For at least a month, the media have been ignoring compelling evidence that Ron Paul is doing much better in the Republican nomination race than he did in the primary/caucus popular votes. In their hurry to write the general election narrative, the media have forgotten to perform their primary function: to report the facts. The facts are that Ron Paul has won at least two states and will likely win more.
Now that Paul’s success is impossible to ignore, the media are writing a new narrative. Headlines like “Ron Paul’s stealth state convention takeover” and “Ron Paul People Playing Mischief with Delegates” indicate that instead of ignoring Paul’s victories, they now seek to imply that there is something sneaky or unfair about them. Some even suggest that his delegate success in states where he did not win the popular vote may even (gasp!) “undermine democracy.”
Undermining democracy would be a good thing. If there is anything we have too much of in 21st century America; it’s democracy. The United States flourished as a free and prosperous society largely because it was founded as a republic. The reason for the bicameral legislature, the separation of powers, and the other so-called “checks and balances” was to protect us from democracy, which James Madison called “the most vile form of government.”
Based upon the belief that government “even in its best state, is but a necessary evil,” the American republic was built to check the will of the majority whenever it wished to confer more power on the government. That’s why there are two houses in Congress. In a democracy, there would be only one. Even after the House passes a law, it then has to pass the Senate, which originally represented the state governments, not the people. The 17th Amendment removed this important check on the power of the federal government.
Ron Paul’s strategy takes advantage of the republican nature of the nomination process. That process does not rely purely on a popular vote to determine who will be the nominee. Instead, voters must go through a multi-tiered vetting process of successive elections in order to become a delegate to the RNC.
This does not remove all of the dangers inherent in a pure democracy, but it helps. At least a delegate has been forced to hear the arguments of other candidates before blindly casting a vote. He also must have the commitment necessary to endure the long delegate selection process.
That the process is republican rather than democratic does not disenfranchise anyone. Everyone has an equal opportunity to become a delegate. Everyone has an equal opportunity to read the rules. That supporters of some candidates choose not to go through the process does not “nullify their wishes.” That they choose not to become informed on how candidates are actually nominated does not represent a deception. On the contrary, the whole process is intentionally designed to ensure that uninformed or uncommitted people do not directly choose the nominee.