Following his announcement that he is ending his campaign for the 2008 presidential elections, many of Ron Paul's supporters are unsure what to do. Some plan to support Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, while others plan to sit out the election entirely. Still others believe that the best action is to refuse to support any presidential candidate while voting for down-ballot candidates.
But, there remains a solid core of Paul supporters who, in professing a belief in what they consider to be "core conservative values", have chosen to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. They are known among many Republicans as the "Win-by-Losing Cult".
The "Win-by-Losing Cult" maintains a compound in a secret location. In order to have direct communication with its members, one must agree to be taken blindfolded on a two-hour journey in the back of a step van over rough terrain to a cabin in the remote woods outside Boise, Idaho. Upon Paul's announcement, I called up a source and arranged to be driven to the myserious woodland retreat in order to get their reaction to the news.
However, when I arrived, I was met with stony silence. It seems that, upon the announcement that Paul was ending his campaign, members of the Win-by-Losing Cult became so despondent that they couldn't even get out of bed.
They remained there, lying utterly still with their faces covered the entire time I was at the scene. The overall sense of melancholy at the compound was palpable. Not even a groan could be heard as the cult members contemplated the momentousness of their loss. It was as though mass catatonia had settled over the entire group.
As I wandered through the compound, I couldn't escape the sense of doom that had settled over the entire complex. It hung in the air as heavy as the late summer humidity of New Orleans. Only, unlike New Orleans, where a spirit of irony managed to keep a bar open even amid the devastation of Katrina, the compound was bereft of any kind of life.
When I went outside to find the driver who had taken me to the compound, he seemed as mystified by the scene inside as I was. Asked what might have happened, he offered a befuddled shake of the head, a shrug, and a puzzled "Hell if I know." We both stood there at a loss for what to do next.
Finally, I decided to go back inside and do another walk-through in hopes of finding some sign of life that would pierce the overall sense of doom. Then, I discovered the cryptic note that would provide some answer as to what had befallen this eccentric group of political activists.
To Whom it May Concern:
By now, you will have discovered that we are not in much of a mood to talk. Do not mistake this for surrender, for it is anything but. The silence that envelops us is not the silence of a defeated army. It is not the silence of the vanquished.
No, the silence you are experiencing is that of a movement in gestation. We lie still for the moment, conserving the energy that will be required in order to set in motion the chain of events that will leave the world standing in awe upon the return of The One.
Do not concern yourselves with our cause at this moment, for you are incapable of grasping its enormity. You will know its full power soon enough. And, when you do, you will tremble in its shadow. But do not be fearful, for the power that shall be unleashed upon the world is a beneficent one. There will be those who do fear it, but they will do so simply because they do not understand it.
If you do not want to be among the quivering masses when The One returns, educate yourselves. Seek the truth. Find it and spread it hither an yon. Because, when The One returns, all will be put right. I say this to you in the hope that it will lead to the salvation of your conservative soul. You can choose to accept it, or deny it. I trust you will choose wisely. For the truly conservative soul fears not the return of The One, Hale-Bopp. I mean, Ronald Reagan.
And, with that, I sought out my driver. He didn't bother with the blindfold routine for the trip back. It seems he was as bewildered as I was.
All in all, though, having the blindfold on for the trip to the compound wasn't so bad. It made for a new experience on the trip back home. Pretty scenic, actually.