The mainstream media is in a bind. Presidential contender Ron Paul is more popular than ever, and it's beyond their pay grade to understand how his message of liberty fits into their narrow left/right statist narrative. So, the newsreaders simply do their best to ignore him. For the Republican Party however, Ron Paul's growing popularity is much more troublesome.
In my 42 years, Republicans have never had to back up their rhetoric. They campaign like libertarians, govern like statists, and "conservatives" will line-up in droves to "support" the party anyway. But living in constant economic decline, with the purchasing power of their dollar eroding, the public has grown tired of the empty rhetoric of Republican politicians, the unsustainable federal debt, and spending trillions of dollars fighting perpetual wars ... only to be rewarded by government agents literally molesting them at the airport.
Ron Paul's growing popularity is shining a bright light on the inconsistencies and lies of the Republican Party establishment, who continue to insist there's such a thing as "compassionate" statism. So they connive their media cronies to ignore Paul, label him as "crazy," and otherwise pretend he's invisible.
Yeah, "crazy." As if printing money out of thin air, spending trillions of dollars that don't exist, and nation-building is somehow "sane."
But regardless of the very real problems facing our country (not to mention a long-term relationship with the party filled with deceit and abuse), the Republican faithful have taken the mainstream media's cue, and are stepping up their attacks on Ron Paul.
Why? I guess to "conserve" the status quo.
But times have changed and the stakes are too high ... have you seen the debt?
Whatever is left of the old conservative/libertarian "fusion," may never be anymore. "About 14% of American voters are libertarian in the sense of broadly opposing government regulation in both the economic and social realms." That means conservatives better start trying to figure out how to make friends instead of pushing arbitrary wedges, and debate topics head-on.
Ted says it better than I ever could below. Please read it. The political landscape in America is changing ...
Why Republicans Will (Probably) Lose to Obama
by Country Thinker
Dear Editor of the Wall Street Journal:
If the Iowa straw poll had not been held in the state where Michele Bachmann was born and raised, Ron Paul would likely have won. Nonetheless, Dr. Paul's strong showing was largely ignored by the mainstream conservative media. Although this paper acknowledged his success, it did so in a one sentence parenthetical — a parenthetical! — that simultaneously dismissed the legitimacy of his candidacy. Let me guess that the savants of the editorial board said the same of Barack Obama in August of 2007.
Silence, dismissal, and condescension of libertarians is standard operating procedure for many conservatives. In his "Open Line Friday" program last Friday, Rush Limbaugh let listeners opine on any subject in the world — except Ron Paul. What a brilliant strategy — kick sand in the face of a core constituency! All of this is done under the guise of "electability," but last I checked, Rand Paul won a Senate seat in 2010. So much for that myth.
What Ron Paul supporters and libertarians want is a fair, issue-by-issue debate, such as the heated exchange between Paul and Rick Santorum on Iran policy during the last debate. Conservatives loathe open debate because all too often undecided and independents are persuaded by the libertarian view. So Republicans, like their fellow statists of the Democratic Party, opt for suppression of political speech.
The bottom line is that the GOP cannot win the White House in 2012 without the libertarian vote, but many libertarians are realizing that supporting the Republican Party is tantamount to abused spouse syndrome. Many libertarians might have held their noses and pulled the lever for a Romney or a Perry, but not with the mistreatment of our preferred candidate. To the conservative media and the GOP establishment: treating libertarians as bad (or worse) than liberals is your prerogative, but don't you dare ask for our vote.
Congratulations, you probably just handed Obama four more years.
End Note: Although I arrived at my observations independently, there are many others who have made similar observations. Examples:
- Roger Simon of Politico — no Paul supporter — agrees here.
- On CNN I heard Stephanie Miller say the following regarding the Santorum-Paul exchange I referenced above:
Rick Santorum broke the golden rule of Republican debate which is to pretend Ron Paul is invisible.
- Bob Murphy shares a pair of videos here that show how the GOP changed the way the results of the straw poll were announced. In 2007 they went from last to first to build suspense. This year they announced Bachmann the winner, and ended. This obviously avoided announcing Paul as the runner-up and near-winner.
If the GOP was a respectable political organization (which it is not), they would tackle the "moon bat" Ron Paul head-on. They would take him out issue-by-issue. (I actually give credit to the whiny Santorum for his aggressive response; he was craving attention and got it, and in the process we heard two divergent views on Iran policy.)
The bottom line is do you really think that a political behemoth that behaves this way can be trusted to govern responsibly? If so, vote for best available RINO and good luck.
Ted Lacksonen (aka Country Thinker) is a husband, father, recovering attorney, editor of The Country Thinker Blog and author of The Eagle Has Crashed. Make sure to add Ted to your regular reading list. You'll be glad you did!