Monday, December 31, 2007

Butler Shaffer comments on Ron Paul exclusion

Butler Shaffer posts some nice comments on the blog:

Why is anyone surprised that the upcoming "debate" in New Hampshire - co-sponsored by the GOP and Fox News - would exclude Ron Paul? Such a decision only adds evidence for the proposition that the major political parties and mainstream media are a unitary system employed by the corporate-state establishment to maintain its authority over the nation. Their function is to generate support for an ever-increasing array of "problems" to be addressed by ever-expansive state powers; their role is not to question the arrangement. In furtherance of this singleness of purpose, political parties have embraced the virtue of "bipartisanship," while the media boast of their "responsible" forms of journalism.

Boobus Americanus could be counted upon to reject the inclusion of so-called "third parties" into political debates - ignoring the fact that the Republican Party, historically, was the most successful of third party offerings. Thus were the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Socialist Party, etc., kept in the wings; their alternative policies and philosophies marginalized. Tweedledum and Tweedledummer were the only voices allowed to be heard in a supposedly "democratic" system.

But how do the practitioners of the unitary mindset deal with a member of one of the major political parties? The quadrennial candidacy of Harold Stassen could be tolerated for much the same reason as comedian Pat Paulsen's "run" for the presidency: a welcome form of comic relief. But Ron Paul's candidacy is of serious proportions. His is a campaign directed to principled minds that value peace, liberty, and reason; the kinds of people the political establishment does not want to see energized. Even in the debates in which he has been allowed to appear, his presence is visually marginalized by keeping him at the far end of the stage.

And, so, use Ron Paul's exclusion not as an opportunity to complain about "unfairness," but as an example of what all of us are up against. Imagine that the Soviet Union was conducting an election for president, and that the Communist Party's Central Committee was co-sponsoring with Soviet-owned television a "debate" among the candidates. Imagine, further, that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had declared himself a candidate. Do you think he would have been allowed to participate in the debate?

No comments: