The Two-Party System and Ron Paul’s Problem

The two-party system in the US is something that has increasingly become the apparent spanner in the Republic’s works. Commentators and other observers have made the point repeatedly, but it has also become one of the bugbears that has prevented people like feisty independent advocate Ron Paul so frustratingly unable to seal a deal.

As BDN Main reported, you only have to look at the issue involving young potential candidate Benjamin Stolz.


BDN Main report:

At first glance, Benjamin Stolz would appear to be the perfect prize for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Stolz, 18, a freshman at the University of Maryland, agrees wholeheartedly with Paul on a range of issues — from seeing foreign intervention as too costly to agreeing that government spending should be cut. Stolz, an enthusiastic first-time voter, also admires Paul’s frankness and the Texas congressman’s ability to draw diverse crowds.

And Wednesday night, Stolz attended his first political rally, waiting in a long line at the Ritchie coliseum in College Park to hear Paul speak, joining nearly 2,000 other students who chanted “End the Fed” as the candidate took the stage.

But Stolz, though seemingly easy pickings for the Paul camp, is actually Paul’s problem.

Stolz did not file the right paperwork to vote in his adopted state of Maryland in Tuesday’s Republican primary, when 37 delegates will be at stake. And for all his enthusiasm for Paul’s ideas, which he calls “classical liberalism,” Stolz will not be casting a ballot for him this season, either in Maryland or in his home state of New Jersey.

“I’m waiting until the real thing to make a decision,” Stolz said, referring to the November elections, adding that he would vote for Paul then if he made a third-party run. “The two-party system has collapsed. Paul is better than that.”

That, in essence, has been the Ron Paul story this campaign season: enthusiastic crowds who love Paul’s fierce independence but fail to carry him to victory at the polls. After running in 30 states and gaining a scant 50 delegates, according to the Associated Press, Paul has learned a hard lesson: Crowds don’t vote.

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