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.