Earlier today, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) held a press conference in Washington, D.C. where he said…well, nothing...
He invited Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Bob Barr and independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader along with the nominees of two small, minor political parties to stand behind him as he encouraged Americans to vote for anyone other than Sens. Barak Obama and John McCain.
Ron Paul wasted the press corps' time with this press conference. It accomplished nothing and displayed a complete lack of leadership on Paul's part.
Of the four invitees, only Bob Barr had the sense to skip the event. He held his own press conference, also in Washington, D.C., later in the day.
Among the things in Ron Paul's statement was a reference to the "principled non-voter", claiming they are sending a message and should start a "League of Non Voters" to impact the nation and government.
So, in other words, Paul stated that people should not vote for Obama or McCain and should vote for a third party nominee…unless they really don't want to.
Allow me to set the good Doctor straight: "principled non voters" count the same, and have the same impact on America, as lazy, apathetic citizens who simply do not care enough to get involved and vote. There is no difference between the wannabe political philosopher who refuses to cast a vote "out of principle" and the lazy citizen who chooses to remain ignorant of the issues, the candidates and his or her government.
Keep in mind that some of Paul's followers have placed his name on the Presidential ballot in two states (Louisiana and Montana). Paul could have kept his name off the ballot in those states by simply requesting that he not be listed as a candidate in the general election, but in an effort in ego, he chose to allow his name to go on the ballot in direct competition with the other candidates he claims to encourage people to consider voting for.
Ron Paul has, again, blown a tremendous opportunity to lead and advance the agenda of the Constitution, and individual liberty. Since he launched his Presidential Exploratory Committee almost two years ago, Ron Paul has repeatedly said this campaign is not about the man (him) but about the message (liberty and the Constitution).
Really, Dr. Paul? Your actions belie your words.
If he were truly serious about this being "about the message" and not the man, he would be making sure that the message is resonating far and wide through and during the Presidential campaign.
The Libertarian Party begged him to accept its nomination and continue his campaign through Election Day. He declined.
The Libertarian Party then nominated the only credible pro-freedom candidate in the Presidential race, former Congressman Bob Barr, but Paul refused to support him, saying he is working for freedom within the Republican Party.
Backing Barr would have taken courage on Paul's part. Instead, today he took a cop-out course of action by encouraging a nondescript "vote third party" message that would water down the impact of the freedom vote. If Americans are serious about sending a message that demands the restoration of our civil liberties, an end to the war in Iraq, a foreign policy that makes sense and solid, realistic economic policies then there is only one option to vote for on November 4th – Bob Barr.
Ron Paul knows that. Instead, he encouraged watering down the vote while maximizing his marketing base for the Campaign for Liberty, his book sales, etc.
After Rep. Paul collected millions in donations from Libertarians, independents and Republicans during his campaign, he has since:
1) Sold his followers a book
2) Had people travel to (or donate to) a march on Washington D.C. that ultimately proved to be too small to even get noticed, much less have any sort of impact
3) Launched the "Campaign for Liberty" and hit up his followers, again, for donations to this organization that has made no noticeable effort to support liberty-minded candidates
4) Sold thousands of tickets to the "Rally for the Republic" in Minnesota, where he then sold t-shirts, more books, vendor booth space, advertising in the programs and a host of other things.
Ron Paul is now in the Ron Paul business – and business is lucrative.
As painful as it is to state the obvious: this campaign by the man is no longer about the message, it is about the money – lots of it. Other than in his pocket and in the pocket of his paid staff, where is all the money going?
No one seems to know for sure.
In a time of economic recession, Paul has found a way to keep going back to the financial well of his followers, creating yet another challenge for candidates who are still running for office at all levels and are unable to raise the funds needed to effectively spread the message of liberty and the Constitution.
I was among the first to donate to Dr. Paul's Exploratory committee and I also donated to his Presidential campaign. Once he dropped out of the race, though, I did the responsible thing and got behind the only remaining credible candidate, Bob Barr, who is capable of injecting the message Ron Paul claims to want to spread through Election Day and beyond.
America still needs to hear that message and only Bob Barr is capable of taking the message further down the field. Unfortunately, it is obvious that Ron Paul is more interested in making money off the message than helping spread it through someone else. Maybe he is worried that Bob Barr will publish a book and compete for customers.
Thousands of Americans rushed to join Ron Paul's campaign, myself included. For us, it has always been about the message. We were thrilled to have someone serve as spokesman for the cause of liberty and back a candidate who could leverage his position as a major-party candidate to spread our message to millions through the campaign.
That is why we donated millions of dollars collectively.
Since ending his Presidential campaign, though, Ron Paul has gone from being the hope for America to being a major obstacle to the message of freedom and the Constitution.
By contrast, Bob Barr showed that he is not just talking about and rallying for the message of freedom, he is doing something about the need to put liberty and Constitutional issues front and center in the Presidential campaign.
The Barr campaign continues to pick up steam in the national media and in the polls. People are listening and we cannot miss this opportunity to maximize our reach. The message is still getting out – because of Bob Barr.
Dr. Paul, where is the leadership from you? We certainly did not see any today in Washington, D.C.
Do Paul's loyal followers, I ask one simple question: Are you serious about continuing to spread the message of Liberty for America?
If so, prove it. Go to www.bobbarr2008.com
and sign up for our email updates. Then, look for a MeetUp group in your area – if there isn't one already, start one. Also, make a donation to the campaign. In any event, get involved in the Barr campaign because this campaign is actually about the message.