This article was originally published at americanchronicle.com on Aug. 17th, 2007
“That’s what you get for pretending the danger’s not real.
Meek and obedient , you follow the leader
down well trodden corridors, into the valley of steel.
What a surprise! A look of terminal shock in your eyes!
Now things are really what they seem. No, this is not a bad dream.”
Excerpt from the song Sheep by Pink Floyd
I’ve noticed a number of people on the Internet complaining about Ron Paul supporters recently. Many of them have the same complaint, that Ron Paul supporters are too pervasive. They call them Ron Paul spammers. They claim that a very few people are so dedicated to Ron Paul’s candidacy that they have skewed all the polls and made it appear as if Ron Paul has more support than he actually does by voting for him again and again. On Digg, they claim that there is a core of supporters that wait for a Ron Paul article to come out so they can Digg it and catapult it to the front page. If that were the case, they were taking time off when my articles came out.
These detractors need to think for a moment. I don’t know which candidates they support, but those candidates are getting support of very few people in the online community. One must wonder why some of these candidates don’t have that kind of support. One must wonder why Mitt Romney doesn’t have dozens of technologically savvy supporters going online to spam the polls or to create a buzz on Digg. One may wonder the same about John McCain or Rudy Giuliani supporters also, or the supporters of any of the other republican candidates. Could it be that the supporters of the other candidates simply aren’t as excited about their candidate as Ron Paul’s supporters are? Doesn’t it make you wonder why Ron Paul supporters are so excited? And I personally don’t think that it is in fact true that Ron Paul supporters are low in numbers and spamming the Internet. In fact, I think the number of Ron Paul supporters is growing day by day despite the fact that the Ron Paul detractors have tried to keep this from happening.
Another tactic some Ron Paul detractors use is name calling. They claim Ron Paul supporters are crazy. Since when is it crazy to speak out about someone you believe will make a difference, especially if that someone is doing something as important as running for president? Since when does following a dream make you crazy? They claim his supporters are on the fringe of society, that they are mostly 9/11 truthers and conspiracy theorists. Well, I don’t think that’s so true. I think a lot of everyday regular people are supporting Ron Paul. I’ve talked with a number of people who support Ron Paul and the subject of 9/11 or conspiracies hardly come up. And even if some of them are 9/11 truthers or conspiracy theorists, what’s wrong with wanting to know the truth? What’s wrong with asking questions, especially when those questions haven’t been answered satisfactorily? What’s wrong with not believing everything you see on the TV news? Do you believe everything the television news people tell you to believe? If you do, you might want to rethink that position and start getting information from other sources. There’s nothing wrong with comparing and contrasting different points of view to try to get a better understanding and a more complete picture of the world around you. They claim Ron Paul’s policies are too impractical, that he is too much of an idealist. Since when is being an idealist a bad thing? Isn’t that what our founding fathers were? Since when is it impractical to speak of freedom and liberty? Again, our founding fathers risked their very lives speaking out about such radical ideas. How long ago was it that the United States of America became a place where dreams died? When was it that spies were unleashed to see to it those same dreams could not be resurrected?
There’s something else Ron Paul detractors don’t seem to understand. Ron Paul supporters are supporting more than just Ron Paul, they are supporting ideas. Oh sure, Ron Paul is a very amicable person. Unlike most politicians, he answers questions straight on and doesn’t dodge them. He doesn’t try to answer in a way that everyone agrees with. He speaks his mind and it doesn’t matter to him if he loses votes doing so. He is that rarity of rarities, an honest politician. Perhaps that’s why they are so angry, because they know they support someone who is not honest. Perhaps that’s why Ron Paul’s supporters are so excited, because this is something they’ve never seen in their lives. But his honesty is not the idea I was talking about earlier, the idea is freedom. The idea is a smaller, less intrusive government. The idea is to give the people back control in their lives rather than having the government decide everything for them. It is the ideas of freedom and liberty that Ron Paul supporters are supporting. It is these ideas that have gotten them so excited.
The main stream media tries to ignore Ron Paul, as do the other candidates. Why do you suppose this is? He scores first in many online polls and still the media ignore him. His supporters generate a loud buzz and still the media ignores him. He came in fifth in a questionable Iowa straw poll and still the media ignores him. Today he came in third in the Illinois straw poll and the media will still probably try to ignore him. Why are they so afraid to report on him? Could it be because they don’t want his ideas to get out? Could it be because they’re afraid his ideas will resonate with the general public? Could it be that, for whatever reason, they’re trying to push someone on us that will somehow promote their interests? Perhaps the main stream media is just behind the times and really doesn’t realize what a phenomenon Ron Paul is becoming. I really don’t know, but I do know that Ron Paul is everywhere on the Internet and nowhere on the main stream media, with the exception of a couple of cutting edge shows. That simply seems strange to me.
Whatever reason one may decide to berate Ron Paul or his supporters, it might be helpful to step back and consider what you’re really against. Are you honestly just mad because there are so many articles out there praising Ron’s policies and his stances on the issues? Then why are you reading them? Is there someone with a gun at your head forcing you to read them? Then don’t read them and leave the rest of us who want to read about Ron Paul alone. Are you mad because your candidate isn’t able to generate the kind of grass roots support and Internet buzz that Ron Paul is able to generate? Then write articles about how great your candidate’s big government tax and spend programs are going to be and try to create that buzz yourself. Perhaps you’re against a certain issue that Ron Paul is for. Fine, then make that argument and make an intelligent, well thought out argument supporting your point of view, don’t simply dismiss those who support an opposing point of view by calling them names. Or, perhaps you’re against freedom and liberty. Perhaps you’re against the constitution. Maybe you’re one of those who feel the constitution is a quaint antiquity and the bill of rights just gets in the way of your security. Perhaps you simply don’t want to make your own decisions in your life and feel the government should mandate everything for you from what you learn in school to the kind of job you do to what doctor you see for your health care. Perhaps the idea of an endless war on terror appeals to you. Whatever the reason, you’re going to have to defend your position. Ron Paul has rubbed the magic lamp and now the genie is out. The ideas of freedom and liberty are once again loosed upon the world and they are gaining support. Name calling and ignoring Ron Paul and his supporters will not make them go away. People care again. If nothing else, politics in America has changed because of Ron Paul, and I think that’s a good thing.