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Ron Paul’s Only Strategic Mistake, But It’s a Whopper

Written by Gary North on February 27, 2012

Ron Paul’s TV ads are missing a chance to change America for the better after the Republican National Convention this year.

There is a universal rule in all direct-response advertising.  This rule is never honored in political advertising. It is this: Offer an action step.

The seller has paid for an ad. Why? Because he wants the ad’s reader or viewer to buy something.

In lots of cases, the targeted reader will not spend a lot of money on something, based on one ad. Then the ad must recommend the first step in a sale. Usually, it offers a free report. Best of all, it offers a free digital report. It costs basically nothing to deliver it.

The free report can be long. It hammers away at a theme: the benefits of taking another step. Step by step, the reader moves toward making a purchase.

TV ads are expensive. They never ask the viewer to do anything.

In ads that are not Super-PAC ads, they end with this: “I’m [so and so], and I approve of this ad.” He should ad: “Please visit my website.”

What should every ad do? List the campaign site’s address.


To get him to visit the site.


To offer him a free something.


To get his email address.

That email address is worth at least $1 a year. It will also be a way to remind the person to vote. Or send in money. Or buy a bumper sticker.

At the very least, the ad should show the candidate’s website. Or his Facebook site.

The younger the targeted audience, the more ready to take this step the viewer is.

If the candidate wins the nomination, he will need these addresses.

If he loses, he can use these addresses.

Think of Ron Paul. What could he do with these names and addresses?

1. Start the Ron Paul Academy: K-12 education like the Khan Academy.
2. start a grass roots training program to take over county governments.
3. Start a Web-based video show that keeps viewers informed.
4. Start a newsletter on the Federal Reserve.
5. All of the above.

All of these would provide enthusiastic supporters answers to this question: But what can I do?

Could he find advertisers? Yes.

Could he offer books and other materials? Yes.

Could he create a permanent political force? Yes.

Doesn’t he see this? I don’t think he does.

Do his ad producers see it? No.

People who create ads have only one skill: to create ads. They are not strategic thinkers.

Must they be told what to do by the ad buyers? Yes. Will they resist? Yes. Will they offer 15 reasons why this will not work? Yes. Why? Because it’s not anything they have experience doing.

To the knee-jerk response, “That will hurt the ad,” the correct response is this: “Test it. Run two versions of the ad. Let’s see if the action step ad hurts my campaign.”

Ron Paul is throwing away an opportunity to change the nation after the Republican National convention in 2012.

No candidate has ever done anything to extend his influence after he loses. But there has never been a candidate like Ron Paul.

I do not understand this.  I do not understand why the person in charge of his campaign is not taking advantage of the opportunity of a generation to change the political climate of the United States.

This article is an ad. Every ad should have an action step. This one has two.

1. Share a link to this ad with every Ron Paul supporter you know.
2. Send a link here: RonPaul2012.

I’m Gary North, and I approve of this message.

Continue Reading on www.garynorth.com

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43 thoughts on “Ron Paul’s Only Strategic Mistake, But It’s a Whopper

  1. Genius article! Completely right-on!

  2. This is exactly what Ron Paul’s campaign manager must do! Great advice!

  3. Kim Strating says:

    Absolutely true! … and I DID follow the action steps!

  4. Bill McCroskey says:

    I would think that Dr. North is still in contact with his former boss (Ron Paul) and has his 'ear.' Why wouldn't Dr. North pass this idea on in person and ask for the actions explained here to be taken? It seems nothng that was written by Dr. North above takes much effort and not only has no cost to Ron Paul but has income potential This appears to be a 'no brainer' on both getting this message to Mr. Paul and his acting upon it.

  5. Great article by a total Ron Paul supporter, Gary North, is here: http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/02/27/ron-pauls
    It's a great idea, and really fits with Ron's present course of educating and influencing Americans, as well as winning the Presidency of course. I hope someone at this site can look at it, and implement.

  6. Well you may or may not be correct with your findings, however I believe the grassroots efforts of the Ron Paul Revolution movement have stepped up for the cause, since before the last election and have been working on the movement tirelessly toward the goals of placing Ron Paul in the Oval Office to assist in returning this country back to its foundation of our forefathers, saving Our Republic and Return America’s Greatness. That is way to date Ron Paul is in 2nd place as far as the delegates are concerned which places Congressman Dr. Ron Paul within striking distance of knocking the “powers that be” controlling the GOP’s Puppets “Mitt” out of the nomination.

  7. The “Powers That Be” continue to black list the truth about CDR. Ron Paul’s support. Here is a link that shows how many Google searches have been placed for CDR. Ron Paul and his opponents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed… . The Revolution will continue on after the election is stolen by the “Powers That Be” Through many organizations that are fed up with the “PTB” To include one of many that I am part of which is WAKE UP AMERICA. Help Save Our Republic info here: http://www.wakeupamerica.com/constitutionalbeliev

  8. The Ron Paul Revolution understands the difference is between the truth and the Worlds Military Industrial War Complex Regime’s Propaganda! That same Military industrial War Complex Regime that President Eisenhower warned us about on January 17, 1961 AD to date over 51 year ago. As Americans we are still ignoring this warning, So Now They Are the “Powers That Be” Either you believe this or not, What you see in most of the political spectrum is all just an illusion created by ”PTB” to keep the people of the world entertained with the puppet shows just enough to distract you so the ”PTB” can work on the agenda of the One World Government or the New World Order. And They Will Not Stop Until We Are All Enslaved! With the exception of a few palliations that openly try to warn us, when they mention this very old cliché “The Devil Is in the Details”, Congressman Dr. Ron Paul is the only candidate left that will Not perpetuate their evil agenda, by returning back to the Foundation of this Great Nation. Returning Back To the Divinely Inspired Creation, The Constitution of The United States of America!

  9. Seriously? Ron Paul has a lot to offer, but NOT as President. He has some wonderful ideas to get the economy on the right track and deficit spending under control, but his foreign policy would be an even greater disaster than Obama’s. Ron Paul can absolutely NOT be President. He realizes this can’t happen, hence his apparent alliance with Romney.

  10. Scott Todd says:

    I'm probably going to tick off a lot of people here but I seem to be getting good at that lately. If Ron Paul does get elected I predict two things- his budgetary ideas will meet strong enough resistance that they'll scarcely be implemented, and that his "let the states decide" philosophy will cause a large upswing in things like legalized drugs, prostitution, and same sex marriage- all three of which are antithetical to what RP claims to believe as a Christian.

    Expounding on the first point- we didn't get here overnight and we won't get out of it overnight. Government subsidies are as addictive as heroin and it'll take time to wean folks off them. On the second, our country will end up going from Bedford Falls to Potterville. At our recent precinct caucuses, there was one RP supporter in my whole district, and he wanted government to get out of the marriage business. I wanted to ream the little twerp but I didn't have my answers as well formulated as I do now. Strong nations depend on strong families, so they in fact DO have a vested interest. Every nation that has accepted same sex marriage has seen marriage rates fall off the charts. And who is making up for it? Middle eastern immigrants who want to conquer the very countries they're moving to.

    If Ron Paul would concurrently emphasize the responsibilities of citizens I'd have less problem with him. If he would repeat what John Adams said about our Constitution being only "for a moral and religious people. It is wholly unsuited to the governing of any other" I'd be one of his biggest supporters. But as it is he's not, and as Star Parker has so aptly observed, RP's supporters are not concerned about social issues, only their own rights, and as such are not much better than OWS.

  11. So Scott, Please Pray Tell All the talking points of the lame stream media! And while you at it, believe all their propaganda about how Congressman Dr. Ron Paul can’t win and how His policies won’t pass and will ruin our ethics as a whole. That is similar to what was said about Governor Ronald Reagan and he became The President. You can’t truthfully say how much support Congressman Dr. Ron Paul really has, or what his constitutional standings will do if the Lame Stream Media along with FOX News Blacks Out that facts.

  12. Nor will they include him in reporting of all the polls much less mention the percent of votes he receives in the ones he is in. They the “Powers That Be” would not tell you the truth about him because he won’t perpetuate their agenda toward their Police State, nor does he seem suave, sophisticated, handsome or as articulate as their concept of Presidential Material. Probably to you and them, he is just a frail old man that has hung around way to long, past his usefulness, just like that old dusty wrinkled documents The Constitution/Bill of Rights and if the third if this country has their way, they will burn that Divinely Inspired Work of Art That Has Been The Backbone of The Longest Republic in History, Making This Nation the Greatest on this Earth! LORD Forbid That will never happen, but if it does I would be willing to guess that you will be running for shelter into the protections of a Congressman Dr. Ron Paul Supporter.

  13. Bill McCroskey says:

    My conservative friends ask 'how can you support illegal drug use that Ron Paul wants to ignore?' I ask them one simple question 'if the illegal drug use/possesion penalty was life in prison, do you think it will change these people's use of these substances?' These and other 'choices' are just that …choices that I personally abhor but like other illegal and 'immoral' issues ….they ARE choices that all the penalties and 'preaching' on my part won't change one wit for those that decide to live that lifestyle. I do appreciate your thinking plus your clear and precise thoughts on why you have issues with RP.

  14. Ron Paul is too old to run. He would not last a year in office. Appoint him Fed head and let him tear it down. At least, he would have fun for a while.

  15. I have heard and read that CDr. Ron Paul is vary physically fit, I believe he could easily serve two terms in the White House. I didn’t see any of the candidates accept to his challenge to a bicycle race.

  16. I guess the Tea Party Economist is censoring the last part of my post to Scott that I have left 3 time now on my reply. For his information on the subject matter, so I will try it again. I have heard that parts of the TEA Party back Newt for president 2012, maybe that’s why.

  17. ONce Again Tea Party Economist is censoring the last part of my post to Scott that I have left 4 times now on my reply. For his information on the subject matter, so I will try it again. I have heard that parts of the TEA Party back Newt for president 2012, maybe that’s why.

  18. Again Tea Party Economist is censoring the last part of my post to Scott that I have left 5 TIMES NOW on my reply. For his information on the subject matter, so I will try it again. I have heard that parts of the TEA Party back Newt for president 2012, maybe that’s why.

  19. Gary is absolutely right, about political ads. I am a professional copywriter and for years, I have wondered why very few political ads contain so much as a single Call to Action (what Gary calls an action step). But it goes further than that. Most political ads don't seem to be selling what they SHOULD be selling. They are promoting name recognition and issues, which are good talking points. But in the end, the candidate wants to "LEAD" the viewer/reader a step closer to voting for him. Note that the ad should NOT be selling the FINAL DECISION, but only the NEXT STEP in the decision process. For example, a candidate who supports the FairTax could say, "Download our free report on how the FairTax would benefit YOU", and give an easy to remember website address. Actually, I would suggest that they pay for the first ad after the break, and add the word "NOW" to the call to action. That would give the viewer time to go to that URL, before the program resumes. The website would collect the email address and email the free report instantly. That would give the candidate an email address where he could send other campaign materials; each containing their own calls to action. Each one should not only provide the voter with more info, but raise new questions that the next call to action promises to answer. Each time the voter follows the call to action, he is subconsciously accepting that this candidate might be worth his vote. In other words, the candidate is breaking down any unreasonable resistance and getting him to think about facts and issues, rather than per-conceived notions about the candidate. At that point, all the candidate has to do is convince the voter that the candidate is right on the issues. These are time tested and proven techniques. They absolutely work. So why don't candidates use them? Perhaps it's because only the lowest common denominator Americans want to become candidates. But whatever the reason, as Gary said, they're missing some great chances to advance their campaigns.

  20. That's the best idea I have heard concerning Paul. Make him Fed Chairman. It gets him out of politics, in general and puts him into a position where he can actually do some good.

  21. Let's see, Obama is the biggest war monger ever and he is a disaster. Ron Paul would stop all of that and his foreign policy would be bigger disaster than Obama?

  22. Maynard Merrell says:

    Ron Paul, a Constitutional Conservative has no alliance with Romney. Paul is consitant politically. Romney, a moderate, is a fence rider, therefore inconsistant. I have been a student of military and para-military waerfare for many years, and I agree with Pauls TRUE foreign policy, not what you have been hearing. Constitutional Conservatives everywhere: TO GETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY!

  23. Maynard Merrell says:

    Constitutional Conservative supporters for Ron Paul unite: TOGETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY!

  24. I think his Foreign policy is the best out there ! That is the main reason we are in debt. I mean do you REALLY believe that,or are you just listening to someone else's wrong mis-information ? Please do some research and you'll see he is right on !

  25. Well said !!

  26. The Catholics don't think the Pope is to old ? Whats wrong with RP ? He has more brains than all the other 3 stooges,has common sense and knows what direction to run our country.

  27. Maynard Merrell says:

    This should be passed on to others. Print and read: http://www.4rie.com/rie%201.html thru 207.html And: http://www.4rie.com/maoninmdex.html To all Constituional Conservatives who suppot Ron Paul unite. TOGETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY!

  28. I see by your picture that you should be old enough to remember President Reagan. That said, you might remember the left wing marxist party howling about his advanced age in 1980 even though he was in excellent physical condition and only 68 years old as compared to Paul’s now 78. The Paul challenge was not answered because they did not want to embarrass him and get into a p@@ssing contest with him. I’ll soon be 70 and I don’t care how far you ride a bicycle at age 78, you will not finish out the first four years. Period.

  29. Esek Hopkins. says:

    The Pope can sleep 16 hours a day and work 4, which I think is a great regime for any 78 or older.

  30. Maynard Merrell says:

    Ron Paul, a Constitutional Conservative, which should mean something to Patriotic freedom loving Americans, belives in the God given individual rights he gave each of as at conception. Two individuals who want same sex marriage could, instead of getting married, simply shackup. Why marriage? You can have love when married or when shacking up, if love is in fact the purpose of either. I think its a little more than love. I think is Sociali security, tax deductions, and the deliberate
    intent to destroy the judao-christian moral values of our country, to make easier for our enemies to conquor us.
    Constitutional Conservatives who support Ron Paul unite. TOGETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY!

  31. Maynard Merrell says:

    When I went to police school I was told that when an alcoholic took his very first drink, he did not know that he would become and alcoholic. I was also told that when a person smikes his first weed, he does not realize that it would not give him enough satisfaction, and that he would move on to heroin etc. Dope dealers know this. Laws governing same sex marriages and narcotics should be left up to individual free States. States Rights and the morality of each individual State, which consists of individualy free peoples. No federal interferrence into the freedom of States Rights, and no govenment interferrence of the State into individual rights- freedom. Laws are to protect individuals from individuals, to promote security, peace and tranquility. When God created each of us as individuals, he gave to us our natural right to INDIVITUAL FREEDOM

  32. Maynard Merrell says:

    Ann Kingsley: Hello Ann. I don't know if I'll get through or not. I keep getting censored in part or in total by the various sites. I guess I say things they don't want the rest of you to hear.. I've been censored twice on this page so far. I question their motive and credibility. I just want to say- keep up the good work! Also, to all Constitutional Conservatives who support Ron Paul- TOGETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY!

  33. Scott Todd says:

    No, not talking points but actual impressions I've had from RP supporters. Most of them don't have the moral compass of our founders and would indeed turn Bedford Falls into Potterville.

  34. Maynard Merrell says:

    John Gnt: I'm not looklinmg at the age of a potential president, but his principles. I'd hate to see a 40 year old communist become president. Smarts comes with age. I'm 82 and still kicking. By the way, how old is Obama?

  35. Maynard Merrell says:

    The las important part of my post to Scott Todd was censored, too.

  36. Ron Paul is NOT too old; Reagan is the oldest person so far to have been elected President. Ron Paul is most likely more fit than you are. Just who are you to make this judgement anyway? He makes more sense than any of the other remaining candidates. Fact is, you simply don't like the man and will use anything against hm just like those idiotic liberals and demonrats who call themselves congressmen/women.

  37. Esek Hopkins says:

    M2, I'm not digging old age, as I'm there also. I know only that, while I am mentally fit enough (and hope to be for a very long time), riding a bicycle is not enough to keep one fit to be president when one is almost 90 (assuming Paul is elected and then re-elected. And if anybody is listening, he has said over and over that the only reason he is running is to get his message out. He has no allusions of victory. Sorry, it is what it is.

  38. Esek Hopkins says:

    Reagan was 10 years younger and very physically fit. He was demeaned by the marxist stream media as too old, if you can remember and he was only 69. He was 78 AFTER two terms and watching him through those eight years, anyone could see the toll it took on him. Sorry, but 78 is too late to begin. BTW, I am a constitutionalist by politics and agree with his fiscal policies, which is why i think he could make a good chairman of the Fed. He could dismantle it it the years he has left. His other policies stink.

  39. Maynard Merrell says:

    I've been censored several times now. Apparently the Tea Party doesn't like freedom of speech, so whose side is it reallly on? Sarah Palin might be able to give us an answer.

  40. Conservative, Libertarian, Freedom loving, censorship a disingenuous oxymoron, unsubscribing the answer!

  41. Maynard Merrell says:

    It is obvious to some of us that the Tea Party has been infiltrated by the same enemis to our country, that infiltrated the Republican and Democrat parties, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which is a puppet for the New World Order, the Global Union. Come on Sarah Palin. Wize up. Constitutional Conservatives- TOGETHER WE CAN BE AN ARMY! .

  42. I agree. It's so obvious I didn't think of it either. How about every one sending Ron a note making a request for the added info. Then all the others will start doing it. but that's OK. If Ron were the 1st then he could lead & they would be following in this.


  43. I relish, result in I found exactly what I was having a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye