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How Ron Paul Can Save The Country

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Rep. Ron Paul might bring about a new landscape in 2012 and beyond.
As Republican Presidential Candidates Fail To Seize The Nomination, Independent Texan Might Grab Early Win

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By John Monahan
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 21, 2011 — Ron Paul is too easily dismissed as a kook and a crackpot.

It is so easy to just casually dismiss the Texas representative, in fact, that a Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism study released in October revealed that Paul was virtually ignored by most major media outlets although he is only second to Mitt Romney in fundraising, has a fervent base in all 50 states and legions of Internet warriors.

But instead of being discussed as a potential threat to capture the nomination Paul received only 2 percent of the coverage given to the race according to the study.

In the two months since the study was released, little changed. Suddenly, though, Paul stands on the cusp of a win in the Iowa caucus. If he can pull out a win in Iowa — which would be his first presidential nominating contest victory — he will have earned it by the sheer will of his personal convictions and thanks to the hard work and open wallets of his legendary grassroots supporters.

The media has surely not done him any favors. He has always been treated as a third tier candidate even as Romney has stumbled and the choreographed tryouts of presidential pretenders — Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich — have had their turn on the catwalk. Each have fallen like a dehydrated, underfed, 19-year-old model in 4-inch heels.

But in a little more than a week, Ron Paul might launch the “shot heard ’round the world”  in the 2012 republican presidential nomination process by winning in Iowa. He finished second in the Iowa Straw poll a few months ago and the way the latest polls are trending, he is virtually assured at least a second place finish Jan. 3.

If Paul could snare a win here, it would change the landscape in this race like no other result could. If Romney wins, he likely rolls into New Hampshire, survives Gingrich’s southern assault through South Carolina and Florida then eventually nabs the nomination.

Romney has virtually ignored Iowa, placing all of his “bets” on a New Hampshire win Jan. 10, but he has remained steady at around 20 percent support in the Hawkeye state throughout 2011. Former House Speaker Gingrich was leading Iowa poll numbers since the middle of November when Cain, who had led Iowa polls the month before, began to implode.

Two new polls taken from Dec. 13 to 18 from Insider Advantage and Public Policy Polling, show Paul leading by 6 and 3 percent. The Rasmussen Reports poll from Dec. 13 to 18 shows Romney leading by 5 percent.

But a Paul win could alter the course of American politics in profound ways.

The interesting thing about the polling numbers that detailed the erosion of support from Gingrich in December is that these folks that have gone from Bachmann, to Perry, then to Cain and then Gingrich without ever going back to Romney in significant amounts.

Take, for example, two Rasmussen Reports polls, one on Nov. 15 and the other on Dec. 13. When Gingrich was cruising in November, he was pulling 32 percent according to Rasmussen. On Dec. 13, though, he was pulling 20 percent. From one poll to the other, Romney gained 4 percent and Paul gained 8 percentage points.

Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum gained virtually nothing from Gingrich’s fall.

That gain might just give Paul the win.

His platform, though, would inevitably stop him from securing the nomination. His economic and government spending plan is to end the Department of Energy, FAA, and many other integral agencies that would probably never get through Congress or the legal system within a few years. And don’t forget about the prospect of thousands of new members of the unemployed class that would get laid off from their government jobs. Too few republican primary voters believe in all of his controversial stances — pro-marijuana legalization, eager to cut defense spending — yet his position on abortion places him firmly in the republican mainstream.

Besides, an Iowa win brings no momentum for Paul as he would most likely still lose in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

What would create a new political landscape, however, is Paul and his supporters deciding that this is the election cycle to launch a third party, or independent candidacy. They might just do that because a Paul win in Iowa might just erode Romney so much that he can’t escape from Gingrich’s southern sweep. If Gingrich wins the nomination, a Ron Paul independent candidacy becomes probable.

Many hardcore, seasoned republicans will not vote for Gingrich against Obama — even if that means an easy win for the president — which opens the door for a Paul third-party run.

He will get support from establishment republicans if Gingrich wins the nomination. Some are already calling for it. Longtime Gingrich foe and current MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough repeated and endorsed an idea initiated by Glenn Beck that he would support Paul as a third-party candidate over Gingrich.

While some might rue an Obama re-election, in this can’t get along political climate a third-party might be just the thing that could thaw out a frozen, polarized process.

Ron Paul just might be able to save the country.

Who knew?

John Monahan is a freelance writer living in Connecticut.
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