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.
74 thoughts on “Ron Paul & Clicktivism”
You’re just baiting people to come after you Mr. Hoofnagle, clearly so you can attempt to have an âI told you soâ moment later on when you pick out the only handful of ignorant pro-paul comments.
You know what’s pretty ‘shallow?’
How about supporting or being oblivious to the NDAA….. How about supporting perpetual war under false pretenses…… How about ignoring BILLIONS of dollars added every month to an already insurmountable deficit.
Young people are tired of seeing their futures thrown away by corrupt politicians and special interest; Thereâs nothing shallow about that.
Wouldn’t your 27reasonable approach be not to bite, then?
Young people are tired of politicians. Ron Paul is as much a politician as any of the others.
Absolutely no real-world experience and willing to push his political leanings into places it doesn’t work.
No, we’re getting the vote out. If the votes were being counted, we’d be winning. Paul can’t say it without being ridiculed on the air, but we know our votes are being discarded – there are MANY documented instances that are somehow not reported upon. Just look on YouTube. BUT, if we have a brokered convention, we’ll all be free to vote our conscience – and Paul’s nomination will be assured.
People keep telling me my voice doesn’t count, that my vote doesn’t count and that my ideas and vision for our country will never matter. It’s so strange to me the people immediately invalidate me as an RP supporter with blanket insults without actually listening to what Ron Paul is all about. I just don’t see the moral or economic logic in voting for anyone else. So many people think our military would be less powerful with Ron Paul, but the truth is we would be stronger than ever because we wouldn’t waste so much money all around the world. Can you imagine if we took all the money (and lives) that were spent over the last five years and used that money to build up a more powerful military right here in the US? Just having all of those soldiers here in the US spending money, not losing their minds from the countless deployments overseas and supporting the local communities they live in would be a boon. I just don’t see the logic in spending billions of dollars on nation building when we need to rebuild our own.
(I’m copy/pasting this from a comment to a similar article. The commenter, an Ernest Dean Ludwick from University of Washington, gave his permission to do so. imo, it’s a quite well-stated response to articles of this ilk.)
We get it. The internet is teeming with zealous Ron Paul supporters some of whom have more enthusiasm than education. Every blogger and online journalist has been swarmed by them at the slightest provocation. Every editorial on the subject describes them as extremely loyal; energetic; dilligent; etc. The real story here is not that Ron Paul is the President of the Internet. That is self-evident.
The question that no one seems to be asking is: why are 10% to 25% of the electorate in every state so committed that they turn out in droves to overwhelm caucuses and conventions? Why do they function as a personal ATM for Paul, dumping cash into his “Money Bombs” by the millions like they did this weekend? What could inspire this level of extreme activism?
Answer that question if you want to address a real sociological question with journalistic integrity. Here are a couple of facts to use as starting points: The average Paul voter is above the norm in education and below the mean in age. Many are already active in the extant “Liberty Caucus” of the GOP; a loose coalition of legislators and Party functionaries of a certain philosophical bent. This wing of the Republican Party arose as a backlash to the takeover of the GOP by the so-called Moral Majority decades ago.
Their goal is to reclaim the Party from them, restore seperation of church ad state to the GOP platform, and return a consistent and logical theme to the center of the Party. This means a return to true conservatism which embraces minimal intrusion into our lives, restrained spending to return to a sustainable budget and avoidance of fiscal disaster, and an honest respect for life which means withdrawing from wars that are mercantile in nature rather than defensive.
If they are succesful, the Republican Party will look very different than it does today. This is truly revolutionary and it deserves reasoned media scrutiny. Another huge news story is the uninformed way that the GOP nominating process is reported. The popular votes have no legal weight; they do not bind delegates. Fewer than 20% of delegates are even ascribed to the candidates. Iowa, for example, won’t designate a single delegate to a candidate for another month. Any reckoning of the distribution of delegates at this point is merely an informed guess. Here’s a link to an app that projects actual numbers: http://bit.ly/gopunbound.
With the vast majority of delegates not yet bound there is a statistical tie between the candidates. So why are Wolf Blitzer and his ilk coloring in their maps so prematurely? Hmmm; might have something to do with the usual engine of politics. Could media owners Murdoch, Turner, and Bain Capital owned Clear Channel have any financial stake in picking a favorite? There’s your story, journalists. But don’t be surprised if you meet with a little resistance in trying to illuminate it.
“while Paul attracts big crowds, these crowds do not translate into voter turnout.” Really??? Are you sure that is the case? That statement presupposes that the elections have been honest. We don’t know that the crowds don’t translate into voter turnout. What we know is the when the votes are counted secretly, he loses. We know that when ballot boxes are missing, Diebold machines have their seals broken, when entire Paul-heavy precincts are not counted, when vote totals are flip-flopped, when 900 dead people vote against him, that the mainstream media gets to report that he loses. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Theories cannot be proven. The massive voter and election fraud that has been taking place is well documented all over the internet and therefore not a theory but factual. Dozens of “You Tube” videos can confirm this. More than one Republican chair has had to step down over this cheating. Instead of saying Paul isn’t winning the vote, a more accurate statement would be “we cannot tell the real votes because of massive voter and election fraud”. And there is an obvious fear that the media has of the good doctor Paul. Why is the media so afraid of him? A 2nd grader would notice the extreme bias against the good doctor. What is most noticeable is that Paul draws the most crowds, has the most independent and swing vote, always wins when the votes are counted publicly, wins every online poll that cannot be rigged, has the most independent donations, has the most donations from our military and is the ONLY candidate that is serious about cutting the debt, restoring sound money and following the constitution. And he is incorruptible!
There is a R3VOLUTION now and it cannot be stopped. No army, No media, No guns can stop an idea whose time has come. 2012 is the year of President Ron Paul. No one but Paul! Like his other supporters, I will vote for him whether he is the Republican nominee, a Third-party nominee, or even if he isn’t on the ballot. There simply isn’t anyone else running worthy of my vote. And the Lamestream presstitutes are not going to get to pick the winner this time. Onward with the R3VOLUTION – President Ron Paul 2012
There are more serious errors and omissions than incomplete infographics but they would require much more space than is available here.
Suffice it to say anyone who has researched the matter at least understands that in many states with caucuses, the straw polls at caucus sites have no meaning and that the pretty maps with color coded indicators of Romney and Santorum wins by state are inaccurate, as are the projected delegate counts.
Something that would be more interesting than etch-a-sketh analogies and tedious rehashing on Romney’s inability to close the deal would be such news as the fact that Paul supporters swept the delegates chosen in St. Louis, Mo., for a district convention (where state convention delegates are chosen at which national delegates are chosen) and had about 3/4 of the delegates chosen in Kansas City for a Paul/Romney slate.
In St. Charles County, the third most populous county in Missouri, the county chair prevented Paul/Romney domination of the caucus by closing the meeting in violation of the rules and had the Paul representative who was seeking appointment as caucus chair arrested for trespass and taken away in handcuffs.
Now wouldn’t that be more interesting as news than the latest demographic based preference polling data.
I don’t know , The media is the establishments little bitch! So it does have a profound impact when they ignore you like that..
For instance have you heard the media reporting lately how Ron Paul is winning full slates of delegates in county conventions in the caucus states? I haven’t heard one mention of it…. But it is crucial I think that the people know that Ron Paul is winning these caucus sates inspite of the popular vote…
Can’t wait until the convention when Ron Paul goes marching in with 1/3 of the total convention delegates and it has to go to a second ballot…
I wonder after Ron Paul wins the nomination will the media discuss him then? Or will they ignore him even when he is being sworn in on Jan 20 , 2013 ?
“I am not a conspiracy theorist.”
And yet your entire post is filled with claims that somehow RP is being undermined by a shadowy cabal*, consisting of the media, voting organizations, and the Rebublican** mainstream. You’re joking, right?
*There is no cabal.
** I know it’s spelled wrong, but I like it that way.
There’s example after example of people recording voter fraud on youtube. Maybe that has something to do with it?
But “wouldn’t the media then cover this story??” you say? Yes, the media that helped the previous administration lie us into Iraq then ran cover for the criminals that did it, and are trying to shield Jon Corzine are REAL interested in informing you..
Where have all the writers gone? And if there are so many RP fans claiming they vote, why don’t they practice by geotagging on ronpaulitic.com – the only realtime RP map on the web.
Yeah its called…..fraud.
Not the first, certainly not the last time. The amount of fraud being done against Ron Paul by the GOP in the polls is ridiculous.
1831 – Lost his job
1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
1833 – Failed in business
1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)
1835 – Sweetheart died
1836 – Had nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
1846 – Elected to Congress (success)
1848 – Lost re-nomination
1849 – Rejected for land officer position
1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate
1860 – Elected President (success)
Abraham Lincoln never quit, so why should Ron Paul?
Thank you for this article. The one thing that confuses me is how you can do such a thorough job reporting on the delegate process and completely miss the fact that Ron Paul has polled the best in a head-to-head against Obama for months. With name recognition factored in (this part is key), he has consistently outperformed other GOP candidates. Please get a good math guy to do the analysis for you. Here is a link to get you started. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html
Where have all the writers gone? And if there are so many RP fans claiming they vote, why don’t they practice by geotagging on ronpaulitic.com – the only realtime RP map on the web.
Well you’ve convinced me. Ron Paul is just like Abraham Lincoln.
It’s also the year that the world comes to an end. Coincidence? I think not!!!!!eleventy1111!!!!
Failing to agree with me is just proof that you are part of the conspiracy!
Hereâs an 11 page list of Romneyâs track record of quoted Flop-Flops sourced from newspapers and TV interviews:
It will SHOCK you what Romney really believes in
Ron Paul 2012
Maybe, just possibly, the real problem is that while a lot of people claim to support what he stands for, they also realize that it translates into nonsense when dealing with reality. There are two kinds of libertarianism:
European – Social progressive, believing that **people** should have as wide a range of freedom as possible, without anyone telling them what to do.
American – Economic wacko, who in complete contradiction to the ***vast*** evidence, from basic psychology, to law, to history, that these things are somehow not true:
1. People in groups tend to do stupider things, and talk each other into doing things against others, or even their own interests, which they wouldn’t if alone. Examples of this in economics are numerous, and include the trend, more and more, when they can legally get by with it, of Walmarting everything, i.e., paying as little as possible to employees, having as few as possible, selling the cheapest stuff possible, and still wondering why their own employees can’t afford to buy more from them.
2. Being successful in business makes you rational, or interested in the overall well being of anyone but yourself. Case in point, one of the Coch brothers comments that, “I just want what I deserve, which is all of it.”
3. Consumers, if no one is watching out for them, can always effect, never mind stop, bad practices, by simply buying somewhere else (i.e., making the market fix the problem). Because, despite nearly everyone knowing Walmart’s business practices are contributing to the widening gap between the rich and poor, the “consumer” is successfully putting them out of business, or changing their behavior…
The market has **never** regulated itself, and the problem with government is that its filled with people bought and payed for by people that damn well know it doesn’t, and can’t, and spend immense amounts of time adding inefficiencies, to derail good regulation, weaken those, where ever possible, and argue against doing anything at all, where ever someone will listen. We waste more money via “bad” regulation that he have ever spent on doing it right, and even more of it on paying to fix problems that arise, as a result of the fact that the industries never clean up, and often won’t even acknowledge, unless required to, the messes that result, than we ever do **actually** preventing them. And Ron Paul’s version of “libertarianism” is of the sort that believes these three idiocies, and wants more ineffectiveness, less control, and greater trust that people who are more interested, if allowed, in running Asian sweat shops, and employing people in their own country, and have thought this way since as far back and the Pinkerton Police and the Industrial Revolution in this country, and as far back as the days when merchant guilds first formed and exploited their workers, and local natives (East India Company, etc.).
The people building businesses didn’t all, or even mostly, get their because they are enlightened, well balanced, people, who want what is best for their employees, and their country. On the contrary, while there have been occasional upswings in this kind of thinking, in some generations, we are currently in a downward spiral, in this regard, with the vast majority having no interest in anyone else’s freedoms, well being, economic stability, rights, or survival, just their own. And Ron actually thinks that loosening the reins on these people’s companies will change that?
If the guy was a social libertarian only, and had sane financial policy, I would be voting for him myself. But I can’t ignore the vast insanity of his views of economics, just to support his relatively sane ones about personal, ***as in living people, not legal entities***, freedoms. But, more to the point, he has a sales pitch, no evidence that what he is pitching works, and he is, in theory, going up against someone who, if half the damn country wasn’t being dishonest to the point of skirting the edges of outright treason, in their claims against him, might still not walk on water, but has managed to do a fair number of reasonable things. Its just the unreasonable ones which make me wish it was a Democrat running against him, not escapees from Arkham Asylum. I am almost surprised when I don’t see them, including Ron Paul, dressed in crazy costumes, with the bat signal shining up into the night, over Washington…
Should have been “…, than employing people…”.
Clicktivism? I disagree. I can show numerous Ron Paul rallies where thousands turn out, oftentimes waiting in long lines. This would negate your whole argument. Sorry dude. Fail.
Maybe because the party’s mostly white, male, educated, affluent base has only so many potential constituents?
And yet, those “thousands” don’t end up appearing in the vote totals, which was the whole argument. Unless you are planning on signing up for the “OMG! Teh Conspiracies iz all around us!” ride, the fail is all yours, child.
LOL … Paul is an anachronism but one that is quite attractive to a certain subset of citizens. I long ago made a connection between RP and the sorts of guys who loved Star Trek, the first series, and its miraculously simple answers that always arrived in time to save the day, but were disappointed that the show included Asians, Russians, and blacks.
RP is the candidate of people who think themselves just a bit smarter than average, people who flatter themselves by credulously buying into conspiracies and simple answers. They consider themselves better informed insiders while being less well informed outsiders. They are usually quite proud of this ignorance relabeled as being ‘well informed’. Like flat earthers who know, feel it deep in their soul, that the rest of humanity is deluded. If the most persuasive argument you can muster is a great number of YouTube videos you need to fall back and regroup.
They are also people who cloak their deep seated racism and sexism in libertarian boiler plate about freedom of association and a hypothetical right to life for a fertilized egg. Which is why the RP crowd is heavy with rebellious white males and light on females and brown skin.
And then there is the simplistic economics of gold. It is a simplistic and superficially attractive argument aimed squarely at people who don’t actually know how money and economies work in system more complicated than a lemonade stand.
It is a fairly rare and unique form of brain damage that attracts people to RP. There are enough who share this specific constellation of damage to get, and keep, RP in office in the 22nd district in Texas. must be the water, but it isn’t common enough in the rest of the nation to make RP a major player even in GOP only, low-turnout votes where RP voters have an edge.
The other ugly little fact is that a lot of RP supporters are too young to vote and of those that are old enough, and registered, many are too psychologically broken to drag their pale, bloated carcasses from their dank Mountain Dew and Cheeto scented basements to vote.
Of course, like Charlie Brown and Lucy the football will always get snatched away. Ron Paul will capitulate and back the GOP in return for unnamed favors delivered under the table and his supporters will crawl back to their basements muttering and mumbling about ‘next time’.
@Kagehi: Common progressive fallacies. Ron Paul is an expert in economics who predicted the housing bubble collapse and our current fiscal disaster, among many other correct assessments. You really need to understand Austrian free-market economics insted of your Keynesian viewpoint, which is what has created the brunt of our problems. All of these “greedy corporations” you’re railing about benefit from government regulation and regulators. It helps them to keep smaller competitors out of the market. That’s not a free market like Ron Paul advocates, it’s corporatism and the Dems are as guilty of it as the GOP. Libertarianism levels the playing field. You, like most progressives, don’t know your history either. I suggest you read some of Tom Woods’ writings as a start toward understanding how conditions and wages during the Industrial Revolution were a vast improvement over the absolute poverty and destitution that came before it. No one forced those workers to take those jobs. Unions didn’t make things better and regulations weren’t what eliminated child labor.
For smug arrogance it is hard to beat a glibertarian.
So, Brooklyn how much did it cost the Canadian taxpayers to bail out the heavily regulated Canadian banks after the meltdown. – I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with hero.
Speaking of heroes, your hero is anti-vaccination and anti-evolution. I believe that is what is known as crank magnetism.
Fixed that one for ya, hoss.
@Militant Agnostic -First off, Canadian banks had much different regulations in place and more diversified risks than U.S. banks. Recall that in Canada there was no Glass-Steagall law that progressives here claim the repeal of was primarily responsible for the “predatory lending” glut. No Freddie or Fannie in Canada to put a government guarantee behind loans, thus removing incentive to be careful in providing them. No CRA telling banks to make risky loans to people who should never have qualified for them. So really, it was excessive and stupid regulation that created the environment for a massive bubble, as predicted by – guess who – Ron Paul. And guess how many dollars it should have cost to bail out the American banking system: None – because we should not have bailed a single one out. Too big to fail is too big to exist. Nice try throwing in some random unqualified statements at the end to try and discredit the statesman who’s changing politics as we know them.
@NJ – I don’t need a correction from someone who clearly does not understand basic economics and certainly not one from Jersey.
“No CRA telling banks to make risky loans to people who should never have qualified for them.”
There wasn’t any such body doing that in the USA either.
Stop believing in anything Fox News tells you, m’kay?
“Well you’ve convinced me. Ron Paul is just like Abraham Lincoln.”
Don’t you mean Evil Abe Lincoln?
As has already been pointed out, this is a Republican (not libertarian) talking point that is easily, provably false if only you would take the time to do more than parrot Fox News.
False assumptions in both cases.
This is the bigs, sonny; repeating what dubious sources have told you to think without understanding it will only get you smacked but hard.
“Really??? Are you sure that is the case? That statement presupposes that the elections have been honest.”
I haven’t been interested enough to look into these allegations of fraud, but fraud seems extremely unlikely. Sure, Republicans could fix the vote count. That would take a lot of effort. And it would have to be coordinated, but it’s not impossible.
But how would they cook the polls, which have been generally accurate wrt Paul’s vote count? I mean, another poster in this thread was talking about how the polls show Paul is a better head to head candidate than Obama. So, pollsters (even Democratic ones) are cooking their polls and somehow the R establishment is cooking the results (and keeping them roughly in line with the fake polls)? Please.
“Sure, Republicans could fix the vote count. That would take a lot of effort.”
Unless the CEO of the company making the voting computers says that he’s looking to give the next election to the republicans.
Ever heard of Diebold?
Even if I were to believe the wacky theory that Diebold is deciding this country’s elections (How Obama got elected, who knows?), It still doesn’t make sense that the polls are also doctored.
“the wacky theory that Diebold is deciding this country’s elections”
Yup, none so blind as will not see.
Lets see if I can put this in words you may be able to comprehend.
Diebold make voting machines.
Unlike machines with paper ballots, all the votes are recorded electronically only.
Now, with electronic voting, you can’t see that a vote has been changed because there’s no inkblot where the original vote was scribbled out. Neither is there a piece of paper with the original vote in the box as with a paper ballot, therefore you can give a massive increase to a candidate because you can’t see that there are lots more pieces of paper in the box than there ought to be.
And since these are all connected to the internet, they can be hacked, even if the company didn’t want to fake the results.
You can’t hack a paper ballot over the internet because you don’t connect a plastic ballot box to the internet.
So, what, exactly, is the whacky part?
It’s eminently possible to fake an electronic ballot count untraceably, remotely and en masse.
But maybe you don’t know that the diebold voting machines were electronic voting booths using the internet.
“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.”
Is this old fraud alleging that certain elections were rigged? If so, he needs to provide some evidence — or, at the very least, more specific allegations that we can actually look up and verify. No specifics, no case.
Ever heard of Diebold?
Yeah, and it looks like Diebold are on the same side as Ron Paul: the Republican side.
Oh, and Brooklyn? Don’t even try to pretend you or Ron Paul know anything about economics. Ron Paul’s support of the gold standard, and his downright idiotic rhetoric about the horrible evils of inflation, are flatly at odds with centuries of economic experience, not to mention basic common sense. You’re not fooling anyone.
I heard a snippet of Ron Paul last night, blithering about how horrible and destructive the Fed was for the last seven or so decades. Really? The period since the Fed was created included THE most advanced, enlightened, and prosperous times, not only in US history, but in the West’s history. Anyone who would tell you with a straight face that those were all bad times — let alone blame the Fed for it — is either a moron, a loony, or a liar.
Oh, and Ron Paul also rejects evolution. What makes him better than the rest of the PoG again?
“Yeah, and it looks like Diebold are on the same side as Ron Paul: the Republican side.”
Yup, I didn’t say that RP’s conspiracy theory was right, just that the idea of someone or something managing widespread corruption of the voting system was completely supportable
Well, the mainstream don’t particularly like him, but compared to, for example, Obama, they’re practically concussing him with their knickers.
And as to RP’s ideas, they’re basically libertarian, as extreme as the nuttiest members of the communist believers in Stalin’s day: their political belief not only trumps any real life evidence of their faith’s problem, but also has absolutely no need of evidence in support either.
Ron Paul is an expert in economics…
Say no more.
A lot of people predicted it. Yes, regulations do often help industry, what part of, “The real problem with to government is that corporations and people with lots of money buy politicians, in order to undermine, weaken, or change regulations in their favor.”, in what I said did you bloody miss? As for unions not helping… While child labor may not have ended from them, I note you don’t mention that they gave us 8 hour work days, requirements for breaks, and, at one time, pay that was sufficient to survive off of, unlike previous, where you could end up with 12 hour days, no breaks, and owe the company at the end of the day. Note what has happened in “right to work” states –
1. While the federal law still says you can’t work more than 40 hours without added compensation, you *can* be made to work 10+ hours a day.
2. While you still have to have breaks, where some places will give you an hour lunch in 8 hours of work, places like Arizona can give you a half hour ***or*** two ten minute breaks. This isn’t even enough time to buy your lunch, and eat it, if they opt for the 2 tens, and **you** don’t get to decide whether its that or the half hour.
3. While the federal minimum wage laws can’t be broken by a business in the state, in theory, they have been broken **everyplace** for anyone working as waitress/waiter, your tips can be redistributed to the rest of the workers, not all states have laws that require you pay minimum, **if the tips are not good enough**, and more specifically, the federal minimum doesn’t account for local economics, nor is it sufficient to provide adequate compensation, even *if* the state adds a few cents.
Oh, right, and if there was a snowballs chance in hell we actually did elect some moron like Gingrich, *he* wanted to overturn child labor laws too. Technically, if a “child” wanted to work, RP might go with that too, on the ground of it being their “choice”. So, its not exactly like *that* is somehow not endangered, just because it wasn’t unions that produced those results. In any case, revisionist history isn’t the best place to look for “facts” about what changed, any more than fictional stories are a great place to acquire a new, nonsensical, political movement, like economic libertarians have. You sound like one of those people insisting that the civil war was about “economics”, while glossing over the trivial fact that the Southern economy was about the trade in, and use, of slaves, to run the economy.
Umm. Ok, few problems here.
1. No, if you have paper ballots you have to **count** the things, by hand, to make sure the number of votes match the number of people that where supposed to have done so. With an electronic system, if you have even **one** vote more than the number of people who actually checked in to do so, its trivial to figure out that something is wrong. Or do you imagine they have to count individual bits, to get a tally, using a microscope perhaps?
2. Something is only hackable “if” they provide access from the outside. A machine that opens an “outgoing” connection, in order to send data, can’t be hacked, because you have to make an “incoming” connection to do that, which means an open port, and bugs in the software, which would allow them to target the machine. While I can’t say whether they might have been stupid enough to do such a thing, its like bloody arguing that someone can get into a building through a door, from the outside, when the door has **no** handles on that side, the hinges are on the inside, and its not open. But, its worse than that, because such doors, in a computer, are “one way”. They either open in, or out, not both, so someone has to literally provide a door that **can be** opened from outside, then leave it unlocked, for someone on the outside to get into it.
So, now that you know how internet connections bloody work, tell me again how someone can ‘hack’ the machine, unless its from the server the damn thing is connecting to in the first place? Mind, there is still one possibility, its called DNS cache poisoning, but that means you need to a) somehow know what the encryption, etc. is, b) manage to intercept and decode the communications, so you know how to convince the device that its talking to its own server, then c) actually, somehow, confuse the internet infrastructure itself well enough to have it redirect any contacts from the machine to your *fake* server, so you can give it fake replies. This means having:
1. Physical access to the machines, and likely the core server, to get the needed data on *how* they communicate.
2. Being able to figure out the specifics of the encryption being used, and what key is being applied at the time (which won’t work if its running a constantly changing key), which means having the **current** software running on the machine, to see how its doing this.
3. Knowing enough about how to poison caches to do so, knowing the IP(s) of the server/servers they use (and possibly there specific identify masks for every voting machine, since that is likely to be part of the recognition system used with the server), and *somehow* managing to poison thousands of caches, all at once, all over the entire network, across the whole country, without anyone noticing it happening, including the people running the real server.
All of which is totally impossible, unless you work for the damn company that makes them, or they are dumb enough to contract out to your own company, for the critical stuff, like the software on them. And, if that isn’t a big enough problem, the cache has to go back to normal, after you have tweaked the results, and quickly enough that the server doesn’t notice that every damn machine in the network has stopped talking to it for the hours it would take to poison the global network with false IP data, then restore it, so the fake votes actually got to there. And.. Unless they are total incompetents, its likely the only command an “external” system, including the host server, might be able to send is, “Tell me what you have so far.”, and *maybe*, “Reset the system.” (i.e. erases all of them.) Actually **changing** the number of recorded votes isn’t likely to be a command the machines recognize, and any “hack” that could be used to break into the machine to send such a command would require “crashing” the software, in which case, thousands of machines would stop taking votes, while you mucked around, trying to change the data, then have to be restarted. I would tend to suspect that would be noticed too, but heck, what do I know, I only have a degree in this…
Ron Paul is an expert in economics who predicted the housing bubble collapse and our current fiscal disaster, among many other correct assessments.
Economic downturns and burst bubbles are the easiest things on Earth to predict: you see the price of something going way up, way fast, and you know it’s going to come back down again. They’re part of what’s called “the business cycle,” as anyone who’s taken ECON 101 can tell you. If you want to prove Ron Paul is an “expert in economics,” you’ll have to do a LOT better than that. The word “expert” does not mean “able to bamboozle a kid who hasn’t learned common sense and has no experience living as an adult in the real world.”
Kagehi: forget the voting machines for a moment… Diebold’s tabulation software uses an unprotected Access database.
I worked as an election volunteer, in a city with voting machines. All the volunteers at our polling place were locked in when the polls closed until the ballots were counted. We all checked that the ballot numbers agreed with the number of voters who signed in on the polling place list. (Most of us had worked all day, so we knew that the number of voters was right.) The results for each polling place were published in the local paper. I suppose it’s possible there could have been some strange tampering that changed votes, but there was no way the ballot box could have been stuffed.
In a national election, there are also exit polls conducted by recognized pollsters. What are the exit polls saying? Is Ron Paul coming out ahead on one exit poll after another, but losing elections? If not, are you claiming the exit polls and the actual votes are both wrong (consistently, in the same direction?) If you think the exit polls are tampered with, why doesn’t Paul hire a firm he trusts? If the exit polls and the actual vote were consistently different enough that it looked like a real case of election fraud, I can guarantee you, that is a story the mainstream media would jump on. They may not like Ron Paul, but they absolutely love a scandal.
And this is connected to the net? And, even if it was, its easy to find the IP of the machine its own, hack the machine, etc. This isn’t a movie, people don’t type in the word, “password”, or, “override” and get into such things. Easiest way – direct physical access. Time needed – almost none. Second easiest – incorrectly configured servers, which allow someone to log in via a shell, and execute commands. Time needed – not much, **but** this only gets you onto the machine, not into the DB. So, if there isn’t a shell, or the shell is secure, its irrelevant if the DB is, since you need to get into the machine, before you can get into the DB. Hardest – Actually cracking the a protected shell, server, etc., where there isn’t some trivial password, or backdoor. In short, it doesn’t matter if the tabulation program is unprotected, since the only way to change its contents is to have *direct physical access* to it, and if your own poll workers are the ones changing the data, you have a **far** bigger problem than whether or not a program using an unprotected database, nor would using paper ballots stop it from happening.
So, yeah, lets forget the machines, and the internet connection, and just deal with the reality that the only people in a position to stuff the database would just as easily stuff a paper ballot box, and it **both** cases, the numbers would not match. Oh, and, as I understand it, the machines do generate an audit, so changing the data in the tabulation machine wouldn’t work, since the audit trail for the actual machines wouldn’t match the data in the final tabulation.
I am not saying that there are not possible problems, and some stupid things being done, but the risk from them is… questionable.
Huh. The libertarian/Ron Paul commentators sound very much like the Green Party/Ralph Nader supporters I know (and that isn’t a good thing). The policy details mostly differ, but there are all of the same delusions about their revolutionary candidate and platform.
With regard to the lack of evidence from exit polls, I think the Ron Paul supporters like conspiracy theorists and other cranks grossly over estimate the portion of the population that shares their views. Their obsessive fanaticism leads to isolation from mainstream society, so that a large portion of the people they associate with share their views and the rest such as family and co-workers have long ago learned to avoid discussing certain topics with them. Everybody they know either supports him or expresses no opinion.
As a result of this isolation, they are unaware of how abhorrent some of RP’s stances such as opposition to the “War on Drugs” are to the Republican mainstream. From this point of view, the only possible explanation for his lack of support in the primaries has to be electoral fraud. Likewise, they do not see why his anti-liberty position on abortion is so abhorrent to liberals, especially women, or why his anti-scientific positions on vaccination, AGW and evolution make him an object of ridicule for the SciBlogs crowd.
I find it interesting that his supporters use the word “progressive” as an insult and that they consider his reality denial with respect to evolution, AGW and vaccination to be of no importance. Ron Paul is prominent member of a notorious medical crank organization, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Regarding vote fraud: These are GOP primaries/caucuses we’re talking about, not elections. In many (if not all) states this is treated as the internal business of a private organization and thus the GOP can do whatever it wants. The evidence that fraud has been occurring is either compelling or crystal clear depending on the instance involved. In more than one state the statewide chair of the GOP was forced to step down after election night, and in Iowa the chair was replaced by a Paul supporter. In Maine the state GOP chair instructed the caucuses to keep the vote secret and report it directly to headquarters. Some individual caucuses passed a motion to publicly announce their votes, and this was one of the only means by which the fraud in Maine was revealed. Rachel Maddow was perhaps the only national TV personality to cover the affair, and amidst her coverage she had a guy on that stated that when he called headquarters to report his caucus’s results (Paul won) he was told by the lady on the other end that they already had the results (Romney won). I could go on and on with other examples, other states, etc. you’ll have to do your own research if you’re interested.
I was going to write a much longer post, but it probably wouldn’t matter anyway. Most of you aren’t going to believe it until it hits you in the face, and maybe not even then, so why bother?
All I can say is this is a wake-up call. You might disagree with Paul, but somebody has to do something. If the nation fails under the weight of debt and mismanagement all the side issues most people tend to want to disagree about won’t matter anymore. Do you think the government’s going to be effective at protecting people from each other, much less themselves, if and when the rug gets pulled out from under the entire house of cards? Paul’s solutions might cause some discomfort, but the alternative is excruciating pain.
In many ways we’re just repeating history.
Well, that explains why I got called a progressive a few days ago on another science blog. Using such a positive term for an insult doesn’t speak well for the RP supporters’ grasp of reality. Maybe they all *think* they voted?
@48, 50: It was clearly used in these comments the same way one might use “libertarian” or “conservative” or “agnostic” … to describe a group or related ideology. Just because the subject matter was negative in tone (e.g. “progressive fallacies”) doesn’t mean the term was used insultingly.
For the record, though, other comments here have expressed opposing viewpoints while simultaneously describing libertarians/libertarianism as nonsense, idiocy, insane, extreme, delusional, racist, sexist, smug, arrogant, and supported by basement-dwellers (simply search the page for “libertarian” and look around); so pardon me, but it looks like maybe I should be the one that’s feeling the indignance.
They also deny HIV causes AIDS. Their Journal is a major source of crank medical articles.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, Ron Paul is a joke. That’s why the press doesn’t cover him with any rigor. The problem here is since he’s a crank, who even believes in reviving the gold standard, we’re seeing the crank magnetism effect. Crank magnetism is classically forgiving of logical or ideological inconsistencies, because cranks feel that validation of one of their own validates their own nonsense ideas.
So Anon, I’m afraid you see lot’s of contemptuous language being thrown around at the same time these ideas are discussed because they are contemptible ideas. You’re not going to get a lot of sympathy from scientists when you deny whole swathes of reality and are a member of a crank medical guild. We’re going to call RP what he is a crazy libertarian crank.
I think R. Paul has 2 ideas worth suppoiting: legalizing drugs and opposing NDAA. But when you place his states rights stance, anti-education…(etc.) stances along with his John Bircher echos on the otherside, Paul is indeed a crank. Paul is not a visionary, he is a reactionary that would enjoy bringing the U.S. to the pre 50’s or even to the 1890’s. Not a worthy candidate for anyones vote.
@52: Reread your comment and you might just learn something about yourself. You seem far too content than maybe you should be to throw around assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes about people based solely upon who they support for the presidency. I’m sure your preferred candidate has plenty of flaws, too, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to itemize and then transfer each and every one of those flaws onto you and anyone else that might support said candidate.
Having flaws = a normal human.
Being a crank = a crazy human.
You are expected to know the difference.
@52: I forgot to mention–and just to be clear–in #51 I was simply trying to point out the irony of largely manufactured (because it was based upon a misreading) indignation at “progressive” being used pejoratively in light of the way “libertarian” was unambiguously being cast. It’s important to note that I was neither surprised nor truly offended by it. I believe wholeheartedly in unabridged freedom of speech; although that doesn’t preclude me from pointing out assumptions/generalizations/stereotyping. A healthy debate is, well, healthy.
I should also point out that many reject libertarianism based upon fears of what could happen if it was taken to its furthest logical conclusion, a concept that is colloquially referred to in libertarian policy discussions as Libertopia. However, as with any ideology, libertarianism must compete within the marketplace of ideas, and thus Libertopia can never be reached. By dismissing libertarianism, quite irrationally, with quite irrational arguments about what might happen if it reigned supreme, what you’re actually doing is weakening or eliminating the proper counterbalance it should be permitted to provide to other ideologies. The end result is an enhanced capacity for the authoritarian strains of all other ideologies to thrive.
@55: There’s an eye of the beholder element, you know. Some of what you might think are mere flaws I might find cranky, and some of what you might find cranky I might think are mere flaws. In some areas we may even wholly disagree, but I’m not going to pretend each and every view of a candidate reflects who YOU are simply because you support him or her.
A perfect candidate is rare or nonexistent, and many times if you manage to find one it’s illusory, and only because they’ve done the homework (focus groups/polls/etc) necessary to ensure that you hear precisely what you want and need to hear.
Interesting. That is also my perception of libertarians/libertarianism.
No, I don’t think so.
Seriously, that’s your argument? You can’t use my support of extremist politics to form any generalizations about me?
Because people can accurately make some generalizations about me, based on my political positions.
That is correct, and I view my “preferred” candidate as a compromise. My current preferred realistic candidate in the 2012 presidential election is Barrack Obama, and I don’t expect that to change. For full disclosure, I view Ron Paul as intermediate between Obama and the other Republican candidates, but I certainly won’t vote for Ron Paul.
I am willing to support the extreme compromise of corporatist Democrat Barrack Obama to prevent candidates I consider even worse from being elected.
Nor would it be fair for anyone to transfer each and every flaw of Ron Paul onto you.
However, I do take responsiblity for supporting the candidate I support.
Seriously? This is your argument? It would be patently terrible if it were actually in power, but it’s okay to suport it as a “counterbalance”, on the assumption that it will never actually be in power? You do realize that this argument applies equally well to Fundamentalist Theocracy, Khmer Rougism, etc, right? Everything “counterbalances” something else. And everything that somebody supports has some chance of coming into power.
Prediction – my comment will cause you cognitive dissonance. You will respond by generating a reply that does not address my points, but that is way over the top in terms of unjustified hostility. You will do this, even though this prediction is sitting right here.
You believe I feel “indignation” at being called progressive? For shame, sir! Indignation is far too weak a word! Why next, you’ll be referring to me as “sympatico” or even– gasp– “erudite”!! And THEN where will it all end??!?
@58: Regarding most of your comment, I’m sure there are reasons you’re willing to accept an “extreme compromise” and support Obama. You should reasonably understand that there are reasons many are willing to accept an “~extreme compromise” and support Paul. In my case it would probably be a combination of concern about the growing debt, concern about the burgeoning police state, and concern about endless war.
Regarding the last part of your comment, as with any ideology, if libertarianism was so successful at electing candidates that its policies became problematic, voters would flock to other ideologies in search of balance. My overarching point is that Mark and to some extent Chris have condoned the media’s bias/obfuscation as it relates to Paul because of their opposition to Paul’s policies; yet (besides the part about Libertopia) isn’t that for the electorate to decide? The media certainly has no problem with talking about Santorum at every opportunity, and he’s arguably in the Fundamentalist Theocracy camp. It’s also arguable that he’s only doing as well as he is because of the exposure he’s receiving and because of the way in which it effectively funnels the not-Romney vote his way. Many people are quite busy and (perhaps sadly?) place their trust in media organizations to keep them informed. I don’t need to conduct a study to know that if you have a booth set up with four objects laid out on a table in the background while only three of them are arranged on a table in the foreground–labeled A/B/C–and then ask people to make a choice that the majority will select from among A/B/C. Very few will notice and perhaps fewer still will ask about the fourth object they see in the background. A bit of careful staging, showmanship, and/or slight of hand (magicians, anyone?) would undoubtedly further reduce the number of people that notice a fourth object in the background.
I hope you didn’t find any “unjustified hostility” in any of this. I try to be reasonable. It’s late, though, and I’ve had a busy day.
@59: I included you in the response since you commented on the misunderstanding, so I considered you part of the chain. If anyone felt indignation it may have been Militant Agnostic.
I see what you did there, though. I see your “for shame” and raise you a “good form” forsooth.
No, I actually have no particular objections to your final comment. I’m glad that you falsified my prediction.
For what it’s worth, with regard to Ron Paul and the media, something I didn’t comment on above, I think that the media very, very clearly tries to marginalize him. And I have approximately the same explanation for this that you do. They don’t like his tendency to challenge policies approved by the RNC.
However, I also think that Paul supporters exaggerate the degree of success he would have even with better media treatment. The media can shape public perception, but it must also reflect it to some degree. Paul is an elderly congressman from a rural district, who has never been a governor, senator, or speaker of the house, who has ideas that seem out of the mainstream. You and I may not find any of that such a big deal (hey, I voted for Kucinich in a primary), but he would be a long shot even with better coverage. At least, that’s my subjective opinion.
All of which I completely agree with.
I think that the media very, very clearly tries to marginalize him.
Bullshit. If the media really wanted to marginalize him, they would have made his insane retrograde ideas front-page news: his support of the gold standard, his opposition to the Civil Rights Act, his mindless hatred of environmentalists, his well-known (but little mentioned) association with white-supremacists, and a whole host of other nonsensical ideas that would easily prove how totaly detached from reality he really is. But instead, they coddle him (with one notable exception that I know of) and let him get away with his manipulative piecemeal pandering, to the point where he’s easily able to brainwash large numbers of college students before they get the education they need to see through his lies.
They don’t like his tendency to challenge policies approved by the RNC.
Oh yeah, remember when Ron Paul bravely challenged the RNC’s policies of tax cuts, deregulation, criminalizing abortion and birth control, defunding the entire US government, and demonizing liberals as closet Nazis/Stalinists? Nah, me neither.
@62,63 (double post): It’s not just his tendency to challenge the RNC, but his tendency to challenge much of the overall (“status quo”) paradigm in a variety of areas.
The problem with speculation about the media’s impact is that we’ll never know. There’s no portal to an alternate universe where we can observe an unbiased media (I don’t want a true alternative where Paul receives wall-to-wall coverage and the others are sidelined, just a balance, mind you). I certainly understand your point about Paul’s comparatively unorthodox world view, but fact is that early on Paul was either winning or placing in the top tier in many straw polls and this wasn’t being reported. If they were, the significance of these wins were downplayed. Paul was favored to win Iowa and many in the media acknowledged this, but then many also clearly (and brazenly) stated that it wouldn’t matter. I watched live as CNN commentators unequivocally stated that if Paul won Iowa they would simply ignore it, and that it may even justify questioning whether or not Iowa should be discredited entirely going forward. This certainly had a chilling effect on state/party leaders if not segments of the electorate. When Paul didn’t win Iowa (under questionable circumstances I might add; the Iowa chairman stepped down in disgrace and was replaced by a Paul supporter) suddenly Iowa became important again to the media, but even though Paul (supposedly) placed third the media by and large did everything they could to avoid talking about him. Even Jon Stewart commented on how obvious it was to anyone paying attention. They talked about 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, etc. but kept dancing around references to 3rd. Each and every media outlet claimed the “top tier” in the race was Romney, Bachmann, and Perry or something like that almost as if they were all reading from the same script. Much of this is reflected in the YouTube video called @Ron Paul vs. the #HONESTMISTAKE … although an earlier version of that video contains some things that were left out of the remake, and there are many others that weren’t caught by the video’s creator. I’ve personally witnessed dozens of other examples myself; although Chris and Mark somehow dismiss it as mere graphical omission (i.e. “honest mistakes”). After what I describe plus what is seen in the video had occurred, not to mention voting/vote counting irregularities or outright fraud in nearly every state, the media has sense used Paul’s performance at the polls to justify what was already happening from Day 1.
…the media has since used Paul’s performance at the polls to justify what was already happening from Day 1 (distractions are distracting).
I wanted to point out, though, that I lumped Chris and Mark together there, but I’m not sure if Mark has clearly stated that he has bought into the honest mistake explanation. Although the video I mentioned does spend much of its time focusing on how Paul is omitted from infographics or how their presentation is misleading, to ask Paul supporters to demonstrate other forms of omission is to ask one to prove a negative. Nobody is going to watch a series of multi-part YouTube videos with hours of debates in which Paul is given minimal time, hours of political commentary in which Paul is never mentioned/rarely mentioned/dismissed outright, entire programs where he’s not discussed, etc. The infographics are simply the most obvious and striking visual example best suited for a visual, short-format medium like a YouTube video. They’re far from comprehensive.
I also want to point out that after people began noticing all of this the media began to tone it down a bit. The damage was already done, though, and as already expressed they now use the products of the damage to self-justify Paul’s continued marginalization.
My comment got stuck in “moderation,” probably because I used a bad word; so here it is again…
I think that the media very, very clearly tries to marginalize him.
“Marginalize” him? Are you kidding me? They’ve been coddling that old fraud just like they’ve been coddling all the other Republicans who’d get laughed off the stage otherwise. If the media really wanted to “marginalize” Ron Paul, they’d be making his backward lunacy front-page news: not only his support for the gold standard, but the total basic falsehood underlying his entire economic ideology; not to mention his opposition to the Civil Rights Act and his longstanding association with white supremacists. Instead (with only one notable exception that I know of), they’ve been robotically reporting on nothing but the horse-race, and letting him brainwash another generation of naive college kids before they get the education necessary to see how wrong he is.
They don’t like his tendency to challenge policies approved by the RNC.
Yeah, remember when Ron Paul bravely challenged the Republicans’ policies of tax cuts, deregulation, defunding all government programs aimed at benefitting the poor, breaking public-sector unions, neutering the Bill of Rights, and mindlessly demonizing liberals, environmentalists, atheists and feminists as enemies of America? Nah, me neither.
…fact is that early on Paul was either winning or placing in the top tier in many straw polls and this wasn’t being reported.
This is flat-out false: the media go ga-ga over just about every stupid attention-getting stunt those libertards pull, as well as every spike he gets in the polls in the early months of every election year, before people actually start thinking seriously.
Diebold’s tabulation software uses an unprotected Access database.
And this is connected to the net?”
I know it’s completely daft, but yup, it is.
“And, even if it was, its easy to find the IP of the machine its own, hack the machine, etc.”
Nope, it was using Windows XP with several back doors left open, such as “no administrator account password”. Oh, by the way, why ask if it was available on the internet if you “believed” this wasn’t a problem anyway?
Clutching at straws?
“This isn’t a movie, people don’t type in the word, “password”, or, “override” and get into such things.”
Excuse me, do a google about McKinnon. He “hacked” into DoD computers using the password “password”.
Your blind faith in the corporation is disheartening, though.
“Time needed – not much, **but** this only gets you onto the machine, not into the DB.”
Except that you were allowed to copy or replace the DB files.
You seem to be blindly *hoping* that Diebold were at least *marginally* competent.
WTF? I have two comments stuck in limbo here. What’s the problem?
I have closely watched Ron Paul and followers for years. Two things bother me. No sense of history and no understanding of long-term consequences. Our president needs both.
@68: It’s funny, Johnny, I tend to see those traits in his detractors.
#69 And little Miguel in Santa Monica sees the face of Jesus in a jar of peanut butter.
This doesn’t mean anything other than Miguel has a with imagining things that aren’t there.
As far as I can tell, you have the same problem.
And little Miguel in Santa Monica sees the face of Jesus in a jar of peanut butter.
…and said, “It was delicious!”
On a more serious note, my comments are still stuck in “moderation,” after three days now. Am I being censored for pointing out the cellular-level bogosity of the entire libertarian movement? It can’t be for links or profanity, since my second comment didn’t contain either.
The blog owners are often too lazy to dig out from the spam filter a post.
This isn’t their job, so “they’re too lazy” is no criticism. But the fact is they will still not bother to dig through the spam bucket if they find “too many” posts already in there.
If this site had a rush of spambots at the same time, your post is lost through neglect rather than intent.
What do u think of the occupy movement inspired song and music video 99 to 1? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trqgT0jhw08
@Kagehi’s “2. Something is only hackable “if” they provide access from the outside. A machine that opens an “outgoing” connection, in order to send data, can’t be hacked, because you have to make an “incoming” connection to do that, which means an open port, and bugs in the software, which would allow them to target the machine. While I can’t say whether they might have been stupid enough to do such a thing, its like bloody arguing that someone can get into a building through a door, from the outside, when the door has **no** handles on that side, the hinges are on the inside, and its not open. But, its worse than that, because such doors, in a computer, are “one way”. They either open in, or out, not both, so someone has to literally provide a door that **can be** opened from outside, then leave it unlocked, for someone on the outside to get into it.”
Iced coffee all over my keyboard now, thanks for the laugh.
Comments are closed.