A crucial ingredient that Ron Paul's campaign has that I think you're overlooking is excitement. Outside of a few core activists, hardly anyone will get excited about candidates for city council and state assembly if the candidates are running ordinary campaigns. Only in a few exceptional circumstances will we be lucky and get a candidate like Ron Paul who has a decent shot to win a significant race. In neither case is it about marketing. Ron Paul didn't have an organized marketing campaign, and even if he had it couldn't have created the excitement that he's achieved via the grassroots activism of excited and inspired supporters. So how can we generate excitement and inspire people when we don't have a Ron Paul? By building a sense of solidarity and camaraderie among our members, viewing ourselves as part of a radical movement that is engaged in guerrilla politics, i.e. by making libertarian activism edgy and cool. Making the party more appealing to youth.
Speaking of which, what happened with that event for young Libertarians you were organizing in Half Moon Bay? I sent you a long email prior to the event with a bunch of suggestions -- did you get it? Thoughts? How did the event itself go? Details, please!
BTW, Michael Edelstein, you asked in a recent message what a donor with $100,000 should do to help the Ron Paul campaign. My suggestion would be definitely something focused on young people. A couple ideas: (1) Creating a Ron Paul Freedom Award with cash or other valuable prizes to be awarded to people creating the best pro-freedom videos. (2) Hiring a couple well-known musical artists with pro-freedom leanings to headline a free or low cost Ron Paul concert tour, during appearances for which pro-freedom speakers including Ron would be mixed in with the musical acts. Like the annual "Power to the Peaceful" concerts headlined by Michael Franti in Golden Gate Park, in different venues across the country focused on key early primary states. Obviously this would have to be organized quickly! Lesser-known local acts could be solicited to perform for free to fill out the bill at each appearance.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
I agree totally Starchild. There needs to be that
excitement, and mixing in events that attract youth
are a must! I didn't mean to demean the Ron Paul
campaign but what I was saying is, it doesn't take
much to do a lot, as long as you have, as you said
excitement. We need to utilize what happens within the
RP campaign and put it to use for LP candidates. I
also am a big fan of coalitions, and, say what you
want about RP, Nader, Sheehan, Ventura, and Gary
Johnson, we must reach out on common issues to get our
message "marketed" to those youth and neglected voters
who just don't know it yet, we need to, in 2008, let
those that supported RP know they can still go out and
donate, go door to door, put up signs and be generally
excited, for say, John Inks for Mountain View City
Council or Phil Berg for US Congress or whomever for
whatever. To write off Ron Paul because he isnt
100percent libertarian (or anyone for that matter) is
a big mistake IMHO. We can learn alot from success,
even if it is the successes of those we don't
necessarily agree with.
As far as Half Moon Bay, we had maybe 10 people, it
was a good way to market and find activists. We had
someone from Berkeley who is or will hopefully get a
group going there. I plan on doing one of these in the
Spring to hopefully get 40 or more showing up, I want
reps from Stanford, SJSU and other colleges coming. We
had a good idea, but Rikki and I needed to have
planned it and followed through a bit better. I am
still learning but I am not upset with the whole
outcome. There are many young people in this area
ready to carry the torch for liberty. We all need to
continuously pursue these people.
I still have your email and intend on pursuing all the
info you gave me in planning the next event. I will
give you plenty of heads up the next time we plan
something, you definately will be on my list of
someone I can count on for help with it.
I like your suggestions for $100,000!
I'm passing it on to Rich Friesen who is administering the money for the VC.
Following up on my message about ideas for spending $100,000 to help Ron Paul, I had a further thought about the concert tour idea, namely trying to get some prominent hip-hop artists or other musical acts who would appeal to young, normally more apolitical audiences and call it the "Urban Messages Tour." I just checked, and the domain name UrbanMessages.com is available, by the way.
The main inspiration for a concert tour, especially featuring hip-hop artists, was watching Eminem's video "Mosh." This is an incredibly powerful piece of anti-war propaganda (see http://www.gnn.tv/content/eminem_mosh.html for a discussion of the impact it had, and http://gnn.tv/videos/viewer.php?id=27&n=1 for the actual video.) While Eminem himself would probably be too popular, and perhaps too left-leaning, to have much chance of getting him to do a tour like this (maybe too controversial as well -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminem ), it would be great if we could find some artists with similarly powerful and politically charged material. I'm envisioning large concert venues with big video screens featuring short bits of Ron Paul material from YouTube interspersed with the musical acts.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
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