Saturday, January 21, 2012



We’re heading into the South Carolina primary tonight and, to hear the news media tell it, this is a race among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and, maybe Rick Santorum. Ron Paul, the same Ron Paul who came in third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, and well ahead of Newt Gingrich in both races, is nearly completely ignored. Here is how the Wall Street Journal treated Dr. Paul, at the end of the third last paragraph of a multi-page article that began on page A1 of today’s (Saturday/Sunday, 1/21-1/22/12’s) paper:

A fourth candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, has also drawn a solid share of the votes.

Ron Paul, apparently, barely exists and is certainly not worthy of notice, even by the paper that hypocritically prides itself as the champion of free markets and free men.

We all know the arguments: Ron Paul can’t win the nomination, let alone the election because he is such a radical. Dr. Paul is an old crank. Congressman Paul doesn’t want to win; he just wants to make a statement. Dr. Paul will not do well in South Carolina because of the heavy military presence in that state (this even though no one has drawn more contributions from military personnel than has Ron Paul), and, even, Ron Paul knows that he cannot become president and is just paving the way for his son, Senator Rand Paul, to make a future run for the presidency.

I’m not here to say that Dr. Paul will win the GOP nomination; the country, and even the hyperhypocritical Republican Party, has probably gotten far too comfortable with big government to elect someone who considers the Constitution more than a stumbling block around which government must work to “get things done.” But if Congressman Paul continues to attract the percentages of the votes he has won so far, and the so called “conservative” candidates, or candidate, continue to make Mitt Romney’s seemingly inevitable waltz to the nomination more like a slog, Dr. Paul just might win. And even if, as is likely, he doesn’t, it is virtually guaranteed, given his widespread and devoted support and his guerilla type campaign, that he will be one of the last two candidates left standing and thus will probably be the runner-up at the GOP convention.

No matter what happens in the Republican presidential race, Dr. Paul will continue to be a formidable presence in the selection process. He deserves some respect, or at least more notice, from a press that is alternately condescending toward and bewildered by the success of a genuine Constitutionalist who takes the voters for more than automatons who cannot handle more than monosyllabic sound bites. Perhaps it is that last characteristic that is Dr. Paul’s undoing, but I digress.

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