I couldn’t stand reading and listening to all the establishment goons and media pundits trash Dr. Paul’s CPAC straw poll victory since Saturday, so I wrote my own Op-Ed. Please freely distribute it far and wide, but give me credit if you do.
The Man Who Cannot Win
By Jaret Glenn at the www.DailyPaul.com
On Saturday evening, the US Representative from Texas’ 14th district, Dr. Ron Paul, decisively won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll for the second year in a row. Again, he handily defeated the second place finisher; the media’s chosen frontrunner for the GOP 2012 primary, Mitt Romney. This year Paul won by 7 percent, a larger margin than the total percentage of votes received by the third place finisher, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (6 percent).
Once again, potential GOP rivals, the party establishment, the media, and even the sponsors of CPAC attempted to marginalize, mock, and diminish the MD, veteran, NY Times #1 Best-Selling author, 11-term Congressman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Chairman, and two-time Presidential candidate. This year, Donald Trump took the first crack before Dr. Paul had even won the straw poll. After commenting that there were no candidates in the field he was interested in, several members of the audience yelled, “Ron Paul”. Trump replied, “By the way, Ron Paul cannot get elected”. The room immediately erupted to a mixture of cheers and boos.
Fox News reporter Molly Heneberg, reported the straw poll results live on television even before CPAC announced them. After reading the results, she attempted to set the narrative by commenting that, “the story is not Ron Paul winning again for the second year in a row, but…Mitt Romney coming in second place again.” Fox News.com put up a poll shortly after to determine who “should” have won the CPAC straw poll. In this hypothetical matchup Ron Paul defeated Sarah Palin by 64% in the final round. Shortly after, the poll was taken down and the results were never announced on air. Fox News.com later posted a short article that mentioned Dr. Paul’s win and mentioned that he “ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination.”
Next, the organizers of CPAC stepped up to discredit their own poll before announcing the results. David Lee first noted that it was “a voluntary poll, not all of you fill it out… it’s a straw poll, it’s not a Gallup poll, not a Rasmussen poll, not a Zogby poll”. For the record, this year’s CPAC crowd was its largest ever, with more than 10,000 attendees and a record number (3,742) voting in the straw poll as well.
Before the CPAC crowds could even clear the room, Jordan Marks, National Director for Young Americans for Freedom said, “”Rep. Paul is clearly off his meds and must be purged from public office. YAF is starting the process by removing him from our national advisory board. Good riddance and he won’t be missed”. Later adding that it was Dr. Paul’s foreign policy views that got him booted, Marks failed to recognize that Paul’s foreign policy views have, in fact, never changed in his more than twenty years of service in the US Congress, most of which have also been spent on YAF’s national advisory board.
The attacks continued online as Carrie Dann of MSNBC.com wrote that Paul, “almost certainly lacks the campaign organization and wide appeal with GOP primary voters to be a serious contender to win the nomination” and “the poll’s results are certain to be dismissed as irrelevant by presidential contenders who have been building the staff and infrastructure necessary for a serious run.” Ironically, the infrastructure created by those staffs was not enough to secure a victory in the straw poll.
New York Times author Jeff Zeleny disregarded Paul’s win, saying “conservative activists signaled on Saturday that they were unsettled over who should win the party’s nomination, indicating a wide-open race for the right to challenge President Obama”.
Reuters columnists Johnathan Martin and James Hohmann also dismissed Paul’s straw poll victory calling it “a sign of the intense following he enjoys and the waning relevance of the surveys” and “The 75-year-old congressman may run for president again, but his prospects for winning the GOP nomination are nil.”
Patrick O’Connor of The Wall St. Journal didn’t waste any time with his op-ed, marginalizing the results in the first sentence by claiming they “may say more about the organizing capacity of his supporters than the tastes of Republican primary voters as a whole.”
The attacks continued this morning as Rush Limbaugh said Ron Paul was “ok, but be real; he’ll never be the Republican nominee”.
National Review Online also released a poll today titled “Ron Paul Won the CPAC Straw Poll. You Would Have Voted For?”
Who is this man that the GOP establishment and media do not want us to consider in the next Presidential election? How is it that everyone is so sure that, even before anyone has announced his candidacy, this man cannot win? Why is it that no reasons are ever provided for why he cannot win? More importantly, what is everyone so afraid of?
It’s certainly true that Representative Paul’s positions are often outside of the mainstream, but perhaps that’s why voters have shifted hard left and back to the right over the last few years; because they haven’t quite found what they’re looking for. Perhaps Paul’s most controversial opinion is his stance on foreign policy. He maintains a “non-interventionist” position, in-line with the recommendations of the founding fathers and the US Constitution. This position suggests that the US should provide for a strong national defense at home, but cease its hyper-interventionist policies of “policing the world” and arming both sides of nearly every conflict abroad. He has argued that the US cannot afford to run more than nine hundred military bases in more than 130 countries and that the troops should come home to protect our country. Though during his 2008 Presidential run he was often misrepresented as an “isolationist”, he received more campaign contributions from active duty and retired military personnel than all other Republican primary candidates combined, including John McCain. Paul backs this position with CIA reports that claim the primary reason for terrorist attacks against the US is “blowback”, repercussions of our involvement in the affairs of other nations; including propping up cruel dictators, imposing sanctions that starve civilians, and bombing those who do not bend to our will. Most importantly, Paul is the only current GOP hopeful who has vowed to bring a swift resolution to the wars in the Middle East that have lingered for a decade and cost the lives of more than 5,000 soldiers and the limbs of tens of thousands more, not to mention the trillions of dollars spent with no stability to show for it and no end in sight.
Paul has never voted to raise taxes or voted for an unbalanced budget. He opposed TARP and all the bailouts. He opposed the government underwriting of Fannie and Freddie, which led to the housing bubble. As a strict Constitutionalist and staunch supporter of civil liberties, he has been an outspoken critic of the Patriot Act, the TSA’s body scanners, and the National ID card. He also supports the decriminalization of marijuana; citing that its prohibition has separated families, clogged up our courts, imprisoned non-violent offenders, punished an unfair percentage of African-Americans, given us the highest per capita incarceration rates of any nation, and created a violent black market that has spilled over from Mexico into Texas. This is a topic which even President Obama has not had the courage to discuss seriously, even though it has been one of the top issues voted on each time he has agreed to answer questions submitted by the American people online. Dr. Paul’s positions represent populist sentiment that reaches across party lines.
One thing is clear—Dr. Paul isn’t your average politician. With a growing number of self-proclaimed independents, Democratic voters frustrated that their takeover of Congress in ’06 and the White House in ‘08 wasn’t enough to end the wars, and Republican voters beginning to feel frustrated with their party’s lack of commitment to seriously address the debt; won’t Americans be looking for “real change” from a “real maverick” in 2012?