Ron Paul’s campaign: what a waste!

$30 million dollars and countless volunteer hours later, and
what has it achieved?  Ron Paul is done with the election, with barely a mention from the media.

As I wrote earlier, virtually all of the resources and
efforts of a losing campaign are quickly forgotten. To the extent that the
campaign will motivate young people about politics, it will teach them exactly
the wrong lesson, for political campaigns have never been a primary means of intellectual
change.  Imagine what all that money and
enthusiasm could have done under the auspices of an organization dedicated to
intellectual activism, such as the Ludwig von Mises or the Ayn Rand Institute.  Of course, few people get as excited about the
work of a bunch of economics and philosophy nerds as they do about a political
campaign.  But that is exactly the
problem with our anti-intellectual, concrete-bound culture.

21 responses to “Ron Paul’s campaign: what a waste!

  1. James Connor

    He has certainly inspired me to learn Austrian economic theory and I want to run for a congressional seat someday as well. I would have not found these ideas had the money been donated to the Mises institute or Ayn Rand Institute. What happened was a couple of my friends in Med School sent me info about a gold standard and other Ron Paul articles and I became very interested in learning more. It is disappointing how our system works but I pray that there are enough young people who will move forward with this message of freedom and run for office.

  2. Stephen.Cramer

    Yes, you’re quite right. Any attempt at regaining freedom liberty and adherence to the Constitution through the political process is nothing but a waste of time and money. And if you really believe that, you deserve the intellectual and economic shackles that will surely come from your own apathy.

  3. Stranger

    An institute could not have raised 30 mil and countless volunteer hours. Paul now leads a political organization unlike any ever assembled for libertarianism in our age. He has shamed and embarrassed the crumbling Republican establishment and national media. That is money well invested.

  4. ChrisR

    First off, he’s not done with the election…He’s going all the way to the Convention, and by then, who knows?

    Second, he reached so many people with the very ideas that the Mises Institute espouses. Not to mention his upcoming book is already a top seller on Amazon.

    If he indeed becomes President, the Mises Institute is in for quite a ride.

    The campaign has definitely not been a waste so far.

  5. No waste in Ron Paul! I’m sending another hundred.

    He’s the only really honest politician I’ve ever seen going back to Nixon, my 1st vote.

    Reagan and Bush 41 & 42.

    Nixon was for getting out of Nam. Reagan was for making economic sense having just learned the Laffer curve.

    And although I really didn’t get Mises right off, W’s crap has me a solid diciple for the duration and having logged 100’s hrs w/Mises’ mp3s, I understand now that BOTH parties have been colluding since the progressive era. The disease goes back to Hamilton and his Rothschild banker connections.

    Printing money reciepts w/no real money for redemption. Tyranny’s oldest trick.

    If even just a few percent of Americans wise up to the fiat banking scam, Ron Paul will be worth every last penny from the pockets of the only true patriots to be had.

  6. Greg

    Mike Badnarik ran in 2004 and his successes built the foundation for Ron Paul’s fabulously successful message that has spread to the masses and continues to spread. And Ron Paul’s successes in 2008 will build the foundation for an even larger and more active group in 2012. Change takes time and builds upon itself. Education of Americans is a slow process.

  7. Brainpolice

    Am I the only one who sees the Ron Paul campaign as a major case of resource misallocation?

  8. jtucker

    I’m sympathetic with your point, in an ideal world. It is a sad thing that it takes politics to get people interested in ideas. Then the tragedy of politics is that it puts ideas to a vote and gives the impression that their validity depends on the outcome. I wish it were otherwise.

    However, it doesn’t make sense to talk of misallocations. There is no central planner at work here. People give money based on their own preferences.

  9. Doug

    Some of that money was mine! Isn’t it impossible for voluntarily donate money to be misallocated? I’ll tell you the advantages I saw from the campaign: 1) I had no idea there were that many people out there that would support his message – it was very encouraging. 2)Who would have ever thought you would have seen any campaign rally where they cheer eliminating the Fed? 3) A lot of people came for the Antiwar message and (hopefully) learned something about economics.

    Do I wish he would have won? or been a bit more aggressive? or stopped answering every question at the debates in context of fiat money to try to win some votes? Sure. But would I have paid that $300 just to see Fox squirm at a Sinclair Lewis quote? Oh Yea!

  10. jtucker

    Yes, and there is another point. Hundreds of thousands of people have been drawn to serious thought about politics and economics. In other words, Ron has achieved his goal in this way: getting people interested in ideas. That alone is a revolutionary act. This is not wasteful.

  11. g.goes

    Not a waste;every time someone contacts me about politics for donations etc, i tell them;the only politician,not worth of hanging is ron paul.I also send regular e-mails to the oreilly’s and other establishment lapdogs.If enough people do the same consistently it will start something.

  12. Juan

    I don’t know what good effects can the RP campaign have, but… to say that the money should instead go to the ‘Ayn Rand Institute’ sounds…odd.

    It seems that warmongering is a favourite passtime at the ARI ?

  13. xahrx

    How is it possible for voluntarily exchanged resources to be misallocated?

  14. nelson

    How is it possible for voluntarily exchanged resources to be misallocated?


  15. John C. Randolph

    Ron Paul put things back on the agenda that nearly everyone had given up for lost decades ago. If the only effect of his campaign was the thousands of people who now know what happened to our gold, what inflation is, who does it to us, and who benefits from the operation of the Federal Reserve, then it’s time and money well spent.

    The fact is though, that this raising of awareness is not the only effect of his campaign. The Ron Paul Republicans have an opportunity to fix the Republican party the way that Newt Gingrich didn’t. In Maryland, four out of seven Ron Paul Republicans won their primaries. In New Jersey, Murray Sabrin is running for the Senate. There are more candidates running in other states, and they’re just the start.

    Ronald Reagan didn’t win the first time he ran, but that was no reason to throw in the towel.


  16. Knarf Nibmar

    If offering constitutional governance to the electorate as the truly legitimate stance for any candidate for the office of the presidency of our constitutional republic is a misappropriation of campaign funds, then viva le misappropriation.

  17. lee337c33

    How can the finest politician of his generation, not just in the United States but arguably the world, running for office be a waste? The fact that he isn’t favourite to win the GOP nomination is surely dissapointing, but lets not fall into the statist trap of looking at this through simplified absolutes. Ron Paul is the only candidate standing in either of the parties that’ll be referenced in bibliographies in 10, 20, 50 years from now.

  18. Mark Thornton

    Yes, some of the money and many opportunities were clearly wasted by the campaign staff, but in the main the campaign was a success beyond anyone’s imagination (at the beginning). Ron has expanded the number of libertarians, Constitutionalists, and/or classical liberals by a factor of more than 10. Most are young, intelligent, and productive people. I see the Ron Paul Revolution continuing until it is won. Everyone should continue their own personal political and intellectual revolutions.

  19. So, to summarize:

    1. The analysis of wasted campaign money is bunk.

    2. Ron Paul’s investors fueld a fire of true patriotism– a message that freedom cannot grow until people like BrainPolice & HeroicLife shed their pessemistic views of hopelessness & the rigid win-or-lose perspective.

    3. Avant Garde politics have proven to be more prominent than ever– a sign of imminent, necessary change.

    4. Ron Paul did what he set out knowing could be accomplished by spreading the message of Wise Revolution & nationalism without arrogance.

  20. Champion

    If one had a truly HeroicLife he/she would be adamantly advocating the message of human liberty and freedom in spite of the disinformation propagated by a corrupt media. If it wasn’t for Ron Paul I never even would have found this site let alone be studying Austrian Economics. I consider my donations a down payment to cure myself of continued indifference and apathy. I don’t consider any of my personal dollars as a waste. In fact, I am just getting started. What are you doing?

  21. Gulli

    Ron Paul has inspired so many people to learn more about Austrian Economics. Not just in America, but all over the world. This is money well spent.

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