If you don’t make time to watch Jon Stewart’s Daily Show you should. If you don’t have cable or satellite that delivers Comedy Central, watch him on your laptop, IPad or smartphone and get, hands down, the best news analysis available anywhere. Despite his irreverent and sometimes obscenity laden (don’t worry, Comedy Central provides the bleeps) delivery, Stewart was recently voted “the most trusted newsman in America” in a Time Magazine poll. Even here in socially conservative Kentucky, Stewart tied for first place with NBC’s Brian Williams, who is a frequent guest on Stewart’s show. In an interview with NPR last year, Williams described Stewart as “indispensable.”
It’s a sad state of affairs when most American news watchers feel safer getting their news from Comedy Central, but it’s not unwarranted.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, father of our Senator Rand Paul, was getting in the conservative media. The most underreported story from last week’s Iowa straw poll was that Paul came in a close second to loon Michele Bachman, receiving 4,671 votes to Bachman’s 4,823, a difference of less than one percent.
Meet the Press, Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday all patently ignored Paul’s success and appeal in Iowa, and Fox went so far as to give an honorable mention to the performance of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who had less than half of the votes Paul did, when discussing their “top tier” Republican candidates for president. Reporting on the straw poll, CNN went so far as to mention former Utah Governor John Huntsman, who garnered only 69 votes, as a contender without mentioning Paul’s showing. NBC News wrote a whole story on its website and failed to mention Paul, but did include him in the accompanying table of results showing his coming in second.
If you are a Republican, it would be fun to vote for Paul in next year’s primaries just to watch the main stream media come unglued if he won, however there are two big reasons that you should study his platform: foreign policy and tax policy.
Paul is a strict libertarian and noninterventionist in terms of foreign policy and was the only Republican with the courage and foresight to vote against authorizing the futile and costly war against Iraq. Sounding like the incarnation of G. K. Chesteron, Paul gave Santorum an epic beatdown at the Iowa debates last weekend on the subject, but again, if you weren’t watching The Daily Show, you wouldn’t have seen it. Santorum had attempted to raise the bugaboo of Iran as a threat to our sovereignty and security when Paul took him to school on the history of our relationship with Iran, saying, ““The senator is wrong on his history. We’ve been at war in Iran for a lot longer than ’79. We started it in 1953… the blow-back came in 1979 because we don’t mind our own business. That’s our problem!” Hallelujah!
In all of the debate over cutting federal spending, Paul was the lone Republican voice calling for the removal of U.S. troops from Europe and closing the now-useless and costly U.S. military bases there. While some of his policies, like withdrawing from the United Nations aren’t practicable, his philosophy is sound and startling Jeffersonian, who, in his first inaugural address said, “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
A few weeks ago in this column you may have read an endorsement of the flat tax which is at the heart of Paul’s fiscal policy. Arguing that the current system allows loopholes that are unfair, noncompetitive and corruptive of the democratic process, Paul advocates a flat tax without loopholes. Though his proposed level of ten percent is estimated to be too low, the philosophy is sound. Paul’s advocacy of an equitable and transparent tax system alone should earn him your careful consideration.
There’s a lot of time between now and our primary next May for Republican voters to get to know Ron Paul and a lot may happen, but you won’t be able to begin your study if you just follow “the news” because they aren’t covering him.
Don’t allow the big news outlets to spoon feed you their chosen candidate; do your homework and compare your values to Paul’s and examine his exemplarily consistent voting record on issues that are important to you.