Ron Paul & Clicktivism

The point raised by yesterday’s Times article on Ron Paul was that while Paul attracts big crowds, these crowds do not translate into voter turnout.

Perhaps the problem is that Paul has appeal within his fervent base, but that base is unable to influence people outside the circle. If Paul can attract thousands to a rally, many more should actually vote for him. Paul himself discusses the problem in the article:

“I don’t have a full answer for that,” says Mr. Paul, who says he believes ballot irregularities have chipped into his numbers in some places. He adds, “I think there’s some problem with always making sure this energy is translated into getting to the polls.”

Perhaps the answer is clicktivism. Paul’s fervent base is all over the internets, commenting on this blog for instance, but clicks and comments do not create voter turnout. Nor are they part of anything resembling a dialogue. Libertarian movements are something akin to PR firms, all transmit and no receive. Able to create the appearance of broad appeal, but with a actual following that is quite shallow.

And that honestmistake video is not very compelling. So news organizations, particularly television, omits Paul from a bunch of infographics. If that is your beef, you are not ready for the national stage, where many unfair things happen. You cannot blame the media for not taking Paul more seriously. He’s not even a serious member of Congress–introducing dozens of bills on crackpot topics that are all languishing in subcommittee land. He appears to have accomplished next to nothing in his many years there.