Ron Paul: Buchanan or Reagan?
By Staff News & Analysis - October 24, 2011

If he's lucky, Ron Paul could be the Pat Buchanan of 2012. Pat Buchanan's spirited 1996 campaign could provide a blueprint for Ron Paul in 2012 … Right-wing pundit Pat Buchanan is back in the news … I've spent two years trailing Pat, writing the biography of a man whose life I think best summarises the history of the American conservative movement: speechwriter for Nixon and Reagan, instigator of the culture war and (some people believe) inspiration to Sarah Palin. This week he launched a new book called Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive Until 2025? It's a stunning Jeremiad on America's decline, written with characteristic muscle and wit. Pat's opinion matters because he ran for the presidency three times and, in 1996, won the New Hampshire Republican primary. His story offers some clues on how the 2012 GOP contest might play out – and the news is particularly good for Ron Paul. – UK Telegraph/ Tim Stanley

Dominant Social Theme: This man, this crazy man, this loony man … perhaps he has something to offer after all …

Free-Market Analysis: This article, comparing Pat Buchanan's presidential effort to the presidential candidacy of Republican-Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), is noteworthy because it treats Ron Paul seriously; however, we tend to disagree with it because of the sneaking suspicion that Ron Paul STILL isn't being taken seriously enough.

We tend to believe that Ron Paul may – just may – be someone who could end up as President of the United States. We believe if he does so, it will be with the elite's acquiescence but not with their endorsement. As with Ronald Reagan, the powers-that-be would resign themselves to the inevitable and then attempt to control the impact of Ron Paul once in office.

While we are pro-Ron Paul from a presidential standpoint, the scenario whereby he becomes president and then is undercut by the Anglosphere power establishment makes at least SOME sense to us, though admittedly he is not currently perceived as being able to win. He is also being ignored now by the mainstream media, however, if it becomes apparent that his "time has come," those who are the Kingmakers in America (behind the scenes) may resign themselves to the inevitable.

This is not what Tim Stanley thinks. He has a different perspective of Ron Paul's role. He believes the candidate that Ron Paul might emulate most effectively is Patrick Buchanan rather than Ronald Reagan. Here's some more from the article:

Ron Paul isn't against free trade, unlike Pat Buchanan. But Paul does command a similar coalition motivated by similar issues: economic decline, horror at the growth of the military industrial complex, fear of a coming New World Order. As Pat and Ron's critics would frame it: "Different decades, same crazy." The genius of Buchanan's 1996 campaign was that it targeted its few resources on motivating a small but loyal band of voters. He never diluted his message or tamed his style (once, when asked whether or not he supported gun control, he replied, "I think it's important to have a steady aim").

While Dole and Forbes dragged each other down, upping their negative ratings with devastating attack ads, Buchanan quietly worked on getting his people out to vote. In January 1996, he pulled off two shock wins in the little contested caucuses of Alaska and Louisiana. Then he placed second in Iowa with just 23 percent (to Dole's 26 percent and Forbes' 10 percent). A week later, he won New Hampshire with a slim 27 percent (Dole took 26 percent) …

Buchanan is an example from history of how a charismatic ideologue can break through into the top tier. The media is drawn to candidates with profiles that yo-yo dramatically up and down the polls: the rise and fall of Bachmann, Perry and now Cain makes for a good story and will continue to dominate headlines. But in a crowded field, contenders with solid, consistent numbers can still make a difference. That's why Pat Buchanan mattered in 1996 and Ron Paul still matters today.

Stanley seems to discount Ron Paul's chances at winning the presidency. But the US citizenry is very angry now and none of the candidates seem to be capturing that anger very well or offering solutions that people can understand and gravitate toward en masse. Of course, the more we observe of the larger political process in the era of the internet, the less sure we are that government holds any solutions at all. The system itself may simply have to unwind fully before people begin to build up again, hopefully in a more humane and individualistic way.

Of course, there are numerous scenarios that can play out. But what cannot be gainsaid is that Ron Paul has already had a larger impact on this race than the last one, and his rhetorical genius has shifted the entire national debate toward libertarianism. The idea of "ending the Fed" is something that would have been inconceivable even a decade ago. In a sense Ron Paul, more than any other candidate, captures the angst of the age.

It is unclear whether Ron Paul even wants to be President. Perhaps a position as a Patrick Buchanan, influencing the race without winning it, suits him the best. Some have commented he would far prefer being a change-maker to a titular leader. A change-maker he surely is. More than almost any other public figure, he captures the current rise of the Internet Reformation and its impact on every facet of American – and Western – existence. We still see no real evidence that Ron Paul has been co-opted by the elite or is working with them in some promotional capacity.

If Ron Paul is truly his own man and his message continues to resonate, he may find himself quite by accident as the lone survivor of a Republican nomination process that has shaken out everyone else. If this is the case, the elites that run the US behind the scenes may decide not to fight what they can control in other ways.

When Ronald Reagan was running for office, he made a campaign pledge to avoid bringing the Council on Foreign Relations crowd into his administration. But that changed after Henry Kissinger supposedly visited him on the night he was to receive the nomination. Reagan's administration ended up being riddled with one-worlders.

If Ron Paul ends up being the logical candidate to oppose President Barack Obama – and if Obama continues to decline in the polls – then Ron Paul might indeed be in a position to win the presidency, even at his relatively advanced age. If he did, it is also quite probable that the powers-that-be would launch an aggressive campaign to sabotage his administration by blaming his libertarian and anti-government ideas for everything that is currently wrong with the system.

In fact, this may be the plan, or at least a plan. First, other candidates are trotted out and abandoned, and then Ron Paul becomes the inevitable, logical candidate. Is this actually a promotion in play now? Romney, Perry and now Cain – on the Republican side – have all received the spotlight one at a time. It is all somehow … ritualistic.

After Thoughts

We're not very certain of the American electoral process these days, what with easily hacked voting machines deliberately deprived of a paper trail. Even if he were by some chance to win the presidency, we're not at all sure that would be desirable. The presidency, if Ron Paul did by some chance win it, could prove a poisoned chalice.

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