Ron Paul Can Win

It’s hard to tell if the idea that Ron Paul cannot win in 2012 is more ignorant, in its complete lack of historical sophistication, or more arrogant, in its claim to certainty amid all the complexity of 300 million lives and the myriad issues that affect them.

Sometimes, perhaps once in a few generations, a nation can undergo what a mathematician or physicist would call a “phase change.” The classic example of such a thing is a pile of sand. Every grain you add makes the pile slightly steeper and slightly higher without moving any of the other grains inside the pile, until eventually one grain is added that causes an avalanche of sand down the sides of the pile, moving thousand of grains and changing the shape of the pile.

Such behavior can be exhibited by all complex systems, and a nation — it should be obvious — is much more complex than a pile of sand.

The important point for those who would presume to make such grand predictions as “Dr. Paul cannot win” is that no examination of the pile of sand before the point of avalanche would tell you that, or when, the avalanche will eventually happen.

But happen it does; indeed, happen it must.

And there are numerous examples of abrupt and dramatic phase change in the politics of great nations.

The U.K., the country of my birth, provides a compelling and closely relevant example. As every schoolboy knows, Churchill led Britain to victory in the Second World War. Indeed, he did as much as any man on Earth ever has to save civilization as we know it.

Three months after the entire nation poured into the streets to cheer this great leader (the man a few years ago voted by Britons the greatest Briton of all time), Churchill went to the country in a general election to retain his position as prime minister. There was simply no way he could lose. The best slogan the Labour party, his opposition, could come up with was, “Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour.”

And amazingly, that is exactly what the nation did. Churchill was defeated. No one anywhere — including the people of Britain who voted in the election — had even thought about the possibility. No newspaper had considered it. After all, the election was a foregone conclusion in Churchill’s favor. And yet an unseen, perhaps unconscious, will of the people caused a cultural and political phase-change in the British nation that they neither knew they wanted nor knew they had the power to cause.

Many historians now say that the unseen sentiment that produced this result that shocked not just the British but the whole world was the idea that all the blood and treasure lost to maintain the freedom of the British empire and the Western world demanded something more than continuation of the old political settlement. After a huge crisis, the people wanted a whole new system. In 1945, the Labour Party, with its vision of state-delivered cradle-to-grave security of health and basic material well-being (welfare state), in some way met that national desire for a grand political change.

Following what was in fact a landslide victory for the Labour party, the character of the nation changed massively, and more change rapidly followed in the British identity, as an empire was lost and the mantle of the world’s greatest power was handed to the U.S.A.

Those who have noted that one of Ron Paul’s greatest qualities is his humility might also be interested to know that Churchill had put down Clement Attlee, who defeated him, with the words, “A modest little man, with much to be modest about.”

Perhaps a more fanciful comparison, but nonetheless indicative: no one in China was predicting that the Long March of Mao, which began in defeat and despair, would end in Beijing with victory and the proclamation of a whole new nation under a whole new political system.

And which newspapers were pondering the possibility of the First World War just a month before it happened?

We cannot see past a phase change. I don’t know if the U.S.A. will have undergone one at the time of the 2012 election, but the necessary conditions for one are all in place, as far as I can tell.

One has to reach back a good way in American history for a time of such rapidly rising sentiment that not only are our leaders unable even to think of real solutions to the problems of greatest concern (rather than just making expedient changes at the margin), but also that the prevailing political and economic system is structurally incapable of delivering any long-term solutions in its current form.

The sheer range and interconnectedness of the problems that the nation faces are such that any permanent solution to any one of them will require profound systemic change that will necessarily upset many economic, political and cultural equilibria. And that is nothing more than a definition of a national phase change.

The average American may not know what is to be done, but she can sense when the system has exhausted all its possibilities. At that point, not only does the phase change become reasonable; it becomes desirable — even if what lies on the other side cannot be known.

As anyone can find out just by talking to a broad cross-section of Ron Paul’s supporters, his base is not uniform in its agreement on the standard issues of typical American party-political conflict. In fact, Paul supporters vary significantly even in their views of what in the old left-right paradigm were the “wedge-issues.” Rather, they are united around concepts that could almost be called meta-political: whether left and right really exist, and, if they do, whether they are really opposed; whether centralized government should even be the main vehicle for political change, etc.; and whether there are some principles that should be held sacrosanct for long-term benefit, even when they will hurt in the short-run.

For those with eyes to see, such realignments and re-prioritization may even be glimpses of America after its next phase change.

If Ron Paul has committed support from 10 percent of the adult population, and most of that 10 percent support him precisely because they believe he represents a whole new political system, an entirely new political settlement, then we may be close to critical mass — just a few grains of sand short of the avalanche.

Another piece of evidence that the nation is close to a phase change and a gestalt switch is the very fact that the prevailing paradigm (from which the mainstream media, established political class, etc., operate) has to ignore huge amounts of data about Ron Paul and the movement around him to continue to make any sense. The studied neglect of data as “irrelevant” is invariably indicative that the neglected data are hugely important. If information doesn’t really matter, why go to all the effort of ignoring it?

Specifically, on all the metrics that a year ago everyone accepted as useful indicators of political standing, Ron Paul is not just a front-runner but a strong one.

First, and most directly, he does extremely well in polls. The organization of his grassroots support is not just excellent; it is remarkable, by historic and global measures. His ability to raise money from actual voters is second to none. His appeal to independents and swing voters is an order of magnitude greater than that of his competitors. Secondarily, he has more support from military personnel than all other candidates put together, if measured by donations; he has the most consistent voting record; he has the magical quality of not coming off as a politician; he oozes integrity and authenticity, and, as far as we know, he has a personal life and marriage that reflects deep stability and commitment.

To believe that Ron Paul’s victory is a long shot in spite of all standard indicators that directly contradict this claim is to throw out all norms with which we follow our nation’s politics — and that is a huge thing to do. The only way it can be done honestly is to present another set of contradictory reasons or metrics that are collectively more powerful than all those that you are rejecting. I am yet to find them.

If it is true that the studied neglect of data to hold tight to a paradigm is the best evidence that the paradigm is about to collapse, then the massive and highly subjective neglect of all things Paulian is specific evidence that the country is moving in Paul’s direction.

Of course, none of this means that Paul will definitely win. But it does mean that a bet against him by a politician is foolhardy and by a journalist is dishonest.

It is worth returning to Churchill’s career for an even more delicious example: just days before he became the great wartime leader, his career had been written off as that of a kook, and he was being discussed as someone who had extreme ideas and whose thinking did not reflect the mood of the nation. The House of Commons was abuzz with his decline and imminent fall.

And then, rather suddenly, something he had been saying for many years — that there was something rotten in the state of Germany — became so obvious that it could no longer be avoided. Once the nation saw that he had been right all along, he became the leader of the free world in very short order. His career changed. Britain changed. The world changed. No one had seen that coming, either. In fact, everyone thought they knew what was coming: the kook was about to disappear into political backwaters, if not the political wilderness.

Do I even need to draw the parallel?

If Paul wins, it won’t be because he is the kind of candidate Americans have always gone for. It will be precisely because Americans have collectively decided on a dramatically new way of doing business — a new political and economic paradigm — and then he’ll not only have ceased to be a long shot; he’ll be the only shot.


149 comments to Ron Paul Can Win

  • Frank

    Good article, and you might be right: a “phase change” in US politics might be brewing unexpectedly.

    The main concern I see about Ron Paul nowadays is he’s either attacked as soft on defense or neglecting our support of Israel. But we can neither afford nor would the Founding Fathers have been happy with us having 800+ bases in 120+ countries around the world and acting as the world’s policeman. They strongly encouraged us to AVOID unnecessary “foreign entanglements”. As for Israel, he would at least stop pressuring Israel into a 2 state solution and he would let them negotiate on their own with the Arabs in the West Bank. Why should we tell either Israel or the Arabs what to do? With 300 nukes and modern armed forces, Israel can probably defend herself without us trying to micro-manage things for them.

    Ron Paul is not an isolationist. He supported going after OBL in Afghanistan, but he would have preferred a declaration of war or having Congress authorize “Letters of Marque” against OBL & his Al Qaeda supporters.

    As for increasing our liberties here at home, shrinking the size & scope of the Federal Government, eliminating the deficit, lowering & simplifying taxes, rolling back job killing rules & regulations, auditing & trying to eliminate the Federal Reserve, repealing or defunding ObamaCare & returning to sound money (gold/silver)… most people from across the political spectrum now see Ron Paul as being correct these past 30+ years while others were ignoring him. Ron Paul hasn’t changed, but America is waking up to the realization that he has been right & that America’s problems have gotten much worse by ignoring his 30+ years of warnings & solutions.

  • Rich

    Ron Paul has been sandbagged by the Repugs both in this and the previous elections. He may be a little too old, however, and if you think back to Ross Perot, (or Howard Dean for that matter), the powers that be control the media, and are liable to really make a mockery of him. I knew as soon as the gold standard was abolished that we were on the road to ruin. Still, if our country has a prayer, it might be named Ron Paul.

    • Carmen

      Too old? Seems to me we have a President (more like a KING) in office who has become SENILE. He has forgotten the Constitution!!!!!! Additionally, he has forgotten that he said he’d BRING THE TROOPS HOME. Instead, he’s SPREAD THE WARS!!!. Can someone please tell the King that we are broke…he’s forgotten that too!!!

  • Kevin Beck

    If Ron Paul is to have a chance at becoming President, the main obstacles he has to overcome are the ones thrown up by the Republican branch of the American Big Government party. The Establishment is going to do all they can to stop him from winning the nomination, and when he decides to run as an Independent, they will conspire with the different states to make it impossible for him to have ballot access. I think the dolts that operate the Republican party would rather see Obama win than Ron Paul be on the national ballot for President.

    • Gere Stokoe

      You are right that the Repubic “leadership” would rather OB get reelected than have Ron Paul on the ticket for President.
      How the Globalist Bankers, the owned Media & Politicians have scammed the voting public for decades.
      OUR REPUBLIC has been sold out
      There are too many bought politicians in both parties. Many are members of David Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) & Trilateral Commission (TC)
      – Quite a Partnership! Both parties have given us a $14.4 TRILLION DEBT, paying interest to THE FED for the use of our own money since 1913.
      – Congress has the power and responsibility to uphold the Constitution (Article 1;Sec 8)
      – Issue US Notes with no interest to the parasitic globalist Banksters.
      Here is how “THE FIX” works: Dems nominate a globalist/socialist & RePubs a globalist/fascist; both associated with Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) & Trilateral Commission (TC). Then the duped voters listen to the bought media tell them that no one else can win; then the sheep vote for “the lesser of two evils” as directed. All other parties and candidates are eliminated with the help of the owned Lame Stream Media.
      Obama filled his cabinet with CFR/TC members & “The Fix” continues. To find out who controls the elections – Google: CFR,TC,Bilderberg

  • I think that Ron Paul is the only hope America has to get out of the mess we are in. If he doesn’t win all I can say is God bless America as we sink down to a 4th world country. If Obama gets reelected he will finish the job he has started to totally destroy our great nation. For us to survive we MUST elect Ron Paul!!

  • Ron Paul gets no press coverage, corporations see to that, so it will be hard to get into the the public’s view. I’m a liberal, and I support Ron Paul for President. I am also a pragmatic person and know that we can afford all things, all the time, on credit, with an extension, followed with a twist!
    He could win a primary, straw poll, etc…, and we would still
    only hear about the front runners the press (corporations) want us to hear about. He won the Rep. straw poll in Calif., and why is it that only this liberal knows about it??? Not in any news releases anywhere!??

  • Nick

    To read these comments I think my God people are waking up! Even a liberal! I agree that Ron Paul is the only political hope for our country and probably the planet. It may be well beyond a political solution. If so the suffering between now and a better world will be….. don’t know what to say. I call you all to put your money and mouth to the task. Ron Paul for President!!!!!!

  • Ilene Seveland

    Because I believe we need a drastic shift from the current political stalemate, I’m leaning towards Ron Paul, too. However, as an Independent, I believe his being a Republican is his biggest obstacle. Both parties carry too much baggage to be taken seriously anymore. What we need is someone who can courageously step away from politics and get down to the business of governing! Let’s elect a President – not a party!

    • BH

      Then Ron is your guy. In the House, he never “voted at the party’s call”; he decided on his own. As perhaps you are aware, he has run for President on a third party ticket.

      I agree that it should be possible to be elected president from a third party, or even no party at all. There is, after all, no mention of political parties in the Constitution. But that is not realistic. Ron is a real candidate (admittedly with a bit of Don Quixote about him). His object is to get elected so as to make a difference, not just to educate the public during debates.

  • hilary

    The writer of this article has succinctly espoused all my thoughts and opinions about Ron Paul and what has been happening to him over the years and now in recent events….if someone had told me even 2 years ago that I would vote for him I would have laughed in their face. He was a “kook” as this brilliant lady points out the media’s stance. Now, in my view, he is our only choice. The whole sale disregard for him by the media is so telling to be obsurd. The GOP and the political machine at large are quaking in their collective boots over the fact that Ron Paul’s time has finally come. Be sure and see Jon Stewart’s take on the subject!

  • Stevie D

    For years I’ve felt when most politicians address an issue, they might as well be speaking Greek to me. But when R.P. addresses the same issues, I’m always left with the same feeling of, “that makes sense”. Nice job Robin Koerner!

  • Victoria

    If Ron Paul and Susan Eisenhower ran as an Independent ticket, they would have the vote of this registered Democrat. There would be no second choice.

  • Between the Chicago Thugs and the Media thugs you
    never here any thing good about Ron Paul Why Because
    The establishment . The crooks, the Robbers, the thief
    and all the Lie’rs feed on the establishment. That is the reason they are all worth millions. they work for the Government They don’t want change. they will and are fighting tooth and Nail and are willing to do any thing to stay attached to their tit . Ron Paul idea
    is to do away with the Crooks and Re- establish our father’s gift. to us the constitution.

  • John Acord

    Superb analysis of current events. Sir Francis Bacon termed a similar “change phase” “The Great Instauration,” meaning a new beginning, the beginning of scientific thought and exploration. Finally, we have a chance to implement the great thoughts of von Mises and free the human soul and spirit from control of self-appointed elites.
    The Ron Paul of 2011 is the same Ron Paul of 1976 when he was first elected to Congress. He is consistent in his message, never compromises his principles, and is the most truthful politician in America. When he says he will end the countless wars, close many of our military bases throughout the world, bring the troops home, guard the borders, end most ridiculous federal regulations, free the small businessman and restore Constitutional government he means exactly what he says. He is the What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)candidate. My liberal friends are listening to his message because they know he will deliver us from endless wars, rule by the military industrial complex, free thousands of political prisoners, reduce or eliminate government snooping into private lives. My conservative friends like him for all the right reasons that focus on sound money and limited government. What a refreshing moment for America would be the election of Ron Paul as the leader of the free world. Ron Paul will unite America and inspire the world to emulate him. It will be the dawn of anew age, a new beginning. American will once again be the beacon of freedom that the entire world envies

    • Piks yawnoc

      Great writing , concise, well thought out dialog…. Now do you have the guts to walk in to your county supervisor of elections, and write him in on the ballot like I did in 2008…. I sleep well at night knowing I voted for the best man(person)! Look at the write in win of Murgursky (sic) in Alaska….we CAN do this thing …..if not, heaven help us

  • SJ

    Long live the Revolution !!

  • Anonymous

    Last chance America

  • TheVonz

    Excellent article, and hopefully true… look at Mr. Paul’s website and you will see most things aligned with the US Constitution – the ultimate Law of the US.

    One comment that you missed in the article – With Ron Paul this would not be a “whole new political system”, rather it would be “returning to the Constitutional Rule of Law” upon which our once great USA was founded.

  • I like very much the “pile of sand” way of explaining major change after a series of small ones. This process was gone into detail by this philosopher and former head of state:

    “A development that repeats, as it were, stages that have already been passed, but repeats them in a different way, on a higher basis (“the negation of the negation”), a development, so to speak, that proceeds in spirals, not in a straight line; a development by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions; “breaks in continuity”; the transformation of quantity into quality; inner impulses towards development, imparted by the contradiction and conflict of the various forces and tendencies acting on a given body, or within a given phenomenon, or within a given society; the interdependence and the closest and indissoluble connection between all aspects of any phenomenon (history constantly revealing ever new aspects), a connection that provides a uniform, and universal process of motion, one that follows definite laws — these are some of the features of dialectics as a doctrine of development that is richer than the conventional one.” (Lenin, V.I., On the Question of Dialectics: A Collection, pp. 7-9. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1980)

    Your explanation is much clearer in showing the relationships (grains of sand) and certain laws at work. But given the source of my quote, it may be that more than Ron Paul as president may result. My hope and prayer is that the republic will not be lost.

  • Jan sommers

    Amen to All the above! Rp is the only solution for our country. I pray for divine intervention for him & us. God bless AMERICA!

  • Larry O. Reid

    Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who has consistently for the past 35 years voted for and supported constitutional,
    smaller government and economic freedom. Without economic freedom,
    political freedom would soon die.
    We all know that the state of our economy shows we have lost our economic freedom.
    Ron Paul 2012……

  • Thomas Jefferson

    The only REAL CONCERN I have is not the antagonistic opponents seen in the media and elsewhere, it is those DAMNED VOTING MACHINES! It has long been proven they are not only prone to malfunction but they are actively being hacked to manipulate the vote. See what Bob Fitrakis has done in Ohio to prove to the State Supreme Court, how Bush stole the 2004 election by subverting the votes from Ohio, the military, absentee ballots etc. Paper ballots or a fool-proof method of tracking each and every ballot is a must. Due to lack of transperency in our elections, an international democratic oversite organization claims the U.S.A. does not qualify as a democracy! I’m turning over in my grave.

  • old hickory

    It so heartening to see these comments about this great American! Of course you will never see this in the mainstream media, including rush, shawn , etc.. they do not agree with Ron’s message. They want status quo, and that is why we want him!

  • old hickory

    It so heartening to see these comments about this great American! Of course you will never see this in the mainstream media, including rush, shawn , etc.. they do not agree with Ron’s message. They want status quo, and that is why we want him!

  • MJ Larick

    Ron Paul has my vote and I will be doing what I can to help him get elected. But the Machine will definitely go into high gear in order to ridicule and discredit him. That’s when you know he is the Man for the Job. If he were to run as an independent or third party candidate he won’t be invited to attend any debates and will definitely be limited in ballot access. By running as a Rep. it keeps him on the inside. We must all do what we can to help him win. Then vote Libertarian for all other races.

  • BILL K


  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this thoughtful article. Everyone needs to start spreading the word about Ron Paul because he has all the big lobbyists and media against him. It’s true that the current leaders of the republican party would rather have Obama win again than elect Ron Paul. They are afraid of Dr. Paul because he represents real change, not just lip service.

    My whole family went to the republican convention in Los Angeles last week where Ron Paul supporters out numbered all of the other candidates by a long shot… and still, the republican organizers dismissed Ron Paul. They didn’t invite him to the event and so he had to rent his own space to have a speech. Then, when he won the straw poll by a landslide, the lead organizers said it was just because we bused students in to vote for him, which is not true at all. I was there, and I know why Ron Paul won… because there were thousands of supporters there who were excited to vote for him! The crowd was full of people from all walks of life, from parents with their babies dressed in Ron Paul shirts to Iraq war veterans, and older people with white hair waving patriotic flags. I’ve never seen such a lovely group of folks. Everyone was considerate, thoughtful, and most of all, very enthused about Ron Paul running for President!

    Tell everyone you know about Ron Paul. We have to do this on our own… we cannot expect any help from the media or main political parties. Ron Paul 2012!

  • CDA

    Ron Paul can be elected. But will he be elected? And…if he is, how much good will it do if the congress is not inclined to go along with him. There are three branches of govt. and it is important for Congress to be in harmony with the President, if legislation and effective action is to be accomplished. And of course it must pass Supreme Court muster. Election of Ron Paul can be a good thing, but it is not the only thing that is necessary.

    • SteveD

      To answer your question a great deal of good would come from it, much more than most people consider or understand.

      First and foremost he would bring the troops home and stop the expansionist spending that had killed our economy. That alone is reason enough to elect him all by itself. Without this single thing happening posthaste this country is doomed that is a mathematical fact, an irrefutable truth.

      Next he would veto any unconstitutional bills that arrive on his desk. That would help protect the few freedoms we maintain and stop a great deal of spending that only digs us further into the hole.

      Next appoint justices to the supreme court who are loyal to the constitution and not the dollar, there are a number of very important cases before the supreme court that the current establishment justices are ignoring because they are in someones pocket book. The cases going the court and reaffirming the rights of the people would help restore some of our lost rights.

      Next he would repeal the Patriot act the single most devastating piece of legislation against civil rights ever to be forced on us.

      Finally he would be in a position to put a great deal of pressure on the crooked congressmen that now hold seats. It would become immediately obvious to people that certain members of congress are not on simply working for lobbyists at the expense of the people. they would be in the position of either obeying the constitution or loosing their seat as he as president would have the stump to tell the whole nation on prime time who is stealing from them who is ignoring their oath to the constitution and who needs to be immediately replaced.

      In short a president who truly wanted to do something to turn our nation around 180 could do a great deal to effect that goal.

  • M.S.

    What will be will be.

  • AH

    WOW!, for some odd reason it still amazes me that so many so called educated people still don’t get that there is not, nor ever will be, a politician that is not in it for their own good. That’s just the natural order of the BEAST! Every last one of them will say & do whatever it takes to get into office so they can then do what they want. DUH!

    • SteveD

      You obviously do not know Ron Paul.

      For one he is a statesman not politician.

      Also you absolute that there are no “zero” politicians that are for their constituents is a logical fallacy. Blanket generalities are almost always false.

      Until you can disprove his record you have zero argument to back your claim.

  • KevinV

    America needs Ron Paul… Ron Paul needs you to educate your friends. The media gets their agenda from the money they take in – thus the biased information they share. The only way to get the real word out is to do it ourselves.

  • Ginger

    Mike Mitchell, You have and important idea.

    Ron Paul has built up a tremendous following over the years. He has honed a fantastic method of growing his base of supporters and retaining them.

    Remember ’08. He did not go independent or third party, but he certainly showed up the Republican party.

    There is every reason for those who oppose constitutional government to fear that they will lose. They have over played their hand.

    We the people see them for the charlatans that they are. They best beware …