Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Despite accusations by some that Ron Paul is being ignored by the mainstream media, there has been an uptick in coverage of the good doctor’s campaign. Scan the channels and you’re likely to see Ron Paul’s face more than once.
The fact remains, however, that many media outlets dismiss Ron Paul’s candidacy as a chimera. Even a cursory review of the headlines in scores of newspapers and magazines reveals the prevailing wisdom that Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney are all more viable choices than the congressman from Texas.
Evidence of such relegation to second banana status on the part of the traditional sources of news is everywhere. Take for example the fact that CNN spotlighted a Sarah Palin appearance instead of covering a speech by Ron Paul, a declared candidate for president. As the U.K.’s Telegraph put it:
In a particularly shoddy bit of reporting, CNN refused to cover Ron Paul’s speech in preference for footage of Sarah Palin. The show’s host told his roving reporter, “If you get video of Sarah Palin or a sound-bite from her, bring that back to us. You can hold the Ron Paul stuff.”
Recently, an article published by The Moderate Voice online refuted the notion that Ron Paul can’t win, however, arguing: “It’s hard to tell if the idea that Ron Paul cannot win in 2012 is more ignorant, in its complete lack of historical sophistication, or more arrogant, in its claim to certainty amid all the complexity of 300 million lives and the myriad issues that affect them.”
There is little doubt that there are thousands of people in this country of 300 million who have legitimate reason to fear a Paul presidency. First, those dependent on the nanny state to feed, clothe, and house them. Second, the corporate welfare cheats that rely on the largesse of government that keeps their businesses “too big too fail.” Third, the globalist elites that have come to rely on their congressional and executive co-conspirators to perpetuate the prosecution of the “Global War on Terror” and the concomitant obliteration of all constitutional strictures against such entanglements.
Why is Ron Paul such an enigma? There are several likely reasons. First, his reliably consistent libertarian views anger those in the media and in the Establishment who benefit from a two-party system. A man such as Ron Paul, who doesn’t fit neatly within the lines of the political Venn diagram, confounds the elites and confuses many others.
As a libertarian, Ron Paul is unapologetically both fiscally conservative and anti-war. The latter position is generally thought of as typical of a Democrat. Just when you think you have him pegged, however, you learn that Dr. Paul is an ardent foe of government entitlement programs across the board. This is a longtime plank of the conservative Republican platform. Then, there is the notion espoused by Ron Paul that government needs to keep its nose out of the business of the governed. For example, he opposes the “war on drugs,” the “war on terror,” and pretty much every other unconstitutional intrusion of government into realms outside its approved bailiwick. This bent is attractive to independents, but certainly not to either mainstream Republicans or Democrats. These ideological intricacies are difficult for many to process.
Although he is an engaging speaker and a deep thinker, Ron Paul often relies on the lessons of history to buttress his claims. For example, his opposition to the several foreign invasions being carried out across the globe, Congressman Paul points out that war is generally just an excuse for the expansion of government. As described in a recent London Telegraph article:
According to the Ron Paul history of the United States, the innate goodness of the American people was corrupted by war with foreign powers. War excused the growth of the state: taxes were created to pay for arms, welfare to buy the consent of the public, prison for the dissenters. What began as a temporary measure to expand the American empire evolved into a monolithic central state. Patterns of traditional living — small, simple, charitable — were absorbed or destroyed by the new “progressive” bureaucracy. Ergo the state, fueled by war, became the motor of social decay.
A good rule of thumb I’ve discovered is that critics who claim Rep. Ron Paul doesn’t understand the Constitution are themselves the ones whose knowledge is deficient.
For example, Scott McKeag, a teacher in the Iowa City School District, came down hard on the congressman in these pages for denying that the federal government has a role in education according to the Constitution. The congressman further believes that education is better managed by states, localities, and parents.
McKeag cites the Constitution’s “necessary and proper” clause to justify the federal Department of Education, which opened its doors in 1980.
Let’s tick off the problems with this howler.
First, Alexander Hamilton noted in Federalist No. 33 that the necessary and proper clause was inserted merely for clarification and did not augment federal power at all. He even said the Constitution would be exactly the same if that clause were “entirely obliterated.” Appealing to the clause to carry the burden of justifying federal involvement in education — which is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution — is asking it to do much heavier lifting than even Hamilton, the broadest of constitutional constructionists, thought it could bear.
Second, George Nicholas, future attorney general of Kentucky, told the Virginia ratifying convention (and remember, according to James Madison, it is to the ratifying conventions that we turn for constitutional interpretation) that the clause “only enables it [Congress] to carry into execution the powers given to it, but gives it no additional power.” Many other statements to this effect can be found in the documentary records of the ratifying conventions.
The Rev. Al Sharpton began his new career as an official MSNBC talk show host on Monday by telling viewers not to expect James Brown.
“I’m not going to be a robotic host reading the teleprompter like a robot,” he said. “Nor am I going to come in here and do the James Brown and do the ‘electric slide’ to prove to you that I’m not stiff,” he added, waving his arms in a rough approximation of a dance move. “I’m going to say what I mean and mean what I say.”
And that may be the problem with Mr. Sharpton’s cable news pulpit: what he means to say is in lockstep with every other MSNBC evening program, making the stretch between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. a nonstop lecture on liberal values and what is wrong with the Republican Party.
MSNBC long ago cast itself as the liberal counterpoint to Fox News. Its star muckraker, Keith Olbermann, left MSNBC and took his show to Current TV in June, but other progressive hosts, particularly Rachel Maddow, have continued to attract viewers — not nearly as many as routinely watch Fox News, but more than for less partisan shows on CNN. MSNBC, which found success by preaching to the converted, has now hired an actual preacher.
10. Dr. Paul works a real job, has run a small a business and served in the military. He has been a physician for 40 years, co-owned a coin store for 12 years and was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. National Guard for five years. That was how our country was set up — for public servants to work a real job that they returned to after their public service was done. He has real skills and is not a professional politician.
9. Dr. Paul has decades of experience running a business and in depth knowlegde of health care.
8. Dr. Paul understands money and is chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology.
7. Dr. Paul does the right thing referencing the U.S. Constitution and works for the country versus campaigning for his ego. He has been serving the public in politics for over 40 years.
6. Dr. Paul refuses to accept a federal pension for his public service, something other members get after a short period because they do not have real jobs. According to Dr. Paul, to receive a pension for public service would be “hypocritical and immoral.”
5. Unlike most other candidates out there, Dr. Paul is not a good-looking, smooth-talking, snake charmer or charismatic zealot. He is a regular, plain-spoken person who says it the way it is.
4. Dr. Paul doesn’t care if big groups like him (like unions and businesses). His donations come primarily from individuals, not from groups. He is willing to serve his country honorably without personal gain. Dr. Paul will do what is right for the U.S. based on the Constitution whether or not big money or big government likes it.
3. Dr. Paul has written a bill, called the Sun Light Rule that requires our politicians have at least 10 days to read bills before signing them.