How Ron Paul Can Fight Like a Guerrilla Terrorist (and win)

There is this guy who emails me 3-4 times a week about nothing but Ron Paul. For the last few months he has been ebullient, sending me updates every time he hits a fundraising benchmark or eats a sandwich. And then today he sent me this:

After learning more about the election process in this country and the various “powers that be”, Ron Paul faces more than we enthusiastic supporters can overcome….in this current election. And as you said, even if he were to be elected, there wouldn’t be enough broad support for his ideas right away. It took me reading this article below [that admits Ron Paul will never be president] to finally come to grips with it and see what needs to be done moving forward.

Anyone who understands basic economics should know the Law of Diminishing Returns–that when one of your variables in fixed, returns decrease over time. The result were inevitable. The internet is a fixed variable, a loud one, but ultimately a fixed and small one.

But it doesn’t have to be over. The only thing he ought to be giving up now is the strategic suicide that is the current plan. Never fight a war of attrition unless you have to. Forget buttons and primaries and the FCC and going door to door–all that body-throwing bullshit. American elections are very much spend, spend, spend and then hope to win by a percentage point. So, it should be obvious to most rational people now, that Ron Paul cannot win a normal victory. That doesn’t mean he can’t force a change.

Here are his strategic assets (or disadvantages, depending on how you think):

[*] Access to cheap money

[*] Mobile, dispersed supporters of a relatively small number

[*] No credibility in the eyes of the media [nothing left to lose]

[*] A fractured political landscape

[*] The ability to equalize or maximize efficiency through technology

[*] Vastly outnumbered and horrible odds

This is terrorism vs. nation-states. This is 4th Gen Warfare. And who normally comes out the winner, even if they’re not the “victor”?

If we follow John Robb’s guide to asymmetric conflict we know the levers he must hit: Menace, Mistrust and Uncertainty.

He should use the MASSIVE inequity in efficiency structures and utterly wreck havoc. He should be fighting a guerrilla campaign to embarrass all the other candidates by exposing their bullshit, he should be making sure that they win by as little as possible (decreasing their political capital and ability to make change once in office) and exposing the flaws in the system.

So what could he do? [Off the top of my head?]

[*] Pay people to follow candidates around the interrupt their speeches. Start screaming about Hillary’s Alinsky thesis until the media has to address it. Film them and release them on YouTube.

[*] Take federal matching funds (doubling his money) and then spend it subversively. Stand outside convenience stores in New York and give people their cigarette tax back. Do the same in California to people with the gas taxes.

[*] Run commercials about how easy and permanent it would be to bribe a member of the Electoral College into changing their vote.

[*] Focus on fragmented or polarized districts to narrow down the margins of victory for whoever ends up winning.

[*] Avoid the popular vote entirely and try to take as many individual districts as possible.

[*] Bankroll serious investigations into voter fraud or media bias and then give it away to reporters.

[*] Fund the campaigns of other 3rd Party Candidates to further reduce the political capital of the future president.

[*] Address opponents directly: Find one or two things that you want each candidate to commit to and just accost them until they do. Get them to do it on television or radio. Every time you make an appearance, demand how they haven’t yet and claim you’ll leave them alone when you do.

That is the question. If you took over Ron Paul’s campaign and rid it of the foolish notion of victory, how would you spend the money to sow the most Menace, Mistrust and Uncertainty?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.