Friday, January 11, 2008

Some Advice for Ron Paul

Did anyone notice this?

Is it just a coincidence that Fox News excluded Ron Paul from the pre-primary debates and then lost market share in the primary night ratings? What does this say about how the public are perceiving Fox News as fair and balanced?

Ron Paul has an opportunity because people are beginning to see him not as a silly old man (a la Gravel), but rather as a man of character who is being beat-up on for standing on selfless principle by enormously powerful forces.

Think of this as a good movie. What is needed for him to win.

First you need the audience/public to identify and empathize with the hero. This, has happened with the exclusion from the Fox debate and the money bombs (small guy winning over the big guys). The smear campaign is designed to destroy empathy with the hero.

After empathy we need a conflict, a battle where our hero is seen fighting the good fight.

This is what Ron Paul has to do.

1. He has to defend himself better and present his ideas in fresh terms that exposes the other candidates for what they are.

2. He has to stop the "class room style" tone, and adopt a "I'm here to save the nation" tone that is deeply seriousness and forceful (but not angry) [his voice should be deeper and stronger and he should talk more slowly when making his points]

3. When he is laughed at or set-up by the other candidates or Fox News, he has to chastise them for "playing fun" and "having a good time" when the American people are facing gravely serious issues in this election. He kind of did this last night when asked about 9/11 Truthers. He responded by saying, "May I contribute to this substantive debate?" That scored points. He needs to speak on behalf of the American people, so that when the others attack him, we see them attacking the American people.

As the campaign progresses, the economy will grow in importance as an issue. Ron Paul has to frame his arguments from the point of view of Ma and Pa American. He has to take on a populist tone, but with his substantive principles. He has to attack the other candidates as a champion and defender of the American people.

Yes our Constitutional Republic is at stake, yes Austrian Economics tells us that we are headed for a fall, yes the war is a fraud of the military industrial complex, but tell us from Ma and Pa perspective.

Ron Paul did this beautifully in the McCain exchange about 100 years in Iraq. He said that McCain had no right to commit 5 generations of boys and girls to die in Iraq. This kind of framing is what is needed for his arguments. And he needs to make these arguments in a deeply serious way, while directly going after the other candidates (and needs to prepare follow up comments for their likely comebacks).

For example, it is not enough to say we are going bankrupt, or that we don't have the money, Ron Paul has to talk about this from the perspective of middle class Americans in a concrete and personal way.

In short, the hero of this movie has to become the voice of the American people and fight for them. He has to be a zealous doctor fighting for his patient against the parasites that are killing her.

When the antagonists comes after Paul, it will be the American people who they are attacking, not him or his ideas.

Ron Paul has so much substance and principle, he just needs to place it in the service of the American people and fight for them on the issues, more so than his (very valid and powerful) ideas.