Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ron Paul v. Flat Earthers (Again)

The truth needs nothing more than its own merit to protect it from scrutiny. Which helps to explain why the merits are usually ignored by the enemies of truth, in favor more indirect, disingenuous, and phony means of battle, such as character assassination.

For the first few months after Ron Paul announced his candidacy, corporate media and state-suckling pundits did what they could to downplay his impact and success, using the typical arsenal of omission, misinformation, and fallacy. Once the ineffectiveness of their arsenal became apparent, however, the game slightly changed.

When the enemies of truth fail to discredit, they get desperate. In desperation, they disarm themselves and are exposed as frauds.

Discredit: Shortly before and after Ron Paul announced his candidacy, they said his views are out of touch with the Republican Party and the American People.
Debunk: But then we found that he's arguably the most conservative and Republican Member of Congress, and by far, the most popular candidate online — winning almost every post-debate poll and boasting more MeetUp groups than any other candidate.

Discredit: The first major attempt at smearing came during and immediately following the first GOP debate on Fox. The subject was What motivates Arab or Muslim terrorism against US targets? The case study was 9∙11. Rudy Giuliani and the neocons offered ideological and Biblical precedents in deciding pertinent foreign policy, while Ron Paul stuck to empirical and authoritative evidence and the rule of law for deliberating such matters. It was basically Divine Mandate dogmatism vs. constitutional pragmatism.
Debunk: After comparing the integrity of both sides' cases, the Flat Earthers' assertions were exposed for the threadbare, venture-conquest fantasies they are. Official statements from the CIA, various other official US sources, the alleged 9∙11 perpetrators, and the Founding Fathers supported Ron Paul's arguments and thus destroyed those of the Flat Earthers.

Discredit: When he dominated the post-debate polls and his supporters became the majority on many political message boards, blogs, and call-ins, they said it was a coordinated spamming and flooding effort, and that in some cases, Ron Paul's supporters were cheating.
Debunk: It was soon revealed that cheating, spamming, and repeat voting — online or over the phone — is practically impossible due to built-in safeguards against such things. Besides, if the rumor is true, then what's to keep the other candidates' supporters from being so enthusiastic? The answer may be self-evident.

Discredit: "National poll numbers" are brought up during introductions and all throughout interviews as an implicit way of saying that Ron Paul is dead in the water, that he's on the fringes of the party, or that he's a "third-or-maybe-second-tier" candidate, at best.
Debunk: But then, it is discovered that those are the same "national polls" that omit his name from the questionaire — the same polls that target people who were registered as Republicans during the latest elections, and who voted "Republican" therein. The field, therefore, is predominantly pro-war, corporatist, and statist in makeup, and the choices are steered accordingly. Not to mention, the polls are conducted over land-line telephones (i.e., minus cell-phones and the Internet). Corporate media and pollsters then call it scientific. Sane or at least objective people might call it self-fulfilling, or simply rigged.

Discredit: And when the fraudulent nature of national polls is exposed in the slightest, corporate media and state-suckling pundits simply ignore it and omit it from their coverage, in favor of other topics. They question his ability to translate all that online support into votes. He still lacks name-recognition, they say.
Debunk: It is then discovered that Ron Paul places in the top-three of more straw polls than do any other candidate, that he owns the best win-loss ratio in said polls, and that his public speeches on the campaign trail gather much larger crowds than do those of the other candidates.

Discredit: When the straw poll success begins to surface, they say nothing, and so omit it, too. They then repeat the slogans, saying that he's not broken "top-tier" status yet, and that his newfound name-recognition and voter turnouts haven't resulted in material support; to that end, they cite statistics like campaign donations and cash-on-hand.
Debunk: It is then discovered that the Paul campaign took in over five million dollars in the third quarter; his supporters planned a one-day, online donation drive whereby $4.3 million dollars were raised on the 5th of November; and less than halfway through the fourth quarter, his campaign reported $8.6 million cash-on-hand and boasted ≈20,000 new donors. Suddenly, the Paul campaign seems to have achieved some higher status (according to corporate beltway media standards anyway). Oh, and not to mention, his campaign finances have been the most frugally (i.e., conservatively) budgeted of all the candidates.

And that's where we are today. All the talking points and slogans have been exposed as fallacy, while Paul's popularity, coffers, and electability are still growing despite the attempts to stifle them. Blatant smear jobs have surfaced from time to time, but have been easily demolished. It's now clear that the Ron Paul campaign is "for real," and that his support can not be downplayed with much success. It is becoming evident that the Ron Paul campaign has garnered much more support from voters than corporate media and statist propagandists have led their readers and viewers to believe, and so arises a new front of fraud and fallacy in the attempt to — yet again — defile and discredit the man and his supporters.

Instead of focusing on electability, cash-on-hand, or the "realness" of his support base — and instead of simply peppering his image with a lame smear here and there — they begin to kick it up a notch or three in intensity with more personal, trivial concoctions. At an unprecedented rate and with not yet seen chutzpah, his supporters and their occupations are defamed; his positions are misrepresented and distorted to complete inversion; and any conceivable rumor that could be put in the form of an essay or a "news" segment is concocted and then published and broadcast as if it were all true, relevant, or even newsworthy.

Discredit/Defile: During the first week of November, a story broke about an email-spamming operation being caught using "Ron Paul" in the subject line of each message sent. Thanks to a knee-jerk media reaction, it was implied that Ron Paul's campaign was engaging in a criminal act. The report was initially taken as foregone conclusion, and it was therefore implied by those enterprising columnists that the Paul campaign was guilty. The story was used in conjunction with the "national poll numbers" fallacy to reason-away popular theories that cast Paul's supporters as being so fantastically tech-savvy that they — and only they — could manipulate all the pertinent online data — all the time — in Ron Paul's favor.
Debunk: Unfortunately for their already diminishing credibility, however, their sloppily hasty effort at soaking up Ron Paul Internet sunshine was easily undercut by more logical arguments for why the Paul campaign is completely exonerated from start to finish. To wit: Anyone who engages in email spamming (whether they be pro, anti, or neutral on Ron Paul) would be smart to use the most popular Internet terms in the subject line of their emails — the same sense it makes for those who propagated the current accusation against the Paul campaign in the first place, as their stories will come up on the first page of most Internet searches by virtue of Ron Paul's name being in their subject lines.

Needless to say, the Ron Paul campaign denied any knowledge of, or involvement with, any of it, and zero evidence to the contrary has surfaced.

Discredit/Defile: Another particularly impotent yet widely disseminated fallacy used to marginalize Dr. No is the one that labels him a threat to the GOP simply because he gets so much support from outside the GOP "base" (i.e., his supporters don't tend to be neocons or other pro-war, statist, or corporatist entities). To support the smear, the talley of Paul campaign contributions categorized by job title are given to show how "the far left" aligns itself with the candidate. For example, Google employees contribute more to the Ron Paul campaign than do those of any other company. The enemy of truth then uses an isolated example of a Google business decision as evidence of "leftness." Another example used is that members of a few undesirable fringe groups support him.
Debunk: (First of all, these are superficial, partisan non-points, but for the sake of necessary hoax-busting, I proceed.) What is missed is that the GOP base has shrunk greatly over the past few years, but apparently, to the pro-neocon GOPers, there's no such thing as a disenfranchised Republican, a libertarian-leaning Republican, a conservative independent, a constitutional Democrat, and so on. But why should a Paul-hater concede the fact that Ron Paul is as likely to draw those people as he does liberals, Democrats, or anarchists? Because it's much easier to concoct a short-term fraud based on fallacy than it is to accept the fact that Ron Paul is doing long-term wonders for the Republican base by bringing more people into the Republican tent.

Fraudulent is the smear about the support he receives from employees of Google. One particluarly statist pseudo-conservative disinfo agent claims that it shows liberal stripes or sympathies in the Ron Paul campaign. The author cites Google's corporate behavior, when in fact the donations noted were from individual employees of the company. What else is ignored on purpose is that from top to bottom, Internet companies like Google, and their employees, benefit from Paul's constitutional, conservative, Republican stance against regulation of the Internet. But of course that sequoia was just too well hidden behind the author's freshly-planted row of saplings.

And the smear of his supporters as conspiracists, racists, and the like, is the most fraudulent and sophomorically trivial one of all. It's selective thought-policing and guilt-by-association, when in fact no crime has been committed, much less alleged. (Oh, and let's hope the conversation doesn't ever swing around to real conflict-of-interest, like Giuliani's lawfirm's representation of News Corp, Citgo, and the NAFTA Superhighway elites, for example.)

Defile: Ron Paul's use of the word neocon is upbraided by a handful of neocons and statist shills as being anti-Jewish: a charge that might be a hoot if it wasn't so low and libelous. It's used in conjunction with the "fringe support" charge to bolster the implication that he endorses neo-nazis and other "hate groups."
Debunk: The charge in itself is threadbare in light of public figures — Jewish and not (because you'll make it an issue anyway, won't you, neocon apologist?) — owning the title, or even bragging about being "neocons." There are people who are not neocons and who are not Jewish, and who have written critically of "neocons," but who don't then get the "anti-Jew" treatment from the pro-neocon attack dogs. That, alone, undercuts the vile slur, although a few excellent writers have gone even further in smashing these particularly deep-cutting and bald-faced smears.

No ideological movement has contributed more to the disregard and partial extinction of the US Constitution over the past couple of decades than have those who call themselves and their fellows neocons. And no man has called out their illicit policies and championed the Constitution more so than has Ron Paul.

Defile: Therefore, it is only natural that neocon think-tanks [sic] such as American Enterprise Institute (AEI) would begin using fallacy and falsehood to paint Ron Paul as a collaborator with his supporters, who are plotting "extreme and violent measures" in order to carry out the "violent overthrow of Congress."
Debunk: Ironically, the same reason the AEI author gives for his smear of Ron Paul as a self-styled dictator-slayer is one of the very reasons why AEI is referred to by respected scholars as the American Dictatorship Institute. Q: Whose services have been outsourced to the US government to achieve foreign policy objectives antithetical to the same rule of law Ron Paul so staunchly upholds? A: Among other policy tanks and wonks, AEI.

Defile: And it's only par for the course when career propagandist Glenn "Bibi's bitch" Beck and David "What Constitution?" Horowitz team up to use lies and innuendo to cast Ron Paul's supporters as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. The fraud eerily resembles the one perpetrated by AEI, in how it baselessly paints Paul's peaceful supporters as being violent revolutionaries.
Debunk: But Beck and Horowitz were toast from the word go. Their entire smear was based on falsehoods: that Ron Paul's campaign planned the event, and that it was dedicated it to the memory of an anarchist terrorist. Beck also made sure that concerted emphasis was placed on the fact that the fundraising effort, like all others of its kind, was called a "money bomb." For extra Paul-branding effect, Beck's other guest — the great-grandson of WWII-monger Winston Churchill, no less — gave a factually bankrupt account of the historic event in question.

Since that segment aired, the frauds have been easily exposed and destroyed multiple times.

Other lame attempts at defiling and discrediting the man and his supporters have been crafted from molds similar to the ones used to level all aforementioned assaults. All of them have failed to put even a scratch on the Ron Paul campaign. On the contrary, they've only helped to expose the state and corporate shills for whom they are, while drawing more attention to the campaign toward which sane, enquiring minds usually end up gravitating.

Also worth noting is the fact that of all independent traders in gold and silver currency, Liberty Dollar — the one producing coins with the likeness of Ron Paul on them — was raided last week by the FBI and Secret Service. Coincidence? Not likely. But either way, the feds are bound to lose, while the Ron Paul campaign and the champions of sound money and prosperity will likely either prevail unscathed or end up better-off.

Conclusion: Self-evident truths need no further defense; they stand on their own. That's why it's the messengers who are so feverishly attacked by the enemies of truth. But once the superficial layers of ad hominem and guilt-by-association have been melted, all becomes clear: Ron Paul and his supporters are being superficially and fraudulently attacked simply because the constitutional message of liberty, prosperity, and peace are impossible to defeat.

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