The political and media establishment has finally found something they can unite over - their seething hatred of Ron Paul and everything his unconventional campaign threatens to do to their financial and political base of power.
With recent polls showing a surge for Ron Paul in the Iowa primary caucus, a massive wave of attack pieces has been unleashed today in the mainstream press.
Empty Accusations of Racism
A Google News search reveals that more than 200 articles have been published today in mainstream papers that are related to the twenty-year old newsletters that once went out under Ron Paul's name.
In every election since then, Ron Paul has denounced the content of the newsletters and denied writing them. This claim is highly believable to anyone who has followed the writings and speeches of a man who claims Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as personal heroes and idols.
At the time these newsletters were published, the Representative from Texas was active in his medical practice. A practice that, I might add, never turned a single patient away for race, religion, creed, or even an inability to pay. Consistent with his libertarian principles, the doctor would rather take a loss on delivering a poor family's child than accept funding from Medicare and other federal sources.
If anything, the newsletters show a lack of oversight and a managerial failure for a man who had little such experience at that point in his life. Twenty years out, I believe he may just have learned a lesson and grown from the consequences of his mistake. While he does accept a moral responsibility for allowing such racist trash to go out under his name, there is nothing else in his history to suggest he ever believed or intended to endorse the things that were written.
On actual policy proposals, Ron Paul is the only candidate who would end the incredibly racist wars on drugs and terrorism. Study after study shows that minorities are disproportionately impacted by our current drug laws, and they're also more likely to serve on the front lines in dangerous combat positions. For these reasons, he has actually picked up more support from African Americans than any other Republican in recent history.
Individualism vs Group Mentality
When asked about his views on race, Ron Paul sticks to his individualistic ideology:
In the long run, the only way racism can be overcome is through the philosophy of individualism, which I have promoted throughout my life. Our rights come to us not because we belong to some group, but our rights come to us as individuals. And it is as individuals that we should judge one another. Racism is a particularly odious form of collectivism whereby individuals are treated not on their merits but on the basis of group identity. Nothing in my political philosophy, which is the exact opposite of the racial totalitarianism of the twentieth century, gives aid or comfort to such thinking. To the contrary, my philosophy of individualism is the most radical intellectual challenge to racism ever posed.
As an individualist, Ron Paul shows no allegiance to the groups recognized by the political establishment. His message doesn't follow the party line of Republicans or Democrats - and it infuriates those invested in the system that has repeatedly failed the American citizen.
But you can't be serious!
Many other media outlets are taking a less subtle approach to their attacks on Ron Paul. They claim that even if he wins Iowa, he can't win anything else - or that he just can't be taken seriously because his positions don't line up with the increasingly unpopular and out of touch orthodoxy coming from Washington D.C.
One popular theme is that if Ron Paul does win in Iowa, it won't do much but discredit the state's primary process. This idea has been introduced by none other than Iowa's governor himself, who is basically saying to ignore the wishes of his state if those wishes aren't acceptable to the narrow range of ideology propagated by the political establishment:
“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Gov. Terry Branstad. “If Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”
Politico takes the idea and runs with it, musing about whether or not a Ron Paul win could completely "kill" the caucus. Of course, the Iowa caucus was fine when it picked Bush twice, but as soon as there is a candidate who will stand up to the military contractors and financial interests, the system is held in doubt.
As serious as it gets
Whether or not Ron Paul can maintain his lead in Iowa - and how far that momentum will carry him through the primaries - is yet to be seen. What is certain though, is that many Americans are uniting in support of the one man in this election who strikes fear in to the advocates of the system and status-quo. Perhaps they should wake up to the reality of their own declining relevance instead of trying to tell us what is reasonable and acceptable in this nation's political discourse...