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Sat

05

Jan

2008

Change Yes, Ron Paul No
Saturday, 05 January 2008 20:53
by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Ron Paul’s obnoxious supporters like more traditional political activists can spin and delude themselves about election results. But the Iowa caucus results could not be clearer: The vast national desire for political change is manifesting itself through support for both Democratic and Republican change-candidates. Despite Paul being flush with money and having a large number of workers in Iowa, he was solidly rejected as the leading change agent.

Even with a huge historic turnout of about 348,000 participants, Paul did not attract significant numbers of independents that could easily participate in the Republican caucuses. They went to Obama, Edwards and Huckabee.

On the Democratic side, of some 232,000 people that turned out for the caucuses, nearly doubling what it was four years ago, about 70 percent wanted change and went for Obama and Edwards, roughly 150,000 participants.

On the Republican side, of the 116,000 participants, about 40,000 change-voters went for Huckabee, compared to 11,600 that chose Paul, giving him fifth place. That 10 percent for Paul was very close to the 9 percent found in a Des Moines Register poll of likely caucus voters (margin of error 3.5 points). Interestingly, like Paul, Huckabee also wants to eliminate the federal income tax.

In both parties, change-voters totaled about 200,000. So Paul received just 6 percent of that large fraction, and just 3 percent of the total of all caucus participants in Iowa. Paul was first in only one county, Jefferson, with 36 percent

Edwards was absolutely correct when he summed things up this way: “The one thing that is clear from the results in Iowa tonight is the status quo lost and change won.”

With all the hoopla from Paul supporters about younger people being for Paul, that’s not what the Iowa results showed. Younger people seeking change and inspiration flocked to Obama, in particular. There was no demographic in Iowa that overwhelmingly went for Paul. Sure, Paul beat Giuliani, but Paul’s effort in Iowa was much bigger than Giuliani’s.

None of these results will impact Paul’s supporters nationwide. Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote a great article on Alternet.org: “Ron Paul is Scary, But Those Who Cheer Him Are Even Scarier.” He was right when he said: “The scariest thing about GOP presidential contender Ron Paul is not his fringe, odd-ball racial views. It is that people take him seriously.” But now Iowa has thankfully shown that the vast majority of Americans, especially those seeking political change, reject Paul.

After losing badly in Iowa Paul said: “The other candidates talk about tinkering with the status quo. We don’t want to tinker; we want to change the status quo.” He said that his campaign is on the upswing and gaining support among independents, frustrated Republicans and unhappy Democrats. Just one very big problem: The Iowa results show that all these people are much more likely to vote for other Democratic and Republican change-candidates.

Paul’s supporters claim that he will do much better in New Hampshire where Libertarian Party members hold a number of offices. I don’t think so. Several polls taken before the Iowa results found Paul at just 5 to 9 percent. Will Paul get a big boost from Iowa? I don’t think so. Paul had predicted he could finish in third place in Iowa, and many of his supporters think he will do that in New Hampshire. I don’t think so. Paul will likely finish fifth in New Hampshire, in large part because more independents will go to Obama and McCain.

When Paul first ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988, he won just 0.54 percent of the vote. Iowa shows that his second presidential bid will not produce much better results. Paul is definitely not tapping in a major way into the national populist movement, major desire for political change, anti-status quo sentiment, or even the anti-Iraq war issue. Clearly, other Democratic and Republican change-candidates are doing much better. This reality will not affect Paul’s passionate, cult-like followers that are solidified like cement in their belief that Paul can and should be our next president, something that Paul himself probably never really believed.

Joel S. Hirschhorn can be reached through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.
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Comments (23)add comment

C. Wesley Fowler said:

0
Irony
Paul supporters are obnoxious? I'd have a look in the mirror if I were you.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Old Right said:

0
Please...
"Ron Paul’s obnoxious supporters"

Mr. Hirschhorn's childish commentary registers twice as much on the obnoxious scale.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

C. Wesley Fowler said:

0
and your math is interesting
10%, and in Iowa no less, is "not much better" than .5%?

Your mind is only rivaled in it's limitations by your credibility.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Warren Raftshol said:

0
How is Huckabee 'Change' ?
Huckabee is just another CFR shill. Same old same old. Media hacks are giving Huckabee a free pass on this 'change' bilge. CFR media hacks, I might add.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Kay said:

0
Please take a second look
Please take a look at what you are saying. I do not think I am obnoxious and I whole-heartedly support Dr. Paul. I am a Christian, mother of 2 and I deeply care about their future. You sound like you have not even taken a look at what Dr. Paul truly stands for. Instead, you choose to report the "Old Media" view without checking into the real truths. This is what the Revolution is all about. NO MORE LIES to the American people. Maybe you should do some checking and then write another story that actually has some truth to it. I am sorry that you do not love your country as much as I do. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

B Williams said:

0
10% not much better than 0.54%?!
With math skills like that you must have gone to public school. No worries, when Dr. Paul is President and gets rid of the Department of Education, putting control back into states and parents hands, our next generation will be a lot smarter. The Obama/Edwards phenomenon was clearly a vote against Hillary. Many Independents and even Republicans became "Dems for a Day" because they are more afraid of Hillary winning than anything that could come from the GOP side. Which is sad, because McCain and Huck scare me more than she does. You will see, the r3vo7ution is only beginning.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

daa said:

0
interesting "logic"
More obnoxious is making generalizations about a large group of people whom you do not know or understand.

What if it is true that a) we cannot afford a global empire, b) many people throughout the world dislike the US specifically because we act like a global empire, and c) our monetary and economic future is at risk because of our desire to control the rest of the world?

The collapse of the dollar over the last five years and the enmity we receive from almost the entire rest of the world could easily be explained with the three points above. Other than Dr. Paul, no other candidtae is addressing these issues.

So, let's not talk about any other candidate representing change. It is an arguement made from either ignorance or willful misrepresentation.

Every other candidate will keep us in Iraq and in over a hundred other countries around the world.

Every other candidate will believe that it is the governments natural right to tax its citizens -- with only a debate if the rate should change by 1 or 2 points

Every other candidtae will only expand the intrusionary spying that has exploded under Bush.

Where is the change?



 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

GW said:

0
This article has to be a joke
This is the most nonsensical, ad hominem-laced article I've ever read. Reading it, you would think that it came from the Socialist Worker's Daily and written by a 14 year old than from a reputable news source.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

29 said:

0
Embrace the cause of freedom, Joel.
You don't have to be afraid anymore.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Michael said:

0
Well...
I'll stay away from personal attacks here, unlike the author. What I will say is that 10% for a candidate that was basically unknown 10 months ago is a huge number, especially considering the state of Iowa being hooked on farm subsidies and false prophets. I would have to correct you also that Guiliani had WAY more campaign stops in Iowa than Paul did, so your facts are misleading and incorrect.

Unlike every other candidate running, Ron Paul not only has to run against his political opponents, but he also is running against the entire establishment. His accomplishments, and our grassroots accomplishments are already monumental regardless of vote count.

Ron Paul will live far beyond this particular campaign.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

B Williams said:

0
BTW
If by "change-voters", you mean independentsm then you are incorrect about them flocking to Huckabee... of the indies that did vote on the GOP side, the Good Doc got 29% of their vote - highest among the GOP. Huckabee scored highest in Iowa because of the high evangelical turn out, which is a far cry from "change voter." Huck has stolen a lot of Ron Paul's campaign phrases, including getting rid of the IRS, "Revolution" and even "Hope for America". However, his 26% sales tax would be even WORSE than the income tax. Change would be all we would have left.. in our pockets. When it comes to being the most likely to ACTUALLY deliver the change he promises, Ron Paul is the only choice. As for Huck, he isn't on Judicial Watch's top 10 most corrupt politicians in the country list for nothing.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

John R. said:

0
Joel just trying to drive up websites unique visitors
Joel, you know the Ron Paul masses wouldn't visit this site unless you wrote a ridiculous commentary trashing Dr. Paul. Guess your ploy worked, if you had just written a pro-Obama piece you would have been ignored just like every other week.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

PM said:

0
Each state is different
Iowa a country does not make. Each state GOP is different and has different rules. However, it seems that Iowa and Wyoming will be duplicated in the other states. 60% or more of the citizenry can be for Ron Paul, but it doesn't show up in number of delegates because delegates are political creatures themselves and are entrenched in the system. There are nearly as many party hack delegates as there are at large delegates, with the probability that at large delegates will be divided between the candidates. But we know that those that are delegates by the position they hold are not going to support Ron Paul because they like their cushy spot in life and don't care a whit about the commoner that ultimately pays their salaries and perks. Additionally, the process of the parties is so opaque as to be exclusionary to us "unwashed masses": it is through and through an incumbent protection racket.
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Bill said:

0
...
Speaking of 26% sales tax after eliminating the income tax, I have a question. Do retired people pay income tax? Why would the old folks want a 26% sales tax? Maybe the Huckabee supporters should check into that, and, remember Dr. Paul will eliminate the income tax and replace it with...nothing. If you want to know, "where will the government get money", research more at ronpaul2008.com
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

Republicae said:

0
Considering Iowa...Ron Paul's Results Were Excellent!
I'm not crying at all over the results in Iowa. Dr. Paul pulling 10% in a State that is primarily Evangelical is amazing. Considering the fact that most of the winners in Iowa never go on to win the Presidency...I think its great!
 
January 05, 2008
Votes: +0

JohnJ said:

0
Going Far Beyond the Man
Hi,
For all Ron Paul supporters who are also supporters of limited government (extremely limited government) and peaceful non-intervention, non-cia plots relations with other men and women on the planet - Consider developing companies that market products with profits going to support true freedom representation at all levels of government. American Freedom Brands with decent private property wages but all profit to American Freedom candidates. All finances must be transparent to any man or woman who wants to see what is happening to the money. You will be moving todays fictional government from the lousy, crummy and despicable garbage that it is now to a truly servant of freedom fictional government tomorrow.

It would be remarkably good to see a Ron Paul constitutionalist win here in socialist America. He is an eagle amongst the pidgeons. But the thrust of his campaign is about the individual men and women of America and the world and their freedom from corporate governance.
 
January 06, 2008
Votes: +0

leon l. said:

0
u. s. a.
vote Pon Paul
IF MR. PAUL IS WRONG THEN WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT/ hirschhorn
 
January 06, 2008
Votes: +0

Joel said:

0
Responding to the Paul supporters
The main point of my article is that in this year with a large fraction of Americans fed up with the political establishment and wanting real change they are NOT choosing Ron Paul. Young change-seekers, in particular, are flocking to Obama. Others see Edwards and Huckabee as change agents. In this competition for a political LEADER that would as president actually produce changes Ron Paul is NOT appealing to the vast majority of change seekers, as the Iowa, Wyoming and clearly New Hampshire voters are showing. It seems impossible for Paul supporters to genuinely reflect on why change seekers are choosing other candidates. Personally, as someone who has long advocated for major systemic changes and a Second American Revolution, I do not see ANY of the current presidential candidates meeting my high standards; so I have not supported any of them. As to the host of reasons why most change seekers reject Paul, clearly it is a waste of time for me to explain and analyze them, because Paul supporters are not listening to the facts - and by the way, I have read all of Paul's writings over many years, carefully examined his full congressional record and even had a personal one on one meeting with him in his office -- so I really do know him and his positions and qualities; in fact, I always admired him as a maverick member of Congress. BUT I see no capabilities for him to be an effective political leader who could actually accomplish anything as president. As I say, he is a very interesting change talker, but he is no change agent. All of you Paul supporters obviously need to do a much better job in convincing ordinary Americans that Paul is the best presidential candidate, but that would take serious self-reflection and analysis.
 
January 06, 2008
Votes: +0

Jimmy Montague said:

Jimmy Montague
Calling all AFP contributors!
Joel: I think your Ron Paul column was a good idea! How many other postings on this site can boast seventeen reader comments? So I say: Let's us writers unite to boost reader interest. We can do it easily if every one of us, every time we post something, we add a line at the bottom that says "Ron Paul eats worms," or "Ron Paul is full of bat guano," or "Ron Paul's mother wears army shoes." That'll keep em howling -- and it'll get some ad revenue flowing in here to help Poor Richard publish this Almanac. Think about it.
 
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

William Gardner said:

0
Ignorance is Bliss
I love seeing the machine wiggle and worm. Here we have another example.

I just had to stop by and thank Joel for writing another factually wrong/logically flawed article defending those incredible "change" candidates. How laughable it is that the mainstream will go to such ends to defend those helpless weaklings (on both sides of the isle) who continue to dismantle this country!

LOL. You get a A from the machine!
 
January 09, 2008
Votes: +0

CP said:

0
The Hive
Is Hirschhorn really unable to recognize that voters choosing CFR puppets like Obama, McCain, or Huckabee on the basis that they want "a change" are so deeply plugged into the MSM hive that they wouldn't know change even if they tripped and fell over it?

 
January 17, 2008
Votes: +0

Cajie said:

0
Thumbs down to Joel
i AM VOTING FOR RON PAUL - a President for the people by the people.

Joel your comment in your article "odd-ball racial views" got my attention. Your hidden agenda to play the race card puts you in the race baiter for profit category. There are some real folks out there that tell the truth about racism, one comes to mind.

Larry Elder, the Sage of South Central
KABC-AM/790 Mon.-Fri. 3-6 PM. Nationally syndicated talk show about current issues from a black libertarian perspective based in Los Angeles.

Larry Elder.com
Larry Elder's straight talk and common-sense solutions spare no one and will inspire his passionate and growing audience.

Books:
The Ten Things You Can't Say In America, Revised Edition (Paperback)
by Larry Elder (Author)

Showdown, by Larry Elder, Paperback, Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests that Divide America, Elder, Larry Elder, Paperback, First, 1, Book, ISBN: 0312320175

Stupid Black Men, by Larry Elder ...
How to Play the Race Card - and Lose, Elder, Larry Elder, Hardcover, Book, ISBN: 0312367333

I've come to the conclusion that the negative effects of our society's obsession about being anti-racist some time ago crossed the line and started to vastly outweigh the negative effects of racism itself.
 
January 27, 2008
Votes: +0

FAZSHA said:

0
I'm not worried
Joel also predicted in July that the GOP ticket would be Giuliani-Thompson. I wouldn't give too much credence to what he says. Ron Paul may not win, but we should never give up on the idea that if enough people are convinced to check out Austrian economics, he would win.

As for Paul being an agent of change, Washington will listen to the public, and if the public voted Paul in, the dynamics would change completely. Now they are trying to marginalize him as a nutjob, but Rudy has been marginalized by the public despite winning Time's Man of the Year. You have to believe that if people are exposed to truth, they will be drawn to truth.
 
January 27, 2008
Votes: +0

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