Sunday, October 28, 2007

Republican Leaders Fret:

What To Do About the "Ron Paul Problem"

by Little Baby Ginn

There was a time when I never paid much attention to politics but in the past few years I've become more and more attracted to the national political level: the shenanigans, polls, hype, and figurative backstabbing among candidates during the primaries. But what really interests me is what happens when someone such as Ron Paul comes onto the scene.

The great 1939 movie, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, starring Jimmy Stewart, comes to mind. In the film Stewart's character, Jefferson Smith, is appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate. I'm sure at this point those who've seen the film are probably scratching their heads and wondering what comparison could possibly be made between the plot of Mr. Smith's Goes To Washington and Ron Paul's run for President.

It's been a long, long time since I last saw Mr. Smith but some movies, the great ones, leave a strong impression. The Grapes Of Wrath, another great film from the 1930s starring Henry Fonda left me with the memory of the hardness and despair of the Depression. Mr. Smith left the memory of a man who, though thought of as a political stooge, plans to do something good for his constituents.

This made his puppet masters afraid of his popularity and they made the decision to quash his success by attempting to falsely accuse him of improprieties. They were aided by their ability to control the media. The great scene where Jefferson filibusters the Senate while being harassed and smeared by his opponents from all sides, this is where the Ron Paul situation comes to mind.

As an Independent I do not automatically disregard a candidate because he comes from the "wrong side of the aisle." I want to hear what all the candidates bring to the table. Amazingly Paul has been censored by some in his own party in attempting to get his message across. The media has fallen in line with the other candidates in ignoring Paul and in some instances labeling him as a crackpot with cult-like members. On some conservative blogs, Ron Paul has been downgraded to "kook status." Some of this stems from the behavior of the more over-zealous Paul supporters.

Paul's stance on issues resonates with voters who have become disenchanted with both the Republican and Democrat parties. When the rumor circulated that Mr. Paul might split off to a third party, even more vitriol was thrown his way. What's not being mentioned is that Paul fills a void for a large block of voters.

The press has been extremely skeptical of Paul, if not downright hostile. Why the hostility towards Paul from the media and from his own party? Republicans leaders are making a mistake in how they are attempting to handle the "problem" of Ron Paul. Behind Ron Paul is the voters who support him and shunting Ron aside is also shunting aside the legitimacy of the concerns of those voters by the Republican party.

It's long past the time to stop labeling Paul as a crackpot, legitimatize his candidacy for the Presidency and stop slandering his supporters.


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