Wherefore the Ron Paul Revolucion?

As the Iowa caucuses approach, Barack Obama seems to lead the Democratic polls while John McCain is moving up there and in New Hampshire.

I mentioned in pacificpelican.us podcast 16 that I support Obama, and that McCain is the only real chance the Republicans have to win.

Maybe some people are realizing that now, but the strangest phenomenon for Republicans remains the support for Ron Paul.

After visiting a friend from high school over Christmas break, I walked out the front door, talking with him about whenever we might meet again, and I’m opening my car and about to get in, and the last words I hear are “VOTE RON PAUL!!”

Now, this friend of mine is a pretty serious guy. “All of my friends,” he says, looking rather slightly at me as he says this earlier that night, “are being bums are right now.”

While he works from 5 in the morning until late at night, taking trains sometimes and ignoring personal relationships, good exercise, even his cigarette habit (to some extent). On and on like that.

But then, he also mentions that one of his friends (clearly one of the bums) got him into supporting Ron Paul’s candidacy for the Republican nomination. How I am not sure. But it seems like a word-of-mouth phenomenon, among surprisingly educated and sophisticated people.

I say this with such detachment and surprise because and why these people I talk to, many of them liberals or moderates, seem to like a right-winger who wants to undo the New Deal is hard to understand.

I, like many of them, despise the Iraq war but, as for me Barack Obama seems like a good anti-war candidate, as he has opposed it from the beginning, unlike Hillary Clinton or John Edwards.

It’s worth noting that Ron Paul often comes off as a shrill fanatic, who has recently deplored the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while using some of the most extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric around. His pledge to overturn birthright citizenship is appalling and an attempt to undo an iconic American freedom.

It’s hard to blame Ron Paul supporters for losing site of pragmatic, progressive policies aimed at reducing inequality and protecting rights which many of them used to support, but maybe after their Texas hero’s stagecoach rides into the sunset, they’ll come around to supporting Obama, or at least not voting at all in the general election.

3 thoughts on “Wherefore the Ron Paul Revolucion?

  1. gRegor says:

    Obama doesn’t strike me as very anti-war. He may talk like it, but that’s all it is. At least Paul has a voting record clearly opposed to it. Obama won’t rule out troops no longer being in Iraq by 2013 (!) and talks aggressively about Iran. (!!)

    I don’t think you truly understand the core principles of Paul’s campaign, because the reality is he’s not “anti-immigration” (certainly not “the most extreme rhetoric” either), nor is he opposed to protecting rights. He’s opposed to the welfare-warfare state.

    Government does not reduce inequality and is one of the most dangerous threats to our rights (the reason the Constitution has a Bill of Rights to begin with).

    Implying Paul supporters are “bums” isn’t very “detached”, by the way.

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