Here's an absolutely perfect post, from the Canadian blogger "Red Tory" -- reproduced in full, with humble gratitude:
Cheers for the “Lunatic Fringe”
As a hopeless political junkie, I have to confess that one of my wicked indulgences is watching the early reels of the interminable American primary season unspool in all their shambolic awfulness, especially as captured from time to time in the amber of so-called debates televised by the cable news networks and broadcast to thousands of viewers with unfortunately inoperative remotes. After all, where else can you see so many witless hacks, shameless panderers, brazen egomaniacs, aspiring grifters and gaffe-prone gasbags square off in one place at one time? Some wags might answer that by suggesting the floor of the U.S. Senate or the House of Commons during Question Period on any given day, but I’d maintain that such wearisome poo-flinging contests simply can’t hold a candle to the truly spectacular rhetorical trainwrecks and fabulous flame-outs on display in the primary presidential debates that the mainstream media so generously stage for our edification and cynical amusement.
Of particular delight in these otherwise largely pointless charades are the fringe candidates; those whose barren coffers, subterranean polling numbers, physical shortcomings, advanced age, and/or supposed wild-eyed craziness, combine with passionate conviction and a bloody-minded sense of purpose unfettered by the bothersome constraints of reality, to afford them the glorious liberty of… gasp… actually speaking truth to power. Remember that quaint notion? It’s pretty much regarded these days by the intelligencia with snotty contempt as a quaint relic of a bygone era filled with radical hippies and loopy, drug-addled protesters, but it still resonates with some of us who find the concept oddly compelling and of enduring value both in its naïve purity and the idealistic belief that it may actually be possible to rattle the gilded cages of the hidebound establishment machine. Ha ha ha ha ha… I know. What foolishness.
Aside from my absolute favourite perennial no-hoper, pacifist Congressman Dennis Kucinich (by far the smartest and most sadly overlooked man who will never, ever be president, owing largely to the fact he vaguely resembles a diminutive Vulcan, or possibly some creature of Elvish extraction), this latest Clusterfuck to the White House offers up two other thoroughly improbable and yet strangely endearing contrarians: former Alaska senator Mike Gravel (Democrat) and Texas congressman Ron Paul (Republican). Both have been largely dismissed by the mainstream press as objects of ridicule and mockery with various terms of sneering derision and contempt immediately affixed to them by the mainstream press that would suggest they’re mentally unbalanced individuals. To the contrary, I’d submit that they are, in fact, the most lucid voices to be heard amongst the all the various candidates of both the left and the right.
That these individuals stand out so clearly from the groaning platitudes, homogenized twaddle and painfully contorted triangulations of the front-runners and “top tier” of candidates is refreshing to say the least. That moves are now afoot on various fronts to silence them on the grounds they’re nothing more than annoying distractions to the “main event” and to have them barred from future debates is profoundly tragic. It speaks volumes I suppose to the lamentable influence of the powerful elites on the political process and the willful complicity of their sniveling media whores who all too happily participate in this ritual sham intended to bamboozle the American people into believing they’re living in a democracy of some sort.