Monday, November 12, 2007

The Organization Man

As the cliche goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Sometimes the world is governed by what's best, and sometimes by what's the most popular. That's just a fact of life that we all accept, even if we don't like it some of the time. As it pertains to politics or cultural affairs, that means whoever gets the most votes wins the election. Whoever sells the most records gets played on the radio, et cetera, et cetera.

But public effectiveness also requires more than mere popularity. It requires energy for promotion and the ability to harness that energy toward concrete ends. In short, organization.

I was thinking about this in the context of (what else?) Ron Paul's campaign. It's worth mentioning that heretofore, nothing associated with the paleolibertarians has ever been worth a tinker's dam when it comes to organization. The paleocons are essentially professional pains in the ass. They would much rather argue with the mainstream Right (or themselves) to organize anything useful. The libertarians on the other hand, disdain organization. Organization is about putting common purpose ahead of individual autonomy and that reminds them of the government, which they hate. There is always a decent amount of libertarian sentiment wafting around America, but the Libertarian Party has always been a joke.

I don't criticize Ron Paul's campaign on this account. Again, it is by far the best anything associated with the paleolibertarians have ever done. It's just that their enthusiasm is of a piece with an eight-year-old boy who finds a cool new toy under the tree on Christmas. "Wait, you mean we can get together around stuff we all agree on, get more done _and_ have more fun than if we were all by our lonesome? Wow, I didn't know you could do that." The Sierra Club and the NRA (and the major parties and the unions and umpteen other groups) have been playing this game for a long time now. RP's campaign has a lot of catching up to do. A lot of RP's supporters would like to think that he polls at 2% because The Man is Keeping Him Down. I think the real answer is a lot more prosaic than that.


Jason Roberts said...

Koz, you sure seem to be focusing a lot of your negativity on Ron Paul and his supporters for a candidate you consider to be nothing more than a fringe distraction. You should probably be spending more of your energy worrying about why your boy Fred is starting to look like a dead fish. Maybe you can offer his campaign some ideas because he doesn't seem to have anything much to say beyond - "Hey, guys I'm the 'real' conservative, so please vote for me."

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Koz said...

Why do I care about Ron Paul if he's just a fringe guy? Funny you mentioned that, because I was just thinking about that myself.

At bottom I guess, I don't want the US to turn into another Euro-Canadian weenie state. In order to keep that from happening requires the people who ought to vote Republican to actually vote Republican.

But, the GOP name is at a low tide right now. Somebody needs to be able to redefine the party away from the corruptions we've seen in the few years, especially in 1996.

Ron Paul is not that guy. I was hoping Fred Thompson might be, though if he is he hasn't shown it yet.

Btw, I've changed my mind a little bit on the viability of Ron Paul. With the race as wide open as it is, I think you have to give Ron Paul a shot, slim one though it may be. Also, I checked out your cite from Lew Rockwell and it's a crock. He can complain about polling all he wants, but the fact is that despite the enthusiasm for RP among people who _do_ support him, his overall level of support is just about epsilon. If he _does_ win the nomination, it's because of people who don't support him yet, and may not have even heard of him.

Jason Roberts said...

"Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is forcing polls to adjust and quickly. A poll released Tuesday by CBS and NY Times shows Paul at 8% in New Hampshire ahead of Fred Thompson and tied with McCain in Iowa."

If Ron Paul's overall support is epsilon, then what is Fred's? Ouch! ;)

Koz said...

I'm just a simple Iowa yokel so I just believe what's in front of my own eyes.

Funny thing is, I wonder about this myself. Say 30% of Republicans are antiwar. Figure 40% of those ought to support Ron Paul and you're at 12%. And that's for a candidacy that's still going nowhere, and he can't even get that far.

Jason Roberts said...

Those are some interesting poll numbers and they may hold up for a while, but as Ron Paul continues to pick up MSM coverage as he has since the 11-5 4.3M money bomb, then things could change quickly. A second money bomb is scheduled for 12-16, which should bring another big round of media exposure and I think that's when you could see a big kick upwards in the polls.

Ron Paul's challenge up to this point is that most people still don't know who he is because the media has largely blacked him out, however the money bombs are now forcing them to give him 'some' attention.

"Who is John Galt?"

Once voters get an understanding of who Ron Paul is and what he actually stands for, then he could make great gains very quickly. Besides, Americans love an underdog and Ron Paul is the ultimate underdog.

Anonymous said...

It's true that there are a lot of Republican primary voters who are going to have to compromise on things that they really don't want to, so we can't discount Ron Paul completely.

But as a serious candidate, I just don't see it. Why should Ron Paul's recent fundraising success change the topography of the race. It seems to me that if that were so, Giuliani or Romney should have locked up the nomination ages ago.