September 22, 2008
Ron Paul Takes Bob Barr's Advice
At his counter-press conference, Barr criticized Ron's coalition of third parties and their joint platform. Ron was diluting the pro-liberty(!) cause, said Barr. Ron should make up his mind and choose one candidate to support, added the Bobster. Well, Ron has taken Barr's counsel seriously. Here is his statement:
A New Alliance by Ron Paul
The press conference at the National Press Club had a precise purpose. It was to expose, to as many people as possible, the gross deception of our presidential election process. It is controlled by the powerful elite to make sure that neither candidate of the two major parties will challenge the status quo. There is no real choice between the two major parties and their nominees, only the rhetoric varies. The amazingly long campaign is designed to make sure the real issues are ignored. The quotes I used at the press conference from insider Carroll Quigley and the League of Women voters strongly support this contention.
Calling together candidates from the liberal, conservative, libertarian and progressive constituencies, who are all opposed to this rigged process, was designed to alert the American people to the uselessness of continuing to support a process that a claims that one’s only choice is to choose the lesser of two evils and reject a principle vote that might challenge the status quo as a wasted vote.
In both political education and organization, coalitions are worthwhile and necessary to have an impact. “Talking to the choir” alone achieves little. I have always approached political and economic education with a “missionary” zeal by inviting any group in on issues we agree upon.
This opens the door to legitimate discourse with the hope of winning new converts to the cause of liberty. This strategy led to the press conference with the four candidates agreeing to the four principles we believe are crucial in challenging the political system that has evolved over many years in this country.
This unique press conference, despite the surprising, late complication from the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, hopefully will prove to be historically significant.
This does not mean that I expect to get Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney to become libertarians, nor do they expect me to change my mind on the issues on which we disagree. In the meantime, why can’t we be friends, respectful of each other, and fight the corrupt process from which we suffer, and at the same time champion the four issues that we all agree upon which the two major candidates won’t address?
Many practical benefits can come from this unique alliance. Our cause is liberty —freedom is popular and is the banner that brings people together. Since authoritarianism divides, we always have the edge in an intellectual fight. Once it’s realized that the humanitarian goals of peace and prosperity are best achieved with our views, I’m convinced we win by working with others. Those who don’t want to collaborate are insecure with their own beliefs.
In the past two years at the many rallies where I talked and shook hands with literally thousands of people, I frequently asked them what brought them to our campaign. There were many answers: the Constitution, my consistency, views on the Federal Reserve, the war, and civil liberties. The crowds were overwhelmingly made up of young people.
Oftentimes I welcomed the diverse groups that came, mentioning that the crowd was made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Liberals and Progressives with each group applauding. Even jokingly, I recognized the “anarchists” and that, too, was met with some applause. In conversations, many admitted to having been Democrats and members of the Green Party and supporters of Ralph Nader, yet they came to agree with us on all the issues once the entire philosophy was understood. That’s progress.
Principled people are not shy in participating with others and will defend their beliefs on their merits. Liberals and progressives are willing to align themselves with us on the key issues of peace, civil liberties, debt and the Federal Reserve. That’s exciting and very encouraging, and it means we are making progress. The big challenge, however, is taking on the establishment, and the process that is so well entrenched. But we can’t beat the entrenched elite without the alliance of all those who have been disenfranchised.
Ironically the most difficult group to recruit has been the evangelicals who supported McCain and his pro-war positions. They have been convinced that they are obligated to initiate preventive war in the Middle East for theological reasons. Fortunately, this is a minority of the Christian community, but our doors remain open to all despite this type of challenge. The point is, new devotees to the freedom philosophy are more likely to come from the left than from those conservatives who have been convinced that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East.
Although we were on the receiving end of ridicule in the reporting of the press conference, I personally was quite satisfied with the results. True revolutions are not won in a week, a month, or even a year. They take time. But we are making progress, and the momentum remains and is picking up. The Campaign for Liberty is alive and well, and its growth and influence will continue. Obviously the press conference could have been even more successful without the last-minute change of heart by the Libertarian Party candidate by not participating. He stated that his support for the four points remains firm. His real reason for not coming, nor letting me know until forty minutes before the press conference started, is unknown to me. To say the least, I was shocked and disappointed.
Yet in the long run, this last-minute change in plans will prove to be of little importance. I’m convinced that problems like this always seem bigger at the moment, yet things usually work out in the end. Recovering from the mistakes and shortcomings of all that we do in this effort is not difficult if the message is right and our efforts are determined. And I’m convinced they are. That’s what will determine our long-term success, not the shortcomings of any one person.
The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November. It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members. I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party. Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.
I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well. The more votes they get, the better. I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.
In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York. This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats. We need more states to permit this option. This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.
I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.
Thanks to Eric Langborgh and the Campaign for Liberty.