WEST CHESTER, Pa., May 22, 2012 — The mainstream media continue to discount Ron Paul as a factor in the race for the Republican nomination, even though he and his supporters could become serious contenders when the convention meets in August. Paul continues to rack up delegates in such states as Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado.
Strangely, in spite of the success of Paul’s strategy in accumulating delegates, many pundits insist that Paul remains a nonfactor. These same pundits continue to claim that electorally Ron Paul cannot win the Republican nomination, and while the media miss the mark by discounting Paul as a contender, they miss the truly “big story” of the 2012 election. That is, that Ron Paul, mobilizing both young and old with his message of liberty tempered by personal responsibility, and government power tempered by accountability, has already won far more than the election. He has won the trust and the imagination of the people, Rocky Balboa-style.
Consider the issue of the Federal Reserve, where Dr. Paul has been an outspoken critic of the Fed’s policies for years. When Paul proposed a bill to audit the Federal Reserve in 1983, he had not a single Republican or Democrat who was willing to co-sponsor the measure. When he reintroduced it in 2011, every Republican and several Democrats in the House signed onto Paul’s bill.
Almost every Republican candidate vying for the nomination this year supported a full independent audit of the Federal Reserve, and many demanded that Chairman Bernanke be fired. Texas Governor Rick Perry, when asked about future quantitative easing by the Fed, went further than most Republicans when he said, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous – or treasonous in my opinion.” Paul’s views on the Federal Reserve are no longer outside the mainstream. According to a survey published by Bloomberg in 2010, most Americans believe that the Fed should be severely reigned in or altogether abolished. These numbers are probably higher in 2012 considering that Fed policies have not pulled us out recession.
Some Republicans like Ron Paul’s ideas when it comes to issues that are economic, but most haven’t completely embraced his views on foreign policy. Despite GOP objections, most of the American people and American troops agree that it is time for the United States to stop policing the world and engaging in nation building missions. Several polls have shown that more than half of the American people agree that it is time for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan. Further, according to a poll conducted by CBS, one in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 conflicts believe that America’s presence overseas and the wars America is currently fighting are no longer worth the cost. This probably explains why Paul receives more campaign contributions from members of our military than Obama or Romney.
Republicans are beginning to slowly come around to Paul’s view of foreign policy. This was evident when many conservatives stood with the Congressman in opposing the Libyan conflict overseas. In a recent speech, Florida Senator Marco Rubio talked about the growing divide in the Republican Party between interventionists and non-interventionists. He went on to say: “Until very recently, the general perception was that American Conservatism believed in a robust and muscular foreign policy … But when I arrived in the Senate last year I found that some of the traditional sides in the foreign policy debate had shifted. On the one hand, I found liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans working together to advocate our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and staying out of Libya. On the other hand I found myself partnering with Democrats … on a more forceful foreign policy … I recently joked that today, in the US Senate, on foreign policy, if you go far enough to the right, you wind up on the left.”
Paul’s adherence to Austrian economics is also meeting with greater acceptance in mainstream America. This theory of economics, once unknown and obscure, is now beginning to receive interest and respect. In fact, Austrian economist F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” was recently on the bestsellers list. Likewise, we now hear stories of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann reading Ludwig Von Mises’ “Human Action” on the beach and young people all across the nation reading the writings of authors who adhere to the Austrian school, such as Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, Thomas E. Woods, Charles Goyette, and many others.
Every day, more people are coming around to Ron Paul’s way of thinking. Paul’s message continues to attract and inspire many young people, challenging them to question their government and to change the status quo. These leaders of tomorrow will take the ideas that Paul espouses and inject them into their respective professions, be they academia, politics, business, law, health, or other. This timeline will ensure that Paul’s ideals will continue to enter into the mainstream long after Paul’s campaign for the presidency ends. Ron Paul may or may not win the Republican nomination, but he has won the battle of ideas. Many are moving in Paul’s direction, and that is a victory larger than winning the Republican nomination.
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