Friday, January 27, 2012

The Cult of Ron Paul

As I drove by Northpark Mall last night on my way home I passed a small group of Ron Paul supporters waving signs and generally having a good time showing their support for Mr. Paul.  The fact that the Texas primary isn't for a couple of months didn't seem to matter to them.  I have seen them there before and I have to wonder what they are hoping to accomplish?

Ron Paul, who is more a libertarian than a Republican, is a perennial candidate for President.  He began his quest running on the Libertarian ticket in 1988. He ran again as a Republican in 2008 and is currently in the race for the nomination in 2012, though he is overshadowed by the two front runners Gingrich and Romney.

From a policy standpoint, Paul is pretty extreme, especially when it comes to social issues.  He believe s a fetus should have all the rights of an individual from the moment of conception.  He is notoriously blunt when it comes to matters like sexual harassment.  Mr Paul says in one of his books, "Why don't they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardily acceptable."   I suppose he doesn;t understand that some people who are harassed need to keep working to support their family, pay bills etc.

He has a weird idea of monetary policy that consists of abolishing the federal reserve and returning to something akin to the gold standard.   Nice idea but about 100 years too late.

I feel pretty sure I will be attacked by Paul supporters for saying anything about him that smacks of calling hims a fringe candidate, but so be it. 

Paul supporters have all the trademarks of Ayn Rand fans.  They believe in the absolute power of laissez-faire capitalism and ignore the fact that that particular idea is what got us the housing bubble and current financial crisis.  Laissez-faire capitalism is pretty much where China is today, with the singular exception of free elections.

These folks seem very driven, so I am surprised that they can't seem to muster sufficient support for Paul to win a nomination. I admire their optimism, but I just worry about their blind devotion.

OK Let the flaming begin. 


Olivier Pratt said...

Ron Paul is just as crazy as Santorum, Gingrich or Romney. Its just a different wing of the GOP, home of the nutjobs.

Jesse said...

As Mr. Pratt said, Ron Paul is just another right-wing extremist. His talking points differ from Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum, but the underlying philosophies aren't very different.