President Ron Paul? Really?? Mmmmmmmaybe.
No, I haven’t lost my mind. No, I don’t believe a cabal of French winemakers and the Pope secretly control the world economy and the weather. No, I don’t live in my parent’s spare room, I don’t dream of smoking more dope than Bob Marley, and I don’t believe Dick Chaney is a space alien or that he secretly painted the WTC with ‘Super Thermite’.
But desperate times often call for desperate measures, dear readers, so please hear me out. “Desperate times” is probably the most positive description you can give to the Obama era; and a Ron Paul presidency is the very epitome of a desperate measure.
As a Republican, I have spent the last twenty years six months being disappointed, again and again, with our Presidential bullpen. I’m sure I’m not alone. The folks who had serious fire this time round – Cain, Perry, Gingrich – have either self-destructed or been journalistically capped by the drive-by media. Or, both. So we’re left with Mr. Milquetoast, Mitt Romney, the most bland and uninspiring GOP candidate since… John McCain! Yes, there is that Santorum fellow, but he’s even more bland than Romney. If given the choice between listening to a Santorum speech or watching paint dry, show me the Glidden.
Neither Romney or Santorum has the stomach, or the stones, to do what we all know needs to be done in Washington. It’s going to take a powerful presence in DC to create the inertia needed for true change. That ain’t Mitt or Rick. Neither of these guys can whip Obama 2012 and carry a conservative mandate to DC. Reagan, they’re not.
Which leaves us with the squeaky gynecologist from Texas. Politically, Ron Paul ain’t Reagan, either. Politically, Ron Paul is crazy. He is a broken record when it comes to ideas, and he often plays that record backwards (e.g. foreign policy). He has created a cult-of-personality media empire, Obama-like, that has attracted all the fringe misfits, sycophants, stoners, and conspiracy nutters who didn’t end up in the #Occupy movement (and he has more than a few of those, too). He is a gadfly career politician who has made a political career out of… railing against politics.
The fact that Ron Paul is politically crazy is his only strength, and therein lies my only interest in him – he is crazy enough to actually to do what he is proposing if he’s elected.
Like most conservatives, I actually like a lot of what Paul wants domestically – smaller government, fiscal responsibility, respect the Constitution, etc. All the GOP hopefuls say those kinds of things, but Paul is crazy enough to actually cut a $1 trillion out of the Federal budget in his first year. You know neither Romney nor Santorum will cut anything like that in four years, if they cut anything at all (slowing growth is not a “cut”). Paul is crazy enough to eliminate whole departments of government, remove Executive Orders and Federal regulations, and read our National Owner’s Manual , the Constitution, as plainly as you or I do. He is crazy enough to think “To regulate Commerce… among the several States” means only that, and it doesn’t give Congress the power to force us to buy something against our will because the Federal Government can’t control it’s entitlement costs.
Yes, there are dark sides to a President Paul. Two in particular.
The first is foreign policy. Ron Paul is a rigid, head-in-the-sand isolationist, and his foreign policy would be a disaster. On a world stage of infinite shades of grey and shadows within shadows, Paul childishly sees only the black and white of his Libertarian ideology. A Ron Paul administration would piss off our friends, run from our enemies, and invite more – not less – conflict abroad and here at home. But that’s pretty much our current disastrous foreign policy under Obama, so Paul really wouldn’t be digging that hole any deeper.
Would I be willing to endure four more years of the Obama Doctrine (sell out our allies, appease our enemies) if it meant we permanently break the back of the Left’s corporate nanny-state here at home? Yep. We can take on the world’s forest fires once we put out the fire in our own house (queue Billy Joel song). And look on the bright side – at least Ron Paul wouldn’t be bowing to every king and despot out there.
The second dark side is the idea that those scruffy, socially awkward zealots who worship Dr. Paul would end up running the government. That scares the willies out of me, and it should scare you, too. Posting epic screeds on Facebook at 2am and actually administering a nation of 300 million are two very different things. It ain’t the same as playing ‘Skyrim’. We’ve just spent the last three years suffering through the consequences of detached, Socialist ideologues trying to impose their academic grand vision of the American Dream upon us; we don’t need four years of detached, Randian ideologues doing the same thing in reverse.
But I don’t think that will happen. I said Ron Paul is crazy; I never said he’s stupid. I think he knows full well the disciples who follow him around, Grateful Dead-like, are great for money bombs, ginning up buzz on the Internet and voting in straw polls; but not for actually running the country. Clinton understood this about his Lefty zealots. Obama didn’t. Were Paul ever to make it into the Oval Office, his starry-eyed minions would sour quickly once they realize exposing “THE TRUTH” about UFO’s, or 9/11, or the Illuminati isn’t priority one for their messiah; nor is making cheap marijuana a basic human right.
I think Paul knows bringing down the Federal beast can’t be done overnight, and to do it he needs allies. Like it or not, Paul will have to lean on those Washington GOP insiders and nasty “neo-cons” with hands-on experience in government if he wants to get his agenda done – which would piss off his base even more.
Am I now supporting Ron Paul for President? Hardly. Call this food for thought. I’m just saying a President Paul could work, not that it should. I could be wrong, your mileage may vary, yadda, yadda. Ron Paul is still crazy. And his core supporters are still scary, in that 1920’s Munich Beer Hall kind of way. Unlike his supporters, though, I still believe there is a marked difference between Republicans and Democrats today, and that the Republicans are right. I will vote for the GOP nominee whoever it may be – Romney, or Santorum, or Paul, or (please, please) an unknown nominee from a brokered convention. I won’t waste my time on a third party or some quixotic ego campaign. I want Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist cult voted out of power, and the American Dream they have shredded restored to us. If Romney can make that change, fine. But if it takes giving a loony the keys to the asylum for a while to make it happen, I’m OK with that now, too.