Thursday, November 24, 2011

Y R Republicans embarrassed by Ron Paul

I like this man so much, I've even given him his own category on this blog - and not being American, I don't even vote in their elections. But I fully respect his amazing consistency though there are very few things I disagree with him on.

I presented him in Kinetic Typography in the past as well as in The R[evol]ution Continues :). Since then, he continued to hammer at his message with his legendary consistency, as remarked by Jon Stewart including an interview prefaced by the observation that he is still ignored, though he rules on reddit and other online communities.

Asked why does he think they have this conspiracy of silence, he offered two possibilities:

  1. Some people don’t want to hear the message because I’m a threat to the establishment
  2. Some just flat-out don’t understand what freedom is all about

And that’s partially true. The main reason though some reporters are dead against him is the fact that most Republican pundits and analysts know darn well that Ron Paul for President would be a repeat of Barry Goldwater for President, who lost the 1964 election to Lyndon Johnson in what was then the largest landslide: 52 electoral votes to Johnson’s 486 and 38.5% of the popular vote to Johnson’s 61.1%. Why would that be?

Since the beginning of his campaign, Goldwater fought an uphill battle to unseat an incumbent president under favorable economic circumstances. Goldwater consistently refused to moderate his views, which alienated a significant portion of the more moderate wing of the Republican party from his campaign. President Johnson used this fissure in the party to portray Goldwater as an extremist with the assistance of the media, who, in large part, also had an unfavorable opinion of him. In the general election, Goldwater lost in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson, carrying only six states to Johnson's 44 and a popular vote plurality of 38% to Johnson's 61%.

The campaign was very ugly, with Fact magazine libelling Goldwater with the claim that some psychologists declared him unfit for office. Goldwater got $75000 for libel but was forced on the defensive for the rest of his entire campaign. LBJ campaign speculated handily Goldwater’s reluctance to compromise with the famous daisy ad, ice cream, poverty, pregnant and KKK for Goldwater ads. Goldwater reacted slowly and relied on Ronald Reagan’s appeal to reason titled “A Time for Choosing” (short, long).

Goldwater was hoping, just like Nixon before him, in an old-style confrontation of ideas with his long-time friend and political adversary JFK. Though after Nixon’s televised massacre (yes, I’m referring to the TV debate, including the 2nd one) every politician should’ve realised the importance of TV as a medium and that the era of thoughtful, rational and boring debates was over, Goldwater was still convinced that he can mesmerize his audience solely with the power of his arguments. He didn’t stand a chance with JFK and he stood even less of a chance with LBJ who was, by many accounts, a total a**wipe.

Much has changed since then. For one thing, the Republicans have learned their lesson and have promoted, since Reagan, candidates who are “electable” and “presentable” more so than they are intellectually capable (see Bush the Young & Sarah Palin). Their media campaigns are often more savvy than those of the Democrats who appear generally disorganized and amateurish in delivering their own message. Many reporters still deeply dislike him using all kinds of dirty tricks and if anything, Ron Paul’s message is a little too grass-roots: [electable] [drugs] [libertarianism] [Piers Morgan] [pissed-Aljazeera] [torture-Denzel] [Bill Maher] [20111122 CNN debate] [healthcare - King]

Just like Ron Paul, Goldwater was against sending troops to foreign lands, stating that USA should not send..

..American boys nine or ten thousand miles from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves

Goldwater was also plagued by rumours of being connected to labour extortionists, grew even more libertarian toward the end of his career and retired from Senate in 1987, being succeeded by John McCain.

It seems that any Democrats support Ron Paul for president because he is what some call “Paleo-Conservative” and Ron Paul vs Obama would be very similar to Goldwater vs LBJ and / or McCain vs Obama, both having clear winners. Has much changed since then and if yes, sufficiently?

TheLiberalPacifist seems to think that yes, it’s gotten much better at manipulating opinions. But the short attention span and focus on only 2-3 candidates is old news.

Sources / More info: wiki-goldwater, slate-fox, sci-guru, wiki-goldwater-pres, salon-media-objectivity

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