In this interview, Ron Paul inadvertently coined what should be the new slogan of his campaign.“What are they afraid of?”
He was talking about the blatant suppression by the media of any positive news about his campaign. For the few somewhat principled journalists that have admitted that it is intentional, the excuse offered has been that the media ignore him because he can’t win. However, this is counterintuitive. Is it not largely media coverage that propels candidates to the “top tier” in political races? Does anyone seriously believe that even Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton would have won their respective primaries, much less the presidency, if the media had not covered their campaigns?
And this is not just a matter of ignoring Ron Paul or failing to cover him. Headlines like this one, “Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll, Pawlenty takes 3rd,” demonstrate that the media are not just ignoring Paul, they are tripping over themselves to actively suppress news of his campaign. In what other competition in any context does a headline feature the 1st and 3rd place finishers and not the 2nd? This anti-Paul campaign was so obvious to comedian Jon Stewart that he put together a hilarious (yet disturbing) lampoon of it on his show.
No, Paul’s “unelectability” is not sufficient (even if it were valid) to explain a blackout so pervasive that “ignoring the elephant in the room” is hardly a sufficient metaphor. If nothing else, Paul’s virtual tie in the Ames Straw Poll demonstrates that he is at least as electable as Michele Bachmann, whom every media outlet in the world now places in the “top tier” of Republican candidates, while at the same time going out of their way to avoid mentioning the name of the candidate who trailed her in that poll by an amount of votes that any statistician would deem “statistically insignificant.”
What are they afraid of?
There is an answer to Ron Paul’s question and he knows it as well as anyone. For any government-connected special interest, whether conservative or liberal, Paul is the grim reaper. He openly opposes it all and cannot be bought. He puts conservatives to shame for their hypocrisy about “free markets” and “small government,” while doing the same to liberals for their hypocrisy about “ending foreign wars” and “protecting civil liberties.” Worst of all, both conservatives and liberals know that he is not in the tank with anyone and will actually do what he says if he gets into office.
Conservative media do not want Americans to hear that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush grew the size of the government more than their Democratic predecessors by large orders of magnitude. They do not want to hear that W’s only significant economic policy was Sarbanes-Oxley, which W himself compared to the New Deal. They don’t want Americans to be reminded that the conservative platform used to include eliminating Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education, but that Republicans under George W. Bush greatly expanded its power. Neither do they want attention called to the fact that Republicans under Bush expanded the welfare state more than any president since Lyndon Johnson. They are desperate not to let Americans find out that Ron Paul gets more support from active military than any other Republican, despite his anti-war stance. Most of all, they do not want conservative American voters to know that Ron Paul polls better against Barack Obama than any other Republican candidate.
Liberal media have similar motivations. They do not want liberal voters to know that there is a Republican who is truly anti-war, an embarrassment to their peace-candidate-turned-warmonger president. They do not want liberals to know that it is a Republican who is truly against the corporate state, which Obama has jumped directly in bed with, if he wasn’t born there. They do not want liberals to be reminded that all of the civil liberties violations for which they excoriated George W. Bush have been expanded by “the One.” Most of all, like the conservative media, they don’t want liberals to know that Ron Paul polls better against Barack Obama than any other Republican candidate.
Being a corporatist cabal, like most other industries in the post-New Deal American economy, the media are not interested in the truth being known. They are interested in preserving their government-protected privileges and those of all of their special interest associates, both conservative and liberal. They are terrified of Ron Paul’s message even being heard. Why? Because the truth has a way of “ringing true” that propaganda does not, no matter how much money is behind it.
In short, the corporate media is afraid that Ron Paul will wake up average Americans to the fact that liberal and conservative special interests captured the government many decades ago, that their perception of American society as free and prosperous is a lie, that the leviathan state was never their benefactor, but rather designed specifically to rip them off, and that the whole thing is coming to an end. They are afraid because Ron Paul will open their eyes and minds. Once he does, the party is over for conservative and liberal special interests alike. The days of growing wealthy on the backs of average Americans – and most shamefully, on their blood – start coming to an end the day he takes the oath of office.
What are they afraid of more than anything else? That if Americans actually get the chance to hear him out, he will win.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.