In the age of social media, public figures no longer need to rely on media outlets to be heard. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising former Congressman Ron Paul, known for his proud libertarianism and independent streak, is launching his own media network.
The channel, where broadcasting is beginning this summer, aims to provide Americans with a media outlet that isn’t “colluding” with politicians in Washington to provide a distorted view of the nation and the world. While the American media landscape has undoubtedly become highly politicized, it’s unclear how a station called “Ron Paul Channel” is going to be completely devoid of politics and focused on “the truth.”
In this video, which seems more like a trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster than an advertisement for a news channel, the message is clear. We have surrendered our liberty to the federal government and our whole society is crumbling because of it. Ron Paul is cast as the superhero who is our last chance for salvation from the forces of evil (aka, the federal government).
While the video certainly does succeed in getting your heart to beat a little faster, it does nothing to improve Ron Paul’s standing as a viable candidate for president. Clips of Paul railing against government, the erosion of civil liberties, and government spending on aid to foreign countries may excite Americans already in agreement with Ron Paul’s libertarian, isolationist ideology, but for most, Paul’s shrill voice and anti-engagement foreign policy views will continue to relegate him to the sidelines in national politics. He’s more like the crazy uncle who occasionally has a good idea, and less a visionary leader who can reinvigorate America.
The impact this will have on the political fortunes of his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who many see as a likely contender for the GOP nomination for president in 2016, is unclear.
Rand Paul sounds a lot like his father when he talks about the surveillance state and the out-sized role of the federal government in American society, but he may have to distance himself from Ron Paul’s isolationist foreign policy if he wants to be a viable candidate.
As a nation of immigrants, Americans, more than most, recognize that we are inextricably linked to the rest of the world through culture, business, trade, and security. The idea that America can remove itself from the global arena is laughable at best and dangerous at worst. We are the richest, most powerful nation on earth and for years have leveraged those advantages to create a relatively stable world order that is conducive to America’s continued dominance. Ron Paul’s foray into the world of news media puts him right next to the political ideologues of the right and left who have come to dominate American news coverage. Unfortunately, his channel will be nothing more than another loud voice in America’s politically-charged, polarized media landscape.