An article about presidential candidate Ron Paul

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The Post-Gazette has been receiving many e-mails like this:

Subject: RON PAUL 08

Ron Paul is our only hope and you people in the media know it. Please give him a chance and report the polls right as he is our only hope, for your children's sake, PLEASE.

David Gould
Gould Trucking
Redding, Calif.


And this:

Subject: Stop controlling my life

During the rule of the Bush administration my freedom has been stolen under the pretense of safety. Personally I have concluded that freedom is more precious than safety. Children who cling to their parents may be safe, but they fail to enjoy the freedom of making their own way. The mainstream neoconservatives want to be my parents.

That's why Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate that I can support. He wants to protect my rights and let me figure out the rest.

Chad Nelson
Manassas, Va.


And this:

Subject: America wants to know... the truth with the options

Dear Editor,

I have a hard time believing Congressman Ron Paul has only 1 percent of the voters. It sure does not appear that way on the Internet.

I humbly request airtime and news articles that reflect the HIGH marks he has received in the presidential debates. He is an important candidate and too little airtime has been given to this honest and important man.

The Internet is all abuzz. ... Shouldn't television & newspapers be the same? Oh, and it would be nice if you showed how much you care about this country by adding footage of World Trade Center building 7. I'm doing my part to show EVERYONE the truth. A little investigation and integrity might do wonders for your slumping ratings.

All the best to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Loretta Kohanes
Non-television watching/Newspaper reading
100% Pro-American Loving
Salem, Oregon
P.S. I'll start watching and reading -- when you start giving a DAMN.

[We wrote back to ask if Ms. Kohanes really did not read newspapers. She replied, "All right, I confess I do read newspapers: op-eds, the Times (occasionally), BBC, Indymedia, National Journal, Global Research, Democracy Now, Media Matters and etc.... But when I saw WTC #7 fall and NO local or national station or newspaper carried it -- I turned off my television and NPR in disgust."]


In response, we offer some background on U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate:

Ron Paul is an area man: Born and raised in Green Tree, he graduated from Dormont High School in 1953 and Gettysburg College in 1957. After medical school at Duke, he was a resident at University of Pittsburgh from 1965 to 1968. He is an ob/gyn who has delivered more than 4,000 babies since moving to Texas to begin his medical career.

This is from the bio on his campaign's Web site (www.ronpaul2008.com):

"Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation's capital. Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the 'one exception to the Gang of 535' on Capitol Hill."

Rep. Paul served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He gave up his seat to return to medicine in 1984. In 1988, he ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate, placing third in the popular vote with 431,750, behind George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. In 1997, running in a new House district, he was elected again to the U.S. House.

Ron Paul is an Internet phenomenon. "Ron Paul" is the top-searched term on Technorati.com, a site that indexes what's called the "social media" by tracking over 82.6 million blogs. On YouTube.com, Ron Paul subscribers (people who ask to be informed when new content is posted) number over 7,000, the highest of any presidential candidate.

Ron Paul also has about 100 Meetup.com groups, more than any other candidate (though Al Gore has 105). The local Meetup group features a user named "Solekitchen" from Butler who writes, "I want these local Meetups because we have to overcome the mass media blackout that the moguls have unleashed against Ron Paul and the American people."

Among the issues in Ron Paul's platform:

War and Foreign Policy: "The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again."

Privacy and Personal Liberty: "The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens' personal matters. We must stop the move toward a national ID card system. All states are preparing to issue new driver's licenses embedded with "standard identifier" data -- a national ID. A national ID with new tracking technologies means we're heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy. I voted against the Real ID Act in March of 2005. ... I sponsored a bill to overturn the Patriot Act and have won some victories, but today the threat to your liberty and privacy is very real."

American Independence and Sovereignty: "So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court, NAFTA, GATT, WTO and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites. ... We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America."

According to a 2001 article in Texas Monthly cited on Wikipedia, Ron Paul decided to enter politics on Aug. 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon went off the gold standard completely. He said, "After that day, all money would be political money rather than money of real value. I was astounded."


Correction/Clarification: (Published May 29, 2007) Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was born and raised in Green Tree. This Morning File column as originally published May 24, 2007, based on information from his campaign, mistakenly said he was from Dormont.

jallison@post-gazette.com , 412-263-1915


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