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Ron Paul has finally climbed out of his previous obscurity. With more fourth quarter earnings than any other Republican candidate, a fierce independent campaign orchestrated by a former Google employee, and surprising support from a few rank and file GOPers, he’s a bona-fide top-tier candidate.

What’s more impressive to me, though, is that the other guy out there who wants to end the wars, and restore our civil liberties and reign in the military industrial complex is starting to get some attention. That’s right, Dennis Kucinich is actually getting some press. Like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act and the invasion of Iraq; in fact, he and Paul co-sponsored a bill (ACLU) to replace it in 2003. Kucinich also wants to end the drug prohibition that’s filling our jails with non-violent drug offenders, and he’s for impeachment, too.

The frustrating thing was, that all through the Democrat debates, he’s basically been laughed off the stage. The Democrat debaters are much more uniform in their views than the Republicans are, and there really wasn’t much dissent tolerated at all. When Guiliani took a swipe at Ron Paul’s stance on Iraq, he got a thunderous applause, but Ron Paul came back strong and got his own applause. When Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich tried to attack Hillary Clinton for her vocal support of the war and wiretapping out citizens without a warrant, she just laughed at them. Then the crowd laughed at them, too. It was a painful thing to watch.

Sometime over the last few weeks, something has changed. In poll after poll, mainstream Democrats have been supporting Kucinich’s positions all year. One by one other candidates have had to slide closer to his very views they mocked only months ago. He’s also looking more confident, and people are starting to react. I realize that if Ron Paul’s bid for presidency is like shooting for the moon that Dennis Kucinich’s must be like shooting for Gliese 581 c, but seeing this hit the top of youtube was heartening.

He and his wife are adept at handling the media that try to trivialize them, too.

Kucinich: Well, the most important thing I would tell you, Hannah, as a professional, is it’s important not to trivialize a woman who has worked on international humanitarian matters, you know, helping people in Africa get access to energy and to housing and education, helping poor people and children in India, working with a group connected with Mother Teresa, working with the Mission To Seafarers in London. Here’s a woman of great accomplishment with a Master’s degree in international conflict resolution, and I hope that you’re going to talk about more than a tongue stud.

Well done, Dennis!

Related Posts:
Youtube Fame Propels Ron Paul
Obama: Impeachment is not acceptable
Youtube Promotional Videos: Barack Obama vs. Ron Paul

The remarkable thing about this clip isn’t that some guy on TV was so mind-bogglingly ignorant. It’s the advice given by the audience.

I’ve written before about the sheer number of idiots who comment on Digg. What I didn’t mention at the time is that Youtube comments are even worse. That doesn’t bother me much. Youtube comments are easy to ignore, but discussion is a central part of Digg.

If you have a problem with explicit language, want to hear something intelligent, or have any standards at all, this video’s not for you.

Update: Part two

Ron Paul is the undisputed “internet candidate”, but he’s not the only one to get a boost from Youtube. Barack Obama has also been able to turn the net to his advantage, largely due to his mild anti-war stance. Despite the vast number of political connections and pre-built fundraising infrastructure that Hillary Clinton has at her disposal, Obama has beaten her out as the top fund raiser. The internet is almost certainly the reason.

Vote Different
This ad is a re-mix of Apple’s famous anti-IBM ad played during the 1984 superbowl. Now, Hillary is “big brother”.

“I Got a Crush…On Obama”
This one is a music video.

While Obama doesn’t have nearly the number of videos out there, his popular videos are absolutely huge. They are also very, very well produced. For the most part, they focus on feelings, not political issues. This may be because Obama’s platform is so similar to Clinton’s.

Don’t tread on me
This video is completely about the issues, and is filled with debate clips and quotations.

Stop Dreaming
This video showcases Ron Paul’s most controversial ideas, once again with factual information.

I want Ron Paul
This is the only purely “emotional” Ron Paul video I managed to turn up. It is very low-budget compared to any of Obama’s. It is overflowing with conviction, though.

All in all, Ron Paul’s videos look more like a genuine grass-roots attempt. There are no sophisticated graphics, some words are misspelled, and each has a smaller reach. There are thousands of them, though! In total, Ron Paul’s Youtube channel has 19,887 subscribers, leaving Obama in a distant second with 8,736. No other candidate tops 5,000 yet.

I haven’t written about sooner because I figured it was old news, but at the Beer Factory meet-up, David, Todd, and some other Taiwan bloggers told me they hadn’t heard of I guess the Taiwan websphere and the mainland websphere really are cut off from each other. So, here it is: Tudou is a copy of YouTube done Chinese-style. YouTube has plenty of copyrighted materials, but there’s at least the appearance that they don’t allow them. Tudou, on the other hand has things you’d never see on YouTube- things like all the Star Wars movies streamed back-to-back, Friends episodes, and a ton of other movies and TV programs. It’s amazing. It’s like Tudou has no fear of Hollywood, whatsoever.

Friends on tudouFriends on tudou Hosted on Zooomr

[1] 土豆网 (tu2dou4 wang3) means “Potato net”
[2] You vote up videos by clicking on the orange button with 挖 (wa1), which means “dig”. Remind you of anything?