It goes without saying that Ron Paul and I have equal chances of becoming the next president of the United States; this is why no one is covering his campaign. Now I like Ron Paul, but I also admit and understand that Ron Paul is a patsy, or a reliable stooge--the Denny Kuciny of the Republican Right, a convenient sheepdog to herd the slouches and stragglers back into the sheepfold. Asking why these people are included in debates and campaigns even as they are accorded the most seemingly disdainful treatment by the apparati of propaganda is to perceive a wrong note in what is really a skillfully modulated key. YOU'RE NOT DEALING WITH MORONS HERE! They reinforce the loyalty of the more ideological fringes of the parties while also ensuring that many marginal types hear some hint of hope, honor, decency . . . reform within the system. Well Ron Paul might not win, some libertarian somewhere is telling himself, but if he can at least run a campaign . . . You fool; you rube! Ron Paul is tolerated by the system he ostensibly opposes because his opposition is merely incidental; its effect is to strengthen the system by making it ever more inevitable. Ersatz intellectual diversity superimposed on the public facade of the ruling class is an affect overlying an underlying unanimity among the actually powerful.