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Politics The Marginalization of Ron Paul (or How Media Plays Favorites)

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by Derwood, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Derwood

    Derwood Slightly Tilted

    Columbus, OH
    Jon Stewart had a great segment last night on The Daily Show:


    I'm no fan of Ron Paul, but the segment points to the bigger issue of the political media, particularly the 24 hour news cycle, picking the candidates that best serve their interests.

    Another example as Thursday's Republican Debate, where the FOX News Moderators had the obvious agenda of propping up Romney, Bachmann and Pawlenty, while marginalizing Santorum, Gingrich and Paul.

    This isn't a new phenomenon; historically, newspapers have always endorsed candidates (though they usually waited for the general election). Right or wrong, this isn't the invention of Aires or Murdoch.

    This election, I think the attempt to ignore Paul is pretty obvious. Paul has a small (but vocal) following, and, if he ran as an independent, could pull enough % points away from the Republican candidate to hand Obama the win. He's set up to play the H. Ross Perot role in 2012, so the GOP media machine wants no one to know who he is.
  2. dippin Getting Tilted

    I think that some of Paul's positions, like on the gold standard, are somewhat bizarre and outdated.
    That said, his lack of support within the Republican party is pretty much the best evidence there is that there is nothing "libertarian" about the modern republican party and the "tea party."
  3. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    last election it was pretty bad, but this election cycle it's getting ridiculously obvious. polling top 4, winning debate poll numbers, basically tieing vote wise at ames, and most contributions from military personal. any other candidate with these achievements s\would probably be labeled a front runner.

    when you see right wing and left wing media attacking him despite his relatively strong support among the public, i think it shows how scared they are of having a non establishment candidate.
  4. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom

    What makes you think Ron Paul has relatively strong support among the public?

    I would suggest most of the public disagrees with most of his policies -- his opposition to raising taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers and corporate taxes, his obsession with the Fed, his desire to eliminate most federal regulations (environmental, workplace, product safety...), his strong anti-choice position, his opposition to Social Security and Medicare and universal health care.

    He might have support for his foreign policy positions, but that ranks fairly low on most voters list of priorities.

    I dont disagree that he has been marginalized, but most of his policy positions are hardly mainstream.
  5. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    This Island Earth
    It's easy to suggest Ron Paul's problems stem from the two-flavor mass media... because most of them do. I agree with the previous posts suggesting that Republicans don't like him because he'll distract voters from their side of the game and Democrats don't like him because he's, well, Libertarian. I mean, there are some very noticeable problems with Libertarians that always tend to come up when you try to sell their package to moderates.
  6. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    i think he has strong support among the public by virtue of his policies becoming more popular. in 4 years you have seen ideas like audit/end the fed, states rights, and sound currency become so mainstream (especially for conservatives) that the entire gop primary has shifted to his way of thinking because it's popular. they have to move that direction because that's what the people want.

    when you have ames straw headlines that read bachman #1, pawlenty #3, there's a reason why he's personally not popular among the public.

    during the last debate newt gingrich of all people made a comment about the fed printing doallars, then just today you saw rick perry saying similar things. he has changed the playing field.

    the media blackout and the 'he can't win mentality' is truly one of the main things holding him down right now.
  7. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    i don't know. this seems a chicken/egg matter, yes?

    i remember hearing about french anarchists who pointed to some imaginary continuous surveillance by the renseignement généraux (effectively the french political police) as proof of their radical danger to the whole of the capitalist order to their 3 or 4 anarchist pals.

    so pointing to some conspiracy and filling in the gaps with speculative motivations papers over weakness of support and incoherence of argument. apparently now, it's not just a parlor game for french anarchists, but has migrated.

    ron paul is interesting: like i've said before, he at least highlights some problems. which is good. but his ways of framing them are so nutty that it's almost worse for the rest of us that he's out there trying to define these problems than it would be if he just stopped. his conspiratorial take on the fed is just goofy. his call for the return to the gold standard anachronistic. his call for some new isolationism is delirium. his view of regulation is absurd. what he'd do to the american system would be catastrophic. but in getting to these positions, he brings up legitimate concerns and, despite appearances that roachboy gives here, i sometimes enjoy talking with libertarians for the points of overlap and places of divergence. when it comes to thinking about actually supporting ron paul, though, its the results of the framing that matter. and none of those results is great.

    that said: the dominant media likes little tiny bytes. for years, even when it still existed as other than a conservative bogeyman, the left was more or less excluded from the mainstream press--particularly from cable infotainment before faux "news" came on the scene, simply because conservatives have become quite good at presenting their tiny-brained thoughts in byte form, where many left commentators have to provide framework and context before they can get to their main arguments. this a function of being out of power, so not being able to rely on the "common sense" that is the reflection of ideological domination (which is all "common sense" really is). the effect--> marginalization from what chomsky called opinion management, those awful blah blah blah programs that set the boundaries of "legitimate debate" in amurica. it may well be that ron paul has the same problem. so it may not require a "world's most dangerous man" conspiracy to explain the marginalization.

    if that's correct, then the way to find out is to fashion libertarian memes and see what happens.
  8. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    Here's another great analysis of the ron paul situation (600 likes, 301 views, oh youtube....)

    and a new professional ad that makes his 08 run look like a run for the school board.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

  10. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    Sam....the fact remains that many of Paul's positions are far out of the mainstream as I identified above and there is nothing to suggest that he has (or would have) widespread support or that centrist Independents who are not happy with either major party share his libertarian views.

    The media certainly has not helped him, but he (and his supporters) have to recognize that he is accountable for his positions as well. The positions espoused by Libertarians like Paul and his supporters have little in common with priorities of most middle of the road Independents. Most Americans are centrists, he is not.

    Libertarians bring a valuable voice to the table but its small albeit loud voice. That hasnt change in this election cycle.
  11. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    In fact, much the same applies to the Tea Party movement. There is no widespread popular support; they represent a small, but loud minority.

    Most of those who won in the House in 2010 took back seats in conservative-leaning districts that the Democrats won in 06 and 08. The movement has had little traction beyond that and has recently lost much of its lukewarm support of those dissatisfied with the major players as a result of the Tea Part members' intransigence in the recent debt battle. Most Americans want a more balanced approach (spending cuts and revenue increases) and less extreme ideology.
  12. dippin Getting Tilted

    I don't think Paul has any real chance in a national election, even if he gained the appropriate media time. The vast majority of people who claim to be libertarians aren't actually against the state, but against the parts of the state that don't benefit them directly. Which is a direct offshoot of the myth spread by many within the major parties that you can have all you want while paying fewer taxes, if only we reduced foreign aid, welfare and "waste." That is not to say, of course, that Paul shouldn't be taken seriously. He should. But his natural "home," which is the conservative media, is pretty much pro big business and scared of a 3rd party spoiler in the elections.
  13. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    you know there was this same talk in 07. he's just a fluke, he raised all the money where will the people go, what will they do, surely they will fizzle out? well just a couple years later we have the tea party with 60 members in congress, ron paul's campaign for liberty, and every gop candidate is stealing pages from the ron paul financial platform. they HAVE to because many of his ideas are popular among the people and especially conservatives despite what you're saying. the candidates at least have to feign interest in his ideas to remain relevant.

    all this while taking flak from both sides of the media aisle. as they say when you're taking flak you know you're over the target. the establishment media and politicians are scared to death of him bringing real issues back into the debate like ending the fed, balancing the budget and ending the wars.

    the group of 60 in congress is being blamed for the debt ceiling crisis for heaven's sake, and you speak like there is no relevance or support?
    --- merged: Aug 16, 2011 at 7:22 PM ---
    here's bloomberg:

  14. dippin Getting Tilted

    1st, I would guarantee that most people have no idea what the FED does, so that poll is sort of irrelevant.

    2nd, I don't think you can mix Ron Paul with the "tea party." A tea party that in many districts was elected running against the cuts to medicare included in the Obama reform.
    Look at every poll of self identified tea party members and a vast majority are against cuts to medicare, medicaid, social security or military spending.
  15. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass

    Ron Paul is to conservatives what Ralph Nader was to Liberals. A few good ideas surrounded by a whole lot of whackiness.

    Those that love him are very active and he will tend to show well in low turnout polls. As a serious candidate in a 2 party system he doesn't stand a chance.
  16. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    it's a bit insulting to compare paul with nader, really. nader was pretty accurate in much of what he was saying. the problem came when he decided to run as a green. i cant tell you how many democrats i know and/or talked to who blamed him for w.

    and. following on the same idea, i hope ron paul runs as a 3rd party candidate once he fails to get the republican nomination.

    one last thing about nader: the left has no voice in american politics. none. at all. anywhere. and i wasn't a particular nader fan. but he represented positions which are more or less social-democratic and which are simply erased from the spectrum of reactionaries that is the sad two-party american system. you get used to voting against things rather than for them. i find it funny to see libertarians whining about having no place. please. you have no idea.
  17. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    As I said about the 60 Tea Party members of Congress, most were from conservative leaning districts that the Democrats took in 06 and 08. Hardly a revolution, more a correction. In the Senate last year, the Republicans lost the opportunity to pick up three states - CO, NV, and DE - the first two of which are hardly Democratic strongholds. And they lost all three because they ran Tea Party candidates rather than less extremists candidates. A fourth Tea Party candidate in AK, who won the Republican primary, lost the election to a write-in vote for the incumbent.

    So, what the Tea Party proved is that they can win in Republican districts. I havent seen anything that approaches a national movement.

    You talk about real issues -- abolishing the Fed, balancing the budget and ending wars -- and the voters are more concerned about jobs, protecting (but reforming, not eliminating) Social Security and Medicare, and a meaningful level of government involvement in the form of regulations to protect the public from corporate abuses, not abolishing regulations and leaving it to the "free market".

    I think what many voters, particularly centrist Independents, want most of all are consensus builders, not ideologues and what the Tea Party members of Congress demonstrated in the debt ceiling debacle was that they are hard core ideologues unwilling to compromise or build consensus.
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I'm not sure everyone even gets Ron Paul. They may look at him and think, okay, he's a libertarian. But how libertarian is he? Does the public really know his political positions and how they would translate to a presidential office? If Paul were to go on a platform of every one of this political positions, it would be enough to spook both Republicans and Democrats, for different reasons.

    It all comes down to this: how libertarian is Ron Paul going to be?

    Has Ron Paul been clear on what his presidency would be like? Can it be trusted?
  19. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    i think above all with ron paul, you know what you're getting. he doesn't speak out against going to war with iran just for the fun of it during the debates as he knows it hurts him in the GOP primary. he was against the iraq war when it wasn't trendy. he was against torture, and the patriot act when almost everyone was for it. certainly there are thing that a lot of people don't agree with him with, but they aren't hidden or tucked away like most candidates.

    he was introducing bills to end/audit the fed before anyone really knew much about it, as well as bills to declare war on iraq out of matter of principle. he's vocal about being against gay marriage, but leaving marriage as a whole out of the role of the federal government and to the states.

    his voting record reflects his rhetoric time and time again. there aren't many in government who have this type of unwavering conviction for their beliefs. he's known as 'doctor no' because the lobbyists don't even solicit him anymore due to his strict constitutional voting. he has already proven he can't be bought and paid for.

    his presidency would be as libertarian as you define his past actions. there are no secrets or hidden agendas. it certainly wouldn't fit rigidly as right wing or left wing by our current 2 party system definition, so i guess libertarian would be the closest label.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    I admire Paul for standing firm on his positions as a member of Congress, even though I dont agree most of his positions. But that and his strict constitutional voting is what makes him, and most libertarians who share those views, unelectable nationwide, or even statewide, particularly when it comes to the role of government and economic/tax policies where his positions are way out of the mainstream.

    There is a reason why not more than about 15% of the population, at best, consider themselves libertarian.