Misunderestimating Ron Paul's Support
by Rick Fisk
by Rick Fisk
The media, neoconservatives and some Democrats just don't understand why Ron Paul's supporters are so excited, dedicated and diverse. At the most recent PBS debate in Baltimore, the camera panned to catch the first African-American female fighter pilot in U.S. history applauding enthusiastically when Dr. Paul suggested we should bring the troops home from Iraq and every other country they currently occupy. Neoconservative bloggers are aghast at Ron Paul's increasing success as are the neoconservative gatekeepers. This is a truly satisfying result since it was the neoconservative hijacking of the Republican Party which has helped to further decimate our once-great Republic.
In one comment, written as a response to a post at the quintessential neoconservative and freedom-hating blog, Red State, a reader unsupportive of Paul points out the obvious for most neoconservatives, that Ron Paul's ability to raise a million dollars in seven days is "[expletive deleted] scary."
The neoconservative movement is now officially in its dying throes and yet neoconservatives do not take notice. A good example of this can be witnessed in Newt Gingrich's threat to join the crowded field of GOP Presidential candidates. (Eye of) Newt has been touting his ability to bring together a goodly number of intellectuals who will help solve America's problems. What is at the forefront of those problems? Why, it is the threat of Islamic law being instituted in the United States if we were to pull out of Iraq. Seriously, that is what he's saying.
The neoconservatives are banking on a strategy that has worked for them since 1994 (and all governments since the dawn of civilization). If they just pull the kids 'round the campfire and tell them a scary enough story, the kids will flock to their skirts and demand protection. If the story isn't scary enough, then it has to be modified until it becomes sufficiently scary. But at some point, the story becomes so far-fetched that even the true believers have to scratch their heads.
With Ron Paul's entry into the field of Presidential contenders, that tactic is no longer going to work. Ron Paul's early support was made up of those who were either never fooled by this claptrap or have come to understand that they were being manipulated. It only becomes more apparent to them with every utterance by neoconservatives that the scare stories have no basis in reality. Rather than offer something truly different, the neoconservatives are simply upping the ante and labeling it "different." They have discounted Ron Paul's support by claiming that it is much smaller than it appears. This is just another side of the same reality-denying tactic that is killing their movement. Because they cannot acknowledge reality, their influence will completely wither away, sooner rather than later.
Ron Paul's grass roots support is growing daily. Each time he is given a national forum in which to speak, a new flood of supporters joins the cause and his coffers grow (as opposed to Mitt Romney who's coiffeur's coffers grow). In the spaces between these national appearances, the growing body of supporters reaches out to their neighbors and spreads the word.
The neoconservatives on the other hand, believe that they are the keepers of all intellectual truth and that they have enemies both domestic and foreign. The domestic enemies are "liberals" or those whom they label so. The list of "liberals" keeps growing however and their blindness to reality prevents them from realizing that a list of enemies, increased by spite and action and drawn from a static pool of voters, is causing the number of "allies" to dwindle.
If you are thinking that I'm giving away some secret that will tip off neoconservatives and cause them to mend their ways long enough to torpedo Ron Paul's candidacy, don't worry. As Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (ret.) told the San Diego Tribune recently, "this administration is immune to good advice."
The neoconservatives are immune to good advice. Their arrogance and hubris knows no bounds. Even if they were to read this, they would discount it as irrelevant nonsense from a wacko Paul supporter. Since it is only they who have the answers to America's problems, there are no qualified observers who can offer worthwhile advice. Their inability to give criticism any serious consideration is the source of their failures in every policy. Iraq is a great example of this but there are others that can be pointed out such as FEMA's reaction to hurricane Katrina.
We are at the "fight" stage in Gandhi's oft-quoted statement. The neocons are beginning to fight, but they are using the very tactics that do nothing to diminish support for Ron Paul and everything to decrease their own ranks. They think that non-neoconservative voices emanate from brainless liberals, but this isn't why their ranks dwindle. They are incapable of honest self-assessment — the very thing of which they accuse their enemies — thus, neoconservative influence continues to wane. Their knack for projecting their own problems onto others is similar to their knack for projecting U.S. military power all over the globe. It is not "terrorists" who would convert the U.S. to a nation ruled by draconian dictates but the neoconservatives themselves.
Ron Paul's support grows because he is the anti-neoconservative candidate. Where neoconservatives deride those who don't buy their solutions, Ron Paul always assumes the best of both detractors and the merely ignorant. When Bill Maher asked him "Why are Americans so stupid?" he responded, "We're Americans," to point out that all Americans aren't stupid and his task is to inform and enlighten rather than make enemies. What a concept. The most obvious truism for a politician is that he should be expanding his influence rather than alienating voters. This is lost on neoconservatives.
Ron Paul refuses to convert disagreements into personal arguments which create animosity. His tactic is to merely present his side of the argument while acknowledging that this is part of his core belief system and not an indication that those who disagree are stupid or evil. This has trickled down to his supporters who, for the most part, avoid political arguments and instead implore the uninitiated to simply discover for themselves what Ron Paul is saying. This tactic has worked brilliantly. Ron Paul's message is genuinely compelling and his defense of these views has been consistent and dogged over the past 30 years; no matter what obstacles are thrown before him. That is the basis for his supporter's enthusiasm. He truly means what he is saying. Unlike his counterparts, he does not have to waste any words explaining why his votes do not match his rhetoric. His supporters do not have to suffer the nagging feeling that something different would occur if they were to elect him. He has always voted in a manner that matches his speech.
The neocons have no candidate in the race remotely showing the same level of integrity though they appear to be certain that nobody will notice this. They prove by their actions that any talk of truth, honesty or values is just empty, pandering, rhetoric. The number of Paul supporters is increasing because, contrary to neoconservative belief, Americans are not stupid. They just haven't had a decent alternative in 30 years. Well....now they do.
October 1, 2007
Rick Fisk [send him mail] is a 44-year-old software developer and entrepreneur. He is married, has 3 children and resides in Austin, TX.
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