What threatens the Ron Paul campaign the most – by Ernest Hancock
The only organized threat to the Ron Paul for POTUS effort is,… organization.
The Solution? - Freedom Baby,.. Yeah!
In this article I hope to encourage others to abandon collectivist thought in their passionate support for Ron Paul. To have the greatest influence on the reader I will provide some information about myself, the origins of the Ron Paul Revolution, my opinions about its success and what to watch for as validation of my claims.
In my personal life I have been best served to avoid any centrally planned effort. But from an outsider, that wouldn’t be obvious since I am associated with several high profile and effective gatherings of minds and bodies. I am the publisher of the web news and forum portal FreedomsPhoenix.com, the 38 year old Arizona Breakfast Club had its stewardship passed to me a few years ago, it is also well known that I am associated with the efforts of The Western Libertarian Alliance and theLfactor when political campaigns I support are in need of some help. We are coming up on our 8th year of the Freedom Summit, I have a radio talk show on the local Air America affiliate where I am the ‘Hard-Core/No-Compromise’ libertarian - "Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock" & Archive. But what is not known by most is that not a single one of these successful freedom supporting efforts have a ‘central committee’. Either they are operated as a business like the Freedom Summit where the owners make the decisions in a free-market, or the business is based on an open source model that encourages open participation with ultimate control always clearly in the hands of the responsible individual, like FreedomsPhoenix or a clearly stated philosophy as the only guiding hand. This is how gatherings under the names of The Arizona Breakfast Club, Western Libertarian Alliance, theLfactor and The Ron Paul Revolution operate and evolve..
I am 46 and was born in 1961. I have a fantastic wife that is very supportive and 4 children 17 – 21 of whom I am very proud. (oh yeah, 2 small dogs). After 3 years of operating my own small service business and Immediately after the birth of my youngest in 1989 a series of events that affected my father’s manufacturing business and mine sent me on a path of discovery that took me on a personal quest for the truth of things. I traveled, met with politicians, elected officials, bureaucrats, lobbyist/con artists, patriots and activists. In less than a a few months I was convinced that all of the evil that I was overwhelmed by was nothing more than a simple bank robbery of galactic proportions. And all that was required to achieve this looting was the acceptance of a central authority (in its many forms).
Since I am the sort to Strike the Root of the problem I came to believe that the only obstacle to total slavery was the people themselves. I began to focus on the election laws in Arizona and how they were crafted to eliminate dissent from campaigns exactly like Ron Paul’s. From inside or outside the traditional political structure, the ability of the people to have an impact on the government that claimed to rule them was rapidly evaporating due the efforts of those with the power and desire to eliminate one of the final hurdles to absolute access to all productivity.
Many would criticize me for shooting too high and taking on targets too large. But all of my activism, law suits, campaigns for office and other activities have been to document what is happening and who/what is responsible. I knew it was in my best interest to document that I had checked off all of the boxes presented me; “Did you call your legislator/congressman, run for office, file a lawsuit, educate your neighbor etc.?” Yep, yep and yep (a lot)
What made my efforts unique to all of the others I experienced was what I learned from the libertarians I kept coning into contact with in the early 90’s when I first dug in my heels and was certain to get to the truth for the benefit of me and my family,… “There are those that wish to be left alone, and there are those that will not leave them alone”. It was clear to me that this was the freedom we were promised in exchange for our support of a coercive collective government that justified their existence by guaranteeing the protection of this freedom.
Our Freedom Summit speakers list will provide an idea of the individuals and groups of individuals that I am the most supportive of (Ron Paul is certainly on this list,… twice)
I share this with you so you understand that many consider me an experienced freedom activist that has been paying attention for a long time. But my motivation for writing this article is to warn you of what I see on the horizon as the largest threat to the Ron Paul campaign,… organization.
Libertarian minded people are often fond of the idea of spontaneous order. That from a desire to accomplish something will spring many ideas and efforts from all directions to accomplish a popular goal (or to oppose one). The Internet has made this process much faster and more individualistic, and thereby much more difficult to oppose.
In 1992 during the Ross Perot explosion of individual activism I was asked to give many presentations to groups of people that would meet regularly across Arizona in groups of 300 to 800 on a very regular basis. My expertise was election laws. At the time I was on my way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with my challenge of 44 election laws that were crafted to prevent such an effort. In fact the ability for an independent presidential candidate to even have electors placed on the ballot in Arizona had been eliminated and the law had to be changed (it was). Even then I made it very clear that my efforts to provide Ross Perot a place on the ballot was so that I would be given the opportunity to _not_ vote for him (even in the early days he made it clear that he was not a freedom supporting candidate). But what I saw happen inside, what was to become the United We Stand organization, is clearly a warning to the Ron Paul effort 15 years later (and I’ll get to that later).
When the time is right, there will always be a Neo (Matrix reference), a Gandi, a Rosa Parks, a Martin Luther King Jr., a Ron Paul. Circumstances eventually create fertile ground for revolutions of all types and sizes, and the one that is coming is a two fisted whopper. I never believed that the next ‘revolution’ would come all at once, but I did know that it would come overnight. What I mean by that last sentence is that the desire and need for change is obvious over a long period of time. But the individual benefit of taking action is often seen as not worth the effort to most,... until one day that changes for many people all at once. This feeling is reinforced by the Media (formerly known as mainstream). I’ve come to realize that the goals of the bad guys are served just as well by merely convincing you that while you may see through the lies, no one else does and that the resulting vote totals are a reflection of that. But now that the 18-24 year olds spend more time in front of their computers sharing with each other directly than they do in front of the mind crafting television, the mind of America is rapidly slipping away from those that have been use to telling us what we think.
Web stats have been very interesting in the presidential race. Ron Paul’s audience has been very low when compared to the other candidates in the age groups between about 30 – 55 years of age. I could guess about why, but the fact that Ron Paul kicks everyone else’s butt in the 18-24 and 55+ age brackets is very interesting also (I’ll make some comments on this information in another article someday).
These tech savy young people have no need or desire for rules or controls placed upon them by the very institutions that they know they are in opposition to. Nor do they have any reason to adopt the mindset of collectivists in their support of the principles of freedom best represented by Ron Paul. The vertical chains of command have no use to an entire population brought up on direct communications with any and everyone. Even more so now than ever before, the attempt to harness a movement is the surest way to do it the most damage. The Ron Paul campaign’s inability to get caught up with the explosion of individual activism has served the campaign the most. A great article expanding on this concept was written by Butler Shaffer - Traditional, vertically-structured social systems are eroding.
The Ron Paul Revolution is not under the control of anyone or anything. The reverse LOVE in the Revolution logo was from a campaign of mine in 2006 and I got the idea from a graphic I saw on the Internet a year or more before that. I’ve also seen the same thing done with the word REVOLT. The ‘Stencilia’ font is freeware created by a font artist and has been the best font I’ve ever used for the making of stenciled signs.
How the Ron Paul Revolution got its start was as natural and expected as the rising of the Sun. When the first news of Ron Paul’s willingness to run for POTUS was reported after his incorporating for the exploratory committee, I immediately made a call to Kent Snyder to confirm the seriousness of Ron Paul’s intentions made known only 18 hours prior. Informed that Ron Paul knew exactly what he was up against and that the entire Paul family was involved in the decision, and that Ron was certainly willing to make the effort if enough people demonstrated that the message of freedom would be supported, I knew what would happen. I had all the information I needed, and from that moment on I had no desire to be involved in any ‘official campaign’ effort.
Within moments the next year and a half of my family’s time had been mapped out. I knew that many of my activist friends would eagerly be involved as well. And we immediately knew what was needed most. It had to be very clear to the media that they were not going to be able to block communications. The Internet is a very effective tool but taking the effort to the street was a requirement so that it was clear that the Media formerly known as MainStream were to be portrayed as irrelevant as much as possible. Kingmaker media was going to be bypassed and the rigged polling of the past would be exposed. Phrases such as, “Newspapers are soooo last century” would be promoted and proved as often as possible.
With so many new people across the political spectrum expected to participate, we decided to raise enough money to take over abandoned space along the business destroying ‘Light Rail Project’ here in Phoenix that is another example of government gone crazy in the name of Corporate Welfare. 3000 square feet for $500 a month was a great deal for a place to work in comfort. We only desired 4 weeks use but had to lease for at least 8 weeks to convince the property owner. After utilities, rent, insurance, equipment and initial supplies to get started, the total for this demonstration project was about $3000 with deposits etc. We raised this in a day from amoung ourselves and within 2 weeks of a decision to act we were in production.
We needed the $3000 for comfort and speed for high production to demonstrate how a large American city could be blitzed with the Ron Paul Revolution for very little. We also wanted to document how the same thing could be done in your garage for almost nothing.
YouTube how to videos and a RonPaulRevolution.com website was created to help spread the Revolution and inspire other ideas. We knew that the word “Revolution” would be uncomfortable to many but we also knew it best described what was going to happen. We would only respond to any criticism by saying, “You can say Revolution all you want,.. as long as you say it with ‘LOVE’”.
My main goal wasn’t to “tag” the campaign with a slogan, it was to expand the envelope of imagination. I wanted to make certain that a feeling of ‘anything is possible/allowed’ was felt by those I knew it would have a very powerful impact on,… those that knew we needed a revolution,… a peaceful and fun one.
The explosion of creativity that we wanted to inspire and document was our main goal in the first few months of the campaign to support the freedom that Ron Paul represented. Once this was accomplished we could focus on our efforts to assist others that needed our help and had demonstrated their desire and ability to make use of it. We provided download links for the Font, instructional and inspirational videos, supply lists, promotion of other techniques and ideas, demonstrations and documentation of other people making use of the information being shared (I’ll share the new ‘Big Idea’ later in this post)
The official campaign effort to support Ron Paul certainly has its uses and the focus on important information for the nomination of Ron Paul should be the top priority in the opinion of many. But I have a message of warning to those that need it as well as a message of hope to those that will benefit from it.
The best way to cripple a movement is to try to control it. The perception that there are individuals in positions of authority that have the power to tell others “NO” is very detrimental to a movement that has at its core the support of freedom. But I do understand the importance of having a volunteer force that is ready to help ensure Ron Paul has the people in place to get the nomination of a party deep inside the political process. But many are not suited for this restricting work and all are served more efficiently if those interested in such internal politics are left alone to do the required work. But the encouragement of the efforts of others to spread the word and enjoy themselves in the process is a must for when their numbers and enthusiasm is critical to the campaign. If we are all aware of what needs to be done and can learn how to not interfere with others doing what they want then all will be best served.
I remember well the troubles inside the Ross Perot effort that eventually evolved into lawsuits and many other distractions over the question of who had the power to tell others what they would be able to do with their own time and money. I quickly developed the opinion that a bad idea is dealt with best by the free-market of ideas. The desire to prevent a ‘bad idea’ creates an unintended consequence of preventing innovation. What is most damaging is the death of the spirit of activism and the enthusiasm an individual has in the promotion of their own idea. It needs to be stated here that there was not universal support for the RonPaulRevolution effort and had we been part of the “official campaign” it would not have been chosen as anything the campaign would have supported.
In a video, taken by one of the Phoenix activists that went to Utah to help with their GOP state convention last week, was an older gentleman being critical of the RPR signs and that it made it seem that Ron Paul ‘loved’ Revolution. While the fine points of this observation could have been debated for hours, the campaign manager, Lew Moore, simply looked at the sign against the wall and said, “The campaign has nothing to do with that”,... :)
The ability to limit anything that has anything to do with Ron Paul to the words coming out of his own mouth/pen/votes leaves very little for the opposition to take hold of. Mistakes and the poor judgment of individuals making a mess of their effort to do what they thought was of benefit to Ron Paul’s effort will be examined and a lesson for others, but the damage that can be done the campaign is very minimal, while the damage done in an effort to prevent such mistakes would be devastating to a campaign like Ron Paul's.
In a campaign for individual freedom we can expect to learn that this philosophy is embraced by the campaign and learn to adapt. Many of us are experienced with other efforts that have a totally different feel and structure. But what you have witnessed so far is the product of a totally "FREE" campaign. Young people that have yet to be conditioned to ask for permission, don't even understand the concept of seeking approval. And I don't see any net benefit of trying to change them.
For those that have entered the effort to support Ron Paul through “official channels” and have felt limited, I encourage you to continue your support on your own. You will become very frustrated if your efforts are focused to steer an entire campaign's direction from the inside of a structure that has already made up its mind about what the answer is to the question, “what can I do to help?”. If you already know what excites you and you have a talent for communication then follow the example of the thousands of other people. Not being part of any effort that is larger than themselves or maybe a few friends excited about demonstrating their support in creative ways for Ron Paul and his message is often much more fun and satisfying to many.
I want to thank the person that emailed us the following idea.
Coroplast is a great material for making the stencils, but Ron Paul supporters in New Hampshire have demonstrated the ability to use paper to produce the same end effect. Other material such as cardboard and even plywood has been used as well but the Coroplast has been the most universally supported for multiple uses. The sign material itself can be almost anything that can be stenciled on. Cardboard, Tyvek, Coroplast, Vinyl, Paper etc. But the Big Idea we are now excited about will raise the bar in the friendly competition between Revolutionaries across the country.
It was suggested by someone (from Utah I think) that the large 14 foot by 48 foot billboard vinyl used for billboards has to go somewhere. We checked and found that the subcontractors for Clearchannel (first Dupont’s Tyvek and now Clearchannel :) have their own little side business ‘releasing’ (selling for beer money I guess), these used vinyl signs. If I were to take them in bulk and return the PVC core they are rolled up on, then I could have this vinyl (with a clean white back side) for $15. This unRipable material weighs about 60 lbs. a sign and can be hauled up a mountain by some eager activists bent on making a statement, or floated on a river or lake for a great Youtube video, or hung from a building rooftop at just the right moment for TV coverage or to please a crowd. What is the likely use for most of the vinyl after we take care of our egos and our friendly competition with other RPR groups to be the most,… most something, will be to cut the vinyl into smaller sizes. This vinyl is 1/3 the cost of the Tyvek banners we have been making. With grommets and paint our cost per 4’ x 9’ banner just got to less than $1.
We just bought and picked up 26 rolls for $300….
The Imagination Spins