[private] I am not a libertarian, but in these times of unpredictable happenings and crisis we need unorthodox approaches and unorthodox presidential candidates. In the republican primaries Libertarian Texas Representative Ron Paul seems to bring plenty of such unorthodox proposals to the table. The mainstream media has consistently blacked out Paul as a candidate. They refuse to follow his rise in polls, his great debate performances and his ideas that even competing GOP candidates have begun to embrace.
A PEW survey of the 52 biggest US news outlets had shown that Ron Paul received the smallest, 2% share, among the entire GOP candidate group of 10. Even almost irrelevant candidates, Santorum, Pawlenty and Huntsman, receive coverage often several times greater than the surging-in-polls Paul.
While many of the ideas he brings to the table need implementation, I admit that others are only worth discussing, and still others are a bit scary: abolishing the FED, closing all US bases abroad, ending the war on drugs, ending aid to Israel, etc.
While Paul’s explosive mixture of urgent, difficult-to-understand and frightening ideas is threatening to status quo, it should nevertheless be analyzed and scrutinized.
Alarmingly, the media refuses to give Ron Paul any coverage–as if their job was not in scrutiny but in actually choosing whom voters should elect. Ignoring the candidate and issues he brings does not make him (or them) go away, but makes many question how the scrutiny has been applied. It also makes many wonder how often in just the recent past, national candidates were either sidelined or purposefully boosted.
The networks, both on the left and right of the political spectrum, have shown that their main obligation is that of their board of directors, CEOs and parent companies. They see someone like Ron Paul as threatening to the status quo. They see him as unpredictable, destabilizing to the system of power, and costly to their bottom line.
While that argument might be correct, I believe a fair scrutiny is deserved by all viable candidates. If a media organization decides that it will not allow fair reporting and vetting of a candidate, then it is no longer a societies watchdog.
The US media should feel itself less as an extension of the US government and the corporate interest of corporations owning it, and more as the extension of the interest of American people and public in general.
The American public has been let down greatly by US media unwillingness to objectively scrutinize huge events which had shaped the US in the last decade: the rationale for going to war in Iraq, the inability to specify whom America is at war with after 9/11, no forethought in the lead-up to the financial collapse of 2008, the lack of questioning alternatives to the government bailout of banks and car companies. It is difficult to see how Americans can continue to trust the mainstream media to offer sound analysis and unbiased presentation of facts.
Ron Paul is where he is, not because but despite the mainstream media. It is the internet and social media campaign that have given Ron Paul the ability to not be completely sidelined by the mainstream media.
Despite mainstream media black-out, late November polls showed Ron Paul tied for first in Iowa and coming in third in New Hampshire. What is even more important, national polls show that if he and Barack Obama went toe-to-toe, Paul would win 51% of the national vote.
I don’t expect Ron Paul to get the republican nomination, but come in second or third. Then Paul is likely to run on an independent ticket for the libertarian party and to contribute to a three-horse-race reminiscent of the 1992 Bush-Clinton-Perot race, in which Clinton won with 43% of votes cast. The winner between 2012 Obama-Romney-Paul, could very well be Paul.
Don’t despair however. I don’t believe Ron Paul, if ever elected, would get all his wishes granted as president, which is why I am not concerned about his more extreme proposals. I don’t know whether Representative Ron Paul would be a good president, but what I believe is that his candidacy is a viable one. This fact alone deserves attention and analysis from the mainstream media. [/private]