Part I – Beware the Establishment's Third Party Trap
By Ron Holland - April 11, 2012

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." – Albert Einstein

Recently, Justin Raimondo wrote a thoughtful editorial, "Ron, Don't Let Your Heroic Effort End In Tampa."

I agree with Justin about how the GOP is actually a greater threat to our remaining liberties, wealth and the continuance of perpetual war than even the socialist Democrats.

I also think he is right about Paul's young supporter demographics; the fact this is the least likely group to vote in the conservative Republican primaries indicates his overall political support is substantially greater than the smaller vote totals might indicate in the closed primary process. He also asks Ron Paul where the movement he inspired and created should go following the GOP Tampa convention, ending on August 30th.

Justin and many of my libertarian and freedom movement friends sincerely believe that Ron Paul should go the third-party route following the convention but I have come to a totally different conclusion, although I highly respect their opinions, views and intellect.

Any Movement Future Discussion is for After the GOP Convention

While "Where do we go from here?" is certainly a legitimate question, the Ron Paul campaign cannot answer this question or even publically explore the possibilities until after the convention. The political power of the Ron Paul delegates and campaign through the convention are totally dependent upon keeping the GOP establishment and Romney forces guessing on the future of the Ron Paul movement. Otherwise, we will make ourselves irrelevant to the GOP sooner rather than later. Now they have to consider:

Will Paul endorse Romney or sit out the fall campaign and general election?

Will Ron Paul supporters vote for Romney even with an official Paul Campaign endorsement? Although the answer is certainly doubtful for millions of supporters, we still need to keep them guessing.

What would the Romney campaign need to offer the Ron Paul Revolution forces to get a majority of our support? Speaking only for myself, naming Rand Paul as his VP running mate and a promise of a Ron Paul cabinet appointment would get my attention. This would need to be followed by campaign pledges for real action on the Fed audit and requirement of a declaration of war for future neocon inspired foreign military actions.

Will Ron Paul leave the convention and run on a third-party ticket thus insuring the defeat of Romney and the GOP but alienating much of the GOP against future action by our freedom forces within the Republican Party? I'm sure the GOP neocon elites prefer this option, as they are willing to lose an election in order to guarantee we are run out of the party but I don't think this is in the best interest of our movement or the future of the United States.

Third Party Political Action Is An Establishment Trap

I believe third party action, whether with the Libertarian Party or another third or fourth party is political insanity and would constitute an establishment-promoted death trap for millions of Ron Paul supporters and liberty advocates. It's a trap, folks, for the Liberty movement, advocated and crafted primarily by the enemies of freedom and the same GOP establishment that has already treated Ron Paul and we, his supporters, so badly.

Libertarian Party Results in U.S. presidential elections


Pres. Candidate / VP

Popular Votes



John Hospers / Toni Nathan




Roger MacBride / David Bergland




Ed Clark / David Koch




David Bergland / Jim Lewis




Ron Paul / Andre Marrou




Andre Marrou / Nancy Lord




Harry Browne / Jo Jorgensen




Harry Browne / Art Olivier




Michael Badnarik / Richard Campagna




Bob Barr / Wayne Allyn Root



The above chart, from Wikipedia, shows the utter and complete political failure the Libertarian Party has been since inception. I was involved in the 1970s with the South Carolina LP but after a few years realized that with our minimal educational success, few converts and limited growth, hampered by an almost complete news blackout and the instilled prejudice against third party voting, it was a poor use of limited time, resources and funding compared to non-political educational efforts.

I am not questioning the integrity or leadership of LP activists and supporters but only the difficult mandated structure and ballot access requirements designed by the two-party monopoly to limit the growth of third parties. In fact, the Republicans and Democrats have worked together since the 1860s to make sure they are the only real political game in town by increasing the difficulty of third-party efforts and this is why none have risen to prominence and electoral victory since that time.

Today, with the mandated ballot access petitioning and costs, a required organizational structure designed to promote continual infighting and the total lack of real election victories, the LP and other third parties are actually little more than a controlled and totally ineffective political opposition. Third parties exist and were tolerated by the two parties to keep libertarians and other small government advocates out of the controlled monopoly system. This worked well until the Ron Paul 2008 campaign.

The best I can tell, so far in the primary season Ron Paul has received over a million votes, not counting caucus states. If he stays in until the convention, the total will exceed two million. Not bad, considering much of his constituency and support is outside the GOP. My guess is his supporter base and or protest vote is probably around 5 to 10 million.

During the last nine presidential elections over the last 36 years, from 1976 through the 2008 elections, the LP presidential candidates have received over the entire period fewer than 4 million votes. Although the LP has cycled many thousands of liberty supporters through the party, including myself in the early years, and provided an education forum for our ideas, news coverage at the national presidential campaign level historically has been miniscule at best.

The Ron Paul Revolution Is Transforming the GOP

I would suggest that the two Ron Paul GOP presidential nomination campaigns in 2008 and 2012 have brought more to the American ranks of the liberty movement than all the presidential campaigns of the LP and all the funding of free-market think tanks during the entire period.

All of this changed with Ron Paul's 2008 GOP presidential campaign when hundreds of thousands of young people flooded into the Republican Party. The establishment ignored his candidacy, made fun of his freedom message and utilized the usual bag of dirty tricks in order to limit his support, all to no avail. Again in 2011 and 2012, his vote totals more than doubled and freedom advocates are beginning to take over local party organizations.

With Paul running as a Republican, the party neocon leadership has been unable to stop the momentum of the Ron Paul Revolution, especially involving young people. We have outraged the establishment by using their very party institutions, the debates etc. designed to marginalize us and other threats to their continued control and party domination as liberty vehicles to promote our movement and the Paul campaign.

Say No To Third Party Efforts Doomed To Failure

  • The party hacks and establishment media have consistently floated trial balloons and repeatedly questioned Ron Paul about whether he will make a third party run if he fails to secure the GOP nomination. They want him to run third party.
  • This is because a third party effort and likely vote total will be small like all previous third party presidential candidates because Americans historically do not vote for third party candidates. Polling percentages usually start high and continually drop until election day.
  • Second, this would validate their claim and propaganda message that Ron Paul supporters are not real Republicans and add credibility to their goal to push us out of the party as we are, in fact, rapidly taking over precinct by precinct and county by county. Over the next four years they fear our liberty forces may well take over some states and then the establishment leaders will be out of their powerful influence-peddling positions.
  • A third-party run is a trap promoted by the GOP neocon elites and their buddies in the establishment news to destroy the growing power of our movement and our threat to their neocon-controlled Republican Party. The rules under which third parties are required to operate under were designed by the Democrats and Republicans to ensure their control over the one-party state operating as a two-party monopoly.
  • Their rules require third parties to spend millions on ballot access and set up third parties as fertile ground for black-flag operations, attractive to extremist views and rules, are designed to cripple our credibility, fritter away our financial resources and support on useless repeated ballot access drives each election year and divide our movement. Right now the Libertarian Party is only on the ballot in 27 states so you can see the difficulties the party faces.

The GOP political establishment wants Ron Paul and us out of the Republican Party. He has created hundreds of times more support, education success and made our views more prominent in the press than has the LP since inception. A third-party action is a recipe for disaster and failure designed and crafted by the GOP to get us out of their party. We should stay and fight for our liberties inside the GOP as only here, using their institutions designed to control us, do we have the chance to be free once again.

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