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Bill Moyers Rewind: Ron Paul (2002)

Ron Paul (R-TX), Republican candidate for President, has just raised more than $6 million in less than 24 hours, beating his previous record of $4.3 million in one day, back on November 5. Check out his recent appearance on NOW.

From THE WASHINGTON POST blog, The Trail:

"Paul's online popularity, to the surprise (and envy) of other Republican campaigns, proves to be one of the most fascinating fundraising stories of the year. He's the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, to increase his fundraising haul with every quarter, raising $640,000 in the first quarter, $2.4 million in the second, $5.1 million in the third. And more than two-thirds of the money, his aides say, has consistently come from the Internet."

In 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, Congressman Ron Paul (R -TX) appeared on NOW WITH BILL MOYERS and explained why he was not yet convinced that an invasion was necessary and justified:

Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry of Techpresident, a blog which focuses upon how 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web, recently wrote:

"Over time, online strategies that shift power to networks of ordinary citizens may well lead to a new generation of voters more engaged in the political process. That, in turn, could make politicians more accountable, creating a virtuous circle where elected officials who are more open and supportive of lateral constituent interaction, and less top-down, are rewarded with greater voter trust and support."

Do you agree? What effects will the Internet have on future presidential elections?


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My post seeks to engage Bill Moyer and/or Benjamin Barker's comment on the "Crisis in Capitalism?" podcast. Bill Moyer says 'Here is a question, maybe it comes from your book. When politics permeates everything, we call it totalitarianism, when religion permeates everything, we call it theocracy, but when commerce pervades everything, we call it liberty." Dr. Barber goes on to say it 'that is the central paradox of our time.'

I am confused, because commerce is a economic term referring to buying and selling of commodities, while liberty is a political & existential term 'being free' or the 'power to do what one pleases' - M-W.com . So the word used would be consumerism instead of liberty.

But still, it isn't quite that simple. The first two statements in the podcast expressed stated a social value system and the consequences when it is unchecked and allowed to pervade at all levels of the value system mentioned. The analysis for each was dead on accurate, but the third statement in the pattern does not fit seeming to be artificial or contrived.

Commerce is a consequence of cooperative human activity, a socialistic state has commerce, even a feudal state has commerce. The difference for commerce in a socialistic country and a capitalistic country centers around control of planning, production, and distribution. What if a political system in a country is Communist, then does that lead to liberty if communistic commerce pervades everything? So commerce does not fit into the context of the two previous statements, it is not a value system, nor does it fit into the segment in the larger context.

The type of an economic system would be a value system. So, what if the third statement was capitalism, which fits in the larger context. It would be something like, 'when capitalism permeates everything, we call it plutocracy'. This explains way we feel a loss of liberty, everything seems out of control and out of kilter, corrupt coupled with awareness that our voice and vote carries no weight. A sense of listlessness is riding over this milieu.

Mr. Moyers, I deeply enjoyed this conversation, as most it not all, it was informative. Your discussion with Dr. Barber went on to talk about capitalism and its role. The piece had capitalism in its title, so why did you side step the elephant at this poignant time in the conversation?

Grady Lee Howard -

I afraid my passionate response looks like an attack. I do apologize if it came across as that.

After rereading my post, I also may (ok, did) come across a bit strong.

I admit that Dennis Kucinich is the only other candidate I would support. :) My friends were quite surprised when I replied that my dream team would be a Paul/Kucinich ticket.

You bring up many tough points. I am guilty of picking the few most important to me and selecting my candidate on that basis.

I will look at Dennis Kucinich website and read.

If I have any questions, I will email you. It would be nice to have a civil, level-headed political discussion.

Let's put Diebold in charge of online voting. Under the present circumstances this could result in a 500% 0r even 2000% turnout, whatever it takes to satisfy corporate personhood!

Ken, Ken, Ken, Calm down young man. You're talking to a nobody, a retired actor who weaves wool and does political commentary. I have had a chronic condition all my life requiring medical help I could not afford. Several generous libertarian physicians treated and advised me at reduced price and allowed me to work off debt in service to them and their causes. I believe I understand and admire Ron Paul very well. Here we have a forum, and in a political cycle. My candidate is Dennis Kucinich, which makes sense considering my history and stature (40 inches tall).
Thank you Ken for your naval service, I hope you got education benefits.
I want to ask Dr. Paul how he would handle a nuclear crisis with Pakistan, how he would refund SS after it has been robbed for war and corporate welfare, how he would quell the racial and sexual hate still so prevalent in this country, how he would try George Bush and his crew (and maybe even Bill Clinton and Gen. Wes Clark, and Henry Kissinger and so on) for their crimes against humanity, how he would get beyond the ethanol debacle and wrestle energy firms for sustainable energy development, how docs like him would treat 300 million people on a cash basis in the middle of the coming depression, how he would control pharmaceutical and hospital firms, and how he would dispose war contractors and private mercenary firms. What would Paul do if 9/11 proved to be an inside job? (I am convinced.) Paul is a good man with simple answers, but one wall is missing in his room, the wall of interests that would economically overwhelm our rights by the assertion of their "sacred" property rights, and these are powerful interests. Look at dennis4president.com and if you still have beefs contact me at my folkschool email beretco.op@gmail.com

I agree with bob. The only time a racial or color description of anyone should be used is if it's a criminal the police are looking for. Everything Ron Paul has said so far I agree with, except abortions. Abortions and same sex marraiges are very private affairs. When I grew up what someone else did was none of your business unless it interfered with your way of life, job ,home,or anything else. It was called Democracy! o lets try to all vote and vote for the person we need not the ones being pushed in your face by the media. And no matter who ends up as your president if you ' vote for any incumbant congressman 'your going to end up with the same disaster you have now. Personally I have 3 choices Paul Obama, or Edwards.

The impact of the internet in future elections will obviously be affected by how its role in this election plays out. I personally believe that when the votes start coming in, the internet will be validated in recognizing the significance of the Ron Paul campaign. I expect Paul's vote totals to exceed the MSM's poll numbers by wide margins. The score after Iowa and New Hamshire will be internet 2, MSM pundits 0. Hopefully this may budge the MSM into grudging respect of the internet's ability to measure popular sentiment better than their so-called scientific polls and they will take it into greater account in future analysis.

Regradless, though, for the generation growing up today the internet is where it's at. As more young people reach voting age, the internet will inevitably play a larger role in shaping political opinion. The MSM can only save itself from total obsolescence by jumping on the same bandwagon.

I've been following the campaign pretty closely for many months. I've followed earlier presidential campaigns. There is always this endless talk about the polls and how a candidate is 'ranking' in the polls. In the same breath, not just in this election, there are the comments that the polls are never really very reliable and "you can't trust the polls."

No one, however, ever mentions or defines what these things are, these 'polls'. How they are conducted, how they are tallied, how many people are polled, what percentage of the population, etc? What I have heard this election go-round is that they are former party member voters in the last election who are called on the phone and asked who they favor. But, again, no numbers of how many are contacted.

But if we take the above data as a starting point, we then ask, what percentage of the population actually vote in a presidential election? I've heard figures around 30%. If true, then what percentage of these 30% are called to figure the polls? It seems to me this is a small cross-section of a non-representational percentage of a specific population.

Then pundits say that this cross-section, Republican and Democrat, is supposed to represent who is really going to win the election, even when, in the same breath, these same people say the polls are unreliable.

Now suppose that a candidate arrives from a different angle. He or she comes in via a populist line, say the internet, a completely new venue and largely unknown as to effects. Via this viral interface this candidate rounds up people who have never voted, either because of age or inclination. He or she has a message that resonates with voters, not on the pollsters' lists and they switch parties or shift due to this candidate's message. These individuals are below the radar when it comes to polls.

Mainstream Pundits use these "polls" like the are the Truth Incarnate and are "proof" of a candidate's viability. No matter what else this candidate might do in terms of message, opinion, popularity, etc, because they are 'down' in the polls, well, "Hell, son, he's a nobody."

We see the media has, until recently, ignored Paul and will not give him equal time. Why is that, do you think? Now he's being interviewed both on TV and the internet on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NBC, etc, etc. Glen Beck, of all people, gave him an hour. He's probably the most exciting political news in 4 decades, whether he wins or not. He represents a whole new paradigm of political endeavor, running completely outside the entrenched corrupt system. There's been nothing like this, regardless of your political views, in the history of American politics, as far as I know. If I were a blogger, reporter, or pundit, I would be all over this story all the time. Not necessarily to get his message out, but to report on the phenomenon. Look at all the walls he's breaking down; look at all the subjects he's bringing to the surface to be discussed at a national level. I've never seen so many people excited about politics in my life.

Go to websites that cover the straw polls, if you want to look at polls. Look at the online polls after the GOP debates. Paul definitely does not poll in single digits. Why the disparity between these polls and the ones so often quoted? How can a guy raise $6 million in one day (an all time record) if there are not a lot of people interested in him winning? I would hesitate a guess that the 25,000 new folks that donated to Paul on 18 December, outnumber the number of people called in the "national polls". Throw in the 40,000 or so others who have donated and I'm sure it's a bigger number. What kind of poll is that?

Most of the mainstream media denies the validity of the internet. How many thousands, if not millions, of individuals are in communication about Ron Paul via the internet? If there has ever been a grass-roots vehicle in the world, it's the internet. Look at how many hits Paul has to his site, versus the other candidates. Everyone says he's big on the internet, but discount it in favor of traditional media outlets. Why? The times they are a changing. This is the first presidential election where the internet is mature enough to become a method of reaching people in a whole new different way. And it's being discounted, partly because it is new and there are no precedents. You keep hearing the MSM saying, "Yeah, but all that internet traffic has to turn into votes and that's not likely?" Why not? No one knows - it's never been an issue before.

Our only hope for the future is that the internet stays free in the hands of the people because this will guarantee the future of our republic. You will find Paul at the top on the internet, not the bottom. This is truly an exciting time and it will never be the same again. The Founding Fathers said a republic can exist with an "informed population". With the dumbing down of America by media hype and propaganda, this "informed people" were disappearing. With the internet it's coming back and watch out. Americans will take back their country in a way the establishment never expected.

**My comment hasn't shown up yet in 12 hours so I'm reposting.**

-- Grady Lee Howard --

You obviously dislike Ron Paul and have decided to raise all the issues that bother you. I have tried to respond to some of them. I would like to have a discussion about these matters. Some background on me for you: I’m 31; prior military (6 years Navy); not a homeowner, work full-time at an IT helpdesk entry-level position; attend school full-time; and I’m conservative with the exception of being wildly liberal about protecting personal freedoms. I have included 4 points below:

1. A lack of transparency on the Internet and rigged voting machines are in no way similar. You might as well compare apples and horses. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you. Can you explain this further?

2. We are short-sighted as young healthy people? Did you expect us to wait around for Social Security which is broke due to the pillaging of the US Government? Why should I ride out a broken system that will take much more money out of me than I will ever receive? Does that mean that I think people that have already paid into it should suffer because I want out? No. We need to find a middle ground.

3. So he opposes abortion. So what? Many people do. He also opposes the Federal Government making it illegal. Did you miss or ignore that point? He is not trying to force his viewpoint on you so why did you bring it up?

4. A flat tax is the fairest tax around. The big difference is taking out all of the loopholes that the wealthy (and corporations) use to pay no or very little tax.


The simple fact is our whole economy is in a bubble of borrowed money. It is kept its value do to being the standard for oil (thereby forcing nations to keep many dollars on hand despite a desire not to) and “persuasion” of our military in so many countries around the world. While we may be the world police, we have also been a world bully to many countries. We need to address this economic issue sooner than later. Do you know of any ongoing problem that gets better by ignoring it? This one will not get any better, I promise you.

I don’t agree with everything Ron Paul stands for, but I there are three things that are most important to me: (1) we need to straighten out our economy; (2) We need to stop interfering with other countries governments. We already have a history of covertly overthrowing governments we don’t care for. (3) Strong protection of personal freedoms that are the cornerstone of democracy: a frustrating cornerstone, but a cornerstone nonetheless.

Lastly, he has integrity. His stated beliefs and values don’t change week to week as the majority of politicians. And you can verify his integrity by looking at his voting record in Congress. No stray votes to try to explain…


I hope we can discuss this Grady. I’ll try to check back here every couple of days.

--Grady Lee Howard--

You obviously dislike Ron Paul and have decided to raise all the issues that bother you. I have tried to respond to some of them. I would like to have a discussion about these matters. Some background on me for you: I’m 31; prior military (6 years Navy); not a homeowner, work full-time at an IT helpdesk entry-level position; attend school full-time; and I’m conservative with the exception of being wildly liberal about protecting personal freedoms. I have included 4 points below:

1. A lack of transparency on the Internet and rigged voting machines are in no way similar. You might as well compare apples and horses. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you. Can you explain this further?

2. We are short-sighted as young healthy people? Did you expect us to wait around for Social Security which is broke due to the pillaging of the US Government? Why should I ride out a broken system that will take much more money out of me than I will ever receive? Does that mean that I think people that have already paid into it should suffer because I want out? No. We need to find a middle ground.

3. So he opposes abortion. So what? Many people do. He also opposes the Federal Government making it illegal. Did you miss or ignore that point? He is not trying to force his viewpoint on you so why did you bring it up?

4. A flat tax is the fairest tax around. The big difference is taking out all of the loopholes that the wealthy (and corporations) use to pay no or very little tax.


The simple fact is our whole economy is in a bubble of borrowed money. It is kept its value do to being the standard for oil (thereby forcing nations to keep many dollars on hand despite a desire not to) and “persuasion” of our military in so many countries around the world. While we may be the world police, we have also been a world bully to many countries. We need to address this economic issue sooner than later. Do you know of any ongoing problems that gets better by ignoring it? This one will not get any better, I promise you.

I don’t agree with everything Ron Paul stands for, but I there are three things that are most important to me: (1) we need to straighten out our economy; (2) We need to stop interfering with other countries governments. We already have a history of covertly overthrowing governments we don’t care for. (3) Strong protection of personal freedoms that are the cornerstone of democracy: a frustrating cornerstone, but a cornerstone nonetheless.

Lastly, he has integrity. His stated beliefs and values don’t change week to week as the majority of politicians. And you can verify his integrity by looking at his voting record in Congress. No stray votes to try to explain…


I hope we can discuss this Grady. I’ll try to check back here every couple of days.

Ron Paul and his fundraising: Please think critically about the lack of transparency in Internet transactions. It is analogous to the rigged voting machine programs in Florida and Ohio. Paul can't even be sure who is contributing. I don't think it could be sorted out in a timely manner.
Ron Paul's small and limited government ideals appeal to business. I wonder if he realizes we are no longer living in an
Adam Smith world. We live in a rigged world with prearranged outcomes in business and politics.
You young healthy people who want to avoid taxes and not buy health coverage are short sighted. You have parents and kids (or probably will) and it is unfair for you to deny the public commons and the commonweal. At a time of environmental and energy crisis a "hands-off" federal government could doom the entire world.
Paul has simple answers, but has not even faced any hard questioning. We know he was right on Iraq, but that's about all we know, besides he opposes a pregnant woman's right to choose and that he would tax me and Bill Gates at the same rate, no wait, Gates could probably buy a loophole, and rich girls abort offshore while "vacationing."

Ralph Nader said the two parties were "one corporate party with two heads." They use their refined propaganda skills to elect their figurehead leader every four years. The Internet, to the extent it hasn't become controlled (like in China) under our "Patriot" Act and the nascent anti-homegrown terrorism acts (H.1955, S.1959), is really the only hope for elective democracy that remains to the people. If we didn't have the communications channels and opportunities for community that the Internet provides, we'd have been "divided and conquered" through isolating influences already. I hope that someday voting itself may conducted online through the Internet. I don't see why it can't be, and it would facilitate near-100% voter turnout! We just have to get rid of the Electoral College (I still think most people don't even know about that)! Check out the Google Zeitgeist report. It reflects enough "democratic" interest in Ron Paul to have elected him. Oh, yes, the Internet will matter more and more, and it really is the salvation of the democratic process in the U.S. and someday worldwide.

Quite frankly, I hope that the internet will have an effect on political races. It gives back the power to the people. A prime example is Ron Paul. The mainstream media has attempted to exclude him at every step. They first paid attention to straw polls around the country, but then Ron Paul was doing very well. Then they focused on the amount of money candidate have. Now Ron Paul has money. Now you see random, meaningless polls brought up in conversion. I have interacted with some people who have told me that Ron Paul's name isn't even offered as an option! I have not verified that for myself though.

In conclusion, I believe that the internet will give people such as me the chance and hope that I can make a difference; that it isn't just big corporations and corrupt politicians anymore.

That is what you are seeing. It is the result of hope being born again. Hope that we aren't helpless, that we aren't just bystanders in this country's government. It's a good day to be an American.

I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE BLACK MINISTER(THE ONE THE PREVIOUS BLOGGER COULDNT REMEMBER HIS NAME OR THAT HE WAS A MINISTER)I THINK THE PIECE WAS EXCEPTIONAL ABOUT THE LYNCHING TREE AND THE NOOSE. THE PEOPLE WHO PREVIOUSLY WROTE A COMMENT OBVIOUSLY DID NOT WATCH THE SAME PROGRAM I DID.

watching this week's interview with a black author ( whose name I dont recall) , I was once again reminded of the bigotry in this country ...against any race but the black race.

once again , I was reminded of the fact that a little over 13 per cent of the entire population of the US are 'entitled' ...to the exclusion of other races.

once again , I was reminded of the highly discriminatory nature of the the race relation efforts...not including the federal, state and local governments discriminating against everyone but the blacks in contract allocation ...

hmmmm what is that word ..'affirmative action"...

and , for the FIRST time, I was disappointed in Mr. Moyers , normally objective style. He came off as a pandering foot stool for the black cause...

why dont we have an AMERICAN cause ? I like johnny cash's explanation of an AMERICAN...either you is one or you aint

..no black american, no red american., no white americans...americans period.

dont get me started on the war ...lets hear if for Ron Paul !

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