Ron Paul vs. The World

It seems that mainstream media is a bit confused on how to handle Ron Paul, who may turn out to be the greatest opponent they have had in recent history. They are conflicted between ignoring him, attacking him for being the crazy loon or recognizing that they might start delegitimizing themselves as reporters and credible news outlets if they continue down this road of intellectually dishonest political gamesmanship.

It all began in May of 2011 when Ron Paul stood out as the fore runner of the Greenville, South Carolina debates where he clearly stood out as the candidate of choice on post debate polls despite Fox pundits declaring Herman Cain as the winner by focus groups. Ron Paul went on to earn just over $1M in first round fundraising support in the 24 hours following the debates rather than participate in the media’s post debate circus.

Later in June of 2011 at the Manchester, New Hampshire debate, again little was said by the mainstream media about Dr. Paul’s performance and again the media conversation was shifted to discussions about the “real top tier candidates”. Some analysis by media organizations actually tried to frame this debate as the “first major debate” of the presidential race and completely excluded him from their analysis of winners and losers of the debate in further attempts to marginalize Paul’s win both in Greenville and Manchester while at the same time declaring Romney as the winner. Yet every online poll you can find consistently places Ron Paul as the winner with at over 50% and usually with at least a 30% lead over other contenders. Any real analysis would have declared Ron Paul a winner by a landslide.

Since the Iowa state poll, Ron Paul has been in a not so public but not so private, secret war with the mainstream media over coverage of his campaign. The battle lines were first drawn by Ron Paul supporters claiming that there was an intentional “blackout” by media outlets to ignore him and subsequently sideline his campaign for presidency. While this may have sparked a debate in media circles about whether or not he should be just ignored or just outright attacked and marginalized, it pretty much confirmed that the mainstream media is not interested in legitimizing Ron Paul as a candidate. Despite the fact that he has a legitimate and growing tides of public support from Republicans, Libertarians, Independents and Democrats alike. People generally like his message and more importantly, they know he’s genuine about it. Something we may not have seen in our politicians in decades.

Ron Paul didn’t just come in second for the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa but in nearly any authentic analysis it would be considered a tie. Unfortunately, the Ames Straw Poll doesn’t have a statistical margin of error and without it you can’t judge the tie on a statistical basis. Very convenient for those who do not want to acknowledge Ron Paul as a legitimate candidate and marginalize him; which they did, fervently and quickly. Without even a baited breath the media immediately announced Rick Perry as the front runner for the Republican Party without any concrete evidence of him actually having any real public support.

Ron Paul was not dismayed by this and viewed the Ames Straw Poll as the victory that it was despite the media establishment’s refusal to acknowledge it. Ron Paul moved forward and continued to rally his own base and increase his political war chest. His birthday “Money Bomb” netted over $1M according to Paul’s website as a follow up to his the launch of his official political action committee which raised $700K in February of 2011. Despite this, the media continued to give no credibility to Dr. Paul.

At first glance Paul’s performance at the recent Simi Valley, California debate might have seemed less cohesive and lacking the public response garnered by his previous performance. However, it is important to note that this event was hosted by the very people Dr. Paul has been fighting for legitimacy with and the performances by all the candidates seemed to be a bit lackluster. The Internet meme that emerged following the debate regarding an incident caught off the air but in camera by Reuters Photographer Mario Anzuoni depicted Rick Perry having a less than gentlemanly and possibly abrasive “word” with his esteemed Congressman and fellow debate. To his credit Ron Paul dismissed anything less than congenial about the exchange and was laughing about it when questioned by reporters the following day.

What is most important about the exchange between Ron Paul and Rick Perry both on and off camera was that Rick Perry, unlike the media, understands that Ron Paul is very much the man to beat and he validated that by his debate remarks with Dr. Paul. Despite Perry’s attempts to come out of the exchange in the debate with the upper hand, Politico, one of the hosts of the event along with NBC has already published numerous articles on their website that declare Ron Paul as the de facto winner of their debates. Even more telling are the MSNBC and NBC online polls show the same consistent results we’ve now come to expect from Ron Paul as the winner by a landslide with the debate audience.

So far, Ron Paul has won all three national debates, exceeded every campaign finance goal and energized his base while taking on not only the Republican establishment and the Obama administration but the media establishment as well. The media might want to reconsider their approach to dealing with Ron Paul because he is quickly proving, despite their attempts to ignore the facts, that he is very seriously a force to be reckoned with.

The media and the liberal establishment tried to repudiate the legitimacy of the Tea Party movement in 2010. When they did, they were caught red faced and looking foolish for ignoring the reality that so clearly surrounded them. Ron Paul’s political team knows how to win elections. He has shown not only with his own political career but the recent rally and win of his son, Rand Paul’s campaign in 2010. He has momentum, populace support, financial backing and even a message that some liberals just might embrace; an anti-war, anti-corporatism, anti-prohibitionist, peace, liberty and freedom platform. He is staunchly an advocate of constitutional government, sometimes comes off as too smart for his own good and even a bit old but isn’t that what American’s really want; Uncle Sam as president?

Ron Paul has the record to back up his views and the credibility of having been on the right side of the argument historically. After all, this is the same man who, when Reagan’s policies went south, he didn’t just follow suit, he even took on Reagan and walked away from the Republican Party over bad policies. He warned us about the Patriot Act, he warned us about Iraq and Afghanistan and he even warned us about the housing bubble. While we’ve been enamored and mislead as a country by a Texas drawl and Chicago smooth talker into an economic and geo-political nightmare, Ron Paul has been that honest uncle in the family who nobody wanted to listen to because we were too caught up in promises that couldn’t be kept. Now like children who don’t want to be told they were wrong, the media sticks their thumbs in their ears and says “la, la, la, I can’t hear you”.

In a political environment where the majority of Americans are clearly dissatisfied with the status quo of the establishments political partisanship, Congressional lobbyism, Presidential authoritarianism, military war-mongering and corporate greed, Ron Paul is most definitely capable of not only taking them on, he’s showing he can do it and win; with or without the support of the media. After all, who better than a bastion of liberty, to understand the value of the truly “free press”. That spirit is still alive and well in the new media world of social networking and digital publishing and Ron Paul isn’t being ignored by it either. It sure isn’t ignoring him.

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