Former Rep. Ron Paul hopes his new online community will not only force policymakers to hear from the public, but promote more government whistleblowers.
Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul waves to supporters before speaking at a campaign rally for U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel, Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Gander Mountain in Hattiesburg, Miss. (AP Photo/The Hattiesburg American, Kelly Price)
“Something that we can encourage and that is to get more whistleblowers,” the former Texas Republican congressman and three-time presidential candidate said. “Think of Edward Snowden, what he has done for revealing the truth. Think of what Daniel Ellsberg did in a much more difficult time and he narrowly escaped going to prison for this.”
Snowden, the fugitive leaker now in Russia, leaked the information about the National Security Agency data mining. Daniel Ellsberg famously revealed the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s.
“Of course Edward Snowden might not ever be able to come back to this country, so we have so much work, but he did tell us the truth so he is a wonderful voice and maybe we can cause an epidemic of truth-telling because the crisis that we have now, whether its the economic crisis or the foreign policy crisis, there is such a need to hear the truth,” Paul continued in a video announcing the launch this week his new crowd-sourcing website, “Voices of Liberty.”
“The answers are found in liberty and that is what America was once known for,” Paul said. “Of course we have lost our way, but there is nothing to say we can't find our way again.”
Voices of Liberty is an outgrowth of the online Ron Paul Channel, but will be more interactive. Crowdsourcing is the use of soliciting content from a large group of contributors for an online community. This site will promote discussions, petitions and other ways to reach lawmakers.
“It's a platform to bring together liberty-minded individuals, thought leaders and everyday people on a platform to look at what's getting the most traffic and most shares and send the message to people in power,” Voices of Liberty managing editor Tiffany Rider told TheBlaze.
She pointed to a Ron Paul Channel petition calling for clemency for Snowden, and said there will be more examples of that regarding various other issues from Voices of Liberty.
“This is an extension of that mission, to get people involved, raise voices and join the revolution,” Rider said.
The site is labeled a “digital bully pulpit.” The content will include video, audio, editorial and a special feature called “Know Your Rights.” It will also include regular messages from Paul, who ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012 and as the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee.
Rider said the site is not affiliated with the Libertarian Party and would not comment on a widely presumed 2016 presidential bid by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the son of Ron Paul.
“This is about more voices from liberty-minded people, from the Occupy movement to Tea Partiers, from 'big L' libertarians to 'small L' libertarians,” she said.
In his video, Paul talked about the importance of everyone finding a way to join the discussion. He also talked about when he first ran for Congress in the 1970s to get a message out. His wife warned against it, fearing that he would actually win. He assured her that wouldn't happen because the public at that time would not support a politician talking about sound money and scaling back the welfare state.
To Paul's surprise, the public supported him for saying what he believed.
“Credibility and the truth go a long way,” Paul said in his video. “We're going to bring these voice together. There are already a lot out there and there are some – believe me – that we don't even know about that will be able to join and participate and tell us what's happening around the country.”
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