Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ron Paul - He's Not Just For Bloggers Anymore

This article was originally published in on Oct. 11th, 2007.

Money talks, BS walks. How many times have you heard that phrase? I know I’ve heard it more than twice in my lifetime. It appears that this saying has proven true for the Ron Paul campaign. After raising 5.1 million dollars in the third quarter, over a million of that in the last week, the mainstream news media has suddenly started paying attention. They’ve been ignoring him all this time, perhaps hoping that he’d just go away, while his supporters have steadfastly stood by him and his policies, screaming into the dark abyss of political despondency that Ron Paul was different, that he was worthy, and that he was more popular than anyone was letting on. His supporters have been echoing his stances that freedom works, that a foreign policy of peace and voluntary interaction is better than one of force, and that smaller, less intrusive, limited government is preferable to a nanny/police state. So why is it that the mainstream media and all the political pundits are so surprised when he suddenly raises so much money? Could it be that they’ve not only been ignoring him, but also his supporters? Could it be that they’ve underestimated the power of his message and the capacity for the common American to understand it? And could it be that the reason he’s been scoring so low in the mainstream media polls is because they’ve been polling the wrong people? Or maybe their polls are woefully inadequate. Need I also mention that some of the polls used don’t even mention Ron Paul? Is there a possibility that (gasp) common, ordinary people are actually interested and active in the political process again?

Wolf Blitzer on CNN interviewed Ron Paul about a week ago and did a very good job of letting him express his views, unlike the “fair and balanced” (cough, cough) Bill O’Reiley who kept interrupting him like a little child who doesn’t want to listen when his mommy tells him “no.” Wolf wanted to know why Ron’s message seemed to be resonating with the people and suggested that it was the fact that Ron Paul was the only Republican candidate against the Iraq war. Ron agreed that was part of it, but also suggested that many people are worried about much more than just the war. Indeed, I’m a little worried about the direction this country is taking as I believe are many others. Wolf also suggested that Ron was really a Libertarian because of his views on smaller and leaner government and Ron replied that the constitution defended those positions. Indeed, I believe that his stance on constitutional government resonates well with the common man. There are still many of us common folk out here who are proud or our constitution, who have read it, and who would like to see the government adhere to it, particularly the Bill of Rights. There are still a good many of us American citizens who are proud of our heritage of freedom and liberty and who would like to see it continue into the future rather than being relegated to the trash bin of “that was the world before 9/11.”

“Good Morning America” interviewed Ron Paul the other day and called him a “bona fide grassroots sensation.” The host also called him an old school Libertarian which isn’t strictly true. He’s a Republican with Libertarian views, which is one reason why his candidacy is so exciting. I’ve been voting for Libertarian and other third party candidates for decades because I decided long ago that voting for the lesser of two evils was still voting for evil. I’ve always felt that I should vote for someone who I wanted to hold the office rather than against someone I wanted to keep out of office. Had Ron Paul been a third party candidate he would have been shut out of the debates and his message would have gone unnoticed by most. He would have been shut out of the process by unfair regulations that prevent many good ideas from ever being aired. Such is the nature of our two party system. It purposefully stifles competition. As a Republican, he can debate and raise money with the rest of them, and he’s proven that the message of liberty and freedom, of smaller constitutional government, and of a foreign policy of non-intervention is a message that a great many people can agree with.

I heard a new Ron Paul supporter on a radio talk show a couple of nights back talking about Ron Paul in the latest debate. He said he’d been waiting years to hear a politician say the things Ron Paul was saying while at his podium. He hadn’t heard of Ron until that debate and now that he has heard him he has decided to support him. He’s heard the message and now he will exuberantly tell others that message and that is how Ron’s support has grown all along. In spite of the mainstream media ignoring him, in spite of the anti-Paul bloggers who try to ridicule and berate Ron Paul supporters, in spite of the propagandists who try to condemn Ron Paul’s policies as crazy, impractical, or otherwise unworkable, Ron Paul’s support continues to grow. And Ron Paul supporters proved to be more than just fans watching from the sidelines as their candidate battled with his competition, they get involved. They come out in droves to his rallies. They applaud him loudly at the debates and wherever he speaks. They've voted him into first or second place in many straw polls which has gone unreported in the mainstream media. They put up signs where they can. They write articles when they have the time. They will do whatever it takes to get their candidate elected. And when it came down to crunch time, they put up big time and sent in cold, hard cash. Imagine that. Many of them had never contributed to a political campaign in their lives, and they decided to donate to Ron Paul. That’s how much Ron’s message resonates with the common man, so much that they are willing to give him their hard earned money. I would guess most bloggers haven’t even decided which candidate they want to support yet, let alone sent a campaign donation to anyone.

Ron Paul supporters should be proud. Their generosity has catapulted their candidate from the purview of the blogs to the spotlight of the mainstream media. Now more people than ever will hear his message, and it will make sense to many of them. They will see that he is different, that he is honest and a man of principle. They will know that this man is a good man who can make a genuine difference in the direction this country is taking. Ron Paul will no longer be the Internet candidate that no one has heard of. Even though CNBC took down their Internet poll when Ron Paul was winning with over 70% of the vote, and even though the talking heads still tried to marginalize him afterward, it seems it is too late to stop the freedom train. Too many have heard his message. Money talks. Ron Paul has it. And when a candidate can bring in contributions in the numbers Ron Paul has this quarter, people will listen.

And what do the statist bloggers with the collectivist views have to say about this? What will all the Ron Paul detractors do about this turn of events? Well, to be honest, I don’t know. Perhaps they will try to say that only a few very rich Ron Paul supporters sent in thousands of contributions using thousands of aliases. Perhaps they will come to find that I did it all by myself with my Atari 800 computer. Nah, I doubt that. But will they continue to call Ron Paul and his supporters crazy? Probably. To them the answer to all the ills of society is government, the bigger the better. They worship government and believe it is the only legitimate way to regulate business and personal lives. They don’t believe that we can figure these things out for ourselves, that normal, everyday people can innovate and create new and better ways to do business, create security and otherwise interact with each other. Anyone who thinks different than they do must be crazy, right? Will they continue to call us Ronbots and accuse us of not thinking and blindly following without question? I would guess so. After all, it is natural for a human being to think that everyone else does as he does. Will they continue to make up cutesy names like Rontard to describe us? Almost certainly. Anyone who thinks differently than they do must be stupid or retarded, isn’t that true? Meanwhile, there’s a significant amount of mostly silent people who have been ignoring them and apparently listening to Ron Paul's supporters, and they have just spoken with their wallets. I continue to have faith in the American people. Ron Paul is not just for bloggers anymore.

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