He doesn’t have enough hope and change:
Practiced as he is in the art of argumentation, Gavin, in the end, fails to fully persuade. He is mostly right that politicians should “stop trying to get us to stand up and cheer” and “start persuading us to sit down and think.” But he has too low an opinion of high rhetoric. As Richard Goodwin, who drafted speeches for John and Robert Kennedy and for Lyndon Johnson, has written, the basic purpose of political rhetoric is to “move men to action or alliance.” To accomplish this, a speaker has to be able to modulate, to hit a range of notes on the scale — including, at times, the highest. True leaders exhort as well as explain.
Yes, “thrill-talk,” as Gavin insists, often gives wings to “impossible dream[s]” and “inevitable disappointment.” But the words that excite us are also the words that can change us — words that stretch our national sense of self, that make us believe we really can end Jim Crow and win a war and put a man on the moon. Not every dream is an impossible one.
Ron Paul is neither witty nor inspiring when he speaks. He is incapable of speaking in sound bites, incapable of being pithy. And he does not inspire people with his rhetoric. Those who support him are not inspired by what he says but by what he represents. They believed in liberty and were committed to supporting it before they even heard of Ron Paul. They drank the Kool-Aid before he even served it, so to speak.
But Ron Paul’s central failing is highlighted above. He wishes to get people to sit and think, not stand and feel. In modern American politics, people don’t want to think, they want to feel, which is how Obama managed to get elected. Thus, Ron Paul’s political method is better suited for a different era, one in which presidents didn’t travel the country endlessly to stump, speak, speechify, appear on TV and radio, and engage in inane debates. Ron Paul is 19th century politician trying to win a 21st century election; don’t be surprised if he loses.