The Media’s “Unelectable” Ron Paul

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The media’s “unelectable” candidate is swiftly becoming hard to ignore.

In a recent interview on CNN, Roger Simon from Politico.com said, “The media doesn’t believe Ron Paul has a hoot in hell’s chance of winning […] the presidency, so we’re going to ignore him.” Yet Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate leading independents against Obama. Paul secured 48 percent of their vote (Obama with 39 percent), and the straw polls consistently show he is a top competitor.

To the media, Ron Paul is a Big Bad Constitutionalist — and reporters are too busy cowering in brick houses made of blatant lies and omissions to see that his ideology is simply to follow the Constitution!

The most popular argument for Ron Paul’s “unelectability” is that his foreign policy would weaken the U.S. and make us susceptible to attack, but what does Ron Paul really say about foreign policy?

In the Iowa debate for the GOP nomination, Paul said, “We endlessly bomb these countries and then we wonder why they’re upset with us?… If another country does to us what we do to others, we’re not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in foreign policy.”

Paul calls this golden rule Mutually Assured Respect. Paul admits in an article he wrote on the subject, “Mutually Assured Respect may not be perfect but far better than Mutually Assured Destruction or unilateral American dominance.”

Some people, such as Michele Bachmann, have argued that Paul would wait for one of our cities to be hit by a nuclear bomb before he would go to war. Paul’s campaign manager, however, says, “[Paul]’s not against force and he’s not against war, he’s in favor of the American Constitution and allowing Congress to deliberate when we should go to war.” This distinction is crucial. George W. Bush declared war on Iraq without paying any heed to the Constitutional process, and now we’re in a war without an end in sight. Paul would do away with unending, expensive wars, and he would follow the Constitutional process. World War II ended 60 years ago, and there are still troops in Japan and Germany! When will America stop policing the world?

There’s also something to be said of the fact that Paul has the most support among our military citizens. Our soldiers are tired of fighting senseless wars, and they know that Ron Paul is the only candidate who will cut off inefficiency in military expenditure. There have been too many unnecessary deaths in Iraq, and the other GOP candidates somehow can’t see that foreign nations are completely sovereign entities capable of making their own decisions as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of other nations.

Haven’t we King’s students heard of this kind of foreign policy before in Western Civilization I? Our professors (Loconte or Bleattler as the case may be) taught us about The Peace of Westphalia in 1648, a crucial turning point in foreign policy. It was the first time nations practiced the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on two things: territoriality (enforcing the law within borders) and absence of unnecessary external force. Sounds a lot like Mutually Assured Respect.

The reason people think Ron Paul is so unelectable is because they haven’t taken the time to actually understand his platform. In the current GOP debates, Ron Paul provides a stark contrast to the other candidates. What do these candidates actually advocate that’s any different from Obama’s campaign? We have a chance to vote for a real game-changer, and the media is genuinely afraid. But if we practice a little intellectual humility, we’ll see that his ideas are more reasonable than they’re portrayed.

OpinionEmily Collins