|Rand Paul The Forgotten Candidate|
After not hearing his name mentioned even once on last Sunday morning talk shows I thought an update of an article I wrote in March of this year was in order. At the time in a piece titled "Rand Paul Ignored By The Media, Again" I wrote that it would not be difficult to image during the middle of a political story a journalist refer to Paul as an "unnamed Senator from Kentucky" in order to avoid using the name that seems to be forgotten or at the least sticks in the throat of anyone covering Republican politics. The bobbing heads of the media are often in a rush to put someone like Herman Cane, a former "flash in the pan" presidential candidate during the last Presidential election, in the position of front runner. The political pundits now labor hard to forget how Paul received the most votes at CPAC and try not to ponder how odd it is that this conservative group would shower praise upon a man who has many friends on the far side of the political spectrum among liberals and students.
Following the second Republican debate the media quickly tried to make Carly Fiornia the new "flavor of the day" with some saying she had even displaced Ben Carson. Within a week we find commentators doing a "flipflop" between saying she is on the way up and telling us how her time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a casual relationship with the truth has made her damaged goods.The fact is America should be concerned by an electorate that swings so wildly over their preference for a candidate based on a single debate appearance or one comment often taken out of context. During all this the media has made the primary voter appear to be a fickle bunch of reactionaries, a recent poll from Iowa that made its way around the Sunday morning talk shows had at one time elevated Scott Walker to the front of pack, but that was before he "suspended" his campaign.
As usual the media is busy going about the task of thinning, shaping the field, and forming our opinions as they see fit. At times we must ask if those in the media are guided by some secret agenda as they "help us" narrow the field and approach the long and bothersome task of holding an election. Today Republicans are faced with a massive group of candidates, many with high aspirations, and many of those interested in garnering our attention are busy edging their way forward and upping their game by elbowing other candidates off the stage and out of the spotlight. If it would get our attention some of these clowns might even go so far as to set themselves on fire. Nothing is as sad as watching this group of wannabees marching in their one person parades. If you think that I'm being harsh using the term clowns remember even fellas like Rick Perry who took a very hard fall from grace four years ago was briefly in this group.
Returning to the focus of this piece a story in USA Today on September 21, reported that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has won the presidential straw poll at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference taking place on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Paul received 22% support in the poll of more than 2,200 conference attendees, according to the poll conducted by the Lansing political newsletter MIRS and The Detroit News. The article garnered little attention, but was sure to note that businesswoman Carly Fiorina, buoyed from the momentum of what was seen as a strong debate performance finished second. It should be noted that in a field of neocon war mongers busy trying to outdo each other by being the strongest on defense and promising to build the military into an even more powerful force, that Rand Paul who does not advocate bombing to smithereens anyone who disagrees with America stands out as a reasonable alternative.
Many political pundits see his non-fiscal views as the primary reason Paul is constantly pushed off the stage and shown so little respect within the Republican party, but it is more likely because Rand Paul thinks that government spends far too much to accomplish so little, we have found that even Republicans find it easier to talk about cuts than to actually make them. Another big issue is that not all financially conservative voters are as conservative when it comes to social issues. Like many people I find myself cringing and put off by a Republican party locked away in a small tent busy spouting restrictive social mores. Bringing together people from different factions is no easy task, but Paul is one of the few candidates I have found capable of achieving this. A few months ago during one of the Sunday morning talk shows Rand Paul was referred to as a "high trust candidate" this trait is very important. Even the limited face-time I have spent with Rand Paul has left me with the feeling he is rock solid.
Paul's conservative financial ideas mixed with less government moves him in the direction of being a strong supporter of personal freedom. When sprinkled with a less confining social mantra this becomes something many voters seek. The way Paul is treated by the mainstream media should viewed as an overt effort by them to dilute, undermine, and lessen both his message and the viability of Rand Paul as a candidate. Bottom-line is character does matter and in the end his support is stronger and deeper than those in power want us to think. No matter how much he is ignored the media should not expect Rand Paul to slowly and quietly ride into the night. The message he brings forth has substance and efforts to paint him with silly colors or just paint him out of the picture have failed before and will fail again. We are still early in this game, but if Paul decides to push hard he still has the potential to become a major force.