Michael Nystrom's blog
Below is the resulting article that I told you was being written last week when I asked for your comments on why Ron Paul is THE internet candidate. The Wired story is decent article in that it gets Dr. Paul's name out there, but again, it tends to focus more on the detractors in the meat of the article. The Daily Paul gets only a brief notice at the end of the article. Your comments on the story are welcome and appreciated!!! Start reading below - click over to Wired to finish reading the piece.
Ron Paul: How a Fringe Politician Took Over the Web
by Brendan Spiegel
06.27.07 | 2:00 AM
When Texas Congressman Ron Paul entered the race for next year's Republican presidential nomination, few political analysts paid much notice.
by Michael Nystrom, MBA
June 27, 2007
Last week I wrote an article titled, “On Returning to the Gold Standard,” which was primarily a critique of a video interview of Simon Constable at the Street.com on the possibility of the nation returning to the 19th century gold standard. I received a surprising amount of positive feedback on the article, as well as a note from Simon Constable himself, thanking me for the commentary.
However, after a little further research on the subject, I realize now with much regret that my article, critical as it was, was mis-titled. It therefore conveyed -- or rather amplified -- the wrong impression that we should be going backwards in time. My mistake was in accepting Simon’s assumption that Ron Paul wants to “return” to the gold standard of the 19th century. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this interview with Dr. Paul in the Columbia Tribune (June 15, 2007) makes abundantly clear:
There is a battle going on for the control of information. The powers that be (traditional news outlets) are increasingly being challenged by widespread independent media sources including bloggers and journalism-enabling sites like NowPublic. It is the difference between "Good evening. This is what the news is." and "What is going on in the world? I'll find out." The change from one to the other is inevitable.
In politics, this is an important change. Instead of politicians claiming that this or that is "the will of the American people", that will can actually be tested by listening to the people because the people now have a voice. The first real example of this was the Howard Dean campaign in 2004. Dean used DeanSpace, a community CMS based on Drupal, to raise massive internet support.
In the current U.S. presidential election, the candidate who is using the internet most effectively is Ron Paul. Like Howard Dean, Ron Paul's support on the internet is massive. While his main website does not run Drupal, the Daily Paul is a popular site about the campaign. It's managed by Michael Nystrom and it runs on Drupal.
What I find interesting about Ron Paul's campaign is that while Howard Dean had support from the mainstream media (representing the traditional "we will tell you what is important" position), Ron Paul seems to be virtually ignored by the mainstream media; only the Washington Post has covered him. Thus, he represents the first test of how well grassroots internet campaigns can fare when they are pitted against, and not supplemented by, traditional media.
Kudos to Kevin in NYC for putting together this 90 second inspirational video:
Kevin says: "I got a burst of inspiration by going through the Ron Paul 2008 Flickr page this evening. There are some really great photographs that captured some wonderful moments of Dr. Paul and his supporters.
This is an update from our friend, the Constitutional Cat:
Hi Ron Paul supporters,
Yesterday I went to the local office of the Supervisor of Elections and picked up 100 voter registration forms. I rented a table at the local flea market. Last night I went to Kinkos and printed a Ron Paul Revolution Banner from the files section of the Meetup group. (While I was there I talked to a Catholic Priest about Ron's Right to Life record). I also printed 150 flyers from the files section too. I arrived at the flea market at 8:30, and things were slow up until 10:00. Then the people started coming in. I spoke with all sorts of people.
I had 75 people come to my table and pick up Ron Paul literature. I was able to speak with them personally. The typical response of 60% of the people was similar to this statement..... What is happening to America?......I am deeply concerned about losing my individual rights.
As I have said before, this is as much an educational campaign as it is a presidential campaign. There is a lot of background we need to understand in order really understand how important the message is.
This week, take a look at the BBC documentary, "Why We Fight." Dr. Paul is not in this video, but many of the ideas he speaks of are. The whole film is about the military-industrial complex. In the first six minutes of the video, you'll hear Chalmers Johnson, explain what Blowback really is.
Chalmers Johnson: "Blowback - it's a CIA term. Blowback does not simply mean the unintended consequences of foreign operations. It means the unintended consequences of foreign operations that were deliberately kept secret from the American public. So that when the retaliation comes, the American public is not able to put it in context - is not able to put cause and effect together. And they then come up with questions like, "Why do they hate us?""
For more information on blowback from US policy in Iran, see this excellent video
This comes by way of the Ron Paul Forums:
Jeff Lins writes:
For the last few weeks, I have been working on a project to get a Ron Paul DVD made that we can distribute in Iowa. This DVD will come in a regular box case with a full color cover and full color printing on the disc. It is being professionally done in a factory and so will look just like a DVD you would get from the store. The title is "The Revolution Has Begun".
Once people hear the Ron Paul message, they get hooked. Ron Paul on video is an incredibly powerful thing. Distributing this many DVDs has the potential to win us the straw poll here in Iowa. In fact, it is the main focus of the DVD. The Iowa straw poll is one of the most significant political events that happens in America. So significant that it gets worldwide media coverage. Whoever wins the Iowa straw poll usually goes on to win the caucus and since Iowa is one of the first states to hold their caucus (a.k.a. primary), it has a lot of weight.
My friend the Constitutional Cat (one of them at least - you've heard their music) writes:
"I think its important that we represent that we are out of the "Internet Box" that they are trying to put us in. We need to put some fear into the press at this point. They want to contain us on "the Internet" like we are some little subculture. We will not be undermined. We are THEY! We are the Conspiracy of Good, ready to bring the Constitution back to the United States.
John Stossel tells us:
Among some of the points made in this 5 minute piece:
How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Washington Post
Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B01
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
I don't want anyone to take offense at this little 30 second video - it is all in good fun. As far as I'm concerned the punch lined could be
I received this great email tonight from Colin Elliott who is a musician in a band:
I'm 24 and a huge fan of Ron Paul in Eugene, Oregon. This song has been popular locally whenever my band plays it. I never thought of submitting it to you, but I think it has a relevant message in light of Dr. Paul's campaign. It's about the Federal Reserve and called "Kings of Fiat".
We have to remember that it was the final separation of the dollar from gold that caused Dr. Paul to enter congress in the first place. The song discusses the nature of the Fed, everything from its shady history to the idea that we, the people, need to be doing all we can to fight it. The Fed's ability to print money out of thin air is the reason we have the runaway entitlement spending and military adventurism we do. It all goes back to them. Thank goodness Ron Paul is brave enough to fight them!
It may seem impossible to write a coherent song about monetary policy - but it has been done! People hear this song and actually listen to the words - they get very excited. Anyway, here is a YouTube of it being played live and the album version which was recorded a few months ago. I hope you enjoy it.
This is the currency, the specie which you trade
It bears the name of those who fund this masquerade
It's not worth a thing!
For me or for you
There was a simple time when this a receipt
It was backed by gold and valuable but now it's just deceit
Trade it in for liberty
Stop the Fed and be set free