If you spend any more than twenty minutes a day using the Internet, and you're a political addict, you've probably heard of Ron Paul. While Al Gore invented the Internet, it is currently Ron Paul who rules it.
Ron Paul is an awesome candidate, if your most important issues are ending the war and fiscal conservatism. I'll vote for Paul in the general election if he makes it there.
Despite all his positives, he has some major hurdles to overcome, and they come from his campaign. Let's start with the obvious, shall we?
1. Name Recognition
3. A Party of Pro-War Conservatives
4. A Kook-looking Following
5. A Cult-like Devotion that is Frightening
Name Recognition- People don't know who Ron Paul is. And sadly, few know him as anything other than the guy that Rudy Giuliani "destroyed" in the second debate. That incident will be hard for him to come back from. Yes, it got him more attention and more coverage and more chances to be on television. But to the casual news watcher, all they know is that Rudy "beat" him at the debate.
Money- News has recently come out from the Paul Campaign that they've raised a couple million dollars so far this quarter. That's great news, and it helps him rise above the other "second tier" people, but he's still not even close to Rudy McRomney in funds raised.
The Party- While a sizable majority of Americans want a withdrawal from Iraq, a larger majority of Republican primary voters support the war. If Paul wants to win, he has to prove to Republicans that he is right on Iraq. I only see the situation there detiorating in the next six months, so it could very well happen. Until GOP opinion sours though, he needs to make sure he has the anti-war Republicans monopolised without driving away all the pro-war Republicans forever.
The Kook-looking Following- Ron Paul has been associated with "truthers". Not much more needs to be said, this association will hurt him. While he has personally denounced their message, they continue to flock to him and attach their message to him, which will instantly and permanently turn off the typical voter. Advice: If you're going to talk/post about Ron Paul, I shouldn't be able to know whether or not you're a truther or not, I should only learn about Ron Paul. The truthers aren't the worst part, though. It's the white supremecists that, for some reason, like the guy. I don't get it either, since I have seen nothing from the candidate that would cause me to think "Oh yeah, he'll keep them darkies down! And then we can go get drunk on Jack Daniels and drive the General Lee to the NASCAR rally!" All I've seen from him is a willingness to get the Federal government out of our, and Iraqi's, lives.
A Cult-like following- Ron Paul supporters swarm like ants. I won't be surprised if I see their carbon-copy replies to this blog. They search every corner of the web, desperate to find anything about their Messiah 2008. They post testimonials, telling how Ron Paul has changed their life, about how he'll save the country, about how he brings salvation, kicks ass and takes names. It gets ridiculous. They aren't helping him by flooding the web. They need to do what the more enterprising and intelligent supporters are doing: meeting in real life. Get off the web comments sections and start campaigning in real life, because that's where the votes are.