Articles | The First Virtual Presidential Campa . . .
The First Virtual Presidential Campaign Begins: Ron Paul: 41%; Barack Obama: 42%. Its Only 2010.
April 15, 2010
Rasmussen is a scientific polling organization. On April 13, it released a political bombshell: Congressman Ron Paul and President Obama are in a dead heat nationally. Ron Paul got 41%. No other Republican was in double digits.
I choose my words carefully: this is a political revolution.
Ron Paul is a sitting House member. No sitting House member has been even with a sitting President in the polls in the history of polls in the United States.
This is politically inconceivable. How is it possible? One word: YouTube.
YouTube has let Ron Paul get his message to millions of truly angry voters.
The Tea Party movement has come out of nowhere in the last 14 months, and Ron Paul was the single figure who made this possible. He is its representative figure. His 2008 run for the Presidency gave him the bully pulpit he needed. YouTube did the rest.
There is nothing the mainstream media can do about this. YouTube is not under their control.
There is nothing the Republican National Committee can do about it. He does not need its money. He can raise it through the Internet.
Now comes social networking. Facebook is more powerful than the TV networks. Facebook is Ron Paul country.
Here is the major threat to the American Establishment: Ron Paul's notoriety is based on his policy recommendations, not charisma. His ideas are mobilizing an audience, and his main ideas are these: (1) strict Constitutionalism and (2) end the FED. No other candidate has ever gained public attention on this pair of ideas.
He has made the Federal Reserve System a target of criticism. He has blown the FED's cover. This has never happened before.
Ron Paul has an economic and political agenda: shrink the Federal government. He has a voting record to validate his commitment to this agenda. The last time that any serious contender for the Presidency had this agenda was 1952: Robert A. Taft. Eisenhower beat him for the Republican Party's nomination.
There is no Eisenhower waiting in the wings today. The Republican Party's best-known potential candidate is Mitt Romney. But he has a liability: RomneyCare. (The man who got that domain name knew what he was doing. He will sell it for a lot of money, I think.) Romney's program is too much like ObamaCare. He will take heat for it.
We are seeing the first virtual Presidential campaign. It is happening off the mainstream's radar but on YouTube.
Ron Paul's threat to the Establishment is enormous. This is because the threat is based on an agenda. It is also based on a decentralized communications system. His videos stay on-line.
As the Federal deficit grows worse, he will be the #1 politician in America who has always targeted Federal spending as the central economic problem for the United States. He has done so ever since 1976, when I was his research assistant. There is no politician with such a consistent track record on an issue this central to the pocketbooks of voters.
He has no political enemies. His colleagues respect him. He has never seemed to be a threat to them. Now he represents a movement that is a serious threat to them. He has never gained a political advantage by making enemies. Never before has he gained any significant political advantage at all. All of a sudden, he is Obama's #1 contender.
The Beltway politicians can make it tough for him on certain issues, such as his opposition to Federal drug laws. But does that issue offset his call for reduced spending and tax cuts? I doubt it.
He opposes foreign aid to the State of Israel. But he opposes foreign aid to every nation, so this will be hard for critics to rally conservatives against him. It will not be hard to rally New York/Washington neoconservatives against him, but that will be their problem, not his. They are not on YouTube.
He opposed the two wars in the Middle East. The pro-intervention conservatives will oppose him, but as the two wars drag on without any resolution in sight, this will not hurt him in 2012.
He has two years to get out his message and build his mailing list.
Voters generally want handouts. But the Tea Party people really do seem to be willing to cut the spending. We have not seen any voting bloc this large before that has.
He has two years to train Tea Party people in local politics. This could become his most crucial contribution to the political scene. Tea Party voters are the largest swing vote, and they were not here in 2008. They are now.
As the economy gets worse, this movement will get stronger.
This might even result in the ultimate political bargain for good: "I'll give up my subsidy if you'll give up yours." That would change the country.
It would destroy the Establishment.