Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What is it that Ron Paul fans fail to grasp?

Andrew Sullivan (not a blogger I have the greatest respect for, but that I do find entertaining), seems unable to understand that Ron Paul's conspiratorial policies are exactly what makes him appealing as a candidate. Kevin Drum, writing for Mother Jones, notes the following about Ron Paul:
"Bottom line: Ron Paul is not merely a "flawed messenger" for these views. He's an absolutely toxic, far-right, crackpot messenger for these views. This is, granted, not Mussolini-made-the-trains-run-on-time levels of toxic, but still: if you truly support civil liberties at home and non-interventionism abroad, you should run, not walk, as fast as you can to keep your distance from Ron Paul. He's not the first or only person opposed to pre-emptive wars, after all, and his occasional denouncements of interventionism are hardly making this a hot topic of conversation among the masses. In fact, to the extent that his foreign policy views aren't simply being ignored, I'd guess that the only thing he's accomplishing is to make non-interventionism even more of a fringe view in American politics than it already is. Crackpots don't make good messengers."
To which Andrew responds:
"And yet many, many voters who watch and listen to the man do not see a crackpot. They see the only person in public life prepared to tell the truth: that America cannot afford its current military-industrial complex and entitlement state; and that America's lurch after 9/11 toward authoritarianism and empire has been disastrous for our interests and liberties."
Selectivity at its most obtuse. Andrew claims that he only likes Ron Paul for his "good positions" (something I am not entirely sold on, seeing how Andrew spilt plenty of digital ink on the Sarah Palin/ Trig conspiracy, and justifying the Bell Curve). I have no doubt that some of Paul's supporters like him for his "legitimate," and understandable critiques of the Federal Government and interventionism. What Andrew seems unable to grasp is that some Americans believe terrible, crazy things. Significant percentages of the US public believes the American government was involved or had prior knowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Only 4 in 10 Americans believe in evolution. Shit, one in five Americans believe the sun revolves around earth! Why Andrew thinks that this same group of people would not also support a crazy, racist, conspiratorial crank is beyond me. Andrew has it backwards; it is Paul's craziest ideas that provides his most forceful draw. If people were simply drawn to him for traditional libertarian ideals and limited intervention abroad, they could have supported Gary Johnson.

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