I Know Who ‘None of the Above’ Is
by Trevor Bothwell
The latest AP-Ipsos poll has found that the leading Republican presidential candidate
is "none of the above." According to the related Associated Press report,
"More Republicans have become apathetic about their options over the past
month," during which time the number of those polled who are indecisive has
jumped from 14 to 23 percent.
Maybe this is sheer speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that "none
of the above" is actually a guy by the name of Ron Paul.
That’s right, the candidate who’s cultivated widespread grassroots
support – he relies primarily on speaking engagements, appearances on
counter-culture television shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report,
and Internet resources like Facebook, MySpace, and Meetup to get his message
out – is still struggling for inclusion in many traditional public opinion
surveys. After all, how well can you be expected to poll when even pollsters
in your home state refuse to put your name on most ballots?
Clearly it's irrational to assume Paul is drawing all the votes of those who
answer "other" or "none of the above" on these surveys,
as many truly may be undecided. Still, Ron Paul actually raised more money from
April to June than John McCain, whose campaign admittedly is tanking fast and
hard, but that nevertheless means Paul is beginning to build ever-important
name recognition. What's more, Paul is blowing away his Republican counterparts
in the polls of people who have actually heard him speak.
What does all this mean? Perhaps very little, as we're still well over a year
away from Election Day and polling is essentially meaningless at this point.
But one thing the "Ronvolution" supporters can count on is this: Today’s
top-tier Republican candidates are going to fade into the night as the election
nears. Voters will have months on end to listen to Giuliani, Romney, Thompson,
and McCain flip-flop, prevaricate, and generally make fools of themselves as
they battle each other, while Ron Paul will quietly continue to gather momentum
by consistently preaching the virtues of liberty and reiterating anti-Iraq war
sentiments the vast majority of the population already endorse.
It’s no secret that Ron Paul has been the victim of a widespread media
blackout, due largely to his unpopular views among the intelligentsia as they
relate to decreasing the scope of the federal government, with which those on
both the left and right seek to curry favor. Media conglomerates may have their
particular political biases, but there’s really only one thing that matters
at the end of the day, and that’s a bias toward making money. Big-name
candidates generate big-time campaign contributions, which translate into lots
and lots of revenue for media outlets in the business of selling ad space and
So, do these difficulties mean Dr. Paul faces an uphill slog to the White House?
You betcha. They do not, however, mean that his campaign can’t or won’t
continue to gain momentum nationwide. Paul’s growing support despite his
virtual media inattention may be indicative of just how strong his movement
really is, not to mention contributing to this perceived Republican apathy toward
his mainstream opponents.
I believe Ron Paul has revitalized hope in many Americans, from liberals to
conservatives who are sick and tired of imperialistic and paternalistic governance,
and perhaps even in people who had already decided they were done voting in
presidential elections. It's only a matter of time before the media will be
forced to acknowledge Paul's incremental victories, and once that happens, we
may no longer have to wonder who "none of the above" really is.
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com
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