Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ron Paul Wins Landslide!

Ron Paul today won by a landslide in an Oregon straw poll. From the LRC Blog today:
Writes Scott Sutton: "Here are the results from today's straw poll in Portland -- yet another landslide victory for Dr. Paul.

Ron Paul 77 votes, 67%
Mitt Romney 18 votes, 16%
Fred Thompson 12 votes, 10%
Mike Huckabee 5 votes, 4%
Rudy Giuliani 2 votes, 2%
John McCain 1 vote, 1%

"Kyle Saners, a member of the Salem Meetup group and an OR National Guard member who served in Afghanistan, gave a tremendous speech on behalf of Ron Paul." Blog: Ron Paul Wins Oregon Straw Poll
I'm not surprised. He is the only Republican candidate who doesn't pander to the fascist right. I have been consistently impressed by his position on the war (see my post Giuliani vs Kucinich). The media is starting to take notice. ABC New reported today:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul announced this week that he raised more than $5 million in the third quarter, a figure that put him in the orbit of Arizona Sen. John McCain ($6 million) and far ahead of Mike Huckabee ($1 million). [The former is considered one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination, and the latter was identified by former President Bill Clinton as the only "dark horse that's got any kind of chance" for the GOP nomination.]

Not bad for a guy who has generally been treated as a fringe candidate whose only impact on the race would be as a punching bag for more legitimate candidates looking to score political points. For example, in one of the early Republican debates, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani attacked Paul for saying extremists "attack us because we've been over there."

Paul is far from a typical Republican presidential candidate: He has been against the war in Iraq from the outset and embraces a libertarian platform that includes dismantling the Department of Education. His support is largely Internet-based, with 70 percent of his donations coming online, according to Paul's communications director, Jesse Benton. His passionate supporters regularly bombard online news stories with comments on why Paul is the only candidate worth considering in the GOP field.

06-Oct-07, The Ron Paul Factor, ABC News

There has been a consistent and vocal group in the grassroots of the Republican that has been pushing for common sense and a more liberal outlook. Ron Paul is their standard-bearer. If he continues with this momentum, it will be very interesting to see how these people react when the RNC crushes Paul's campaign. My guess is that it will create a mass-exodus from the party to the Democrats. Hillary will present the strong, common-sense candidate they are looking for who is solidly center-right.

If Ron Paul stays a blip, however, the trend will be slower as the more rabid right-wingers in the RNC continue to cannibalize themselves and alienate their base.

Either way its bad news for the RNC leadership. They should be especially troubled by the coming investigations into computerized election fraud. They certainly have a lot to worry about over the next decade...

But obviously there is still very little choice for the voter. An interesting thought experiment is to imagine Ron Paul running against Hillary Clinton. Here we would have essentially a liberal Republican running versus a conservative Democrat. This goes to show the fundamental problems with the two-party system - namely that it is corrupt and only serves the interests of capital, while marginalizing any voices of dissent.

Anyone who wants to have a chance of a political career must operate within the machinery of the parties, where their ideals are wrung out of them. The conservatives have seen this with the Bush administration. They thought they were getting a conservative Christian into office who would enact radical social change according to their agenda.

In fact all they got was a capitalist tool who's every single decision was based on servitude to oil and military supplier interests, domestic and foreign. This being in accordance with the traditional role his family has played geopolitically for over 50 years.

The two party system is rigged and must be ended. A true democracy, a direct democracy, where dialog between political parties elected by and for the people is our right. Decisions must be made, not by small circles of the rich and powerful controlling vast the machinery of the two-party system, the bureaucracy and the media, but by people's parties in dialog with each other to reach compromises that meet everyone's diverse needs.

As a socialist I believe in radical democracy, an everyday participatory democracy in which we all engage. In America, we have democracy once every two years if we are lucky, for the several minutes we spend in the voting booth. Is it any wonder our government is so foul?

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