In 2008, I wondered who Ron Paul was. But not enough to make more than a mental footnote that there were occasional signs and t-shirts in my immediate field of view. Two years ago I met one of his fans, wearing an “Audit the Fed” shirt, and he seemed quite enthusiastic about Paul, almost disconcertingly so. Was this fringe candidate a cult leader with a cult following? More recent, pervasive comments on news articles about him being “the only choice” nearly sealed the deal on my opinion.
But then I started catching videos of him on Facebook friends’ walls. I didn’t even know what he looked like until then. He was energetic, addressing Congress as if they were all idiots with their eyes closed about topics I never gave much thought to myself, or considered (at the time) to be unimportant. He didn’t come off at all like I had pictured him, either through his followers’ or critics’ eyes. Now in this stage of my life, I’ve researched and educated myself quite a bit in the areas of politics and economy, so when the occasional interview or speech of his entered my field of view, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is he crazy, or are we the crazy ones for thinking the back-and-forth, Left-to-Right and back again political game cannot fundamentally change?
I mean, who would ever think the Federal Reserve needed to be audited? Or that it hadn’t been? Or that it COULD be audited if it was powerful enough to avoid it thus far. That’s crazy talk. And yet Paul got it done, revealing vast banking handouts not previously known. Maybe we’re crazy for not caring.
And his foreign policy? It sounds extreme, the main reason being it’s the opposite of the status quo during most people’s lifetimes. Ending military interventionism — and a consistent record of his stance to prove it — gets some applause from Liberal crowds and record campaign contributions from those of the armed forces themselves. But such a tendency toward what many see as isolationism earns the ire of others. And getting media attention for this aspect of his platform is perhaps the impetus by which Obama pulled out of Iraq now instead of earlier or later, taking the wind out of Paul’s sails, so to speak.
Eliminating whole Federal mega-agencies also is divisive, and people equate closing the Department of Edcuation with closing schools, as if the Department always existed to begin with, or has any measurable record of improving the status of our progeny’s intellectual future. But it’s insane because it’s unheard of. Government NEVER gets smaller — by its nature, it can only expand.
However, none of these fully explain why he likely will not and cannot win except by some statistical, democratic miracle. No, he has more serious flaws, and here they are:
An awareness is slowly creeping onto the populist radar on some issues. Very slowly. But it sounds like a grand conspiracy theory to the uneducated, which frankly is the majority vote. We’re talking about the longstanding endemic conflicts of interest, where Republicans and Democrats cannot be distinguished from each other in terms of corporatism and choosing government control over liberty (in both overlapping and different select projects and realms). Politicians won’t talk about this unless it’s targeting the other fellow’s special interests, or debating reforms that are on paper only. Except Ron Paul. It’s like he wants to bring down the very system by which he would be electable, if he’d only play along like everyone else.
This, of course, attracts every ‘tin foil hat’ within reach of a web-enabled device. Yes, his camp is full of the anti-[[NWO]] crowd, which overlaps significantly with the [[Truthers]], [[Birthers]], and people in fear of [[David_Icke#Reptilians_and_shape-shifting|shape-shifting lizards]]. It is irrelevant as to the truth of any of these, the point being that the average person might think the average Ron Paul supporter is nutters.
But the real danger is that he is a threat to the entire American political way of life. His policies would result in the loss of many BILLIONS of dollars in contributions, subsidies, and kickbacks currently going to career politicians and their puppet-masters. It would be a lot cheaper to hire a thousand hitmen, if you catch my drift.
He’s Attempting to Educate
Even if you may not agree with his views, Ron Paul clearly knows more about things like economics than the average person, and his position is based on an understanding of things like the monetary system far beyond the average person, such being spoon-fed snippets of economic theory by questionably-educated pundits. This is why he spends every moment expaining to people why some policies are good and some are bad. He needs to bring people to a level of understanding to where his policies make sense.
In other words, he’s trying to convince people of his position through reasoning with them, not tell them what they want to hear. You don’t get votes by explaining the implications of the [[Gold Standard]] or how the stock market works. People want what he cannot give them — vague promises coupled to a simplified truth. They want things like:
- Unemployment bad. I make jobs.
- War bad. I make peace.
- Terrorism bad. I protect you.
- Taxes bad if you pay. I make others pay.
- Gay Marriage good/bad. I make it law.
- Spending and debt good/bad. I fix it.
Frankly, he’s not willing to grant promissory wishes for votes. He wants to actually fix the problems by using a different way of thinking than the kind that created the problems in the first place. But this is out of the box, and therefore not considered feasible, but folly. Maybe even insane.
He Can’t Keep People’s Attention
What are the majority of headlines regarding campaign coverage? Mud-slinging. The other fellows have this down to a science, and while we might pretend it makes them look bad, at least we’re looking. The media eats it up like candy because we do. We want to watch a hockey fight, not a gentleman’s match of wits.
Let’s be honest. Electability has more to do with extra-marital affairs and mentions by celebrities than qualifications or even platform. It’s a game of digging up skeletons and minimizing things quoted out of context from years before. It’s about endorsements by people and groups that frankly have no special right to lend us an opinion.
Even if Paul’s presentation wasn’t so esoteric to the masses, there’s little about his campaign that is “newsworthy” in the sense above. There will be no headlines for best plan to save America’s economy or liberty. There’s only room for meaningless-yet-influential polls, and slams by the candidates with retorts from the opposition’s media laiason.
Paul’s camp — and even many non-partisan bystanders — have noted that repeatedly he’s given little press or mention, even when polls suggest a different scale of importance. Some claim conspiracy. Maybe there is, considering the media moguls have a lot to lose with a POTUS that isn’t beholden to them like previous ones. Or maybe there’s just “nothing to see here” that will sell out newspapers or keep the [[Nielsen ratings]] up.
Ron Paul may or may not win based on his policies. But his disadvantages are not academic. If he is not elected, the main reasons will be our inability to understand the solutions to underlying probelms we are not yet fully ready to admit exist. He scares us because he isn’t playing the game, and that’s all we’ve known. And frankly, it’s so much easier to sit back and sloganize about complex issues to convince ourselves and others we really care, while our eyes are glued to the tabloid end of political discourse, the share button at our fingertips.