…according to Rick Klein at ABC news, that is. Us crazy, internet loving bunch, have, according to Klein, “mastered the art of ‘viral marketing,’ using Internet savvy and blog postings to create at least the perception of momentum for his (Ron Paul’s) long-shot presidential bid.”
The clear premise of Klein’s argument is that the internet is an unsubstantiated source of true public opinion. As Klein asserts, “(Ron Paul’s) MySpace profile boasts nearly 12,000 ‘friends.’Today, his name ranks in the Top 10 among blog search terms at Technorati.com, behind Paris Hilton but ahead of Mario Lopez.”
His only ‘concession’ to us libertarians, and other kooky internet-savvy fiends, is a quote from Peter Greenberger:
“(Ron Paul’s online support is) evidence of something – either passionate supporters, active supporters, or just one very savvy supporter who’s able to vote several thousand times.”
Perhaps a few ‘eccentrics’ are willing to vote for a politician not backed by mainstream media. Klein could have critiqued Ron Paul for his politics, but went for a culturally-ignorant attack instead. The fact that internet polls, blogs, and the like have shown overwhelming support for the candidate, can only be reduced to a fluke of unscientific means of collecting data, at least to Klein.
If a so-called ‘popular opinion’ has been falsely manufactured, say, by multiple false votes, the evidence pro or contrary generally lies in whomever or whatever is being voted for. Under Communist rule, “popular opinion” is generally skewed by a controlled media. Evidence also points to, at the very least, that an inefficient polling system in our democratic system has led to a false representation of public opinion here in our current era, in our current voting system.
The internet has given voice to a previously, relatively, voiceless population; namely, those who are not elitists, or at least not associated with them. The amount of false-manufacturing or skewing that numerous internet polls and blogs could possibly propogate would surely pale in comparison to the monolith of the mainstream media machine.
It is elementary to reduce opposition to internet support or fringe candidate success to elitist conspiracy. However, Klein’s obvious reduction of internet opinion as merely unsubstantiated is short-sighted and ignorant. True popular opinion has hardly mattered in mainstream voting booths, so why shouldn’t the population turn to the internet for a projection of their voice?
According to Klein, Libertarian vision has inundated mainstream media with support for Paul. “After Thursday night’s debate, the comment sections of several major news organizations – including ABC’s – were inundated with pro-Paul messages. Viewers raved about Paul’s commitment to abolishing the IRS, his steadfast opposition to a national ID card, and a forthright tone that bloggers said set him apart from the other candidates onstage. The Paul campaign did not immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail message seeking comment.”
Ah, yes. Be sure to mention email messaging. If Ron Paul’s staff cannot even respond to their beloved internet’s calls, then his support must surely be false.
The internet may not be the most effective or reliable voice of public opinion, but at least, as of now, it is uncensored. Whether the numbers add up or not, it is truly the best hope the average American has of voicing their unedited opinion. I don’t know about you, but I could only dream of producing millions of dollars in support of my favorite candidate. But at least I have this blog.
As Klien purports, Ron Paul is “…a libertarian nicknamed ‘Dr. No’ because of his propensity to vote against anything he believes contradicts the Constitution’s original intent — (but is he) poised to surge into contention in the GOP field? Not likely.”
Not likely, but at least his supporters are giving it their best shot. This shot may not come in millions, or even thousands of dollars, but our voice, through this unadulterated internet, is the best chance we have.