Why I Don’t(Totally) Support Ron Paul

I’ll make this short, but still bittersweet. He is against Net Neutrality. Period. And looking through his eyes, its not hard to understand why he feels this way. The position proposed by the EFF(Electronic Frontier Foundation) is a simple one, but does call for larger government, something against traditional conservative and libertarian values. It is also an infringement on free trade, but that is a lesser issue than the aforementioned.

In a somewhat joking post I have already stated my position on Net Neutrality. I stand by that position, as I believe that position will carry the network neutrality position even though it seems to favor the tel-co(telecommunication) industry. However, since I do support the net neutrality viewpoint, I still have a link on my blogroll to the right.

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Ryan Holiday’s Take on The Doctor

Why I Don’t Care About Ron Paul and Why He Has Nothing to Do with the Long Tail – November 21, 2007

Ron Paul is the one candidate able to unite the diverse elements in the Long Tail. His supporters range from strippers to evangelicals, from gun-totters to peaceniks , and yet his message is as mainstream as the Constitution. His libertarianism and federalism will drive crazy the busy-bodies on the left and the right who want to impose their vision on the rest of the country, but these same laissez-faire ideals will unite those in the Long Tail who simply want the federal government out of their lives.

Wishful thinking, but completely incorrect. The idealism here is admirable and yet the epitome of what causes most movements to fail. It’s too “inspired” to talk about strategy, or to look at facts, or to win with the help of reality–they’d rather die in spite of it. And it’s just total misinterpretation of the Long Tail. Because of this, not matter how much money he wins, Ron Paul is doomed to fail.
longtail.JPG

First, the Long Tail only applies when the fundamental market constraints have been removed. There is a reason that the Long Tail was recently published: It didn’t apply until the internet came along and created a new way to sell products. But it didn’t change the actual stores themselves. The Long Tail doesn’t exist inside Borders, it exist on the infinite shelf space of Amazon. The internet is not “abound with examples with the long tail” as the author claims, IT IS the long tail.

American politics faces the same basic problem. That we have just two dominant political parties has nothing to do with information costs or media attention or lack of funding–it is the physical constraints of the market. We call this Duverger’s Law. The principle states that in any plurality based voting system, elections eventually funnel towards two parties. Because of the district basis of the system, it is impossible for minor candidates to collect their small stakes in many communities into a significant voting block. Candidates win based on how many individual districts they can tally together, not how much overarching support they can garner. Third Parties exist as aggregates of minor factions spread throughout multiple constituencies but the electoral system doesn’t care about percentage of the whole, only percentage of the local. It is innately compartmentalized, tied to the part to the point where the whole doesn’t matter. Sound familiar? This is exactly what prevents a long tail economy from thriving in Borders or at a Tower Records.

On Amazon, the one person in every town that likes Finnish Death Metal can be aggregated into a sustainable consumer subset. Borders, however, can’t afford to stock product for a single fan. This naturally guides them towards products that appeal to blocs of people much in the same way that Durverger guides us to just Democrats and Republicans and leaves no room for Libertarians.

What works on the internet does not work in US political elections. That is what Ron Paul supporters don’t understand. They’re so accustomed to the new dimension that they are trying to project the new rules back at the old. It’s not that easy. The internet has empowered your voices but the system still disenfranchises your votes. The Cold War Kids might be selling fantastically on iTunes, but that’s only because the internet has allowed them to connect and collect people all across the country. The laws of physical reality remain unchanged–touring efficiently is impossible. The internet allowed Ron Paul supporters to connect, but their votes still face the insurmountable limitations of a SMDP (single member district plurality) system. To quote Nicholas Carr “You can try to change the structure, but if you can’t change the economics your efforts will likely go for naught.”

I’ll say it again for the 1,000th time. There is no honor in fighting a battle you cannot win. Your job as a revolutionary is to see the world where it is and then take it to where you want it to be. For Ron Paul supporters that means understanding the massive opportunities the internet offers along with its fundamental limitations. The goal is not always obvious victory. The Spartans at Thermopylae went in fairly certain that they would lose at the Hot Gates but win as their efforts unified Greece. The Polish Cavalry that charged German tanks, all they did was lose. See the difference? One was part of a campaign, the other was desperation.

Ron Paul supporters should be leveraging the media coverage and ability to efficiently raise money not to buy votes, but to force change from the candidates who can win. You are not encumbered with typical burdens of having to schmooze large donors or barnstorm the country. To attempt to compete head to head with Hillary Clinton or John McCain is the worst strategic error you can make–it is conceding to the dynamic instead of controlling it. That money can achieve a far greater ROI if you fight on your own terms, as a light-weight, unified and mobile unit. One that understands that goal is not to win districts but to seed discontent within the electoral system.

But from what I have seen, this isn’t about change, it’s about ego. “Finally we can get back at those people who have ignored us for so long.” That kind of mindset is inherently problematic. It leads you into believing your own rhetoric, overextending, not knowing when to retreat, trading potential power for personality—it does not breed victory in any form.

So fight this war on the terrain at which the battle has already begun on. Take the only victory that is possible on that field and use those gains to decide where you will fight the next war. In the case of Ron Paul, that means guiding the dynamic and opinion towards Libertarian policy as much as possible within the system. And then, maybe, you have a shot at changing the system; that is maybe, you can get rid of the Electoral College. Until then, it doesn’t matter. Your victory is literally impossible.

*I would like to note, however, that I don’t have any problems with Libertarian policy. I actually agree with most of his policies. But let’s be honest, he might be running in the Republican primary, but he’s doing it as a Libertarian, as a third party. So this isn’t a recycled argument or throwing your vote away, this is about analyzing the situation honestly and systematically. So even if he does win through some massive failure on someone else’s part, he hasn’t changed anything; a third party candidate would be no more viable four years later, all he’s done is change the guard in old model. He’s simply innovated instead of disrupted.

DON’T Vote Ron Paul For These Reasons

Should You Vote For Ron Paul?

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Great video on why you shouldn’t vote Ron Paul.
I would post this in the page, but I can’t seem to get it to work. if anyone could let me know how to do that(without an external plugin) I would greatly appreciate it.

On a separate note, Google “myspace blocks ron paul”. This accounts for the spike in traffic here recently. Thank you guys for researching things on your own. Do not let me make up your own mind. Do not let the government or mass media make up your mind.

Do the research, and NEVER take anyone’s word for anything.

UPDATE: even with the “embed src=” script, wordpress doesn’t allow metacafe postings. why? I have NO idea, but its kind of bothersome…

Update: as of 3:56 PM(PST), this post has reached 108 views, the most views yet on ANY post. Thank you guys for reposts and comments, and spread this video!

Ron Paul Still Needs Support

Although blessed by the donations on Guy Fawkes Night totaling $4.3 million dollars(the largest amount EVER raised online), this December 16th another grassroots effort is rising to help his campaign. On the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, http://teaparty07.com/ is asking people to, once again, donate $100 to his campaign.

We need him.
He needs us.

I see it as an option. You can pay $100 dollars now to help this man win the primary’s, or you can hold onto your money, and later get told to foot your approximate $60,000 bill for the Federal Reserve debt.

No one else is an acceptable GOP candidate for this election. We all know that.

Myspace Blocks Ron Paul Bulletins?

Wow. I know News Corp. owns Myspace, and Fox News as well, but I didn’t think the higher ups would actually take THIS kind of action to deal with Ron Paul. I didn’t really believe it until I saw the video.

Alright, a bit of a flashback to before I was born…

I had started watching this vid of a debate at FreedomFest, off of Lee Rockwell’s blog(link on the right). I listened to the man’s opinions, paused, thought, pushed play, and kept watching. Until this. At 2:24 minutes left, I recognized a trend, and I’m SO glad I picked this up, albeit a tad bit late.

He states “…(in reference to Iran’s leaders) they have already announced in their videos and in their pamphlets that if they get Iraq, they will then target Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.”

Remind you of anything? Lets keep listening.

“So what is the libertarian position on this? To sit back, and watch the entire Middle East fall one after another into the hands of ruthless people? I mean, if the United States cannot defeat the insurgency, do you think they can do it all by themselves?”

I’m going to take us all back to the early 50’s. The Soviets had been oppressing the Eastern European nations, the Berlin Blockade had been built, China had a civil war, and the Korean ‘War’ was in full swing. What else was in full swing? McCarthyism. The Un-American Activities Committee had been ‘examining’ citizens about ‘assured’ Communist ties.

Does anyone remember WHY the travesties that were Vietnam and Korea occurred? To stop Communism from taking anymore countries! He’s saying the SAME THING! The implications are enormous, especially considering that, in retrospect, I’m almost positive I’ve heard the same reasoning before(I tried to search for where before I posted this, but to no avail).

I would like anyone else who has anything to add or discuss ALWAYS post comments. Never feel like just because you have a dissenting opinion, you cannot post here. Its freedom of speech, correct? 🙂

UPDATE: I also felt that what Ron Paul’s points near the end, while true, were just rabble-rousing and showboating.