Ron Paul Unelectable?

By Zach Foster. This article originally appeared on The Political Spectrum blog on August 12, 2011.

In February, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was incredibly critical of Congressman Ron Paul’s ability to win the 2012 Presidential election.[1]  He mentioned briefly how Donald Trump was booed at the CPAC 2011 meeting by the crowd, as O’Reilly says, “because of Ron Paul.”  What O’Reilly failed to mention in that creatively worded statement is how the audience at CPAC was overwhelmingly favorable towards Ron Paul and highly disagreed with The Donald’s arrogant statement that Ron Paul cannot be elected.  Paul, after all, won the CPAC straw poll for the best possible Republican Presidential Candidate.  O’Reilly also compared Congressman Paul to a number of nearly nameless third party candidates who were unable to garnish massive support in the past, Ralph Nader being one of them.

 John Stossel, educated not only in the arena of politics but also in economics, spoke in favor of Congressman Paul.  The interesting thing about O’Reilly’s statements is that they seemed to flip-flop between undermining Congressman Paul’s ability to win and then calling upon him to run because he’s an interesting candidate and will be able to challenge the front runners, whom O’Reilly had already decided were Bachmann, Romney, and Perry.  What O’Reilly apparently didn’t seem to consider was the possibility that not only would Paul be able to challenge the O’Reilly-crowned “front runners” but also stump them while they merely pay lip service to the Constitution and actually present himself to the American people as a better candidate.

 O’Reilly’s main problem with Ron Paul is that he’s “too radical” and “isolationist.”  He seems to be unaware that Paul’s foreign policy is based on the Constitution and the guidance of the Founding Fathers.  If a foreign policy based on the Constitution and the guidance of the national founders is considered to be too radical for America, then America has obviously lost her way and needs to turn around and retrace her steps.

 In his 2008 book The Revolution, Congressman Paul quotes several early statesmen at length, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry Clay who were overwhelmingly in favor of avoiding foreign entanglements, to defend his Constitutional foreign policy.  He even quotes at length the non-interventionist platform that George W. Bush ran on and was elected on in 2000 and eventually betrayed.

 This idea was popular when George W. Bush ran on it, but eleven years later it’s all of a sudden too radical.  Ron Paul is not a radical for seeking a policy of noninterventionism.  He says:

 “I myself have never been an isolationist.  I favor the very opposite of isolation: diplomacy, free trade, and freedom of travel.  The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders.  The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seeking change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.  The real isolationists are those who isolate their country in the court of world opinion by pursuing needless belligerence and war that have nothing to do with legitimate national security concerns.”[2]

 O’Reilly was even willing to make a bet against Stossel, the stakes being $1,000 for wounded warriors, that Congressman Paul won’t win a single primary election in 2012.  Many anti-Paul Republicans today, as in February, love to [falsely] cite Paul’s alleged un-electability.  When they do so, they ignore the fact that he is the leading candidate.  While on Monday a USA Today Gallup Poll showed Ron Paul in third place, a telephone survey of Iowa’s likely caucus participants revealed:

 “Overall, just 28% of potential Iowa Caucus participants are absolutely certain of how they will vote, while the rest could change their mind. Among those who are certain of their vote, Ron Paul is on top at 27%.”[3]

 The article on Info Wars making the above quotation also stated that “With this kind of showing, Ron Paul’s candidacy can no longer be accurately characterized as a long shot.”

 Following yesterday’s (August 11) debate in Iowa, Congressman Paul overwhelmingly won the Iowa Online Straw Poll, claiming 44% of the overall vote and leaving the other seven candidates to divide the remaining 56%.  The distant second in that poll was Herman Cain with 16%.[4]

 Even Fox News, many of whose anchors have been falsely and dishonestly proclaiming Romney as the frontrunner, admits that Ron Paul won the debate, receiving over 20,000 of the total 36,000 votes (Gingrich came in second place with 5,000~).[5]  Another Fox News online poll, at the time of this writing, confirmed Paul as the winner with over 14,000 of 37,000 total votes, raking in 38% of the total vote.[6]

 MSNBC’s online poll, riddled with user comments bashing the Republican Party, showed Ron Paul leading with nearly 11,000 (36%) of the total 29,500 votes.  The category with the second most votes (23%) was “no clear winner.”[7]  The Red Dog Report showed Ron Paul pulling in 78% of total votes, with Gingrich at a distant second with 7%.[8]  In the last Republican debate in June, Ron Paul won all three Fox News online polls as well as CNN’s poll (83%).[9]

 Clearly Ron Paul is not such a radical after all if he is receiving such massive support from both within and without the Republican Party.  As much as O’Reilly may lack faith in him, Congressman Ron Paul is not unelectable.  He is clearly the people’s choice for the most qualified candidate to run against President Obama in 2012, and he will do so on a platform whose solid foundation is the Constitution, and his guiding lights will be his faith in God and the written guidance of the Founding Fathers and great statesmen throughout the ages.



[2] The Revolution, chapter 2, pp. 10-11








Ron Paul image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.