Keep an eye on Ron Paul for President

When I first wrote about OhmyNews in South Korea three years ago, the organization had just played a pivotal role in overthrowing the conservative government in the country by using web and wireless tools to organize young people. I wrote a few weeks later that, “Some day soon, somebody is going to run a successful political campaign outside institutional politics.”

Congressman Ron PaulThat day may be closer than you think, and I strongly recommend you keep an eye on the campaign of Congressman Ron Paul. His message resonates with a lot of people, and he’s wisely using the web to by-pass the information hegemony run by the mainstream press. I’m sure political insiders and observers consider the guy an extremist and a nut case, but one of the beauties of the web is that it’s not run by political insiders and observers.

This recommendation shouldn’t be construed to be an endorsement, but it’s hard not to like a guy who takes this approach to campaigning. His message is also uniquely appealing. Duncan Riley has an excellent piece over at TechCrunch that includes an embedded youTube video of Paul at Google. This kind of distributed media is exactly what’s taking place in the overall disruption of Media 2.0, and TechCrunch has a huge reader base. By my writing about Paul here, I’m passing the message, so to speak, and so it goes.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that Paul has “surprised” observers by raising nearly $2.4 million between April and June and ending the quarter with a similar amount in the bank.

The total is a remarkable showing for Paul, putting him in a better financial position — with less cash on hand but no debt — than Arizona Sen. John McCain. Paul still barely registers in public opinion polls and raised far less than McCain or the other leading Republicans. But his libertarian views and opposition to the war in Iraq have ignited a fire among nontraditional contributors, particularly on the Internet.

Don’t underestimate the guy.

In that essay on OhmyNews, I also wrote that real influence in a democracy lies with the people. With every day that goes by, the power of the people increases, thanks to the empowerment of knowledge and information made available via the web. I wouldn’t bet on the coming presidential race being like those of the past, and that includes where people put their dollars for advertising.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Terry Heaton discusses the Ron Paul’s successful internet campaign. Heaton has said that, “Some day soon, somebody is going to run a successful political campaign outside institutional politics.” Heaton thinks Paul may be that candidate. Or at least a kind of John the Baptist figure that foreshadows the success of a true outsider. […]

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