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The Ron Paul Phenomenon

By James Donahue

The talking heads on our nightly television news networks appear to already have the 2008 presidential election lined up to be a race between Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. They are basing their opinions on national polls and the amount of money pouring into the various candidate coffers.

They are declaring party winners even before the first state presidential primary is held, when voters begin voicing their opinions as to who they want to consider as a replacement for the failed Christian/Republican Bush Administration.

We believe they are all wrong in these early prognostications. There is a phenomenon occurring on the World Wide Web this time around that appears to be shifting voter support from the "politically favored" candidates hammered by the established but obviously controlled media to men and women who appear to represent what the people in America really want when it comes to selecting their leadership.

We believe maverick John Paul, that Texas Representative who has tossed his name in the Republican mix, is gaining an interesting popularity among the young voters. That Paul raised some $5 million in donations, mostly from Internet supporters, is a hint as to what is about to occur in 2008. Paul's campaign war chest during that period put him fourth among the Republican "front-runners," even though the media talking heads have never considered this man to be a serious candidate.

As one Associated Press story noted: "Paul barely registers in polls of Republican voters, a sign of low name recognition nationally." The story said Paul has been operating "with little media attention, getting the spotlight only during debates. But that has been enough to attract an avid Internet following."

So what is there about Paul's platform that is attracting people to him? Mostly he stands out from the Republican pack because of his strong anti-war stance. He says the United States went into Iraq illegally, we never declared war, and that our troops need to come home just like they went in "We ought to just come home."

Paul is a Libertarian at heart. In fact he ran as a presidential candidate under the Libertarian flag in 1988. He thus is a strong supporter of the Constitution, states rights, the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and school prayer. He also is pro-life, supports legalization of medical marijuana, opposes the war on drugs, socialized medicine and the draft.

He opposes more taxation and government interference, voted against the Patriot Act, advocates stronger state governments, voted against the federal ban on stem cell research, opposes federal controls on education, and believes states should be free to choose on issues like capital punishment and believes juries should have the right to judge both the defendant and the law.

Paul is a complex personality who may or may not gain the broad support of most voters in 2008. He is smart, personable and would probably offer a great improvement, we believe there are other fine candidates in the race as well.

We thus implore the talking heads to quit attempting to influence the minds of American voters before the primaries and the party conventions are held. .