Fire Jesse Benton, Get Some New Ads
The Ron Paul campaign still has a lot of money to spend but it is being thrown away on uninspiring radio and television commercials which make Ron Paul look like a typical Republican. These ads largely ape the other candidates by either stressing Paul's biography (thus telling nothing to voters about where he stands) or pushing a" close the borders" approach. They have little in common with the Ron Paul of the debates.
The recent newsletters controversy has hurt badly but the campaign still can have a postive impact if it radically shifts course through a hard-hitting, pro-liberty ad campaign. Television and radio commercials should stress the following: the destructive impact of the war on drugs, the racist impact of this war for a whole generation of black men, the threat to civil liberties by the Bush administration and the Democratic Congress, and, most of all, the war in Iraq and the threat of war in Iran. These need to be supplemented by regular news releases.
It is a travesty that most antiwar Republican voters in New Hampshire and Michigan appeared to have believed that John McCain was the antiwar candidate. This might have been different had an ad campaign repeatedly informed them that Paul is the only Republican candidate to oppose the war.
Lets face it. Ron Paul will not win the nomination. If he goes out in a flourish, however, he can do a lot of good for the future of libertarianism. If the campaign continues to run the current ads, it will soon fade into nothingness and few supporters will be willing to contribute more money.
Jesse Benton, the man who designed this campaign, should be fired immediately. A new ad director should then implement this strategy. Scott Horton has suggested a youtube contest for ads but it may be too late. At the very least, the campaign (hopefully sans Jesse Benton) can produce commercials that highlight the many clips of Paul giving pro-liberty and antiwar comments on these and other issues.
Roderick T. Long - 1/17/2008
I received a recorded phone ad from Ron Paul's wife saying we should vote for him because he has lots of grandchildren and has delivered lots of babies.
(I guess he won't be getting an endorsement from ZPG.)
Anthony Gregory - 1/17/2008
Yeah but hundreds of thousands of peaceful people are in rape rooms, aka, prisons in America. This is always an urgent issue. People need to be made aware of this reality, and of the fact that Ron Paul would do something about.
Bill Woolsey - 1/16/2008
The choices aren't "educate" or "win."
Articulate the exsisting libertarian positions of at least a substantial minority isn't quite the same thing as education people about what they should consider important and what the should believe.
Stump speeches, campaign ads, and brochures are not effective means of teaching people about what issues are important and what are the best solution.
Anthony Gregory - 1/16/2008
"Trying to educate people on the drug war (or gold or the north american union) is a big mistake in the context of a political campaign."
But that's the best we can realistically hope for from a libertarian political campaign — education of the public.
Bill Woolsey - 1/16/2008
I agree that change would be good.
"Biography" is very important. People vote for a candidate, not an issue.
I think the "10 term congressman, never raised your taxes, never voted for an unbalanced budget, voted against the war in Iraq," is the most important biographical information. (There is actually a longer list and I think all of those bullets are good.)
I don't think that the racist nature of the war on drugs, or even the war on drugs in general is the best issue at this time.
Not that I have any problem with educating people about that!
Still, I think going with withdrawal from Iraq, no war in Iran, and out of control goverment spending, high taxes, and deficits show we can't afford it... that is the message.
It should be entirely a play for Republicans mad at Bush and against the war.
And because most Repubicans support tue war, it is not likely to generate victory.
Trying to educate people on the drug war (or gold or the north american union) is a big mistake in the context of a political campaign.
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