It’s a fact: Ron Paul will not be the next President of the United States. Sorry. But the good news is that he can still influence the national dialogue, and might even land a very significant role in the next administration.
Every time Ron Paul’s supporters make the case that he might grab a win in an upcoming GOP primary, that state ends up going to someone else — Rick Santorum’s big win in Kansas is only the latest example of that.
Why can’t Ron Paul win? I think it comes down to two things:
1) The media really IS out to get him. When they aren’t outright ignoring him or cutting him off, they are painting him in a light that is downright derogatory. Take, for instance, this recent piece on Yahoo! News, written by their national correspondent… rather than a random contributor.
“Ron Paul. Elfin ob-gyn goldbug. Ayn Randian. Foe of war, abortion and government. Texan. Rejector of Medicaid, rejector of Medicare. Climate-change sceptic. Keeper of odd company. Espouser of tendentious views.” (Link.)
Oh, OK. Not terribly fair and balanced; I don’t think you’d see Yahoo! News publish a similar piece about President Obama — “Rejector of due process, rejector of judicial review. Anti-marijuana fanatic. Keeper of odd company. Espouser of tendentious views.”
Pretty certain the national correspondent would face an outcry, and lose her sad job, if she published such a paragraph.
And yet it’s OK to paint Ron Paul as a total freak, when he’s trying to win an election.
Look, I get it. I used to be one of those reporters who considered Paul a “crank.” His End the Fed rhetoric sounded too dangerous, and his police state warnings sounded like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.
I think I’d still believe the same about Ron Paul if I hadn’t encountered the police state first-hand: getting pulled over multiple times for no reason at all on a recent cross-country roadtrip… and every time I board a flight, the choice is to either walk through a “microwave oven” full-body scanner, or subject myself to literally having my testicles and other parts of my body squeezed by a stranger in a blue uniform. I’m not alone. Many refuse to travel by air nowadays, after being subjected to treatment that very closely resembles actual molestation.
That’s the very definition of a police state. Surrender of your basic constitutional rights. Ability of the government to lay their hands on you, or search you, or stop your freedom of movement, or instill fear… at any time, without cause.
Of course, I could have reached the same conclusion by watching videos of police pepper-spraying and tear gasing non-violent protesters in California. Or by reading disturbing articles in the press like this one.
But sometimes first-hand experience is what it takes. As one of my readers dryly put it, sometimes it takes a firm ball grab for you to wake up and start doing the right thing.
2) Ron Paul’s foreign policy is not good for votes. GOP primary voters want to live in a fantasy where America is still the only superpower, China does not exist, we have plenty of money on hand for military interventions anywhere democracy is threatened, and our greatest domestic problem is gay people getting married… and illegal immigrants swooping in and stealing our millions of high-paying, emotionally satisfying factory jobs.
When Ron Paul mentioned the “golden rule” in a recent GOP debate, he was booed by the audience. They don’t want to hear do unto others as you’d want done unto you. They want to hear that we’re still #1, that America cannot make mistakes, that we’ll have a moon base (and maybe even a Mars base!) within a few years, and that it is our God-given right to unilaterally start and end wars.
That’s a fantasy the other GOP candidates are willing to feed voters, but it’s something Ron Paul has withheld. And, as a result, he’s unelectable.
The issue Ron Paul should have focused on:
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