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Freedom is for Everyone: You Can't Buy News

I wrote this for Russel Means in '87 and Dick Boddie also used it in '91.

In 1980 we spent about four million dollars and got about one million votes. In 1984 we spent about one million dollars and got a little over a quarter million votes, the same number of votes per dollar each time. But even our million votes in 1980 were invisible to the press. There was no coverage on election night, no coverage after election night. We were ignored and forgotten. LaRouche is still more remembered than Ed Clark or David Bergland. I believe that even if another candidate of the same mold raises twelve million dollars and gets three million votes we will be forgotten the next day, just as we were in 1980. It doesn't have to be like that. Libertarianism can be remembered. Libertarianism can be news. We can ensure that the vast majority of Americans learn about Libertarianism in 1988, but we will never do it with a cookie cutter politician for a candidate - even if we spend several times as much money as we did in 1980.

Russell Means has already gotten three times the media coverage of his nearest competitor on only a tenth as much money because he is news and gets media attention free. Through Russell Means Libertarianism can be news and Libertarianism can get media attention - and public awareness - beyond our fondest hopes. Ed Clark said "When people know what we stand for we have won." This is a unique opportunity to reach more people with our message than we ever imagined possible.

Russell arrived at the Seattle Sheraton and the press was there with their cameras and microphones. Why? Not because he spent money. How much money does it take to get the press to come out to interview a politician? It doesn't work like that. The only way to buy media is to buy commercials. Nobody can buy television talk shows or magazine covers. They pick what they think will appeal to their customers, whatever is interesting, whatever is news. It can be Libertarianism. How much money would it take to get a Libertarian Party candidate on the cover of Newsweek or Time? How much money would it take to get a Libertarian Party candidate on the Oprah Winfrey show? Forget it! Money can only buy advertisements in magazines or on television. Are we news to be covered or are we commercials to be ignored? Russell Means will be news, other candidates can only buy commercials. Which do you want us to be?