Remember: representative democracy is just a dog and pony show. For almost two centuries in the United States, our Presidential candidates have been handpicked by whatever the dominant business interest is of the times. For example, both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, both long-time rivals even in the Presidential race of 1860, had close ties to Illinois Central Railroad. Douglas himself was a shill for them, providing the typical government privileges and Lincoln was a lawyer who represented them.
The fact is, Ron Paul got the most individual donations to his campaign in comparison to every other candidate in both parties, especially from the military. Yes there were top brass who denounced him, but you have to view top generals and admirals in the armed forces as nothing more than bureaucrats in fancy uniforms. They have long forgotten the horrors of war, if they have ever experienced it, and come up with cute new ideas to destroy the armed services (like partying during basic training and putting women on the front lines).
If the past election proved anything, its that the President is a puppet figure head of dominant financial interests, nothing more. This is why Barack Obama spends more of his time vacationing than leading. He doesn’t have to do anything as the bureaucratic machine moves ever forward and is run by handpicked corporate favorites.
This is why Ron Paul was treated as he was in the mainstream media and by the Republican party elite. They could not stand a true leader in the office as the Presidency still does hold a lot of potentially untapped power.