The ongoing media blackout on all things Ron Paul is somewhat curious. One blogger calls the Meet the Press crowd knuckleheaded for their omissive reporting of winners and losers. Headlines blare, "Bachmann First, Pawlenty Third!" as if, by not saying Ron Paul's name and crediting him with his earned reward, they can create an alter-reality.
Second is not first. Bachmann's and Dr. Ron Paul's 28.6% and 27.7%, respectively — less than a percentage apart, is a great horse race. Bachmann won by a nose, they would say. If this were the Kentucky Derby, we'd be on the edge of our seats focused entirely on Paul and Bachmann, not focusing excessively about horses at the back of the back, or those hoping to race later.
Real horse races start off at the same point in time and space. Bachmann may have had a bit of a head start in Iowa — although familiarity may also breed contempt, so the degree of that advantage is not known. The Bachmann campaign's purchase and distribution of 6,000 straw poll voting tickets (where a third of those went uncast) also sheds real light on the fundamental power of the very different Paul strategy, and the wide and compelling appeal of his liberty, peace, and small government message.
The omission and outright denial of the intense and growing Ron Paul phenomenon is useful because it tells us many things — some we knew, and some we may not realize.
Mainstream media and the GOP itself seems to be ignoring that the Iowa Straw poll showed, for the first time in this poll's history, a whopping 56% of the voters chose budget hawks, with a proven record of voting "No" on more borrowing. The Cut, Cap, and Balance baloney was pushed by the Republicans in Name Only on every other party member. Paul and Bachmann were among a handful that resisted. Iowa voters, in a state as heavily subsidized and dependent on federal largesse as any other state, seem to appreciate the need for Washington to spend less, borrow less, promise less, receive less.
Media analysts are also not talking about the fact that Paul and Bachmann are popular because they are seen as calmly uncompromising. In Dr. Paul's case, we have a wise, kind and gentlemanly statesman who is always gentle in his policy rebukes, preferring to educate everyone he can on the hows and the whys of limited government. Bachmann, to her credit, promotes an image of a politician who will hold to her principles, not bend to the party elders, or to the good old boys in the House of Representatives. She has been ladylike in her reaction to a number of slights from her fellow GOP'ers, the paranoid left, and government-co-opted media. Many of the attacks on Bachmann have been sexist, related to her photogenicism, her aches and pains, her husband's activities, and her similarities to Sarah Palin rather than whether her candidacy can be categorized as neoconservative, social conservative or populist.
The Iowa straw poll also indicates that there is major division in the GOP — conservatives in and out of the Republican Party, independents, constitutionalists and libertarians find themselves searching for representation. These people — the majority of voters in this country when taken altogether — want a kind of honest simplicity in their politicians. This majority of Americans believe that war should be fought only in defense of America, and that lobbyists, massive international banks and corporations should not be creating policy in D.C. This majority of Americans value the idea of independence and self-ownership. They also value the idea of community helping those in need. This majority of Americans want an equal opportunity on an even playing field, and I suspect, more than anything they want their money's worth from our extremely expensive federal government. They want to know that the government won't inflate away their entitlements, but they also want to know that their children and grandchildren will not suffer for decades of baby boomer excess now that the bills are coming due.
This may be a major reason for media and GOP silence – and outright mockery – of Ron Paul and his rock solid and growing constituency across the land. Paul's popularity today is glaring proof of American disgust with years of Republican Party lies about their frugality, honesty, common sense, and good stewardship of the Republic. Of course, many who fell for Obama's program in 2008 are also disgusted, and they now see that most politicians and presidents say whatever they think we wish to hear, only to conform with an inherited status quo, and willingly compromise, sit, roll and beg.
But there is another reason for the noticeable government and mainstream media silence on Ron Paul's repeated success, and his ever-growing popularity. Ron Paul can win, and if he achieved the GOP nomination he would be our next president. Ron Paul can cut short what will otherwise be an eight-year term of Obama, and end what has been a frantic 12 year federal spending spree that will ultimately lead to serious default, renegotiation and writing down of major categories of debt, and an inflation-ravaged entitlement collapse at home. Gold, guns and survival skills, private security forces, underground food networks, and an explosion in decentralized alternate energies — along with a collapse of governing structures, services, and public schools in many rural or otherwise under populated areas — all this is coming. Leaders who understand how this future was constructed, leaders who engender trust and confidence, and leaders who can wisely and quickly oversee the federal retrenchment that must and will occur — such leaders are few and far between.
Ron Paul is such a leader. We see the field — it contains the sadly overwhelmed Obama, as arrogant, as fascist-friendly and as warlike as FDR, and all the strident Keynesians clawing to the microphone, calling themselves Republicans, and Ron Paul. Of all the men or women we could choose to gently deliver this country through its very difficult rebirth into a new constitutionalism, a new liberty, and a new era of prosperity — Ron Paul is the people's choice. If the people were truly free to choose, they would choose Ron Paul. This is the idea that so terrifies the parasitical political class, and its media handmaids. They cannot bear to say his name. But you can trust that they are closely watching the Ron Paul revolution unfold across the country, as they nervously feed on the decimated and rotting carcass of a once proud Republic.
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here or join her Facebook page. She is currently running for Congress in Virginia’s 6th district.