2007 June 16 Saturday
Ron Paul Most Popular Candidate On YouTube

Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is the most consistent opponent of taxes and most consistent advocate of personal liberty in Congress. This makes him a fringe figure in the mainstream liberal media and the traditional gatekeeper editors in big media organizations If the next US Presidential election was fought on YouTube then Ron Paul wold win.

On Technorati, which offers a real-time glimpse of the blogosphere, the most frequently searched term this week was "YouTube."

Then comes "Ron Paul."

The presence of the obscure Republican congressman from Texas on a list that includes terms such as "Sopranos," "Paris Hilton" and "iPhone" is a sign of the online buzz building around the long-shot Republican presidential hopeful -- even as mainstream political pundits have written him off.

Paul is solidly libertarian and yet he's opposed to open borders and wants immigration laws enforced. Tom Tancredo seems too supportive of the Republican status quo outside of immigration. Paul is a refreshing alternative. However, I'd take either of them over any other Republican currently in the 2008 US Presidential race.

Libertarians are probably online far out of proportion to their numbers in the general population. So Paul's popularity online might be a reflection of number of libertarians on the web.

Rep. Ron Paul is more popular on Facebook than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He's got more friends on MySpace than former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. His MeetUp groups, with 11,924 members in 279 cities, are the biggest in the Republican field. And his official YouTube videos, including clips of his three debate appearances, have been viewed nearly 1.1 million times -- more than those of any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, except Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

No one's more surprised at this robust Web presence than Paul himself, a self-described "old-school," "pen-and-paper guy" who's serving his 10th congressional term and was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president in 1988.

The proliferation of web logs, social networking sites, and other methods of mass communication usable by the masses weakens the influence of the establishment media organizations. Views which the mainstream could marginalize in the past are harder to shut out today. You don't need to get a degree in journalism, impress gatekeepers in a job interview, and spend years writing at their direction in order to get your views heard.

The lowering of barriers to publication increases competition and serves up talented writers and insightful analysts who in previous eras would have gone unheard. Thought police are less effective. Writers who earn their livelihoods in other occupations can more easily express their views without fear of punishment.

The on-going battle over the Senate immigration amnesty bill S.1348 demonstrates that when a measure is favored by elites and organized in secrecy that the masses can organize to stop it. When the measure is strongly opposed by the majority we can organize electronically and put up a lot of resistance to elite machinations. Elites try to project a sense of inevitability to their plans in order to sew the feeling of defeat and weaken opposition. Online communities need to develop greater feelings of independence from elites. If they reduce their respect to elites they'll become more immune to elite psychological games.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 June 16 01:59 PM  Politics American Presidency

Rick Darby said at June 16, 2007 2:22 PM:


I'll have to check out Ron Paul. The mainstream media conned me into thinking he was a nonentity, so I haven't previously taken the time.

Anyway, reading this posting has cheered me up.

I think there is incredible potential for the decentralized electronic media to break the domination of the trilobites who write and broadcast for the mainstream. But it may be a race to see whether that potential can be fully realized before the Establishment finds ways to clamp down on it.

Is it technically possible to suppress or restrict the blogosphere? Apparently some unfree countries like China have already partially managed to.

Christopher Rasch said at June 16, 2007 3:03 PM:

I disagree vigorously with Paul's anti-immigration stance. But he's so much better on most other issues than the other candidates, that I've donated $150.00 to his campaign so far. And of course, I plan to vote for him in the primary. I think a nativist/small government coalition could trump the pro-war candidates. Go, Ron Paul!

Dave said at June 16, 2007 9:24 PM:

Rick, even in Britain bloggers are being threatened with jail for "committing a racially-aggravated breach of the peace".

Admittedly what this guy did was pretty damn stupid if not nasty, but I don't see how a blog can breach the peace as the only people seeing it are those who seek it out.

How do you see Guiliani now, he has made some tough statements on immigration, is he just lying? I assumed so at first but then I don't know him well enough so maybe thats unfair.

James Bowery said at June 17, 2007 8:47 AM:

Think of Ron Paul's supporters as Porsenna (from Machiavelli's "Discourses"):


Although the Romans succeeded happily in being liberal to people, yet when danger came upon them from Porsenna coming to assault Rome in order to restore thy Tarquins, the Senate apprehensive of the plebs who might want to accept the Kings than to sustain a war, in order to assure themselves (of the plebs), relieved them of the salt gabelle and all other taxes, saying that the poor did much for the public benefit if they reared their children, and that because of this benefice that people should submit itself to endure siege, famine, and war: let no one who trusts in this example defer in gaming the people over to himself until the time of danger, for it will not succeed for him as it succeeded for the Romans; for the people in general will judge not to have gotten that benefit from you, but from your adversaries, and becoming afraid that once the necessity is past, you would take back from them that which by force you gave them, they will have no obligation to you. And the reason why this proceeding turned out well for the Romans was because the State was new, and not yet firm, and that the people had seen that other laws had been made before for their benefit, such as that of the appeal to the Plebs: so that they could persuade themselves that that good which was done, was not caused so much by the coming of the enemy as much as the disposition of the Senate to benefit them: In addition to this the memory of the Kings, by whom they had been ill-used and injured in many ways, was fresh. And as similar occasions rarely occur, so it rarely occurs that similar remedies do good. Therefore Republics as well as Princes ought to think ahead what adversities may befall them, and of which men in adverse times they may have need of, and then act toward them as they might judge necessary ((supposing some case)) to live. And he who governs himself otherwise, whether Prince or Republic, and especially a Prince, and then on this fact believes that if danger comes upon him, he may regain the people for himself by benefits, deceives himself, because he not only does not assure himself, but accelerates his ruin.

James Bowery said at June 17, 2007 8:58 AM:

I should probably clarify that I don't think of the current US Senate as analogous to the Roman Senate in the time to which Machiavelli made reference. On the contrary, it is clear that Machiavelli's advice is specifically to the kind of Senate that today represents the US elite.

This is why I have been saying for some time:


that the situation is likely to get worse to the point of detonation.

Jim said at June 19, 2007 1:20 PM:

Randall - you rock.

go Ron Paul!

Kevin Southwick said at July 22, 2007 11:55 AM:

Christopher referred to Ron Paul's "anti-immigration" stance. Ron is not anti-immigration. He's anti-illegal immigration, in favor of controlled immigration. BIG difference. He's also against federal taxpayer subsidized student loans. He FAVORS all other kind of private student loans. We must be careful to understand how Ron parses the issues. It's always in favor of voluntary contracts and obeying the Constitution.

RON PAUL 2008!

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