Last week, Ron Paul announced he had lost his battle for the nomination. He urged his troops not to disrupt the Republican Party machinery in Tampa at the convention. In a coordinated declaration, his son, Senator Rand Paul, endorsed Obama's twin, Romney, for president.
This has caused an explosion in the ranks of Ron's supporters, Tea Parties, other Constitutionalists, and people who prize individual freedom and also vote. That's a lot of people.
But was Ron ever intending to re-shape the Republican Party? Was that his proactive goal? Was he campaigning to win the nomination and become the titular head of the Republican Party and call the shots? Was he truly working to become the next president? Was he striving all-out to clean out corruption in Washington? Those are all heavy objectives.
Most importantly, when it surfaced there was the possibility he had actually won the Primaries in the first several states and had been robbed by his own Party; and when, much later, his campaign workers were going into states where delegates weren't legally bound to vote for the announced Primary winner and grabbing off those delegates, did Ron come out and say, YES, LET'S DO IT, LET'S RECLAIM THE STATES THAT ARE OURS AND LET'S UPSET THE WHOLE APPLECART? DID HE? DID HE STAGE AN ALL-OUT REVOLT? DID HE SAY THE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES ARE ONE BODY WITH TWO HEADS? DID HE LEAD THE CHARGE FOR A PALACE REVOLUTION?
Was that his goal?
We saw no real evidence of it.
Unless Ron comes out now and makes a tremendously convincing speech that explains his current position and reaffirms his underlying values, his political career on the national stage is finished. And if he imagines his son, Rand, who has just sold out by endorsing Romney, can take up the sword of the father in the future, he's delusional. In one day, Ron has ditched his own political career and his familial legacy.
By 2008, Ron Paul had enough cache to start a run at the presidency on his own terms as an Independent, but he didn't do it. He would have blown apart his status as a (barely) mainstream voice, but so what? Was there ever a chance the GOP establishment and its media allies would have permitted him to gain the Party's nomination for president?
Running as an Independent is a different game. You're no longer "a lone voice in the wilderness" of the two-Party system, because you have stepped outside the system. Something more is required of you. In this day and age of Internet access, you need to reach out for every inch and minute of space and time you can get online. You are supposed to stand strong and establish your beachhead and state your claim to, yes, power. The power to make real, not phony change happen.