The Mainstream Media seems hell bent on pretending Ron Paul doesn't exist. Jon Stewart of all people takes them to task in a hilarious segment. The Washington Examiner provides an insightful perspective as well. Who is Ron Paul and why is he treated like the 13th floor of a hotel?
Ron Paul is consistently anti-war, but the left can't stomach his unceasing defense of the free market. He is consistently pro-business, but the right can't abide his lack of jingoistic saber rattling. He is pro-life, but many pro-lifers are also (terribly inconsistently) pro-war, so they can't fathom supporting Ron Paul and his philosophy of non-intervention.
Does Ron Paul have some "kooky" views? I leave that to you to decide. But the sound bites you hear in the media will not inform you as to what his actual positions are. They want you to think he's "pro-heroin" but you have to go deeper than this to get at his actual views regarding the so-called "war on drugs." They want you to believe he'd be "soft on terror" because he doesn't support endless bombing of any country in the Middle East, or anywhere else we claim to have a "vital interest." Let's get real. What do labels like "kooky," "outside the mainstream" or "extreme" even mean? They are simply tactical tools for marginalizing someone you disagree with or want to squelch. Even if you vehemently oppose Ron Paul, you should oppose his actual views and positions, not a cheap caricature. We owe this respect to anyone with whom we disagree (yes, Barack Obama included).
Whichever of Ron Paul's positions you may agree or disagree with, it occurs to me that no President in history has successfully implemented all of his philosophy, rhetoric or positions into actual law or policy. What this means is that we should evaluate candidates in light of what priorities they might actually accomplish once in office. Would Ron Paul succeed in bringing home all the troops immediately? Of course not, a draw down would take time and must be done strategically. But at least his approach could make progress towards the United States standing down as the world's police. Would he succeed in ending the Fed? Probably not, but his push for transparency and accountability would be refreshing and effective in reigning in this powerful and opaque institution.
Here's why I smell a rat in the media's lack of attention to Ron Paul - the media usually loves to bring attention to "kooks." Journalists thrive on breaking stories that appear out of the ordinary, that highlight the novel and unique. I can't know the motives behind such behavior, but since it runs against the grain of their usual M.O. it makes me suspicious of what is going on.
Hey Mainstream Media - there's a great story here and you're missing it. It's the story of a twelve term congressman who has bucked the trend and stood his ground for decades. It's the story of a man who has stuck to his principles even when they haven't been popular. It's about a man who refuses to play sound-bite politics, even when his opponents caricature his positions and gain political points. It's the story of a man with a strong and passionate base of supporters. It's a story you can't contain, can't hide, can't squelch and that you ignore at your peril. The more people realize that you aren't giving them news, but filtered-spoon-fed-opinion, the more people will bypass you--and eventually ignore you.