Thunderous applause and raucous cheers rise up each time Ron Paul makes a statement at one of the debates between the Republican presidential candidates. The response seems so disproportionate with that of the other candidates, I’ve heard several people comment about it. Even so, Ron Paul doesn’t seem to exist as far as the mainstream media is concerned.
Ron Paul finished a close second in Saturday’s straw poll in Ames, Iowa. He was just 152 votes short of Michelle Bachmann’s winning tally. But Sunday’s headlines tended to focus on Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, who came in third, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Ron Paul did finally make the news today. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart was talking about how the media seem to be ignoring Ron Paul. At least someone noticed.
But seriously, why the media blackout? Presumably, the media ignore Congressman Paul because they think he’s a fringe candidate, a long shot. But the enthusiastic applause in those early debates and–even more–his strong showing in the Iowa straw poll demonstrate that Ron Paul is more than just another face in the Republican candidate crowd. The media have made the wrong call. Ron Paul can’t be ignored any longer.
Of the top 10 candidates in the straw poll, including Perry’s write-in votes, nine of them have relatively similar platforms. Most of them have indicated that they are in favor of torturing prisoners if it serves America’s interests. Most of them are in favor of continuing our wars and military presence all over the world. Most of them are in favor of expanding the powers of the federal government over the lives of individuals in America and around the world in one way or another. They all represent various similar-but-different shades of the Republican establishment. That establishment received 12,003 votes in Ames on Saturday.
Ron Paul, on the other hand, stands for individual liberty, sound money, and a small, Constitutional government that is accountable to the people it serves. His ideas resonated with 4,671 straw poll voters. Among those who cast ballots for the top ten candidates in the straw poll, one quarter saw that Ron Paul is something different. That’s more than a fringe. That’s a number that can’t be ignored.