In a recent forum, Ron Paul was asked how he manages to seem "the perfect gentleman" amidst heated political debates where personal attacks are the norm. After stammering a bit about how he often does get caught up in the personal stuff, he said that he works hard to separate the issue from the person, and criticize the issue instead of the person. Because the real problem is not necessarily who is making policy; at the end of the day it's the policies themselves.
This all sounds reasonable. Separate the issue from the person when on the offense. However, it goes both ways. In the hypothetical world where the Ron Pauls of the world are in power and start goofing up, we will have to separate our adoration for the person from our agreement with them on positions, and point out boldly their mistakes.
I wonder if the liberty movement has what it takes to stand up to such a challenge when it comes.
vaguely related: Donald Trump says Ron Paul can't get elected and the RP crowd at CPAC goes nuts (and Ron Paul did not retaliate).