by Jacob G. Hornberger
While big government statists in both the Republican and Democrat parties remain mystified over Ron Paul’s surge in the polls in Iowa, the ones who seem most confounded by this phenomenon are the members of the mainstream media, who themselves are statist to the core. They just can’t figure out how it’s possible that increasing numbers of people are gravitating to the Paul campaign, especially when the mainstream media has either ignored Paul’s campaign or done its best to ridicule Paul’s libertarian positions.
One of the most amusing aspects to this phenomenon is when the mainstream media statists do their best to bring Paul’s views to the general public, with the expectation that when people learn what he really stands for, they’ll rush into the waiting embrace of big-government statists like, well, like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
Yet, what actually ends up happening is that when people hear what Ron Paul stands for, instead of running for the big-government types, many of them say to themselves, “You mean, there is a candidate that stands for that? Well, that’s the way I feel. I’m going over to the Ron Paul campaign.”
Thus, the mainstream media effort to advertise Paul’s libertarian views boomerangs on the statist press, and it confounds them to no end. So, many of the mainstream media statists return to simply ignoring the Paul campaign and acting as though Gingrich and Romney are the only two frontrunners.
A good example of this phenomenon involves Iran. During the GOP presidential debates, the mainstream media statists say something that could be interpreted like this:
Mr. Paul, you don’t want to bomb Iran, like the other candidates do. This is shocking . How can you expect people to take you seriously if you’re not willing to bomb Iran? Don’t you know that they’re producing a nuclear weapon? Our government officials say so. What do you think our military is for?
Paul responds with something along these lines:
No, I do not believe that we should bomb Iran. That would involve killing and maiming several hundred thousand more innocent people, which would be added to the hundreds of thousands of innocent killed and maimed in Iraq.
No, I don’t believe that they’re producing a nuclear bomb because the actual evidence doesn’t support that assertion, and government officials often lie about such things in order to garner support for regime-change operations. Look at Iraq, a war which the mainstream media supported because it never doubted that government officials were telling the truth about those bogus WMDs.
But even if Iraq was producing a nuclear weapon, it wouldn’t affect anything anyway because they’re not going to go out and start a nuclear war that would result in the obliteration of their country.
And let’s not forget that the Iranians might just be concerned with another U.S. regime-change operation, like when the CIA ousted their democratically elected prime minister in 1953 and installed a brutal unelected dictator in his stead. After all, it’s not Iran that has the United States surrounded by military forces. It’s the other way around.
We’ve killed enough people around the world. It’s time to end the wars and bring our troops home.
At this point, those in mainstream media are ecstatic. In their minds, Paul’s libertarian position on Iran is just whacko and so loony that they’re certain that the American people are going to say, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that Ron Paul doesn’t want to go bomb Iran. That’s horrible. If we don’t bomb Iran, then who should we bomb?”
But there are obviously many Americans — in growing numbers — who are achieving a breakthrough on foreign policy — the same breakthrough that libertarians achieved a long time ago. They’re seeing the fundamental wrongfulness, in terms of both morality and religion, of attacking and bombing countries that haven’t attacked the United States.
They’re seeing how this type of thing produces anger and hatred for the United States, which then manifests itself in retaliatory terrorist attacks, attacks that are then used to take away our civil liberties here at home — and that are also then used to go and bomb more countries, thereby ensuring this cycle of death, destruction, and loss of liberty continues into perpetuity.
They’re also seeing what Paul and libertarians have long emphasized — that all this imperialistic military aggression is expensive, to the point that it is hurtling us down the road to bankruptcy.
Moreover, the phenomenon starts to feed on itself. As more people gravitate to libertarian positions, it causes others to say, “Maybe I should check into libertarianism and see why people are so excited and passionate about it.”
Whenever asked about the Ron Paul surge, statists always respond, “Well, he can’t win.” Since they’ve convinced themselves that he can’t win, why are they so nervous? Because they see more and more people moving toward libertarianism and getting excited and passionate about it. And they just can’t figure out what to do about it. Ignoring the phenomenon hasn’t worked and neither has ridicule.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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