A War on Ron Paul?
I was shocked (but not surprised) to learn that the FBI interrogated a high school student over a YouTube video he made about Ron Paul. After all, Paul has been a controversial character since he climbed Capital Hill as a Texas Representative in 1977. But it seems to me that the attacks against Ron Paul have been ramped up in recent years – the intimidation of Justin Hallman is just the latest example.
The news is full of similar stories. For instance, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports that a student at Auburn University was asked to remove a Ron Paul poster from his residence hall window. The university said that the poster was in violation of a university-wide ban of such decorations. The problem is that this policy has been selectively enforced. Similarly placed posters, stickers, and flags not related to Ron Paul were allowed to remain in residence hall windows. But these isolated incidents are part of a much larger, and potentially more sinister, trend.
First, Ron Paul’s voice has been effectively removed from the GOP. He was not allowed to speak at the Republican National Convention – instead a pre-approved video was shown. But even before that mainstream news media was all put ignoring Paul. The Atlantic reported that “A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism shows… that [Paul]… has received the least overall coverage of any candidate. From May 2 to October 9 [of 2011], Paul appeared as the ‘primary newsmaker in only 2% of all election stories.’”
If targeting the man himself wasn’t enough, Ron Paul’s supporters have also been pilloried by the GOP and the media. In June of 2012, 123 Republican delegates filed a lawsuit against the Republican National Convention claiming that they “and state GOP operatives violated the Voting Rights Act by misusing state bylaws, threatening voters, and using election fraud to prevent voters and delegates from casting their votes” for Ron Paul. This lawsuit made it into the news alright, but only when the GOP continually dismissed it at “frivolous.”
Now that the nomination season is over, we can only hope that the attacks on Ron Paul and his supporters will cease. But Dr. Paul still represents ideas about small government and civil liberties that many party stalwarts find dangerous.
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