Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Ron Paul problem

"Lower-tier candidates" get the media backhand

-- Corey Hutchins

Just around the corner from City Paper’s office was a stenciled “Ron Paul for president” sign spray-painted red white and blue on a slab of particleboard similar to the "Deer hunting" signs of Upstate New York or the "Happy birthday Wayne, from T-bones" in other parts of the country. In Five Points, one of Columbia’s shopping, restaurant and bar areas, the Ron Paul sign was tacked to a telephone pole and directly below it was a similarly constructed job that read “Ultimate Fighters Wanted” with a listed local telephone number.

Also, on a nearby freeway there exists low-budget Ron Paul banner that hangs off a pedestrian bridge as if it were advertising a college fraternity toga party for this Saturday night.

So needless to say hearing that Paul currently has more cash on hand for his campaign than John McCain was a only a little puzzling. Personally I feel bad I haven't gotten a chance to get to know about Ron Paul-- I somehow managed to give up the time not spent between my two jobs, checking Facebook and scrolling through blogs to Columbia’s service industry.

But the Ron Paul campaign hasn’t really pulled me in yet— even with its hipster stamp of approval— and, to a more specific point, his moments in the debate were never projected ad osmosis from the voice boxes of Chris Mathews or Tucker Carlson and he somehow managed to stay out of the pages of the New Yorker, Esquire and Vanity Fair while only tickling my funny bone in anything from Mother Jones, The New Republic or Slate.com

And while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards recently got caught saying they believe the other candidates aren’t "serious" and the Democratic pool should be narrowed down, I wonder if this “blunder” wasn’t actually calculated by their individual campaigns to only appear like one.

As for whom Clinton/Edwards are talking about, i.e. Dennis Kucinich et al, I'm not even sure that's the absolute correct spelling of Kucinich's name. I once overheard The Nation’s Washington Correspondent, John Nichols, say that Kucinich’s problem was "about six inches" and I remember reading something somewhere once about "a 5' 7" divorced Jew." I know he shook my hand at the Hunter Gatherer in Columbia a few years ago and afterwards I said, "Who was that?" My roommate looked at me like I was Charles Manson.

And while everyone always says “the media picks the president” we do hear an awful lot about John Edwards (most notably in Men's Vogue in the waiting room of the gay barber), we hear about Hillary Clinton from everyone with a mouth and Barack Obama from every ambitious young black or-- ahem-- "just very progressive" young person in the South (maybe that's too much of an indictment), and , of course, Obama Girl (what a chick) but for the others in the running you really have to go and dig stuff about for yourself. You know… take the time to Get To Know The Candidate.

I too want to get to know Paul and Kucinich, maybe even Mike Gravel, just to understand their ideas and see if I think they’re “electable”— make sure no one can really hammer me for it— but I don't know if I'll be wasting time getting hooked on another Nader wagon like I supported in 2000. And this is coming from a guy who’s shared a few afternoons with John Taylor Bowles.

One thing I don't want to do though is spend my energy bashing the people who support the "lower-tier candidates," (as they’re being labeled by both the other candidates and the media in wink-and-handshake fashion) because democracy, even one as muddled as ours, is all about choices and restricting those choices would go against the same ideological principles that pragmatic, reasonable, progressive people believe in.

Besides, someone needs to be getting millionaire-rich off of "Don't blame me, I didn't vote for him/her" stickers if only to one day show us how wrong we were.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really want to get to know Ron Paul? Don't take it 2nd hand, invest the time to see the Interview he gave at google:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yCM_wQy4YVg

and with Bill Mahar

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ExQfZC9E6j0

and here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Pda-rT1sf2M&feature=RecentlyWatched&page=1&t=t&f=b

don't be lazy - you're too smart for that.

Granny Miller said...

All those home made signs are unabashed grassroots excitement and enthusiasm.

I have one of them in my front yard too.

Bret Moore said...

I second that, the Google interview is really enlightening. It's worth a listen, I played Civ4 while I listened to it.

Anonymous said...

Sooo... Your point is that you're waiting to see who is "fashionable" to vote for? Who the 'in' crowd endorses? Need permission to think for yourself?

Why can't you just research him yourself? I did, and Im voting for him. Im also a California Liberal who is registering Republican to vote for him. Thats how much he 'grabs' me.

Whether or not I agree with him on his social issues, or even some of his economic ones is completely irrelevant. His strict adherance to the Constitution and his consistant proven integrity is why Im voting for him. Why these traits mean nothing in our society is beyond me. That trait is so rare in politicians that I dont care if thats ALL I agreed with. Id still vote for him and Id still tell everyone I know about him and Id still campaign for him.

He has to go through congress to get his ideas passed anyway, if we arent ready for it, it won't happen. I dont care if all he does is Repeal the Patriot Act, The Millitary Commissions Act and gives us a pile of vetoes for non-constititional bills. Thats a win for us. Its time to send the message to these jokers that they dont have free reign anymore. Paul is the only guy to do it. Hes the only guy who practices what he preaches. Hes one of those rare once or twice in a century kind of a guy and Ill be damned if im not going to fight for him.

Anonymous said...

Restore the Republic/Abide by Constitutional law/States rights
No Real ID or Biometrics
Personal freedoms respected/Patriot Act Repeal
Pro-life/Anti-death penalty
Pro-Second Amendment Rights
For Sensible immigration policies
Would seek an alternative to the IRS (for maybe a more voluntary tax system?)
No undeclared wars/Voted no on Iraq/Revise foreign policy re: nation building
Fiscal responsibility/Less foreign aid/Alternative to so-called 'Federal Reserve'
100% National Taxpayers Union Rating
A+ Gun Owners of America Rating
US Congress 10 Terms/Served on House Cmte Foreign Relations
Does not take Congressional pension
Never voted for a tax increase for us or pay raise for himself/impeccable voting record
Married 50 Yrs/Excellent Family/Medical doctor/Flight surgeon


Some good videos:

Ron is happy that he is part of what WE are doing. This is a fantastic video of what happened in Iowa with the rally he organized after hearing he would not be included in a TAXPAYERS forum...and includes 250 of us in Manchester on a screen shouting "We're not just the internet!" at the rally... (which was cut out by CNN)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vJmgMqIJTQ

Intelligent Paul voters, using my and the HQ sign designs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVv9mrKZcrE

This one is cute because it has 'flip' Romney at the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc6Kkg3u_UQ


Does the military know something we don't know?
http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/3609/Antiwar_Ron_Paul_Rakes_in_Military_Donations
http://thespinfactor.com/thetruth/2007/07/16/military-support-for-the-republican-candidates


Other interesting facts about Ron Paul:

1. Ron Paul has almost as much net cash on hand as Mitt Romney (to get that number, you deduct the $9 million of debt that the Romney campaign owes).

2. Ron Paul has been the number one most searched person on the entire blogosphere for the last three months straight per http://www.technorati.com

3. Ron Paul has more than 4 times as many volunteers as Obama, 22 times more volunteers than Hillary, and hundreds of times more volunteers than Giuliani or Romney, per Meetup.com. In addition, new Ron Paul volunteers is growing at a rate of 36 times faster than Obama, and 96 times faster than Hillary as documented at:

http://www.meetup.com/topics/polact/cand/pres/

4. Liberty is popular and honesty is popular. Ron Paul leads in polls of people who have heard him speak. And it is still 5 months before the primaries, so there is still plenty of time for people who haven’t yet heard Ron Paul's message to hear it.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/haman1.html

Ron Paul is very impressive. He has support all over the US. I think it is impossible to calculate how much he "has on hand". Check out just a few things people have done across the country:

Bill Board paid for by RP supporters:
http://dailypaul.com/node/729

Ron Paul 100 days, 100 signs:
http://dailypaul.com/node/721

Ron Paul July 3rd, 2007 overnight:
http://tinyurl.com/yoalv3

KOTV reports on Ron Paul signs all over:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=bm7BfyIPjeA

Folks, there is a quiet revolution. Be prepared for liberty!

PS: If you missed Ron Paul at google, it was awesome. Ron Paul impressed the moderator! More Ron Paul supporters?

Video of Ron @google: http://youtube.com/watch?v=yCM_wQy4YVg

Quote of typical supporter:
"I am a liberal democrat. I personally have given his campaign $350.00. Handed out hundreds of flyers, spent dozens of hours blogging and working on websites. Spent over a hundred dollars and hours of time on banner making. Not to mention going out on foot to the meet-ups and spreading the good word. If you add up the grassroots effort Dr Paul would have to have spent 20 or 30 million so far".

Read many similar comments on this page:
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/07/16/272259.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage

"Ron Paul is the ‘hottest’ GOP candidate at the moment."
http://www.etherzone.com/2007/lebo071707.shtml

Josh said...

This is a good link http://www.hithimagain.com/2007/07/11/ron-paul-right-on-all-issues-in-two-sentences-or-less/ I am a liberal who is converted. We live in scary times and the system has not been working. We are at a dead-end, or on the brink of WWIII. Who would have thought this hardcore hippie (punk) would contribute to the most conservative member of congress. The gatekeepers have failed and the revolution is starting. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Here's the speech Ron Paul gave in Iowa: http://www.youtube.com/stankyblog

sassybritches said...

You want to know about Ron Paul?

He's consistently voted against the war in iraq, the patriot act, the military commissions act of 2006, the real id act, regulating the internet. The man is a true supporter of freedom, unlike these neo-cons who have kidnapped the Republican party and expanded government larger than it's ever been.

Low-tier candidate, they say? Interesting considering he's only about $800,000 behind Romney (after you deduct for his debts).

I'm not so sure how individual freedom and personal liberty became a "tin-hat" notion. If politicians and citizens hadn't stopped following the constitution we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

Ron Paul in 2008!

Anonymous said...

The homemade signs and Ron Paul graffiti are all over my town too. Their guerrilla marketing tactics are crude, clearly not the work of a 30 million dollar establishment politician. I have never seen so much excitment over an election, Ron Paul is as popular as David Beckham and Paris Hilton. That is amazing.

Anonymous said...

In the amount of time it took you to write that crappy article, you could have learned enough about Ron Paul to realize that he is fighting for you to have the right to write crappy articles.

Thomas Ham said...

@anon

he is popular like beckham and hilton, but gets hardly any media coverage.

JOHN READING said...

I have no great hope for someone who tells us twice about Kucinich's height and fails to mention any important issue of any candidate.

This is more like reading the diary of a 14-yr-old obsessed with who is popular and considering some homework on this dreary political stuff.

But then our author adds "...democracy, even one as muddled as ours, is all about choices and restricting those choices would go against the same ideological principles that pragmatic, reasonable, progressive people believe in".

Progressive people generally do not support choices when it comes to free markets. They generally over-rule choice when it comes to private property and voluntary charity. Progressives are usually in favor of vast government coercion to solve every tragedy and monitor every fallen sparrow.

To believe that being progressive is either reasonable or pragmatic is philosophically naive.

I highly encourage our author to follow through on his homework, especially until he becomes expert at knowing the positions of both Kucinich (progressive) and Paul (libertarian).

Progressives are anti individual choice, libertarians are pro individual choice. Our author needs to ask himself whose choice he is concerned with, his or the mob's, or every individual's.

Anonymous said...

"but I don't know if I'll be wasting time getting hooked on another Nader wagon like I supported in 2000."

you are a goddamn coward. Vote because its what you believe in. dont give me this crap about oh well I wasted my vote because i didnt vote for the winner or someone who is not going to win. you only get one vote research the candidates and vote for who represents you the most. then win lose or draw you made the right choice.

Justice Avocado said...

What a great post. I applaud you sir, for your open mind and generous attitude. Thank God for your approach to politics.

I would encourage you to check out Dr. Paul on YouTube, but hey--even if you don't like him, you still have my respect.

Poison_is_my_fave_band said...

Oh Crap. I can't believe I missed Wayne's birthday.

I was busy making Ron Paul signs and trying to save the country.

Anonymous said...

it's easy. ronpaul2008.com

it's all there, media consultant free positions...etc. root around further sure but you're making simple things complicated.

Tom Jefferson said...

Ron Paul is a 10 term congressman who has often warned about mistakes the country was making, such as the false war in Iraq, and has been proven right each time.

70% of Americans want us out of Iraq.

Ron Paul is the only republican candidate against the war in Iraq.

Over the next six months Ron Paul will gain name recognition and people will learn about who Ron Paul is and most will support him.

Ron Paul only needs 30% of republicans sick of the war and abuse of powers to win the nomination.

Once Ron Paul wins the nomination he will be the only anti-war candidate. Ron Paul will win election. At least we can hope for the best.

Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as president who were doing about the same in the 'Scientific Polls' at this stage in their elections. Ron Paul has tremendous momentum and his support is growing exponentially. The other candidates are stagnant. Only Ron Paul's support is growing and will continue to grow!

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” John Quincy Adams

Visit YouTube and search Ron Paul to learn more…

Anonymous said...

If we didn't have opinion polls, and an unbiased observer had to determine who the leading candidates were, my guess is that they would be Barack Obama and Ron Paul.

No one else is generating any genuine enthusiasm at all.

Anonymous said...

I to have to say it is substance that the American people are craving this time around, the web provides that for those who wish educated honest staespeople, Dr. Paul fits the bill.

Look at what transpired in Iowa at the rally, he was excluded from debating at the christian deal so he rented the hall and had close to twice as many people there as the candidates across the street.

Grassroots activism at work, a return to a time when millions of dollars from the elite bought a president in return for puppetry, Dr. Paul is a return to the Constituition.

Jamil said...

I put up some of those signs and I can tell you the Ron Paul Revolution cannot be stopped. America will be free again from the government.

Anonymous said...

Here are some interesting stats:

Campaign donations from the military. Ron Paul received 1/3 of the total donations from military members and vets.
Ron Paul 32.94%
John McCain 22.99%
Hillary Clinton 13.92%
Bill Richardson 7.03%
Barack Obama 6.85%
Mitt Romney 4.68%
Rudy Giuliani 3.06%
John Edwards 2.97%
Tom Tancredo 1.85%
Duncan Hunter 1.32%
Joe Biden 1.06%
Mike Huckabee 0.20%
Mike Gravel 0.09%
Sam Brownback 0.07%

From: http://thespinfactor.com/thetruth/2007/07/17/ron-paul-leads-all-08-candidates-with-one-third-of-military-contributions-for-q2/

and: http://phreadom.blogspot.com/2007/07/ron-paul-is-most-financially-military.html

Anonymous said...

I am non political. However, I caught the Ron Paul rEVOLution fever. I have to say, I never thought a presidential race could be so much fun. Obama might have a "girl", but Ron Paul has Acrobats, We really do Flip For Ron Paul. Pictures and videos coming soon

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul has a lot of money because he's nothing but a corporate mouthpiece. His plan is to abolish all welfare, the EPA, and even the DOE. His vision of America is a society driven by pure free-market capitalism. No governmental assistance in any form--survival of the fittest.

So of course he gets lots of corporate money. :D

Mike Gravel is the real informer. If you're over 18, here's only one reason you haven't been drafted, and that is MIKE GRAVEL.

LadyLakeHartwell said...

Why is the writer pretending not to be a partisan hack. We are smart people and the writer speaks to his readers as if we were in grade school. The title of the article is an obvious slam against Dr. Paul. Why doesn't the author start the article by clearly stating his blatant bias? That would be the honest thing to do. And I would still read it. I would have much more respect for the author.

Chris McNeil said...

"Anonymous said...
Ron Paul has a lot of money because he's nothing but a corporate mouthpiece. His plan is to abolish all welfare, the EPA, and even the DOE. His vision of America is a society driven by pure free-market capitalism. No governmental assistance in any form--survival of the fittest.

So of course he gets lots of corporate money. :D

Mike Gravel is the real informer. If you're over 18, here's only one reason you haven't been drafted, and that is MIKE GRAVEL."

I like Gravel, too, but it's ridiculous that you would call ROn Paul a corporate mouthpiece- he is for free markets but against government subsidation of industries (you know, like starting wars on the pretense of fighting "terrists" for the oil companies). Lobbyists know Ron Paul can't be bought- google it! Look it up>

Richard Brodie said...

I have a couple of 4 foot by 8 foot Ron Paul for President Banners with one and a half foot high red letters readable from a quarter mile away. I and my children hold them on freeway overpasses. We expose his name to about 50,000 people per hour during heavy (four car per second each direction) weekend traffic.

In the next six months our family will single-handedly achieve around ten million exposures working every weekend just two hours on Saturday and two hours on Sunday.

When I first began doing this I zip-tied them to the fence, but was advised by an officer that I could not attach them to public property, even though I always took them down when I left.

So I made PVC frames so that I can hold one by myself if no one is available to help. Then a different officer complained that it was a "visual hazard". So I did some investigation with help from the state Motor Vehicle Department offices, and presented a detailed report of my findings to the local Highway Patrol and City Police.

They had to admit that I had done my research well, and agreed that as long as I was on a sidewalk, did not attach anything to public property, and was not obstructing either vehicular or pedestrian traffic, there was nothing wrong with what I was doing to express my First Amendment right to free speech.

I assured them that even if some officer ask me to stop (probably responding to a complaint phoned in by a passing motorist who didn't like Ron Paul and just wanted to try and silence me) I would never disobey a direct request to leave. The head of the police department told me to have such an officer "call his sergeant".

Now I am prepared to point out to any officer who might approach me in the future, that in Division 11 of Chapter 2 of Article 3 of the Outdoor Advertising Act, Section 5403 defines precisely what constitutes a prohibited and/or hazardous sign, and that my sign does not qualify as prohibited according to any one of 9 specified criteria.

If I continue to encounter further static from officers trying to use their position of authority to wrongfully intimidate and silence me, I am prepared with mileage charts showing which overpasses are in portions of the freeways designated as "non-landscaped", where the regulations governing signs, especially political signs, are considerably less stringent.

wm said...

Over half the money contributed to the Ron Paul campaign is from individuals, at $200 or less increments. Corporate money? I don't think so. I, and many many others have contributed our small $17.76, and it adds up.

Amazing Mortimer said...

Ron Paul?

Never trust a man with two first names.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed you supported Nader. It takes guts to get behind someone and stand behind them. That is courage and something really lacking in today's society. Clearly you are an individual who can think for yourself and this should be applauded. Just because he didn't win doesn't mean you lost. You stood by your beliefs and that is a win in and of itself. Also, Nader's campaign and votes swung the election and it was a clear message that to those in power that they were not attracting the votes they needed. You did have an influence. You did make yourself heard.

If more people did what you did, we would have a better society and country to live in. It is this type of courage that is needed.

That is why I am standing behind Ron Paul all the way to the end. I believe in standing up for my beliefs and I encourage others to do so to.

I hope you do take the time to do the research and stand by the person you believe would make the best president, not just the one with the most money, fame or popularity.

ryanshaunkelly said...

gravel kucinich paul nader [conyers?] united for truth elicit fear smear blacklist.

honesty compassion intelligence guts...

Anonymous said...

Just google Ron Paul. His website, ronpaul2008.com, has a ton of info. Trust me, it is worth it.