It would not be a leap of the imagination to say Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is being snubbed, both by the GOP and news media.
The Texas Congressman said in one Yahoo news article, “I can’t say I am surprised… Throughout the entire campaign, it’s seemed the national media and the Washington, D.C. political establishment have gone out of their way to literally black out my campaign.”
As a result of complaints from his supporters he got more speaking time last Tuesday’s GOP debate, so at least things are getting better. But the issue is bigger than that. A few theories are being thrown around for why Paul’s candidacy is being ignored.
One theory is he’s not considered a serious candidate, and it might be true, but even if he is every legitimate candidate deserves a chance to make his or her position known, his or her platform heard, and his or her ideas expressed.
The media is supposed to be unbiased and dedicated to revealing the truth. Overlooking a candidate isn’t fair to the candidate and reflects poorly on the media, especially when it’s done so brazenly. The GOP ignoring him isn’t helping, either. It has eight candidates running, and Paul is usually in the middle of the polls in terms of popularity.
Part of the problem is Paul is in the wrong party. He’s a Libertarian in a Republican game, and yes, there is a difference. I don’t blame the man for running in the GOP to get the media coverage running as a Libertarian would deny him, but it is a hindrance to his campaign. He’s the black sheep of the group, especially on foreign policy issues.
Worst of all, compared to other candidates Paul is the most consistent in his platform, one of the most articulate, and one of the ones who isn’t marred with scandal. He’s the perfect GOP candidate; if only he were a Republican.
So maybe the GOP is bitter. Maybe it has poll-number envy. Maybe it just thinks Paul is a kook and doesn’t like him. In any case, ignoring the man isn’t the right course of action. If the GOP and the media weren’t so obvious about it, it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal, but Paul is a legitimate candidate even if he is in the wrong party.
Another reason for the snub might be fear. Paul’s platform is probably looking attractive compared to the Republicans’ ideas, their lack of consistency or their scandals. If that’s the case, then shame on the GOP for not supporting him and shame on the media for ignoring him. Working to prevent Paul from having his share of time and attention to tilt the election against him is in poor taste.
More likely he’s just not seen as a serious contender, and that’s a shame. Paul’s platform and views are a nice change of pace from the standard GOP selection. That’s probably part of the problem, but a change in view couldn’t hurt the Republicans at this point.
Paul deserves as much attention, debate time, consideration and courtesy as every other serious potential candidate. The media’s views on his chances to win or the GOP’s jealousy are irrelevant. He’s a viable candidate with a good platform. His only real problem is he’s running in the wrong political party.