If the Republican establishment, media and the Democrat Party continue their campaigns to destroy Paul, and, if a very dissatisfied public understands why these campaigns are being waged, Paul could run as a Third Party candidate and take enough limited government conservatives, independents and liberals to win the race for President. Imagine what would happen in DC if this came about!
The political class would go ballistic. The military/industrial complex would call for a state of emergency. Republicans and Democrats would convene to address the crisis. The entire statist apparatus would form alliances to resist this threat to Big Government. It would start the debate this country needs in order to stop our march to financial disaster and continuous war in the mideast.
Big Corporations which now feed off government teats would panic. This ought to get some OWS love. Also, Ron Paul gets the most donations from active duty military personnel. Don't get me wrong -- I don't think Paul is a savior, but that's the point -- we don't need a government savior. I don't think Paul is a great leader, but we don't need a great leader. We need a person like Paul who will stand up to the status quo and say no. We need someone who will cut unnecessary government programs and stop the Fed's central planning. We need someone who respects the military and will not misuse and abuse our troops in foreign entanglements that have nothing to do with national security. We need someone who understands free market principles and who will allow small businesses to operate free of government obstacles. Paul is flawed, but his flaws are not disguised behind a Hollywood smile. We're all flawed.
Paul will not put America at risk -- he was in the military. The political class portrays Paul as a racist kook, but Paul is a very intelligent man who proposes changes that would help minorities. What will happen when voters realize Paul can win? There are many different factions who should support Paul. African-Americans should support Paul, because Paul will at least try to end the War on Drugs which has incarcerated Af-Ams in larger numbers, proportionally, than whites. Paul would be a boon for small businesses which are avenues for Af-Am advancement. Paul will fight to end the crazy regulations which hamper individuals setting up shop and starting small enterprising businesses, and on the smallest levels this hurts Af-Ams who could otherwise start inexpensive businesses with no hassle. It's unlikely that a Paul presidency could end the welfare state, but we could begin the discussion how to best address the problem of minorities entering the workforce in much larger numbers. The private sector is the arena in which these type social problems are best addressed through innovation.
If Paul does what I think he will do, we can also begin the process of removing the State from the marriage business, allowing society to work out misunderstandings surrounding gay relationships. Just about every American will be better off without government intervention in their private lives.
The Establishment knows that a popular Third Party can win, and that's why they attack and marginalize anyone outside the status quo. If not in 2012, soon, and, if not Paul, someone -- it will happen.