Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ron Paul: An Enigma Who Could be the Next President

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Despite accusations by some that Ron Paul is being ignored by the mainstream media, there has been an uptick in coverage of the good doctor's campaign. Scan the channels and you're likely to see Ron Paul's face more than once.

The fact remains, however, that many media outlets dismiss Ron Pauls candidacy as a chimera. Even a cursory review of the headlines in scores of newspapers and magazines reveals the prevailing wisdom that Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney are all more viable choices than the congressman from Texas.

Evidence of such relegation to second banana status on the part of the traditional sources of news is everywhere. Take for example the fact that CNN spotlighted a Sarah Palin appearance instead of covering a speech by Ron Paul, a declared candidate for president. As the U.K.s Telegraph put it:

In a particularly shoddy bit of reporting, CNN refused to cover Ron Paul's speech in preference for footage of Sarah Palin. The shows host told his roving reporter, "If you get video of Sarah Palin or a sound-bite from her, bring that back to us. You can hold the Ron Paul stuff."

Recently, an article published by The Moderate Voice online refuted the notion that Ron Paul cant win, however, arguing: Its hard to tell if the idea that Ron Paul cannot win in 2012 is more ignorant, in its complete lack of historical sophistication, or more arrogant, in its claim to certainty amid all the complexity of 300 million lives and the myriad issues that affect them.

There is little doubt that there are thousands of people in this country of 300 million who have legitimate reason to fear a Paul presidency. First, those dependent on the nanny state to feed, clothe, and house them. Second, the corporate welfare cheats that rely on the largesse of government that keeps their businesses too big too fail. Third, the globalist elites that have come to rely on their congressional and executive co-conspirators to perpetuate the prosecution of the Global War on Terror and the concomitant obliteration of all constitutional strictures against such entanglements.

Why is Ron Paul such an enigma? There are several likely reasons. First, his reliably consistent libertarian views anger those in the media and in the Establishment who benefit from a two-party system. A man such as Ron Paul, who doesnt fit neatly within the lines of the political Venn diagram, confounds the elites and confuses many others.

As a libertarian, Ron Paul is unapologetically both fiscally conservative and anti-war. The latter position is generally thought of as typical of a Democrat. Just when you think you have him pegged, however, you learn that Dr. Paul is an ardent foe of government entitlement programs across the board. This is a longtime plank of the conservative Republican platform. Then, there is the notion espoused by Ron Paul that government needs to keep its nose out of the business of the governed. For example, he opposes the war on drugs, the war on terror, and pretty much every other unconstitutional intrusion of government into realms outside its approved bailiwick. This bent is attractive to independents, but certainly not to either mainstream Republicans or Democrats. These ideological intricacies are difficult for many to process.

Although he is an engaging speaker and a deep thinker, Ron Paul often relies on the lessons of history to buttress his claims. For example, his opposition to the several foreign invasions being carried out across the globe, Congressman Paul points out that war is generally just an excuse for the expansion of government. As described in a recent London Telegraph article:

According to the Ron Paul history of the United States, the innate goodness of the American people was corrupted by war with foreign powers. War excused the growth of the state: taxes were created to pay for arms, welfare to buy the consent of the public, prison for the dissenters. What began as a temporary measure to expand the American empire evolved into a monolithic central state. Patterns of traditional living small, simple, charitable were absorbed or destroyed by the new progressive bureaucracy. Ergo the state, fueled by war, became the motor of social decay.

The lesson, then, to be learned from the official disdain for Ron Paul and his chances of being elected president, is that Republicans cant understand many of his positions and Democrats find him too slippery. Independents, on the other hand, are befuddled by his loyalty to the Republican party, which they view as obsolete and part of the problem.

All of this works against Ron Paul. Furthermore, given the predilection of journalists to hype some candidates while ignoring others, a sense of inevitability often lulls into an inert stupor those good people who would otherwise vote for a candidate labeled as a dark horse. There is hope, however, as history provides one relatively recent example of a radical change in the direction of a country precipitated by an astounding and unexpected election night victory.

Witness this brief rehearsal of recent British history from The Moderate Voice article quoted above:

Three months after the entire nation poured into the streets to cheer this great leader (the man a few years ago voted by Britons the greatest Briton of all time), Churchill went to the country in a general election to retain his position as prime minister. There was simply no way he could lose. The best slogan the Labour party, his opposition, could come up with was, Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour.

And amazingly, that is exactly what the nation did. Churchill was defeated. No one anywhere including the people of Britain who voted in the election had even thought about the possibility. No newspaper had considered it. After all, the election was a foregone conclusion in Churchills favor. And yet an unseen, perhaps unconscious, will of the people caused a cultural and political phase-change in the British nation that they neither knew they wanted nor knew they had the power to cause.

Many historians now say that the unseen sentiment that produced this result that shocked not just the British but the whole world was the idea that all the blood and treasure lost to maintain the freedom of the British empire and the Western world demanded something more than continuation of the old political settlement. After a huge crisis, the people wanted a whole new system. In 1945, the Labour Party, with its vision of state-delivered cradle-to-grave security of health and basic material well-being (welfare state), in some way met that national desire for a grand political change.

Following what was in fact a landslide victory for the Labour party, the character of the nation changed massively, and more change rapidly followed in the British identity, as an empire was lost and the mantle of the worlds greatest power was handed to the U.S.A.

Finally, there are among both major political parties who are disillusioned and feel that they have been betrayed by those carrying their respective banners. Perhaps in November they will rally round Ron Paul, recognizing that he alone among all the candidates for president offers consistent and constitutional cures for the economic and social ills that plague our nation. He can win. One vote at a time.

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