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My Granite State experience
What really controls elections
I just returned from campaigning for Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primaries as part of PO 362 with Professor Scott McLean. As a self-proclaimed, as well as externally labeled, political junkie, it was a wonderful 10 days.
I noticed two very telling things during my time making phone calls to residents on behalf of the campaign, and knocking on doors to gather voter data and advocate for Paul and waving signs on street corners for the man we like to call “The Good Doctor.”
First, even when some New Hampshire voters do not support Paul, they often say they respect his principled nature and his ability to stay true. That is frequently followed by them saying: “Glad to see you young guys out fighting for something you believe in.” If they do not support Paul, I do not care that they like my enthusiasm.
Alas, we nod and smile at their empty compliment and continue to fight the good fight.
The second thing that struck me was the sentiment from so many Mitt Romney supporters that they would support Paul, but he is “unelectable.” Who determines this tag? It is the cohorts that run the large media corporations who have coronated Mitt Romney as the next in line for the Republican nomination before any ballot was cast. I jumped on the assumption too, in an article I penned last semester. I did so as a reaction to the likes of CNN, who were calling the race already.
A candidate becomes electable when people cast votes for them, that is how democracy works. Telling people that somebody is unelectable before any votes are cast is unjustly influencing the process. People should be left to decide on their own. Unfortunately, there is a vast number of people who simply want to beat Barack Obama in November, so they go with who the media tells them has the best shot. Even making the assumption that Romney has the best shot of that is not true.
The media bias ranges from subtle to blatant.
There are two early voting towns in New Hampshire, which the AP reported the results. The Concord Monitor picked up the story, but cut off the part about the second town which Ron Paul did better in. They did so to be able to run the headline “Huntsman, Romney tied in early voting.”
A local CBS affiliate in New Hampshire showed poll numbers of Romney and described his lead as more than thirty points over his rivals. The problem? Ron Paul was within fifteen points. They did not even put his name on the graphic.
The most egregious offense I witnessed during my time in New Hampshire was in the debate on Sunday, January 8. The debate was cosponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper. The paper had endorsed former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich as their choice as the Republican nominee a few weeks prior. The debate’s first question was posed to Gingrich, asking why Mitt Romney should not be the nominee. It did not provide reciprocal questions to all the other candidates, nor anything similar to it. Their agenda, as a supposedly objective media outlet and debate moderator, was not even attempted to be hidden.
This list undoubtedly goes on. These are simply three instances that I picked up during my short and somewhat insulated from the normal media time in New Hampshire.
At the end of the day, the people who own the media conglomerates are the same circles of people who run all the special interest groups. Romney would protect their money-making schemes, just like every President in our lifetime, while Ron Paul is the last great hope to actually clean up the way the government of this country operates.
That is, until Rand Paul runs in 2016. Hopefully by then, the conversation will have shifted.