Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Why Ron Paul smells like a monkey
A couple of whiny commenters seem to think that Ron Paul is Jesus or something, and want to know why I don't even recognize him as a person.
There are two approaches to Ron Paul. If you disagree with him, then it's a really easy decision not to support him. I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.
Instead, let's talk about agreement with Ron Paul. I'm a small-government type, so I find myself in agreement with him on quite a few issues. This is even more reason not to recognize his existence. Here's how it works:
1) Ron Paul won't win. This isn't necessarily a reason not to support someone (I support Fred Thompson, after all), but it does shape the decision. Supporting Ron Paul is going to be a matter of making a statement and hoping that the statement resonates with enough people so that his ideas have an impact on elections. (This one or a future one)
2) Ron Paul seems crazy. He's got the whiny voice.
3) Ron Paul supporters are crazy, and include racists, conspiracy theorists, and comment spammers. Lots of them. In fact, that's largely all most people know about Ron Paul. His fans are nuts and assholes.
So, if you like Ron Paul's ideas, you really have to ask yourself: do you want people in the future, who see the viewpoint you support, to say "Oh, that's the viewpoint held by Ron Paul and his fans"? Is your quest for ideological purity so important that you're willing to destroy any possible chance of success or progress towards your goals by doing for "small government conservativism" what the Civil Rights Movement did for "states rights"?
People want the government to do stuff for them. They may deny it, but when it comes election time, they vote for another Mom in the White House (in the same way that folks say they want a candidate who isn't just another power-hungry ambitious suit, and then dismiss Fred Thompson because he isn't acting enough like a power-hungry ambitious suit: thoughts here). To change this, it's going to be necessary to fight a cultural war, and you can't win a cultural war by siding with the losers of the last one. (I hear Ron Paul got the all-important David Duke endorsement) Those of you who say "it doesn't matter who his fans are or how charismatic he is, only his ideas matter" are quite simply wrong. A (relatively) high-profile small government candidate will shape the way others view that ideology, and Ron Paul and the Ronulans are going to do more to devastate it than Hillary Clinton possibly could.
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