Some R primary strategic thoughts: Gary Johnson and Ron Paul

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by lkkinetic, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. lkkinetic

    lkkinetic Original Member

    First, a personal caveat: I have never identified with a political party, nor do I even like politics. I have long perceived D and R as branches of the Authoritarian Party. However, I think it's important to use the existing political process to advance this issue as much as possible, and to do so strategically.

    I think part of our activism, and another important arrow in our quiver, is the visibility of this (and related 4th Amend and civil liberty issues) in the Republican presidential primary process. When I read comment threads on TSA articles, there's always someone invoking the "vote for Ron Paul, he's the only one standing up for our rights" argument.

    Two observations on that point. First, I don't think it's realistic to expect Paul to win the R nomination. Second, he's not the only one standing up for our rights, although he is the one who has a large following of supporters. The other R candidate who agrees emphatically with our position is Gary Johnson, and he has the added benefit from my perspective of having founded a business that grew to 1,000 employees by the time he sold it, and 2 successful and popular terms as governor of New Mexico, so he has actual budget and personnel management experience. But he's not as visible, not as well known nationally. Again, realistically I wouldn't expect him to win the R nomination.

    BUT. The more we work to make R candidates Paul AND Johnson more visible, and to communicate our support of their support of this issue, and the more visible both of them are more generally in the primary process, the more the rest of the R field will have to move in our direction. I also think it's a good tactic to remember when discussing TSA issues among D/progressive folks who are deeply disappointed with Obama's civil rights/privacy actions (such as Glenn Greenwald at Salon, for example) -- when they despair over voting for Obama in 2012, suggest to them that if they vote for Johnson (or Paul, although I think some Ds have a pretty visceral anti-Paul reaction sometimes!) in the R primary they might have a candidate they could support, even if it's not a D.

    The only way we're going to slay this beast is a multi-faceted, strategic, persistent, patient non-partisan coalition of those fighting for our civil rights. I think engaging Johnson and his staff, raising their visibility, encouraging them to engage more on this issue as it gets more media attention, will be good for our cause and good for them.

    As I said, though, I have no experience in doing so. Any of you have some suggestions, refinements or improvements of this idea?
  2. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    In general, I agree. I, too, consider myself non-partisan and hold numerous ideas that either party would find appealing or repugnant (fiscally-conservative, pro-choice, pro-gun, atheist, anti-corporate gay-rights activist who believes in the the pundits' heads spin on THAT one) and as I've said before, the interesting thing about the problem that is the TSA is that both major parties have spokespersons who are speaking against it.

    That is encouraging and definitely something we can use.

    For my part, I've been tailoring my correspondence to my elected officials based on my, and their, voting history and political beliefs. I voted for Durbin and I know that he's reasonably pro-civil liberties, so I frame TSA as a 4th-amendment/civil-liberties problem. I didn't vote for Kirk, but I know that TSA is currently under a (D) administration while he's an (R) and can frame it as irresponsible big government spiraling out of control.

    For as hard as I fight, though, I'm still a fish far, far out of water. I've never written to my representatives (small-R, as in "elected officials" including Senators) like this before and I'm trying to learn as I go. I had just turned 18 when 9/11 happened and so the dawn of my ability to vote was awash in political mayhem and partisan squabbling & grandstanding - I didn't have a stable period like the Clinton years during which I could learn the ropes and get good at this. For that reason, I'm leaning heavily on the people here who are more seasoned in terms of political action and trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can - it's why I was so detailed in my questions with my Durbin letter.

    As for Paul and Johnson, I admit I know precious little about them but maybe it's time for me to read up on where they stand. The hard part is going to be weighing anti-TSA against stances on other issues that matter to me, but I'm dangerously close to not giving a crap anymore. I just also don't want to vote against TSA and then get slammed with 5 other decisions on 5 other issues that I disagree with, or get someone who thinks that Trusted Traveler is just peachy and wind up having to fork over personal information in order to fly anywhere.

    Before I forget, 2 questions: What's with the Democrat/left anti-Paul mentality, and can one vote in both D and R primaries? I remember reading about "registering to vote as a Democrat" or "registering to vote as a Republican" and thought it had something to do with being able to vote in only the primary matching one's registration. Can I do both?
  3. lkkinetic

    lkkinetic Original Member

    Sounds like you and I should have a beer, neighbor :D!

    In IL, you don't register for a party when you register to vote, so you can choose which ballot to take if both are having a primary. Or, as will be the case in the 2012 presidential primary, you can vote in the R primary regardless of your affiliation.

    That rule varies by state; in CA, for example, I believe you have to declare a party affiliation.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Depends on your state -- in some states you have to register as one or the other. In other states, you just choose which party's primary to vote in.

    With regard to Ron Paul, people should not underestimate his potential as a spoiler. We used treat 3rd party candidates as jokes (e.g. George Wallace, who really got the 3rd party stuff going), but Ross Perot's "interference" might actually have thrown an election. Locally, Jesse Ventura was a long-shot who actually won. One should not underestimate Ron Paul's possible influence in an election. Primaries without runoffs, for all practical purposes, are multi-party elections.
  5. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Maybe some cross-linking with their anti-TSA abuse messages/websites?
    Always good to support a good message and let the candidate know you agree on the issue, regardless of their other stances, in order to elevate TSA abuse into AN ISSUE in the campaign.
    Good to pester the press prior to any debate or similar.

    Comment today re: Ron Paul, The American Traveler Dignity Act
    Apologies if this is posted elsewhere.

    (The Ket is nonpartisan, BTW, was once a Decline To State, but now votes unleashed).
  6. mikemey

    mikemey Original Member

    I know in NJ and NC, you have to declare a party to vote in the primaries.

    Somehow, I doubt we're going to find enough politicians who are willing to give the TSA the 2 drug cocktail it desperately needs.

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