Ron Paul ahead, media focuses elsewhere
In the Republican presidential race there is one person who has thus far won more straw polls than any other. This candidate handily won the Conservative Political Action Committee straw poll two years running, recently took first place in the Republican Southern Leadership Conference straw poll and took top honors in the Tea Party’s first annual American Policy Summit online straw poll.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX, is this person. But if he is doing so well, why haven’t we heard more about him? Paul is no newcomer to the political scene. He has far more experience than our current president, as well as most of the other Republican presidential contenders.
Paul came to politics from an unusual direction. He is an obstetrician by trade, and made a living delivering babies for many years before running for Congress. He got into politics not to gain power or promote social justice, but to protect the individual liberties of Americans from what he saw to be an over-reaching federal government that had overstepped its Constitutional bounds. He ran for president in 1988 on this platform. This was back when Gov. Rick Perry was Al Gore’s campaign manager in Texas and Bachmann was an attorney working for the IRS.
Paul has made a strong showing this campaign season, yet the mainstream media insists upon pretending he does not exist. After finishing second place behind Bachmann in the recent Ames straw poll in Iowa by only 152 votes, media outlets went the extra mile to ensure Paul received no mention.
“Will it come down to Perry vs. Romney?” a CNN International headline read.
“Fourth place finish in Iowa straw poll revitalizes Santorum’s campaign,” claimed the Kansas City Star.
Scores of other headlines highlighted Bachmann’s victory, still failing to mention in the bulk of the articles the fact that Bachmann and Paul were in a statistical tie, separated by only a fraction of a percentage point. With every major Republican candidate running to Paul’s platform, and all indicators showing Paul is both strong with his base as well as with independents, the media’s black hole surrounding him has started to look very fishy indeed.
Many conservatives believe that the liberal media obsesses over and attacks people like Sarah Palin and Bachmann because they are afraid of them. This is not the case.
They focus on these people because they are crude caricatures of the political right that can be set up and knocked down for all to see. Who they are truly afraid of is a man like Paul, a military veteran who opposes policing the world and truly supports free markets. Paul is a Christian who has no scandals to speak of, and doesn’t force his beliefs upon others. He is a principled member of Congress who can articulate a conservative position without putting his foot in his mouth. And he is a man who has been steadfast in his support for the Constitution and to individual liberties — including the liberty to do things that some deem offensive.
In short, Paul is a threat to the establishment. A threat like Paul is better kept hidden from view than placed in the spotlight where others might find out how much they agree with him.
Steven Christopher is a graduate finance student in the C.T. Bauer College of Business and may be reached at [email protected].