Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Politics and Entrepreneurship

Congressman Ron Paul's quest for the Republican presidential nomination has generated far more grassroots entrepreneurial activity than the average presidential campaign. Individuals have set up web sites that sell bumper stickers, lapel badges, hats, yard signs, gold coins, and endless forms of kitsch and memorabilia. For the most part, these budding enterprises are created by Americans otherwise unaffiliated with Ron Paul or his campaign staff.

The most notable grassroots effort, so far -- though not entrepreneurial per se -- was the November 5th "moneybomb" that raised more than $4 million for the Ron Paul campaign, setting a one-day on-line fundraising record.

Whatever success Ron Paul has in the upcoming caucuses and primaries will be due, in no small measure, to his eschewing of top-down control of the campaign in favor of a grassroots, "let a thousand flowers bloom," bottom-to-top motivation of voters, donors, and volunteers.

I just learned about the latest pro-Ron Paul effort that may also have the ancillary effect of bringing profits to its creator: A web site selling "Gays and Lesbians for Ron Paul" apparel.

Who knows? Tomorrow at your favorite gay gym, you may see someone on the treadmill next to you wearing a Ron Paul for President t-shirt -- in rainbow colors.

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