Could a Green Win Ron Paul's House Seat?
So Ron Paul is retiring from Congress, in order to better focus on his presidential campaign next year. With all my sporting spirit, I wish him well, though he won't win; the elites in the Republican Party would never let him win (which is a shame, because he could beat Obama, and he'd be a better president than Obama, though that's not saying much).
However, when I first heard the news, what my mind immediately jumped to was the title of this entry. Just as it says: what if the Green Party ran a candidate for Paul's seat as Representative of Texas' 14th Congressional District- and what if that candidate won?
I don't think it's as crazy an idea as it seems. Ron Paul, admittedly, is the arch-Libertarian of Congress. He supports ridiculously low taxes, incredibly lax regulation, and severely reduced powers for the federal government, all things guaranteed to complete the United States' transition into an oligarchy.
But he also supports:
-Drastically cutting the budget of the US Military as well as the budget of the Department of Defense
-Closing US Military bases the world over
-Ending the Federal Reserve
-Legalizing at least marijuana, perhaps other recreational drugs
-Not legislating morality, including avoiding the banning of things like gay marriage
All things that, last I looked, the Green Party supported in some way, shape or form. Paul has represented the 14th district since 1996. It stands to reason that if he's been elected as many times as he has, his constituents must agree with the vast bulk of his positions, not merely a few of them. Hell, he's run unopposed numerous times.
Now he's retiring, and the Republicans are probably going to nominate someone to fill his seat who's a full-throated corporatist. Oh, they'll pay lip service to Paul's more far-out and un-corporatist ideas, but they won't really stand by them- they'll be apologists for the rich, supporters of the empire, legislators of the public morality. The Democrats may smell blood, but they will of course nominate someone equally corporatist, just kinder and perhaps gentler. In this they recognize a basic political truism: open seats are the ideal pickup seats. An incumbent will always have an advantage over a challenger, but when there is no incumbent it can quickly become anyone's game.
I think the opportunity exists for an honestly distinct candidate to win this seat. Someone who can agree with Paul's positions on the empire, drugs, morality, and some fiscal matters would start out with an advantage. They could couple it with robust support for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid- programs that every middle-class and working-class voter supports, no matter how rock-ribbed a libertarian they claim to be. They could freely and sharply criticize both the Democratic and Republican candidates, revealing the fundamental sameness of the two parties.
It has become pointedly obvious that real change in this country is not going to come from Washington, so a broader campaign to elect 'good' legislators may be pointless. But this seat. Ron Paul's seat. Think of the message it would send for a Green to win this seat. The 'godfather of the Tea Party' leaving Congress and being replaced by an honest-to-God Leftist, imagine it. It wouldn't just give us a genuine representative of the people in the House. It would alert every oligarch and fat cat wallowing in their current good fortune. It would be a shot across their bow.