The Maverick Congressman from Texas attempted one more run for the White House.
It was an abortive failure. He failed to amass a decent following in the Nevada caucuses, the do-or-die moment in his campaign. From that point on, his campaign had no steam left.
Yes, he commands quite a following, but do did Dennis Kucinich, who recently lost a bitter primary due to drastic redistricting in Ohio. Come to think of it, even Charles and Marilyn Manson have followings, and certainly not for the better.
Attachment to a set of ideas resonates with the American voters, not just a person. Selling the country on Austrian economics will take time and a decent respect for the divided mind of the electorate, which on one had prizes fiscal discipline, yet on the other hand does not want to lose its handout.
It is not enough to be loyal to a set of ideas. The ideas themselves have to palatable and reasonable. Hard-core, unmitigated libertarianism is just too extreme, even for the limited government Tea Party elements in this country who are demanding an end to the spending that is rending this country toward an unsightly ending.
What this country needs is more than mere tenacity or integrity to a set of ideas -- we need leaders who recognize the current traditions of taxation and spending, which for every interest has hooked itself into the life blood of nearly half of all Americans.
Weaning Americans off the teat of the state will not happen in one fell swoop, no matter how dire the current fiscal situation in Washington.
Individuals who have paid into Social Security, Medicare, or another federal entitlement should not be left out in the cold. Indiana Mitch Daniels created a reasonable plan for scaling back spending without alienating the culture or the community of citizens who have opted in -- by force -- and who do not want to be left out in the cold.
Ron Paul galvanized a seasoned cohort of voters -- but the man sold too extreme a message, even arguing for the reversion of marriage as a private ceremony. Although the fundamental logic of such a policy is commendable, the nation is focused, and rightly so, on the status of government and the fiscal future of our country. The fate and sanctity of marriage will be taken care of soon enough.
Ron Paul is still looking to cull enough delegates so that he can get a speaking part in the upcoming GOP convention. His rigorous fiscal discipline as a Congressman deserves praise and recognition, but his last-time long-shot campaign should be an extended lesson on the importance of selling fiscal discipline and limited government with respect to the current attitudes of the electorate, which can respond reasonably to budget restraint, yet expects in return a respect for the financial concerns which they face.