Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election Watch: The Unfamiliar World of Politics

Los Angeles: There are two kinds of elections in the United States; general and primary. A general election is used to fill an elective office. A primary election is used to select a party's candidates for an elective office. Tonight the GOP Republican Presidential hopefuls will face off in a debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley with CNN's Anderson Cooper moderating. This debate follows Arizona Senator John McCain's tuesday night win in the Florida primary and the fallout of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the race. You probably knew about this in the mainstream media.

However, I will not dwell on these statistics and Election chatter as we near Super Tuesday (after SuperBowl Sunday) next week's multi-state primaries wherein 17 states including California and New York will be voting for their presidential nominees. What this means is during the SuperBowl telecast, be prepared for a bombardment of political endorsements priced at $2.6 million for a 30 second TV spot. With issues blurred on the McCain and Romney camp, the GOP needs a true conservative candidate fast. The impact of this is that candidates may sell out completely, or, the fabric of American politics as we now know it will be decided for us by mainstream media. However, we can have the best choice.

You see, the first task of anyone who wishes to be president is get "mentioned" often - in print, radio and TV. They label this exercise "name recall." It works similar to product advertising. It somehow shows the public who is of presidential caliber. Or who has the most money.

Every candidate picks a strategy for their campaign. The tone, the theme, the timing, and the target audience are critical. Looking at the media horizon, one wonders why nobody even mentions Ron Paul, a 10th term U.S. Congressman from Texas. He held office from 1976 until present and is a medical doctor in his private life. Ron Paul is a strick constructionalist of the U.S. Constitution because he votes against any Congressional bill that is not authorized under a commonsense reading of the Constitution. Hence, people label him "Dr. No."

But reviewing his record, Ron Paul is dedicated to liberty and limited government in the likes of Thomas Jefferson. As such, he does not regard himself as "conservative" nor "liberal", but rather the only consistent position that is bankable to turn big government in Washington around. But these views often back-fire in his face.

If elected, Ron Paul pledges to bring the troops home immediately, abolish the IRS, and end the failed War on Drugs. He is personaly Pro-Life, having delivered many babies (being an OB-GYN doctor), but believes abortion is a matter left to the States. He believes in the federalist design of government wherein the power to govern rests in the different States.

Who supports Ron Paul though? If you drive on the 105 freeway westbound pass Bellflower Blvd exit, or on any other freeway, you will see on the overpass a home-made streamer crying out "Vote Ron Paul for President". Perhaps not as effective as a TV ad, but his grassroots campaign is slowly growing momentum. One indicator is his internet popularity among young voters, his guesting on the Bill Maher's show where he was received as a rock star, sitting side by side with Ben Affleck. He either wins or places in all of the televised debates event, although Fox News denies this. Recently, he raised over $5 million, and in fact got 1.2 million in just one week.

Ron Paul is also a star among the country's college students. Among the strangest statistics though is that he has raised more money (from among the GOP candidates) from military personnel. The soldiers in Iraq actually supports him while the mainstream media ignores him. The mainstream media wants the primaries to limit the candidates to a handful because they are now ready to crown the next president.

So the question remains, if people vote for Ron Paul, is it really a vote for the stronger Democrat which could be a Clinton or Obama? NO. Although Ron Paul is in the single digit among straw pollsters today, which is not an accurate gauge at this moment in the campaign, he is the only genuine GOP candidate: the only one who can neutralize the baggage of the Iraq invasion, the only GOP candidate who can beat Hillary's socialized medicine because he is an actual medical doctor, and balance the budget by slimming Washington's big government. In conclusion, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate who can actually beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. On top of that, Ron Paul is the only true conservative candidate running. As the analysts say, it's not all over yet till the presidential election ballot counting stops.

By Jay Fermin ppp-usa