Even though he is the top money raiser in the second tier of candidates and even though he wins straw polls, Republican (really Libertarian) presidential candidate Ron Paul is not respected by the mainstream media. A new research study shows that he only gets 2 percent of the coverage (however that is figured).
My take on it is that he does not fit neatly into or fit at all into the traditional right/left narrative of politics. He is nominally a Republican (and nearly all Republicans these days consider themselves conservative, thus right wing), but he was originally Libertarian, and I guess still is.
Libertarians scare or bother both hard-core left-wing and right-wing people. While they as a group usually seem to fall into the conservative category, they can be more liberal than the most ultra liberals in some instances. They don’t believe that government should have any business dictating people’s lifestyles — they essentially believe in gay rights and the right to use drugs. And it is my understanding that they essentially believe in open borders. While I don’t think that means they want people pouring into the U.S. to get onto welfare, they do want labor to move freely into the country.
But while Libertarians can seem pretty liberal, they scare the dickens out of anyone who thinks government should help people. Actually true Libertarians, as far as I know, don’t think government should do much more than keep records of who owns what and, I think they do believe it should provide for the common defense. But Paul and other Libertarians don’t think we have any business fighting these wars as a tool of foreign policy. I believe they would only support wars that are in our direct defense, such as if we were attacked on our own soil (okay we were attacked on 9/11, but it was a terrorist incident, not a full-scale armed invasion).
But while leftists and/or anti-war folks might like that last thing, they would not care for the following:
Libertarians don’t even believe in public police departments or fire departments. They do not favor public education and they are for sure against any kind of government-supported health care. Paul is a medical doctor and his feeling it is up to patients to pay, either directly out of their own pocket or with the help of private insurance or family members or non-governmental charity.
Libertarians also do not believe in public parks. That is a turn off right there to me.
Paul says a lot of things that seem to make sense, but even non-political people or non-political scientists use some frame of reference when they go to vote or decide on political issues, I think, and the Libertarian view is hard to fit into the traditional American frame of reference. But that is not to say it might not catch on when people see the same old same old from the other candidates.
I repeat what I have said many times before: the far left and the far right both actually believe in strong government, they just want it to do different things. The right wants it to protect personal wealth and to preserve a social status quo and the left wants it to redistribute wealth to the benefit of all.
The story about Paul’s lack of news coverage: