It’s been a few days since the idea of the Ron Paul – Jesse Ventura ticket was floated by none other than the flamboyant ex-Minnesota Governor himself. While I have little enthusiasm for the upcoming farce that has become the presidential race, the idea of Ron Paul and Jesse Ventura as the Libertarian ticket might just get me out with vigor. Kennedy pun intended. I might just go out and collect more than a couple hundred signatures for the quirky ticket that the LP usually fields.
You see, Ron Paul took all the fun out our nomination last time. A great spirit of liberty, non-interventionism and a surprising capacity to challenge the monetary system was suddenly relevant with Ron Paul, more than we could ever hope to attract as a third party. But our issues for decades, none the less. It was hard to watch people chant 'End the Fed' at a GOP counter rally. Especially, after our own convention on C-SPAN with the VP nominee looking around in a daze yelling ‘Bang!’ and opining out loud that he wants learn from the master . . . Bob Barr?.
Yet the faithful carried on and didn’t belly ache a whole lot that mattered, in so much as we needed to produce another nation wide ticket. We did exactly that. Few third parties have had the constant, lasting success of doing so consistently, in the last forty years. The LP gets 'er done. Sure, the persnickety voluntarist will find a list of offensives against liberty that Jesse Ventura might have indeed admitted or has done. The conspiracy huffiness and the allegedly damaging newsletters might hurt Ron (Rand's got the Kentucky Journal . . .), but the idea of a super quality ticket for the LP might produce a cathartic ring into the new American frustration, Howard Fineman’s skepticism about ending the FBI be damned. Those silly perception mongers.
In 2008 Ron Paul was restrained from seeking a third party nomination by various factors, including a former run. The knowledge of that third party effort in 1988 must still ring in his grandpa ears. While Ventura may have referred to the Libertarian Party in the past as a bunch of ‘anarchists’, the practical matter of ballot access and real politics might offer an opportunity for ideological softening on both ends of that dog. Aside from the usual orthodoxy of executive experience pandering, Ventura represents the hope that a third, successful, sharp wedge, in a winner take all system can prevail.
Perhaps the American public isn’t ready for that cataclysmic change in the electoral hierarchy. But the rest of the world is. The whole policeman of the world thing isn’t going to end like a cute Adam-12 episode. It’s up to Ron Paul now. Does he take the lead on a huge wave that has been created in the last four years and dump it into an almost and surely, futile GOP primary effort? Or does he look hard into his limited political mirror and see the unique opportunity of message to be shocklingly and effectively delivered? Millions of dollars and boots on the ground are very real and possible in this attempted coup. The Ventura camp ran great commercials, unlike the train wrecks conceived for Paul in New Hampshire in 2008. The Free Staters are a fun bunch, but the rest of the voters won't get arrested for illegally planting turnips in the public park.
A Paul-Ventura ticket could break the glass ceiling of 15% in the polls by the time the Presidential Debate Commission deigns us ready to hear Obama and whoever the lame GOP fuddy-duddy is. Let's face it, Newt Gingrich goes the route of Bob Dole or John Kerry this round. Imagine Ron Paul in that debate instead of the hokey set up MSNBC and Chris Mattews will bring for months on end only to realize that there can never be another Rudy. How often would Jess be on Morning Joe or Howard Stern. Is he still yappn?
Tea partiers, frustrated progressives, Birchers, troofers and the whole big jumbo that is the catatonic American public that thinks the drug war is insane and people ought to love who they want. You have a ticket and a realistic delivery vehicle in the LP. All the cool kids may have left the guild for the higher astral plane of anarchic activism, but there are still some Quixote’s charging the absurd electoral mills. Pony up some money, keep those forums humming and events popping. You either run out of steam or end up in hot water anyway. Stoke the ember, get some more wood. I’ll skip the marshmallows, thank you.