Even though I consider myself more of a left winger than right, let's not kid ourselves - American politics don't really have much adversity. At least that's what I thought until I became aware of Ron Paul several months ago. Since then I've been following his campaign for president.
I'm sure most of you are aware of Ron Paul, but in case you aren't allow me sum up a few of his political views.
- He is a strictly libertarian constitutionalist.
- He adheres to a consistent life ethic - he's pro-life, but he is also against the death penalty, and strongly pacifist. He was one of the only republicans to vote against the Iraq war and has consistently condemned US presence in Iraq. And, even though he is pro-life, he doesn't believe the federal government has any authority to legalize or ban abortion.
- He co-sponsored a bill that would have given employees a greater ownership of their company.
- He believes the government should not touch the Internet, which has given him a disproportionate amount of support from web users. (From wikipedia: In 2006, a "Technology voter guide" by CNET awarded Paul a score of 80%, the highest score out of both houses of Congress. Paul has been criticized for voting against legislation to help catch online child predators, one of the votes used in the CNET guide. In response to critics, Paul said, "I have a personal belief that the responsibility of raising kids, educating kids and training kids is up to the parents and not the state. Once the state gets involved, it becomes too arbitrary." He also believed that the proposed law was unconstitutional.)
- He believes the federal government has no authority to define and recognizing marriage (i.e., in the case of same sex marriages).
- He believes that the government should not continue in the drug war, and that prohibition of substances like marijuana is ineffective and unconstitutional.
- He strongly believes in the right to be armed, and argues that the second amendment is not only for self-defense and hunting rights, but also a check against tyranny.
You can see Ron Paul in the republican debates here. I would strongly suggest watching it, and if you like what you see, there are a lot more videos there as well. (Links and some opinions on Dr. Paul can be found here.)
But, getting on to the point, several alarming things have happened in the past few days. MSNBC held a poll after the first debate, and Ron Paul did better than anyone else. The poll allowed you to cast a positive, negative, or neutral vote for each candidate. Ron Paul got the highest percentage of positive votes (38) and the lowest percentage of negative votes (26).
1. Ron Paul (38%)
2. Mitt Romney (27%)
3. Rudy Giuliani (24%)
4. John McCain (19%)
5. Mike Huckabee (13%)
6. Tom Tancredo (9%)
7. Tommy Thompson (9%)
8. Sam Brownback (8%)
9. Duncan Hunter (8%)
10. Jim Gilmore (6%)
1. Sam Brownback (46%)
2. Tom Tancredo (45%)
3. Tommy Thompson (45%)
4. John McCain (44%)
5. Jim Gilmore (43%)
6. Duncan Hunter (43%)
7. Rudy Giuliani (42%)
8. Mike Huckabee (38%)
9. Mitt Romney (37%)
10. Ron Paul (26%)
However, despite the obvious, MSNBC then declared Romney the winner of the debate, while Paul wasn't even mentioned in the article.
But despite all this, I couldn't find a single article on MSNBC or ABC talking about Ron Paul's success. But then I found this, an ABC article talking about his success in the polls.
But wait a minute, what happened to all the comments? The article has only one comment (as of now) - surely it would have more after how well he did in the polls? Well, it turns out ABC is deleting people's comments on the article. There used to be over 400. And I have a suspicion that ABC is now blocking other people from posting (at least I have been unsuccessful and so have others I know).
I realise that ABC can do whatever they wish with their site, but deleting hundreds of thoughtful posts seems arbitrary and wrong. I'm not sure why they would want to do this, even, but it just seemed so shocking I had to recount my experience on Newsvine.
Has anyone else heard anything about this?