On Saturday, delegates at the Nebraska Republican convention will gather to cast their votes for the GOP’s presidential nominee. It will be at this meeting of hard-right husker minds that the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul will either come to an official end, or sputter forward on fumes. Paul will have to collect at least a plurality of the votes cast in order to get on the ballot at the Republican National Convention. Either way, Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee, and for a very simple but overlooked reason.
Paul won’t be the Republican nominee because Republicans couldn't stand him. This was the fatal oversight of the Paul campaign and his legion of libertarian acolytes. The entire premise of a Ron Paul Republican presidency was deranged from the outset. As much as his supporters loved toting those polls showing Paul matching up best among GOP candidates against President Obama in the general election, Paul never won a single state. And as much as the Paulites cried fraud in Iowa and elsewhere, it should be clear to anyone who’s actually met a Republican primary voter or two that for them, Ron Paul might as well be from the planet Kolob, where the God of Mitt Romney currently resides.
Given the positions of his primary opponents in 2012 and 2008, Paul by default assumed the role of the crazy uncle at a family gathering. And nowhere was this more evident than in the debates, where other candidates took turns pandering to the Republican base’s lowest common denominator—a scary, scabby, ogreish creature that thrives on jingoism and religious fanaticism. Meanwhile, Paul espoused some not-so-conventional truths about foreign policy and civil liberties that left debate audiences incredulous and livid at the heresies being propagated.
On some level Paul himself surely understood this. It is unlikely that he ever believed he had a chance at winning over the Republican base; hence his strategy of targeting delegates in states that other candidates didn’t pay much mind. But even still, those delegates would ultimately have to answer to their Republican electors and explain why they voted for a man whose foreign policy consists of something other than bomb-first-and-ask-questions-later.
No, one must surmise that Paul’s goal was simply to re-inject a modicum of Calvin Coolidge or Robert Taft into the GOP by speaking to the issues that matter to old, and I mean old school conservatives, as well as college students who substitute reading Ludwig von Mises for getting laid. Regardless of what happens in Nebraska Saturday, there will be no President Ron Paul, and all those poor “Revolution” fools who thought they could convince a group of people they despised to vote for a man that that group despised will have to go back to the drawing board.