’s over you’ll have more people than you’ll know what to do with at worst, and at best we’ll have put one of ours in the highest office in the land!! WIN WIN in my book

    Robert NW Ohio

  57. Nicholas Lineback

    July 10, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    If other libertarian organizations have taken a hit it seems like people think that there money is better used supporting Ron Paul. Sounds like the free market. Are you sure you are a libertarian? We need to get away from parties in general. Even the libertarian party breeds stagnation and stifles originality. If some one holds dear the ideals of personal liberty what does it matter if they are a member of the LP? Freedom will win in the end.

  58. Roy

    July 10, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    It seems you care more about the libertarian party than the message. The message and ideas are clearly getting out through Ron Paul. Let the process evolve before making hasty conclusions. I expect that America is re-awakening to the ideas of our founding fathers and personal liberty.

  59. David Cameron

    July 10, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Sean, you said “I am telling you now, my dogs have as much of a chance being elected the next President as Ron Paul”.

    I beg to differ. Dr. Paul’s message of Freedom & Liberty appeals to genuine republicans (assuming there are any left), Constitutionalists, Libertarians, gun rights supporters, anti-war activists, tax payer groups, home schoolers, and all haters of big government.

    Although I am not an official Libertarian Party Member, I voted for Michael Badnarik in “04″. I’m supporting Ron Paul in “08″ And I will continue to ignore party distinctions and vote my conscience for any candidates who actually believe in Liberty. Paul’s candidacy DOES help the LP.

    Cut the whining bro. It doesn’t serve the cause of Freedom.

  60. Isaac Freeman

    July 10, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Time out. Everyone go put your nose in a corner and count to 50.

    I’m ashamed of all of you for unabashedly slinging venom at each other, both on the Ron Paul “side” and the LP “side”. There shouldn’t be sides, not when both agree with each other on just about everything besides which flag they rally under. This reminds me of a South Park episode where Cartman freezes himself and ends up in the future where science has prevailed over religion and are now fighting each other for who has the “true” science.

    Seriously though, I find the idea that we should all remain loyal to The Party a bit… how do you say?… collectivist? What happened to the individualism. I thought the point of the LP was to promote individual liberty, not itself… I remember Badnarik saying in a debate with Cobb that a person should vote for who they agree with most, not for other reasons like party affiliation of likely-hood of winning. What happened to that?

    I will continue to vote for the best man for the job, regardless of party. I voted for Badnarik twice not because he was a member of the LP, but because he had passion and a message that resonated with my heart; exactly the same reasons why I will be voting for Ron Paul come next November and I hope all of you can get over your collectivist mindset. Which ever way you choose to vote is for you to decide based on what you believe!

    – Isaac

  61. Alex

    July 10, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Well if your goal is to raise money and recruit members to the Libertarian Party then maybe you’re right, but if you’re goal is to have more people support bringing a smaller constitutional government back to the United States, you’re wrong. Ron Paul has proved himself well beyond anyone in the LP to be the major force of bringing the liberty and constitutional government message to the people of the US. I can think of no reason not to support Ron Paul over any other candidate of any party affiliation. I am not looking to help the Libertarians, I am looking to help the people of the US and that is also what Libertarians should be doing. You may doubt the ability of Dr. Paul to get elected as President but I can guarantee he has a million times better chance than any other candidate the LP could nominate. I for one will continue to donate to Ron Paul’s campaign and will vote for him every chance given even if he is not on the ballot, I’ll write him in. No chance you say, we’ll see Sean.

  62. Shizamon

    July 10, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    You’re doing the exact same thing as the other two parties, who gives a shit about parties as long as we know what we want and we only support those who will work with us to get it? If the Libertarian party does grow right now to huge proprtions we’ll be dealing with the same damn problems that we get from the other two evils, power corrupts get rid of party politics!!!!

  63. Brandon

    July 10, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    The Author of this article is a true letdown. I will avoid flaming him for his obvious lack of enthusiasm and a defeatist attitude.

    You are actually promoting his demise, you traitor.

  64. Ismael

    July 10, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Jim said it all! That’s it.

  65. Craig Royce

    July 10, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    As a card carrying member of the LP I’d like to say, quit with your defeatist attitude.

  66. Freedom360

    July 10, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    It is sad to see that you are willing to piss away a fantastic opportunity to support libertarianism simply because that isn’t the “label” that Ron Paul is running under.

    Ron Paul is brilliant for running as a Republican. He wouldn’t have even been in the debates if he wasn’t a Republican. Grow up, look at the big picture, and stop whining over petty “turf” issues.

    Ron Paul in ’08!

  67. Glenn Austin

    July 10, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Sean:

    The Libertarian Party is a vehicle to advance Liberty and not an end unto itself. Many LP members are reluctant to re-register as Republican just long enough to effect the Republican nomination. How can we promote voting for Ron Paul when having no intention of doing so ourselves? Cart before the horse?

    The primary goal is Liberty, and Libertarianism may follow suit. Ron Paul offers the best opportunity for a long time to come to advance Liberty.

    I do not suggest that any LP Party officers should temporarily re-register as Republican.

    Thanks.

    Glenn Austin

  68. Mitch Port

    July 10, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    What we really need is a plan to transition all of this support and momentum to the Libertarian Party if RP is not nominated.

  69. Jim

    July 10, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    The downsize DC facts you have are incorrect – they are booming. My guess is that it is because they are supporting Ron Paul (as much as they can given their non-PAC status) From the latest dispatch:
    “June was perhaps our best month all year. We recruited 930 new
    Downsizers, which was only 8 shy of January’s high-water mark.
    On top of that, we slammed Congress with 47,109 messages — THE MOST
    EVER.
    We also made budget.
    We’re ahead of last year’s pace for recruitment by 1,117, and for
    messages by 56,523.
    Our monthly pledges are also at an all-time high (you can add to the
    success by contributing here).”

  70. Pier Johnson

    July 10, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Should anyone click on the URL and find this page, he or she will see your picture and think “libertarian dork”.

    After reading your foolish notion of “… see a whole lot of Libertarians putting their energy into Ron Paul while we have a party of our own to build” persons will think “libertarian dork”.

    Ron Paul wants to win. No amount of existing as a talking shop will advance the cause of liberty and libertarian-minded persons.

    The truth shines. Small “l” libertarianism gives all a healthy doctrine to follow. The Big “L” Libertarian Party is a talking shop band of loser libertarian dorks.

    Big “L” Libertarians would serve themselves well if they watched this brief clip of NFL coach Herm Edwards talking about games and playing. [see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMk5sMHj58I ]

  71. the oak

    July 10, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Parties in general are just one more layer of government that limit the voting power of the individual.

    If you can truly say, “I love Ron Paul but I can’t vote for him because if the Libertarian Party”, then the LP is not a party of liberty after all.

    We have a once in a lifetime chance at peaceful revolution. If you aren’t part of it, then don’t ever complain about big government ever again because when you had the chance you were whining under the porch instead of fighting with the patriots!

  72. John Scott

    July 10, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    If libertarians dont want to support Ron Paul they are part of the problem. Ron Paul has a chance to win. We ALL need to get behind him as this may be the last chance EVER to get someone like Dr Paul into the white house. The powers that be will find a way to prevent this from happening in the future. If it doesnt work out, RP’s supporters will go somewhere.. If the LP doesn’t support DR. Paul for petty reasons, his supporters will not forget it. Dont forget the constitution party is out there too.

  73. David Cameron

    July 10, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    One more comment please. As we all know, the Bush Administration has all but eliminated anything we could point to as an example of Freedom, such as the US Constitution. If FREEDOM loving American’s don’t mobilize behind Dr. Paul, RIGHT NOW, within two to 5 years we will all be likely be living in a TOTALITARIAN STATE. If we don’t do something FAST, Hillary will be sworn into office. There is no one in the Republican field, including Fred Thompson that has a prayer of beating her, and I predict that Obama won’t even come close.

    So Sean,… what are we going to do about that? Bicker, divide ourselves, squabble, and let Hillary win?

    Have you read this article on the Constitution Party web site? http://www.constitutionparty.com/news.php?aid=613 Dr. NO receives a perfect score card according to their party platform.

    Why not make history? If the LP and CP parties would join us and collectively endorse Ron Paul, the east coast establishment, the war machine, the democrats, the media, and the power elites would sh*t their pants. An endorsement by both these parties would bring national attention to their causes. But why make history when squabbling is so much fun? Yes, we need your help and endorsement. And I am not bashful about asking for it? Otherwise, get ready to carry your papers everywhere you go. Because the surveillance society is already here.

  74. Gene Berkman

    July 10, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    I have been involved in The Libertarian Party since attending the founding convention in Denver in 1972. I have run for Congress 3 times as a Libertarian candidate, and won awards for two of my campaigns. I was Riverside County Coordinator of the Ron Paul campaign in 1988.

    The Ron Paul campaign is the biggest libertarian campaign I have been involved with. It has excited everyone on my local Libertarian Party group, and we are using our “Libertarians for Ron Paul” website to promote The Libertarian Party as well as the Paul campaign. Take a look @ http://www.libertariansforpaul.com

  75. Incrementalist

    July 10, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Ron Paul is a libertarian. He’s a libertarian with an actual shot at the Presidency. Who cares what happens to the libertarian party as a result of this? It’s not about the party, especially not a party as radical and ineffectual as the LP. Perhaps if the LP listened to their Libertarian Reform Caucus (www.reformthelp.org) they’d be more viable, but that’s not going to happen. Ron Paul is part of the “productive wing” of the liberty movement. Better to let him take the lead than keep pining for some big LP takeover.

  76. John

    July 10, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I have been an LP member for many years. Almost every election, I’ve voted straight party line, no less.

    I will be voting for Paul in the CA primaries (as a “Decline to State”). I will re-register LP as soon as it is over.

    No LP candidate has ever recieved the kind of publicity and attention Paul has. No LP candidate has ever had the kind of funds at his disposal as RP does. No LP candidate has served 10 terms in Congress.

    I have had dozens of conversations with friends and family about RP. Some are very excited, some are curious. I never had these conversations about LP candidates because they never knew who they were or who they say.

    It is the strangest thing to see a supposed libertarian putting a group identity (LP) over individual principles and positions. A collectivist libertarian is no libertarian at all. If I thouhgt the LP was represented by folks with your short sightedness, I’d quit the party completely.

  77. Sean Haugh

    July 10, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, looks like the article is finding new life elsewhere. Cool beans. I’m glad to see a few people get what I was trying to say, particularly Mitch Port and my old friend Gene Berkman. Gene’s site is a great example of the positive action I called for in the article.

    I have to wonder about the Ron Paul Nut Cult though. It amazes me that anyone can read an article that speaks of the “sheer excitement” about the Paul campaign and call it an attack. That only happens in Nut Cults, where any questioning is automatically taken as blasphemy.

    I also have to wonder about the interpersonal skills of people who don’t see the opportunity in commenting to me. I mean, here’s someone who is really *really* close to you ideologically, he just has some concerns. I would think you’d welcome such a person and try to convince them to take that last step into your camp. Or at least see the vast amount we have in common and work with that. But no, apparently I am a total loser who is hellbent on destroying everything you hold dear. What a great way to broaden the base of support and help spread the message – NOT!

    My point is strengthened by the reactions to this article. A Republican *candidate* can indeed do a lot for the cause of Liberty. Put down the Libertarian Party all you want, but if the positive energy of the Paul campaign all stays within the Republican *Party*, that will do more to undermine the cause of Liberty than any other potential outcome. We’ve known that ever since the days of Barry Goldwater.

  78. Rodger Cashman

    July 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I LOVE the LP ideas and concepts. I’ve never been affiliated with any party due to the nature of this “mass mentality” itself.

    Thanks to you Sean, I was at one time considering joining the LP. But after reading your partisan garbage – disposing of the principles of your very own party away simply because of PARITISANSHIP

    I WILL NEVER JOIN THE LP – DONE

  79. John Green

    July 10, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    You are right that as a lone voice in Congress Ron Paul hasn’t been able to accomplish much. But as President he can get our troops out of Iraq, and veto one damn foolish bill after another. That would be a big improvement over what we have now.

    I vote for the man, not the party. I will have to register as a Republican so I can vote for Paul in the primary but it’s strictly a “one night stand” with the party.

    Also, it’s foolish to say, “He can’t win” when his chances, low as they may be, are infinitely better than they are of any third party candidate actually winning the presidency.

  80. Rachel

    July 11, 2007 at 12:09 am

    My question is what has the LP done for me lately?

    What has Ron Paul done for me? Well, he apparently can herd cats – all the people who’ve been swallowed up in the LP and been spat out, some more ceremoniously than others, then grown complacent like I was, are now back on fire. We are (I suspect) all the activists the LP has had their chance with and missed out on.

    I don’t see me going back to the LP anytime soon, nom or no, I won’t speak for others, but I tried the LP, and a lot of the messages on this board demonstrate why I lost my patience for it all.

    A lot of us are not new political activists. We’re old ones. We’ve found our political home right beside Ron Paul and its a beautiful thing.

  81. Sean Haugh

    July 11, 2007 at 1:03 am

    I am amused when people try to pin decisions they made awhile ago on something I just did. Almost as amused as I am by people (Carl) who post under new names to give the impression they are another voice.

    Now Rachel, old friend, you speak to the heart of the matter. My question to you and those like you is: what will you do next? If you are the Rachel I think you are, you should know me well enough to have comprehended that part of my article. By no means am I against the new hope offered by Ron Paul. What I fear is that hope turned back into that old jaded feeling and being ossified into stone.

    One thing I already knew has been more than amply demonstrated by the reactions you see above, and Carl was right about that – Libertarian bickering is *nothing* compared to how Republicans treat each other. You know the wars we fought in NC, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been branded a “traitor” or cast as the sad pathetic little man who dares to think for himself. You have to put up with a lot of garbage no matter what party you choose, which is why I totally respect people who keep on working for Liberty completely outside the party system.

    Having said that, one other thing I am being told all over again is that Libertarians absolutely could do a *much* better job of welcoming people. Just like I castigated my attackers in my previous comment, it is more important to us than anyone to be as welcoming as possible. If I regret anything about my article, it’s that I seem to have fed the bickering between people who really ought to be seeking each other out and just hugging each other. My great disappointment in writing it is that so many people who have already chosen not to be in the Libertarian Party are just so damn ready to pick a fight with those closest to them.

    And yet there’s a lot of hope in this latest round of comments. It is gratifying to hear from several people like you who do more or less get what I’m saying and disagree with it. (I picked you to address Rachel because I think I know you and you asked the right questions, but anyone else who sees themselves in my reply are invited to take it that way.) That’s real conversation, and I hope the folks who cared enough to reply on this basis check back to continue it. And not just because it will feed my ego to get over 100 comments. ;)

    My work is devoted precisely to trying to turn the Libertarian Party into an organization that all those who love Liberty in one way or another can feel is doing something for them. That’s going to happen with our candidates and elected Libertarians across the country far more than it will take place on this or any other blog.

  82. Henry D. Hammerly

    July 11, 2007 at 8:58 am

    “Burn out” is the result of inappropriate objectives. Let me suggest that any effort that results in any idea that disinfects the current diseased state of the body politic (by non-coercive standards)is a probiotic. Of course, if it is true that the only corrective for the body politic is a near death experience, then shrugging may be the only sane response.

  83. the oak

    July 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Sean,
    I’m glad that you are helping stir the Ron Paul pot. Controversy and mahem has been the catalyst for his support surge.

    I have to tell you that we “Ron Paul whackos” come to his aid and defense every time we just get a whiff of accusation or negatives against the good doctor. Let me tell you why.

    I worked as his political director for about 10 years. Speaking personally and professionally, there is NO ONE that lives in, around, or near the Beltway that has as much knowledge and character as Dr. Ron Paul.

    Don’t take it personally but we Ron Paul whackos don’t care what happens to the LP, GOP, DNC or any other party out there.

    We want our freedom from federal tyrrany now! We see him as the only hope of gaining it. I carried a 9mm for him before and I’d take a bullet for him today. There are thousands of people out there that feel just like I do.

    So, you keep stirring the pot. We’ll keep carrying the flag and musket for Ron Paul.

  84. Sean Haugh

    July 12, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Well oak, thanks so much for your service, honestly. I think you’ll really enjoy my companion piece, appearing this weekend. ;)

  85. Rachel

    July 12, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Love ya, Sean! You’re getting close you your 100 comments. :)

  86. Rick Fisk

    July 12, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Sean your engaging in petty jealousy and are looking at this from the wrong point of view. You can either take advantage of the current situation or keep spouting this petty jealousy and watch the LP wither and die.

    http://demidog.blogspot.com/2007/07/dear-libertarian-party.html

  87. Stan Lee

    July 12, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I have previuosly served as the Chairman of My County affiliate of the LP. I am currently focussing all my efforts at organizing Ron Paul’s campaign in my county.

    What will Ron Paul do for the LP? well his previuos association with the LP is mentioned in every interview, and he states the only reason he is in the GOP is that ballot access and other laws make it impossible to raise money or get on the ballot as a third party candidate. He has never stated that he disagrees for with what the LP stands for.

    I find it comical that Sean would question the ability of Ron Paul to get elected president, and then insinuate that supporting a LP candidate would get better results?

    Ron Paul has been elected to national office 10 times, that is more than we as Lp members have ever accomplished.

    Name one piece of federal legislation that a Liberarian has ever gotten passed? or even introduced? None since we can’t get elected.

    The plain fact that we all need to realize is if we are ever to see liberty in our lifetimes, Ron Paul is our best chance. He is getting coverage from the nation press more and more, He has more money in his campaign chest than John McCain, and his campaign is converting thousands of independents, republicans and democrats to libertarian ideology every day. We are bigger on meetup,you tube and myspace than any other candidate, and if you visit you tube and watch the Ron paul rallies we are pulling more enthusuastic activists than any other candidate.

    There is a grassroots revolution happening in this country. We are winning or placing second in straw polls all over the country. It is only a matter of time before we gain enough support to topple the neocons and re establish the constitution.

    Every Libertarian needs to join this fight. We can all argue about party tags next December. For now you need to register republican to vote in the primary, contribute and go to meetup and volunteer.

    I will be changing my resitration back to LIB as the day after I vote in the primary :)

  88. Scratch

    July 14, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Sean, Lee, Tom, Tom,

    Guys, why the heck are you letting me agree with the Rev. Lefty Mystical Milsted ever so slightly?

    Haven’t been this conflicted since I got caught busting one out to Tori Spelling.

    Do mean slightly, very slightly as in ditto to whatever Mr. Berkman, Trinward, Wes and Rachel said. Merely wanted to use the Rev. Lefty as a prop in a Tori Spelling joke.

    Talk to you soon,Sean.

    Peace,

    Scratch

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  90. Andrew

    November 1, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Cut it out.

    Among numerous other things…

    I got into the LP because of Harry Brown.

    I organized our state convention in 2002.

    I went to the national convention and subsequently busted @$$ for Badnarik.

    I spent a bundle of my own money organizing a project following Carl Milsted’s ideas on his “economy of scale project” where we got a bunch of LP candidates excited, some of whom would otherwise have run paper candidacies, about putting up thousands of yard signs in SC.

    After burnout, Ron Paul has re-invigorated me and is probably the ONLY thing that could have done so (as I pursue a PhD and raise an infant son)

    I do an internet search to see what Carl says about Ron Paul and this is near the top of the list.

    It is ALL about moving the rock up the hill little by little an not losing ground.

    You people are killing me!

  91. Nobody Special

    November 2, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    “It’s sad that the existence of parties muddles up everything”

    I agree wholeheartedly with this comment. If not for the incoherence that is the Libertarian Party (collectivism for the individual???), you would seemingly have no issues with Dr. Paul.

    As it stands though, he is an impediment to your desire for political power others, so you have no choice but to defend your institution. For power is nothing, if not exercised regularly.

    Given that Murray Rothbard himself came to regret what his own hand had helped wrought, perhaps there is hope for you too.

    Picture this… without Ron Paul, I wouldn’t have even known your blog exists. Now tell me just how he is “harming” you again?

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