Monday, January 07, 2008

2008 media frenzy - the race for the presidency is on.

The media circus is already in top gear, as soon as the Iowa caucus was over and the votes were counted, the headlines ran declaring Obama and Huckabee the winners (and Hilary the loser).

This week is the New Hampshire caucus, and it is expected to be an entirely different electorate to Iowa. And over the weekend were a couple of televised presidential debates, one by ABC which believe it or not, arranged a massive group hug between the Republican and Democrat candidates !

I've been following the news cycle for a few weeks, and most of the candidates are just repeating their past positions. The major developments seem to be that on the Democrats side, the minor candidates (Biden, Dodd) are about to drop out of the race and endorse Obama.

On the Republican side, you've had McCain, who defended the status quo of American bases that have been in South Korea, Japan, Germany for several decades, and then continue to boast that he would be happy to keep US soldiers in Iraq for another 100 years if that meant keeping Americans safe. You've had Giuliani start off with appalling results, only 4% of the vote in Iowa, and watching him speak and stutter, I wouldn't rate his chances of survival too highly.

Several conservative blogs have gone into an anti-Ron Paul hysteria lately, as they observe him making steady progress and securing some major media attention. He scored 10% in the Iowa caucus and is expected to do much better in New Hampshire. Some of these blogs have been attacking him ever since he articulated his anti-war stance, and many are unhappy to see somebody in the Republican party advocate limited and humble foreign policy - even though George W Bush ran on the same platform in 2000.

Even some of the warbloggers that I have enjoyed reading in the past, especially LGF, have tried in vain to establish Ron Paul as a fringe candidate and tried to draw weak links between him and 9-11 truthers, radical anti-war groups, anti-semitic figures, muslim activist groups, and even white nationalist groups. LGF has been posting every day trying to show that some of these fringe groups support Ron Paul and they are calling him "crazy uncle" and mocking his voice, but the problem is that Ron Paul has not endorsed the views of any of these groups, he doesn't believe in 9-11 truther nonsense, and certainly does not support these white nationalist groups, even though they support him and make donations to him.

I can understand that LGF would oppose any anti-war candidate, and no candidate on either side of politics is more anti-war than Ron Paul, who plans to bring American soldiers home immediately. But his policy does not stem from some progressive activist viewpoint, or some internationalist philosophy that believes America needs to improve its image in the world. The reason I still support his candidacy is that everything, every single policy, fits under the philosophy of a limited and sovereign constitutional republic, and to limit the role of the US government in all areas.

Besides, how is America helping its interests or its security by having bases in Germany, South Korea and Japan ? The thing I am starting to notice is that people who still support the Iraq War, and the efforts at nation-building over there, are becoming increasingly narrow minded and obsessed with their one primary issue.

Just like the Democrat candidates are obsessed with universal socialised medicine and education.

If the US economy can no longer support the expenditures and the burden of such massive expenditures, shouldn't this be acknowledged, and shouldn't the spending and control be ended ? Only Ron Paul even realises the destruction of wealth caused by the US government, the accumulation of decades of debt, the fall in living standards and the hazards created when liberty is diminished.

After so many decades of growing government, it has become the biggest problem of all. Rather than addressing global warming, terrorism, the health crisis or education, the size and power of the state needs to be addressed immediately. And the mechanisms of free markets and entrepeneurship ensure that all of the above issues will end up being addressed as soon as liberty and property rights are restored. If you don't understand this, then you cannot understand where Ron Paul is coming from, so go read up on Hayek, Rand, Mises, Rothbard a.s.a.p.

So even if some crazed fools end up supporting Ron Paul, they still totally misunderstand his message, and I say he should keep the money for the cause of liberty and capitalism. If Obama has tens of millions of supporters, surely there are more than a handful of idiots amongst them.