Ron Paul has won 15 straw polls over the course of the 2012 GOP Presidential race, most recently in Illinois. Many national and state polls have him running in the top tier, including third in Iowa and New Hampshire. A recent poll also predicts that Paul would have a strong chance to beat Obama in a general election.
Yet, the media still ignores him, as one recent article ironically points out. Of course, Paul supporters are called paranoid when they point this out, in spite of it being verified by the Pew Research Center.
So, Ron Paul is running a strong campaign with extremely loyal grassroots support, consistent poll numbers, over a dozen straw poll wins, consistent ideology, and great “crossover” appeal in a general election.
As a result, the GOP must disown him. Some pundits have even suggested barring him from GOP debates. Why? There are two issues. First, Paul has refused to unequivocally support whoever the GOP nominee might be, if he does not secure the nomination himself. In a “Fox News Sunday” interview, Paul said:
“But if they believe in expanding the wars, if they don’t believe in looking at the Federal Reserve, if they don’t believe in real cuts, if they don’t believe in deregulation and a better tax system, it would defy everything I believe in. And so therefore I would be reluctant to jump on board and tell all of the supporters that have given me trust and money, then all of a sudden say, ‘All we have done is for naught and let’s support anybody at all because even if they disagree with everything we do.’”
In other words, Ron Paul is way too ideologically consistent and honest for GOP comfort levels. When discussing his refusal to offer blind loyalty, Fox News pundits replied:
Andrea Tantaros said, “Well, if he’s not going to support a Republican, then take him out of the Republican debates.”
Eric Bolling argued that “this is what’s wrong with Ron Paul, right there.” He also added that Tantaros made a “great point.”
You see, Ron Paul broke the 11th Commandment – “Thou shalt not speak ill of any other Republican.” This commandment, proposed by Ronald Reagan, demands absolute devotion to the Party, but Paul’s loyalties reside elsewhere – the Constitution and his supporters.
Now, it is interesting to note that Republican anger over Party disloyalty has only been demonstrated towards Ron Paul. For example, what about Rick Perry’s support of both Al Gore’s 1988 campaign and Hilary Clinton’s health care ideas? Or when Herman Cain called Ron Paul a “grumpy old man,” while delivering compliments for every other candidate?
The second issue for the GOP establishment is that Ron Paul has not ruled out running as an independent or third-party candidate. He has flatly expressed that he does not wish to do so, but only because he is seeking the Republican nomination. However, Paul is not running for Congressional reelection and he has only stated that he has “no intention” of pursuing a third-party nomination; certainly a non-binding statement.
So these are the two obvious issues for the Republicans – no blind loyalty to another nominee and unwillingness to rule out running without the Party’s anointing.
But, there could be another major problem. Ron Paul supporters are made up of Tea Partiers, constitutionalists of various stripe, libertarians, and even some Democrats (particularly the antiwar voters). If Ron Paul won the nomination, the face of the GOP would be altered, perhaps forever. GOP conventions would be flooded with people in t-shirts. T-shirts! These sorts of shenanigans have already caused a problem in California where Paul supporters showed up in t-shirts that said, “I’m voting for peace!” It was a horrid, frightening scene that, doubtless, left many shaken.
That would be the least of their problems, however. If Ron Paul became the face of the Republican Party, their leader, and rallied his supporters to the Party, they would be called back to the Constitution – not in lip service, but in policy. They would have to stop warmongering because their nominee would not sign off on it, if in the Oval Office. They would be called upon to downsize government and end the trampling of civil liberties in the name of “national security.”
Karen Kwiatkowski recently wrote:
“Political conditions in the United States are ripe for new alignments, and the fundamental common sense constitutionalist is now found in lots of places they were never found before. Former Democrats, especially those that are antiwar, are increasingly coming to understand that the Federal Reserve and crony capitalism is responsible for both the warfare state and the welfare state. This awareness leads many Democrats to increasingly welcome a smaller, less grasping state.”
“But the GOP is constrained by a paradigm that says animosity and disgust for the Obama Administration, if it could be sustained long enough, will drive those dissenting constitutionalist dogies back into the fold of the Grand Old Party, obedient and branded.”
I have recently argued that Republicans need big government just as much as the Democrats do, though they are packaged differently. America has, in effect, a one-party system: the Big Government Party. Judge Andrew Napolitano pointed out, that the Big Government Party has two versions – “There is a Republican version that assaults our civil liberties and loves deficits and war, and a Democratic version that assaults our commercial liberties and loves wealth transfers and taxes.”
Ron Paul is a problem for both “versions.” So, could it be that, in spite of his campaign successes and general election appeal, the GOP is intentionally trying to excommunicate Paul? Absolutely. His nomination as the Party candidate or as President would energize the movement towards small government in America and bring a rapid halt to the American Empire (as President, he would have the authority to immediately end all undeclared wars).
He has refused to support those who support expanding war, the Federal Reserve, and other chaotic economic policies. This spells big problems for the GOP and, given our current one-party system, for the entire American political establishment.
The current GOP task is to restrain Ron Paul, bring an end to those annoying small government movements, and corral everyone back into the fence, while appearing supportive of their concerns. There is a vast Right-wing conspiracy, but it’s not the ushering in of a Moral Majority utopia. It is the preservation of empire.
But, to quote Karen Kwiatkowski once more: “Call it karma, or history repeating, but I’m calling it now. By the time the GOP controllers realize that the Tea Party Constitution Liberty and Peace Train has left the station, the Grand Old Party will have gone the way of the Whigs in 1852.” I agree. Too many Americans now have a taste of freedom, and it is far sweeter than the taste of blood offered by endless war, debt, and empire.