Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Media Marginalizes Another Candidate

I usually pay at least some attention to the election season, but as I'm not voting this year (and am not planning to as long as the electoral system is in place), my attention on the primaries has been minimal at best.  But there is always one candidate who has a tendency to say what he believes, polls be damned, and would seem to have a capacity to actually shake things up if he were to become president.  And then the media ensures that he won't get anywhere near the White House by ignoring or downplaying his chances as much as possible.  In this particular election cycle, I am speaking of the Republican candidate, Ron Paul.  I know that he also ran in the '08 primaries as well, but his stature and campaign have grown by leaps and bounds since then.  In 2008, he was a marginal candidate who was given no coverage by the mainstream media.  Now, he regularly polls right up there with the frontrunners, like the billionaire Mitt Romney.

I am not necessarily a Ron Paul supporter, although he does give me the impression that he is an honest man who usually stands behind what he says.  His ideas for improving the country are certainly needed.  In the end, his campaign platform is essentially getting the federal government out of the way, and letting the states govern themselves.  And he is a real conservative in that sense, the other candidates will say similar things, but their actions would show that they love a bigger federal government.  And now, even with his popularity growing, the corporate media still continue to marginalize and ignore him.  Just look at this video.  It flashes back to 2008 news coverage, and the reporters and pundits explaining how important Iowa was in choosing the next president.  Then it shows this year's news coverage, and the reporters suddenly deem Iowa irrelevant and not an important state.  The difference?  In 2008, Paul was polling at the margins; this year, he came close to winning (he finished 3rd in a tight race behind Romney and religious extremist Rick Santorum).

In 2004, I volunteered and ran as a regional delegate for the campaign of Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic congressman who ran for President in that year.  Like Paul in 2008, he was a marginal candidate who never made headway in the minds of the media.  But the low expectations and high passion of his supporters made his campaign more efficient, so rather than go all-out in one state (like Iowa or New Hampshire), finish 4th or 5th and drop out, he was able to mount a vigorous campaign in all 50 states.  My hope is that Dr. Paul will be able to do the same.

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