The name has become as synonymous with alternative politics nearly as much as Obama's.
While I do agree that Congressman Paul does have some good points to make and good ideas to try to implement, if he ever were elected as President he would be ineffective at best. An abject failure (in term of his state policies) at worst.
I know there are a lot of Ron Paul minions out there but before you flame me follow:
While a President does set the agenda, to make real, substantive change a President can not do it alone. A President also needs a supporting Congress. A political party, to be successful, needs both a President and controlling majority in the Congress (Senate too would be helpful).
Ron Paul would have neither.
Presuming Ron Paul ran as an Independent and somehow managed to win the Presidency (someday, he isn't getting any younger!) while he would no doubt have the support of some in Congress, "independents" are not a party and as such do not have the party unity needed to control a body like Congress. Ron Paul would have to work at best with a so-so supportive Republican Congress or very adversarial Democrat Congress. The only President to succeed in the latter with in the last 50 years was Ronald Reagan. And Ron Paul is no Ronald Reagan.
A President can not act alone. Even with the power of Executive Orders the President does not have the authority to issue EO's for things like taxes, budgets, military procurement, social programs etc. That ceases to be a President and becomes a dictator. Not something America wants regardless of how blind many people are.
If Ron Paul somehow won the Presidency as a Republican candidate, given his very outsider and controversial history he sure would not have the full unity of the Republicans in Congress behind him either.
So while I like and even agree with some of his stated goals and policy changes, the reality is that if he were to be President he would fall far short of the hopes so many have placed on him. For change may start at the top. But change needs support from below too.
No man is an island.