Stew Danko (stewstewstewdio) wrote in talk_politics,
Stew Danko

Ron Who?


Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven't had capitalism. - Ron Paul

There is little doubt that Ron Paul has a fanatic base of supporters. Their idolatry approaches cultism. Now he is being hailed as a leader near the top of the pack in popularity for the Republican presidential nomination.

I recently saw this op ed about the Ron Paul candidacy in The Washington Times, one of the rightist of the right wing newspapers.

“Many of Mr. Paul’s defenders insist he is a champion - a lone voice, even - of the “true” Constitution and the “real” principles of the conservative movement. Moreover, they are determined to tell you that, often in emails typed in all capitals.”

Ron Paul claims to be a Constitutionalist, but pretty much goes stomping through the Constitution like Godzilla does Tokyo. This isn’t unusual for those not schooled in Constitutional Law.

“Now he insists that everyone in Washington will suddenly do what he wants once he's in the White House. That's almost painfully naive. And it's ironic that the only way the libertarian-pure-constitutionalist in the race could do the things he's promising would be by using powers not in the Constitution.”

His justifications for fiscal conservatism claim to have predicted our economic mess.

“Or maybe it wasn’t prescience. Maybe it was paranoia. After all, if you worry about enough things, some of your warnings are going to turn out to be accurate. When a hypochondriac finally is diagnosed with a disease after years of pointless worrying, it kind of takes the bite out of his “I told you so.””

Ron Paul’s past has been brought up as of late regarding his revolutionary supporters. Although he has disavowed the incendiary principles they have espoused, he still welcomes their authors. That, in itself, shouldn’t cause censure. Although there is just a quick allusion to it in the article, the disturbing issue seems to be that Paul has lost control of his message.

“This is the point in the standard anti-Ron Paul column where I am supposed to denounce his many bad associations, his racist newsletters - which he didn’t write, though he let them go out with his name on them for years - his batty national security ideas and his potted history of American foreign policy. Should Mr. Paul go on to be a serious contender for the Republican nomination, I reserve my right to revisit all of that because - contrary to the claims of many of his supporters - Mr. Paul’s background hasn’t been scrutinized nearly enough.”

Although Ron Paul has a pretty rabid support base, he seems to have little penetration in the mainstream media, mainstream America and the Republican leadership. It seems that his most dedicated followers have been able to get him into the lead in some caucuses and straw polls, but that is far from an indicator of his general electability. His legislative record and realm of political influence reflect that.

“Mr. Paul has been in Congress, off and on, for nearly 30 years. In that time, he will rightly tell you, Congress has spent money with reckless abandon, expanded the state's police powers, launched numerous wars without a declaration of war and further embraced fiat money. (He got into politics when Richard Nixon took us fully off the gold standard.) During all of that, he took to the floor and delivered passionate speeches in protest, convincing nobody. He authored precious little legislation of any consequence.

Mr. Paul's supporters love to talk about how he was a lone voice of dissent. They never explain why he was alone in his dissent. Why couldn't he persuade even his ideologically sympathetic colleagues? Why is there no Ron Paul caucus?”

Despite claims to the contrary, libertarianism, Reagan conservatism, neo-conservatism and the Tea Party have become factions of the Republican Party. That is where they get their power; that is where they get their influence and ultimately where they get their funding. Despite the fervor, Ron Paul appears to be nothing more than yet another flavor of the week.

Tags: article, ron paul
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