Ron Paul ditched Fox News’ post-debate interview last week. He was making a statement.
Last week Ron Paul participated in the first Republican presidential debate in South Carolina where his treatment by the establishment media outlet Fox news was unsettlingly similar to his treatment in 2008. Paul supporters from 2008 and prior will understand what I mean when I say this; Paul was routinely discriminated against in a myriad of subtle and not-so-subtle ways including staging him on the far right or left of the rest of the candidates, asking him loaded questions which deliberately cater to dissuade social conservatives from supporting him, and almost systematically giving Paul less time to talk than the other candidates. At least one example exists of Fox outright excluding Paul from a debate.
By this metric last week’s debate was business as usual for Fox News. Fox staged Paul to the far left and Gary Johnson (the only other staunchly libertarian candidate) to the far right which is a gentle way of saying “these ideas are fringe!” Paul’s strongest issue undoubtedly is the economy, emboldened by all of his economic predictions from the 2008 campaign which came true. Since then, Paul has regularly appeared on many mainstream financial networks to offer his explanations as to why our economy is in crisis. Paul even famously introduced legislation with much media attention to audit the federal reserve, and is the ranking chairperson of the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, yet Paul was not asked ONCE about high prices, unemployment, or the federal reserve. Additionally, the establishment candidates positioned in the middle were given a significantly higher proportion of time to speak than either Paul or Johnson and after the debate was over Fox kindly gave us one of the most laughably orchestrated polling exercises I have ever had the pleasure of watching. That any person with a semi-functioning brain thinks this group of 29 of “the most important people in America” was a legitimate reflection of public opinion is a sad commentary on the state of the union. Please, watch this sideshow below because it has to be seen to be believed:
The debate was held on the same day Ron Paul’s organizers set up a “money bomb” whose aim was to raise as much money as possible in a 24 hour period of time – a technique first used by Paul’s supporters in the 2008 campaign to grab media attention. “Paulites” pioneered this with the thought that if they raised an amount large enough in a single day that it would be very difficult for media outlets to ignore. Although Ron’s money bomb pulled in more than 1 million dollars during debate-day, I don’t think Ron or his followers are holding their breath any longer for mass media coverage. Here’s why:
They don’t need it, and Ron Paul knows it. Paul has always looked at his political activities as an exercise in education – he says it often enough – “I don’t look at things in terms of groups, I look at ideas.” The concept of dealing strictly with principles and ideas doesn’t make for very good TV nor a very exciting politician. This is why Ron Paul has been speaking to whoever would listen for more than 30 years now, always emphasizing that it’s not about Ron Paul – it is about the message. Paul even goes so far as to encourage his supporters to read and self educate. When was the last time we heard a politician tell his/her constituency that they should read Henry Hazlitt’s Economics In One Lesson? Many believe that Ron Paul’s rise has been a recent phenomena occurring in the last 4 years or so, however what we are now witnessing is the parabolic uptrend of a 30 year bull market in the ideas of freedom. A phenomena Ron Paul has no doubt influenced and guided, but would probably be ignored if the economy were not in such dire straits. The gradual encroachment of Government has finally stepped on enough toes to incite a re-evaluation of what Government’s role should be, even if that means supporting legislation that is contrary to your own personal beliefs.
Succinctly put, Paul’s campaign is based on a consistent philosophy which can be transferred and applied to all issues regardless of the politician espousing them. This is quite the departure from politicians of years past who’s support ebbs and flows with the current events. Simpler still; everyone is tired of empty rhetoric. At heart, Paul’s stance on issues are based on a philosophy of freedom and economic understanding which are contrary to what is the political dogma of recent history. Therefore, since these are ideas and not political fads, Paul and his staunchest supporters understand that there is no turning back. The ideas and philosophy behind this movement have enough followers and believers that they will persist, Ron Paul or no Ron Paul. As Victor Hugo so aptly puts it, “An invasion of armies can be resisted but not an idea whose time has come.”
Though this is merely my own opinion, this is the essence of what I believe Paul was trying to say by snubbing Fox news’ post-debate interview in lieu of attending a Tea Party rally:
In 2008 Ron fought hard to get on major news outlets. Paul would take anything he could get; like this video many supporters will remember where Paul did an interview in a student’s dorm room:
His supporters clamored and hollered to get even a fraction of the air time that his competition got – but in 2011 the game is played differently. With the economy declining, multiple wars being waged for which our citizens cannot derive any discernible benefit, a failing healthcare system, rising food costs, and a new perspective on how our entitlement system is paid for, Ron Paul’s seemingly kooky predictions in 2008 have since come to fruition. In the years since our last presidential election He has been featured on every major news network, including a vigorous tour of alternative media sources who’s popularity are on the rise. Additionally, Paul was criticized in 2008 by his supporters for not spending more money on his campaign, whereas Paul opted to save the money and funnel it into a new political organization called Campaign for Liberty. This long term approach has been deemed successful and again, Paul turned out to be right: through this very effective endeavor Ron and his staffers have used the excess funds to help organize and donate to citizens running for office espousing similar libertarian concepts. Candidates endorsed by C4L typically receive the benefit of Ron Paul’s highly organized, hard working and creative supporters which has been the backbone of the “Tea Party,” since 2007. This would include Ron’s son, Rand, who after never holding public office was elected as a senator in the state of Kentucky. In short, Ron Paul’s movement is not just growing, it is exploding. Why?
Recently Ron Paul came to North Carolina State University to speak where he described his total surprise at the number of people who came to listen. “I used to be excited when 20 or 30 people showed up to hear me speak, now I am here in front of 1500 and I wonder what has changed, because it sure hasn’t been my public speaking skills!” Ironically, it is the things that have changed around us which have given Paul a fresh air of confidence about his positions. He knows that the ideas are gaining credibility simply because the economic realities of today are proving him right. Questions normally concocted by the MSM to discredit Paul are now applauded when Paul speaks, including this gem of a video clip regarding heroin and prostitution:
So what is Paul saying and who is he saying it to by skipping the post debate interview? I believe Paul is saying it directly to Fox and in a broader sense the entire establishment-sponsored media. He will probably not skip another interview during this campaign, using this early debate as a chance to make his point known. Given his treatment in this first debate, which was so obviously scripted and planned to discredit and sabotage Paul’s ideas, I believe by snubbing fox Paul is saying simply this:
We don’t need you. We are wise to your tricks, and they are no longer working. Truth is on our side and even if I do not prevail, the ideas will persist. I have an audience now, with or without your air time.