by Jacob G. Hornberger
What’s amazing is that the mainstream media doesn’t even appear embarrassed at the way they’ve been treating Ron Paul. I suppose they think that since they’ve treated libertarians with such disdain for so long, no one will notice that they’re doing it some more to Ron Paul.
Not this time, MSM! As you no doubt know, people are noticing, especially on the Internet!
The best critique of the MSM’s treatment of Paul came from social critic and comedian Jon Stewart, who absolutely skewered the MSM on his television show. What better way to expose these people than by ridicule? Stewart’s critique has gone viral on the Internet. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the link. You will absolutely die laughing.
As I have repeatedly pointed out for the past several months, the MSM is in a quandary with respect to Ron Paul, especially if he continues to do well. They’ve got two choices, which I am confident are being debated in editorial rooms and among reporters in mainstream newspapers and television networks all across America.
One choice is to go on the attack against libertarianism. But the reporters and editorial writers know that that strategy bears a big risk — that it will cause people to explore libertarianism and think to themselves, “Wow! I’m a libertarian too. I’m joining the libertarian cause.”
The other option is to simply ignore Paul and his campaign, but that too bears a risk — that it will make the editorial writers and reporters look like idiots.
Why not simply treat Paul like any other candidate?
Because most MSM reporters and television commentators are statists, meaning that they love socialism, interventionism, and imperialism.
As statists, they love the welfare-state programs, the regulatory programs, and the warfare-state programs.
They adore the federal government and look upon it as their savior, their provider, and their protector.
They cannot imagine life without the welfare state and they’re convinced that without the warfare state, America would be conquered by the terrorists, Muslims, illegal aliens, drug dealers, communists, and other boogeymen.
They love the drug war and firmly believe that the federal government should incarcerate people who ingest drugs without permission.
They love the big spending, big debt, and big inflation.
They love the invasions, occupations, bombings, torture, drone attacks, war on terrorism, Patriot Act, airport fondling, kidnappings, torture, and assassinations.
Thus, not surprisingly, the statists within the MSM feel perfectly comfortable with statist mainstream political candidates, whom they always treat with great admiration and respect. After all, since they’re statists, such candidates do not challenge at a fundamental level the welfare-warfare state paradigm. They’ll call for reforming the welfare-warfare system, but that’s okay with the mainstream media because they’re not challenging the principles of the system.
Not so with libertarians, however. Libertarians challenge the statist paradigm. We want to dismantle the paradigm. We want to end, not reform, the socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, and the statists know it. We want to restore economic liberty, free markets, free trade, and a constitutionally limited republic to our land.
That’s why Paul, as he himself emphasizes, is the only presidential candidate who talks about the importance of individual liberty.
Statists, both in the media and in politics, know that libertarianism is an alternative paradigm to statism. That is, it doesn’t purport to reform statism. It is a replacement for it.
That’s what the statists are terrified about. That’s why they’re doing contortions to avoid giving any undue publicity to Paul’s campaign. They know that more and more people every week are gravitating toward libertarianism. They know that if the libertarian movement arrives at a critical mass of people, the entire country could quickly shift from socialism, interventionism, and empire to liberty, free markets, and a constitutional republic.
Take a look at this recent article in Science Daily. It’s not about libertarianism but it will give you an idea as to why statists are terrified of Ron Paul and the entire libertarian movement. The articles states, “Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.”
Can you see why the statists are so frightened? Can you see why they’re increasingly going on the attack against libertarianism? Or can you see why they’re doing their best to avoid talking about libertarianism.
They’re in a real quandary, these statists. When they attack us, people are drawn to the attack. When they ignore us, they look like idiots.
What to do? After all, at the risk of frightening the statists a bit more, we libertarians just might be a lot closer to that critical mass than anyone thinks. And just to put a bit more fear into the statists, let’s not forget how suddenly and quickly the statist Berlin Wall came crashing down.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|