There was an article posted on LewRockwell.com by Allan Stevo. Actually, it is an excerpt out of a new book called How to Win America for Ron Paul and the Cause of Freedom in 2012. The author is obviously a huge Ron Paul supporter and is a big supporter of liberty. From that, I don’t want to step on his toes and make an enemy out of someone who shares a similar philosophical outlook. However, I do respectfully disagree with much of what he has said.
Stevo starts out (in this excerpt) by trying to motivate Ron Paul supporters. He does it in an over-the-top way. He says, “Working half-heartedly or ineffectively in these times that so matter is simply not enough, because victory is so close for a candidate who is so threatening to the forces that oppose freedom.”
The author goes on to say that “Simply sharing links of Facebook and getting into online debates will do little to make Ron Paul president”. He is saying that Ron Paul supporters need to branch outside of the internet to be effective. Perhaps he is partially correct here.
Then he really goes over-the-top. He says that if you are staying online or just waving signs, then those actions are entirely ineffective in winning a campaign. He says, “Do them and you are just as bad as any neo-con – because you have a chance to effectively fight for liberty, yet you do nothing.” A few sentences later, Stevo writes, “In fact, I’d say you’re even worse than a neo-con, because a neo-con doesn’t get it.”
First, this is completely insulting. I understand he is trying to motivate people, but you don’t do it by throwing insults. They are ridiculous insults too. If someone is open-minded enough to come around to Ron Paul’s viewpoints, you are going to say he is the villain just because he doesn’t do everything you say he should do in campaigning? This is absurdity.
Later in this excerpt, the author does some math. He says that now 2 or 3 voters out of 20 trust Ron Paul. Then he gets back to his attempts at motivation by barking orders at his fellow supporters. He says, “If you are reading this right now, you need to personally deliver 10 votes for Ron Paul on election day. You need to personally bring in 10 voters who otherwise wouldn’t have voted for Ron Paul.”
And what if I don’t bring in 10 voters? Am I a villain? Are you going to steal Christmas from me?
The author makes it sound like it is quite feasible as long as you put in the time and effort. But does he understand how hard it is to convince someone to vote for someone, particularly someone like Ron Paul who is completely different than the typical candidate? If someone is familiar with Ron Paul and understands a little bit of his philosophy, what makes Stevo thinks that someone’s mind can be changed so easily? If the person is on the margin and already leans libertarian, perhaps it can be done. But most people are not there yet. And when they get there, it will be because of their own internal motivations.
As I’ve said before, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. If someone is familiar with Ron Paul and his message and has access to all of the material on the internet that is out there, how much more can I do? Am I going to call the person every day? That will just be annoying and turn the person off.
If it were easy to bring 10 new voters for Ron Paul, then a lot of people would be doing it. But it is very difficult. It is naive to think that someone can just talk to people and bring them over to the libertarian side in the matter of weeks or days. The people who are having online debates (who Stevo criticizes) are trying to do this very thing.
Here is the big thing with this excerpt and probably his new book. Stevo’s main goal is to win the presidency for Ron Paul. That is actually not my main goal. It is putting the cart before the horse. You have to educate people on the benefits of liberty. You have to persuade people that liberty is moral and that it leads to the most peace and prosperity for everyone. You cannot skip this step.
Ron Paul could become president tomorrow, but if it was not the result of a change in the hearts and minds of the American people, then it would almost be pointless. For long-term change in favor of liberty, there has to be a change in the mindset of Americans. People have to stop believing that government is necessary to run their lives. Only then can we have smaller government and more freedom.