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Sep 9, 2007

Ron Paul, Groupies, and Real Politics.

By Jim Fryar

I recently posted on the call by Saul Anuzis to Ron Paul libertarians to stay in the GOP if Ron misses out on the Republican nomination, and had what I call a “Dondero Experience”.

I was suddenly inundated with hostile replies indicating that the correspondents had no intention of doing so, along with abuse in some cases. This was directed mainly at Eric Dondero, whose radio show was the origin of the report, and Saul. I actually got off rather lightly, apart from “How can anyone quote a loser like Eric Dondero???” and possibly, “What a pitiful bitter little cipher of a man you are.” This may have been directed at Eric however.

I replied in part: -

I feel that it would be a good thing if Paul and other libertarian leaning candidates were to make a strong showing, as this would affect the ultimate policies that the election is fought on.

Fiscal conservatism has to make a strong showing in the primaries, as this is the worst area of the current administration, and a Democrat victory would only make matters worse.

My feelings for Ron Paul have had their ups and downs over the years, and while I respect his libertarian principles, I tend to regard him as one of the more eccentric libertarians, and his support for the 9/11-truther lunatics has ended my regard for him as a serious candidate.

It is important that the Paul supporters don't take their bats and balls and go home if they don't get their way as they can still make a substantial difference in the final result. Ask yourselves, if Ron Paul were to win the nomination, how well would he do if the supporters of Giuliani, Romney, and Fred Thompson were to get into a huff and refuse to support him.

This is too important for hissy fits. Ron’s supporters are the only ones talking this way, which probably is a reflection of the man.

I stand by this, however in retrospect I feel that the last paragraph may have been a little unfair to Ron Paul. He comes across as a person of quiet dignity and determination, and I feel that the actions by some of his groupies would be beneath him. At least I hope so.

One of the most problematic aspects of the libertarian persuasion is the belief in ownership of its followers, - Every libertarian has a concept of philosophical purity by which they judge every other libertarian and generally find them wanting. The trouble with this is that these concepts are different from person to person.

Instead of a person who accepts or advocates part of the belief being accepted as “substantially” or at least “partially libertarian” they are pilloried as impure, neo-lib, or some such. Libertarian purity is as great a myth as Hitler’s ideas on racial purity and should be dropped.

While there is a place for libertarianism as a pure philosophy, (in fact it is a necessity) it will only be accepted by the public as a gradualist proposition. Accept those who push a reasonable degree of your beliefs, and accept what they can get you for a start. These are the people who can get in and do some of it, unless you torpedo them.

Probably the craziest comment was to the effect that Ron Paul was the only reason to vote at all. Ron is not the most libertarian candidate in the election, Wayne Allyn Root is. The greatest shame of the current campaign is that WAR is standing as a Libertarian, not a Republican, and is therefore unelectable.

Wayne has an inspiring platform already and is the best of the candidates I have seen. Unfortunately I doubt that the purists will support him, some of the stuff he says has a dangerous degree of commonsense and independent thinking about it.

Meanwhile for all of you purists out there, don’t give up, the world is always more interesting for having eccentrics in it.


  1. It would be one thing to stay with the GOP if they offered a tangible benefit over the democrats, but the current crop of GOP hopefuls seems to offer nothing better than the democrats. Bush proved to us that this is not Reagan's Republican Party anymore.

    That and there is no way that a pro-war candidate has a chance of winning this election. I think the Libertarians would make far better use of their voices rather than sticking with the GOP, to let the GOP crash and burn. While we go and vote a straight libertarian ticket so they can see all those votes that they could have had just get flushed down the toilet, perhaps when this country is a socialist dictatorship they will take us seriously.

    Just like a drunk the GOP is going to have to hit rock bottom before they sober up, I was hopeful that 2006 would have been the end of the bleeding, but without Ron Paul as their nominee thats not going to happen. Its a shame that its going to drag the greatest nation on Earth down with them, but enabling the Republicans to get back in office with anyone but Ron Paul would be exactly like enabling a drunk.

    Just like in 'Atlas Shrugged' when this whole world is burning will they remember the wise words of Dr. Paul and the people will finally choose liberty, but just like Howard Roark blew up his greatest building, we have to let the Republicans and Democrats completely destroy this country before it can be rebuilt. Im the mean time they can both go to hell before they will get my support.

  2. A better question is, hey all you Hannity-ites, would you support Ron Paul if he did get the nomination?

    Notice how they try to couch things in terms of Team A and Team B - a very old tactic to divide people. Nobody is buying it. People who are interested in and passionate about Paul are going to vote for the man and the principles regardless of party. And well they should. No amount of fearmongering is going to get me, and many others I will wager, to cast a vote against a democrat for the likes of Giuliani, Romney, or Fred Thompson. Because at root there is no, I repeat NO substantial difference between Team A and Team B - they all lead to the Owellian quote: for a picture of the future, imagine a booted foot stomping on a human face, forever.

  3. I agree that Paulistas shouldn't take their ball and go home. I'll quible with you a bit on some other things.

    There are many people who support Paul for different reasons. Surely, some are Libertarians and the debate about Paul and others purity is meaningful. If your interest is returning to the Constitution the debate and Dondero are going to be significantly less important.

    However, with anyone other than Paul, the Republicans are going to take a significant hit in '08. The party will have to be rebuilt from the bottome up. This is the biggest opportunity for Conservatives that have been driven out of the party by the Theocons and Neocons, now thoroughly discredited, to return and take control of the party. It will be a revolution with or without a Paul presidency.

    As far as supporters of the other Candidates eventually supporting Paul, I've seen many bloggers state that they would vote for Hillary if that is their choice. So much for party unity.... TO THE BARICADES.

  4. I'm fully planning to give the republican party one shot to change my mind about them, to show they're not all warmongers determined to expand federal power at the cost of our liberties. As far as I am concerned that chance lies in nominating Ron Paul. If that doesn't happen I'm gone, and I hope others leave as well. It would be a great boost to the Libertarian party, and hopefully make it clear to the republicans that they have to change their tone or lose support.

    Finally about the 9/11 truther thing, they approached him breifly at an open event. That doesn't qualify as support. He can't endorse everyone who endorses him, let alone everyone that he talks to.

  5. The only reason I registered republican was for Paul. Hes the only choice. I echo Johns statements. The GOP will crash and burn without Paul, and good riddance.

    We dont need to prop up the GOP should Paul lose, we can just work to elect people in all walks of government with Pauls values, regardless of party. It will be a revolution one way or another.

  6. It is my belief that Congressman Paul, while sincere in his beliefs, is doing great harm to the philosophy of Libertarianism. When he proclaims that he will dissolve the CIA and FBI as President, rational Americans tune him out. I have been in a room full of Independents when he talks and they shake their heads in disgust. I do not believe he represents the philosophy of liberty in its best light. He presents himself as combative and uncompromising. Some Libertarians are often so preoccupied with accusing each other of being "unLibertarian" that they refuse to listen to contrary opinions and ideals. This is seen in the LP and in other radical Libertarian circles. Compromise is the art of politics, some Libertarians have to decide once and for all if they are going to compromise a "complete and total" Libertarian vision utopian ideal society in the near term so that libertarian policies can be implemented over time incrementally. Incrementalism is the only strategy in which to implement libertarian legislation and policies for the future in the U.S. political system. Republicans, Democrats and other American politicians may have a private personal vision of how they see the future with their ideal philosophy implemented, however, they understand that articulating such a vision is counter productive in the short term to attaining policies that advance their philosophy in parts, over a period of time. incrementally

  7. crispus attucks;
    Thank you, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    The USA is lucky to have a party like the Republicans, with a significant libertarian core to it. In Australia all of our parties are statist, with no real libertarian perceptions at all, with the exception of the Liberty and Democracy Party, which is libertarian and has some of the problems of your Libertarian party.

    Fortunately we have enough pragmatists to give us some chance, however we do seem to have too many pacifists in my opinion.

  8. Thank you for the complement, Mr. Fryar. Very nice blog by the way.

    I am very interested to know if either the "Australian Libertarian Party" or the "Liberal Democratic Party" supports the war on terrorism. Broadly speaking. I couldn't get on the Australian Libertarian Party site, so I was just curious, since you would know.

    Also, Since you're in the "general region" I was curious if you are aware of New Zealand's "Libertarianz Party's" position on the war on terrorism? Some sources say it does support the U.S. efforts, would that be refreshing!, however, after sifting through its official site, I have doubts.

  9. The name of the Australian libertarian party is the Liberty and Democracy Party after a recent name change in order to register. They have their own blog at. Another great site is the Australian Libertarian Society, who run the blog, Thoughts on Freedom.

    As for the ‘war on terrorism’ we are divided. I am not sure who is in the majority as there are a number of extraneous issues involved, for example I support the current military action however I disagree with the term, as it is being used by government as a convenient excuse to increase their power at the expense of the public.

    I accept the right to take action against states that support terrorism, however we have plenty of laws to deal with terrorists, whose actions are only when it is all said and done, criminal offences. Several others agree with this, or variations of it.

    Others are opposed to any military action, however I maintain that liberty contains within its parameters the right, even a responsibility to its defense.

    I am aware of the Libertarianz Party' however I haven’t really gone into it in any detail yet, so I can’t answer that one. It is my intention to feature other nations libertarian parties, as I hope to give my blog an international flavor, however with a fair bit of other things going on at the moment I am not getting the time I would like to do it.

    Michael Sutcliffe has mentioned some others on his blog.