Ron Paul won his second consecutive CPAC presidential straw poll this past weekend and already various news outlets and personal acquaintances of mine are harping about the fact that it does not matter.
Apparently the only reason the CPAC presidential straw poll might matter is if it is a good indicator of who will win the GOP presidential primary in 2012.
We should turn back the clock one year, when Ron Paul won his first CPAC straw poll. The same claims were made about the straw poll being irrelevant because it was not a good barometer of who would win the republican nomination for president in 2012. Perhaps it would have been advantageous for Paul detractors to have asked themselves this question at the time:
“What happens when these people concentrate their efforts and find an individual to back for a lower political office?”
Rand Paul was the answer to that question. But in February 2010 he was unelectable, just like his father. Both the left and right of the establishment derided any suggestion that Ron Paul’s brand could succeed anywhere but a small congressional district in Texas. Oops. I’m just glad the establishmentarians on the left and right are still not taking the threat the R3V0Lution represents seriously.
Yet detractors of both doctors Paul still go on dismissing the importance of what is happening here. A dedicated minority is fighting pitched battles one at a time to gain prominence in American politics. Is this dedicated minority ready to win the presidency? Probably not. Is it ready to win a senate seat? Rand Paul. Was it ready to win a senate seat in 2008? No. But that wasn’t the point, was it?
Did Ron Paul seriously think he could win the presidency in 2008? Probably not. Was that the purpose of his run? No. He got the message out and it has been growing ever since. The establishmentarian left and right dismiss this growth because it is not at a stage where it can effectively take over presidential politics. But only time will tell if that day will ever come.
Selection Bias Uh Oh
Admittedly, the reason the straw poll ended up going to Dr Paul is because he had a superior presence at CPAC in terms of supporters who GOTV. As long as his supporters cannot replicate this success during a presidential race, it is true that this particular straw poll is not a good barometer of who will win the presidency.
But it is a good indicator of how well the Ron Paul Army is keeping things together.
Since tea partiers like revolutionary imagery, remember that during the revolutionary war, the colonies did not have armed forces that could take on the whole British military. They did not have to for two reasons.
First, the British did not commit their entire military to the affair much like the establishment has not focused its resources on eliminating Ron Paul or his supporters.
Second, George Washington realized that as long as he could keep his army together and fight the battles he knew he could win without losing too many resources, the army could wait out the British military. He was helped along in this regard by British military incompetence, the French, and sheer good luck at times.
This is the message I have for my comrades: the R3V0Lution presses on. The Ron Paul Army has not dispersed, but has come together on many occasions to score wins in American political life. It is growing, not declining. And as long as you keep it together, your efforts will bear fruit.
Read more at: AndrewRushford.com