Steve Forbes may be on his way to doing what Ross Perot did in 1992 - upset the norms of the presidential vote. And he is doing it with money.
The latest polls done by Northern Arizona University's Social Research Laboratory show that Forbes is leading the GOP vote in Arizona.
Forbes has 44 percent of the vote, a 25-percent lead over his nearest competitor, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.).
This is a tremendous lead in a state known to favor Republicans in many elections. Note that our governor and senators are all Republicans, and that in 1992 this state went to former President George Bush.
But more interesting is that it seems Forbes is "buying" the vote.
According to the Jan. 29, 1996, issue of Time, Forbes has said he is willing to spend $25 million of his own money, the sum of which is estimated by Fortune magazine to be about $439 million.
Perot spent $60 million, according to Time, on his grass roots campaign, and gained large support in Arizona and across the nation.
Does that mean this state is easily bought?
No, it does not.
Forbes has been gaining ground throughout the country. From California to Iowa to New Hampshire, Forbes has been making headway through a sea of Republican candidates. He has also had sellout fund-raising dinners, including one collecting $1.2 million.
Is this bad that he has been supposedly "buying his way"?
Men and women have forged this country through a survival-of-the-fittest attitude. Forbes is doing the same.
Forbes is from a family that developed one of this nation's most well-known magazines. It is in his blood to be successful, and he has done so through looking at what he has and using it to his advantage.
He saw his fortune, and he is using it to make his name known - through advertising.
Look at Nike and Coca-Cola, they do the same thing. And that is what it's all about, advertising - not buying.
But as citizens, we must engage in deciding who will best represent us and govern our nation. We must listen to the issues, not the money that is so easy to see.
Forbes has openly presented to the public his platform, which we must review first before ever thinking about who he is and how much he is worth.
But at the same time, we, as a nation, cannot condemn a rich man for running for the presidency and using his personal fortune to do so. If we do, then we also condemn the right to blaze one's own trail in this world - a principle much of this country was founded upon.