It seems the question as the 2012 election looms larger on the GOP side of the aisle continues to be, “are we ready for a Ron Paul president?”
It’s hard to pinpoint a more ideologically polarizing figure in the 2012 election than Ron Paul. While Rick Santorum is a standard moral crusader conservative and Mitt Romney is the archetypal evil robber baron, Paul deviates from right-wing rhetoric far more bravely than either Mittens or the man with the Google problem could ever hope to. While this does alienate some voters, you can’t really deny that Ron Paul is- in a party that very often prides itself on anti-intellectualism- the thinking man’s Republican candidate.
Not only does Paul have his not-very-standard stances distancing him from some voters, but he also is notably ignored by the Republican establishment and is treated nearly like a Democrat by propaganda news organization Fox News. But Paul is as sanguine as his fans are when it comes to matters of his electability, refusing to believe that with so much popular support, mainstream Republicans wouldn’t vote for him.
Paul came in second last night in New Hampshire, with nearly a quarter of the vote. Mittens grabbed the top spot, but all major news organizations are projecting Paul as a runner-up, beating out Santorum and Gingrich in the state. Of his treatment by the Republican establishment, Paul scoffs:
“I’ve been electable. I’ve won 12 elections already, and we’re doing quite well now. It’s amazing that I do so much better than those other candidates that are all electable. They’re all in fourth, fifth and sixth place, but they’re all electable, but I come in second or third, and all of the sudden people say, ‘Oh, he’s not electable.’ I don’t know how that adds up.”
In fact, when it comes to being conservative, Paul says, he’s a traditionalist- which isn’t hard to see for yourself. Whether you’re a rabid Ron Paul supporter or just an on-the-fence, right-leaning voter, it cannot be denied that Paul is more in line with old school Republican tenets than Mittens or Santorum. And he says as much himself:
“There’s a lot of confusion on how you define conservative. I define conservative as for less government, less spending and balanced budgets, but… in recent history the Republican Party has drifted over to saying conservative means you cut spending and maybe interference in the market, but… the more money you spend overseas, the more conservative you are. That doesn’t even add up, doesn’t make sense.”
Do you think Ron Paul still has a shot at the nomination in 2012?