By Doug Wead
Once more, after being written out of the script by the newspapers and television producers, the scrappy congressman from Texas, Ron Paul is back in the mix. And big time. Sarah Palin, of all people, put him there.
After turning down thousands of speaking invitations over a six month period Sarah Palin finally accepted a gig for the National Tea Party, a grass roots phenomenon that owes its life to that unstoppable old man from Texas. And then the news that she is endorsing Rand Paul, the congressman’s son, and an emerging star in the Kentucky Senate race. Who says Sarah Palin is dumb? She is tapping into the hottest political movement going.
This is no accident for it is Ron Paul, the old congressman, not Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich that now stands between her and a shoe-in for the GOP nomination.
Palin is a fighter. She will quickly approve TV ads blasting away on Romney’s flip flops from his Massachusetts gubernatorial days. He is already reportedly moving more to the center, writing off some southern states. Using that momentum she will likely push him all the way off the leftist edge. Her commercials will make Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa Romney attack ads look puny by comparison. And as for Huck? After the Arkansas parole board scandals he will see those revolving door – Willie Horton ads resurrected and showing ad nauseum on untraceable You Tubes. Newt Gingrich can go on James Dobson’s radio show and repent as much as he wants, he can even publicly cry like Jimmy Swaggart, but Palin’s people will anonymously spoon feed Dateline and 20/20 every tiny morsel of his private life. Palin is no softy.
The fact is, Sarah Palin can only be stopped on her way to her GOP coronation by a Ron Paul ambush in Iowa. Only Paul has activists who will fall on their swords for him and will go to work early enough to make a difference.
Yes, I know. Ron Paul is too old. And he did not poll well last time. But his base only really discovered him late in the process and they have been very busy since. He has grown on a lot of people. What looked nutty in 2008, like actually auditing the Federal Reserve, is now widely accepted as common sense. The national Tea Party sprang from his loins.
But the biggest and most powerful issue that separates Ron Paul from the pack is the ongoing War on Terror. Every major candidate in both parties buys into the idea of a “just war.” Palin praised Obama’s speech to the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo, actually claiming that the President had picked up on themes she, herself, had written in her memoir Going Rogue.
“Wow, that really sounded familiar,” Palin said to USA Today. Newt Gingrich was quoted as saying President Obama gave a “very historic speech.”
Ron Paul would say, “Hogwash.”
He believes that by waging wars in distant lands we create ten new terrorists for every one we kill. And only Ron Paul, among all public figures, states this clearly and has held this position consistently. While former vice president Dick Cheney and current vice president Joe Biden argue over degrees and who supported the surge when, only Ron Paul says that “no war” is better than any new and improved version.
Now this is significant for a very important reason. For the first time last summer national polls showed that a majority of Americans, 51% agreed that the war is not working. Less than half, 47% thought it was worth the price we were paying in dead Americans.
Can Ron Paul, the fringe candidate of 2008 actually emerge in the upcoming presidential election? Well, here is some simple arithmetic for you to ponder.
Obama, Palin, Clinton, Biden, Huckabee, Romney, Gingrich, Cheney and all the rest can split the 47% of the American public who think that it is economical sound and morally effective to spend $500 million and 50 young lives to re-conquer for the third time a windswept city of 100,000, where the Taliban once lived but have now mostly abandoned. And they will not even notice when we give the city back again next year.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul, alone will speak for the 51% who would bring back our boys. Does he have a chance? If the war becomes the issue, Ron Paul, who appeals to right and left, young and old, Democrat and Republican, gay and straight can pull an upset.
When Palin appeared at the Tea Party event last week all the television networks and major newspapers covered the moment. But not a single journalist even mentioned that this grass roots phenomenon was inspired by the Ron Paul movement. No one dared suggest that Sarah Palin was trying to co-opt the incorruptible old, iconoclastic congressman from Texas. The media remains fiercely disciplined in excluding Ron Paul from any exposure, even when his absence is itself newsworthy. The people paying those media salaries apparently don’t want to see an audit of the Federal Reserve or an end to government subsidized banks or an end to profits from foreign wars.
But nothing they write or say or fail to write or fail to say can hide the truth from the millions of Americans who have heard the clarion call. In 2008 Ron Paul slipped through their nets and onto television in the Republican Debates. And America will never be the same.
Sarah Palin has the right idea, and give her credit for trying. But I know Ron Paul. He is a friend of mine. And Sarah Palin, you are no Ron Paul.
Presidential Historian Doug Wead on FOX last Sunday.