You might be able to guess from my previous posts that I am a pretty ardent supporter of Ron Paul. But I have heard some of my fellow supporters recently say that Dr. Paul is our last and only hope for liberty in the States. I sincerely hope that anyone who says this means it as hyperbole to gin up additional support from those who are on the fence or otherwise inactive. This is something I can get behind, but actually believing that statement is dangerous in several ways.
First, it rings of defeatism and indicates to our intellectual opponents that this is the final countdown. It tells them that if Ron doesn't win we will put back our foil hats and slink back to our bunkers. Trust me my friends, if you think that liberty's corner is a lonely place now, wait until its "last and only hope" has failed. The headlines will read that the last stand for our "out-dated" ideas has come and gone. We will be patronized and demoralized. The message should be not that that Ron Paul is the last hope but the first hope for liberty in the States in a long, long time.
Second, it also indicates to our fellow travelers that this is the final countdown. It tells them that win or loose, come November they have no recourse but to return to life as normal. Imagine if he comes in a close second or a distant third. The Summer Bloggers and the Sunshine Tweeters will in this crisis change their profiles or hang up their keyboards altogether. What shall we expect of those with no hope?
Finally, these hyperbolic statements imply a movement based upon a man, not upon ideas. I have heard Ron say that it is impossible to stop an idea whose time has come, and I believe he is right. But it is always possible for a single man to be stopped. Those of us who advocate for liberty should support Ron Paul, but we should be careful to understand that Ron Paul is currently our preeminent messenger, not the message itself. Our support must not stop at this campaign. We must get involved in local and state government. It won't be enough to have a president on our side; we need congressmen, governors, mayors, staffers and school board members willing to bind the hands of the state. When we accomplish this, it will still not be enough. After all, remember that freedom already won. It just didn't go on winning because the ambitions of those who wanted power outstripped that of those who didn't. Our intellectual battle will go on, even in the lulls between campaigns.
People who join us and people who fight against us need to understand that we are many; that we are principled and that we will stay for the long haul.