Ron Paul is really the Grand Old Man of the Grand Old Party, even if the GOP establishment endeavors to marginalize if not ostracize him. And the reason is clear.
He is the only--ONLY--candidate who is decidedly and consistently anti-establishment. Paul's criticisms of government are not motivated by political opportunism or periodic, fashionable zeal. He is motivated by a singular notion that has guided his life: that liberty is best. Government, in nearly all of its tenable forms, should be constrained to the point of limited functioning.
He ran in 1988 and lost--then ran in 2007 and, well, lost. Both times, the establishment sought to dismantle his nascent support system by ignoring him. If the political establishment and the media are united in opposition, then it is hard to become known. The political-media net sufficiently controls what is permitted as acceptable opinion and condemns--through a variety of ways--dissent. Amazingly, Paul has escaped this net. His campaign is really "the little engine that could" and, in a way, continues to defy all expectations.
On January 3, Iowa is set to have their caucus. All eyes in the political world will be fixated on this mid-Western state, anticipating the results. On Thursday, the WaPo published an article noting that Ron Paul is quickly becoming a major force in the Iowa Caucus. In short, Paul cannot be summarily dismissed on the grounds that he lacks the capacity to have a strong finish. Rep. Paul has done a phenomenal job of getting his message distributed, despite the concerted efforts of obstruction by external forces. The message resonates and has enabled him to increase his appeal. The article reports on a Bloomberg News Survey from this week that found Paul, Cain, Romney, and Gingrich "in a four-way statistical tie." The breakdowns are as follows: Cain at 20%, Paul at 19%, Romney at 18%, and Gingrich at 17%.
Ok. Yes, it is only one poll, but it is a poll of significance. Three of the four candidates have had consistent media coverage. For the past six weeks, Cain and Romney have been considered among the "top tier" of Republican candidates; both have been a focus of many a blog post. And, of course, Gingrich is no stranger to media attention. Paul is the only one of the four who has been outside of the media' orbit. Through a grassroots effort, Paul has been able to distribute his message of "liberty" to the masses.
Let us go to another poll. A recent Iowa State/Gazette/KCRG survey showed the Godfather (Cain) at 25% and PAUL AT 20%. Again, Cain has the media attention and the name recognition. Paul has his uncompromising message and zeal.
I love that Perry's name is not listed among the "top tier" of either poll. Despite all the initial media attention and all the donations generated, Perry has possessed a dying campaign. Wait. Paul is ahead of Perry in preliminary polls? It is truly a wonderful thing. That is, a wonderful thing for liberty.
The media can continue to ignore Paul--or to afford Paul little attention--and the GOP establishment can foolishly continue to marginalize him but the American people may have a different opinion. Regardless, Rep. Paul continues to demonstrate that he is a politician on the ball. And American is better for it.