by David Catron
In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President because 19% of the voters were naive enough to pull the lever for a certified wackjob: Ross Perot. Looking at the results of the Ames straw poll, I have a sinking feeling that history may repeat itself in 2008.
In the straw poll, Ron Paul garnered 9% of the vote. This confirms that he has virtually no chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee. Unfortunately, it also confirms that he is capable of siphoning a significant number votes away from more credible candidates.
Here’s why this gives me the “willies”: Once it becomes clear to Paul that he hasn’t a prayer of getting the Republican nod, he may well run for President on the Libertarian ticket (as he did in 1988). He won’t get the number of votes that Perot received, but it won’t take that many to guarantee Hillary’s election.
As in Perot’s case, almost all of Paul’s support in a general election would come from voters who would otherwise (though perhaps reluctantly) vote Republican. Because the major party candidates will likely be within a couple of percentage points of one another, even a 5% showing for Dr. Paul would cinch it for Clinton.
So, if you like the idea of government-run health care, you should get in there and work your heart out for Ron Paul. His candidacy constitutes Hillarycare’s best hope.
*Note - David Catron is a Medical Financial Specialist living in Georgia.