Thursday I have reserved a seat to go listen to Ron Paul speak. I’m pretty excited, I think the last time I saw a public figure in the flesh I was holding a sign saying “Go Back to Hanoi!” That probably says far more about my past than I should let on, but hey, it’s still a free country. Well, sort of. Moving right along, I’m thrilled, and not ashamed to say it. Ron Paul is one of the few politicians these days who actually says things that make sense. We have a president who utters the most egregious lies and nonsense with presidential sincerity that would make Satan proud, and a veritable clown parade of Republicans. Ron Paul at least is willing to stand up and say that the Emperor has no clothes, just for that I appreciate him. I will take pictures, and try to shake his hand if the opportunity arises.
Mr Paul is an interesting figure, more than just the Howard Stassen of his time. Or, to be more accurate, it’s fascinating to see how people and the establishment react to him. Fascinating as in like watching a cockroach in a microwave. Sigh. I like some of what on Paul says. I have had people question my sanity for saying that. Literally. And this is from people who claim to be mainstream progressives. I’m used to troglodyte conservatives claiming that anyone who isn’t a conservative is either stupid or insane, but it sure seems like a recent development that mainstream people, people with college educations, would actually believe that people who disagreed with them are insane. Um, this is what the communists and Nazis believed. Just saying.
Secondly, the attacks on Ron Paul by the progressives are also scary and creepy. They cherry pick all sorts of stuff from his past, present it out of context, and then claim what a monster it makes Mr Paul out to be. Do they talk about his position on the issues? Noooooo, we apparently can’t discuss the issues any more in this country. It’s all about irrelevant peripheral stuff. And progressive’s take it with deadly seriousness. I had a progressive claim recently that Ron Paul supporter’s “heads would explode” when it was realized that one of his campaign donors was a controversial figure. Um, as long as he isn’t getting money from Al Qaeda, who cares? More on point, do they not understand that every political candidate has taken money from people with agendas, so what? Frankly one would think it would be scarier to have politicians bankrolled by the bankers whose greed destroyed the economy in the first place, like say, the mainstream candidates. Nope, not an issue. Sigh.
It’s depressing really. When I was a young man most people didn’t take politics personally, today the two parties are so polarized that it’s hard to find anyone on either side who is willing to discuss the actual issues. Well aside from wedge social issues, but I digress. Now we have a system where both parties are in lock step conviction that the other party is going to destroy the country, oblivious to the fact that both parties are completely run for and by big business, big oil, big banking, and big military. And that for three decades these people have enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else, and used the increasingly sophisticated power of advertising (helped immensely by the fact that big business owns the big media) to mould their supporter into compliant sheep.
Well, compliant until someone tries to say “Um, the herd is heading for a cliff people, we need to change direction.” And then the scary sheep fangs come out. On the plus side, on a personal level, I have concluded that people who would hold my political views against me personally aren’t really my friends. My friends hold political views that are all over the spectrum, and I don’t take any of it personally. They are good people, we just disagree on some things, so what? I suspect that if a person’s entire spectrum of friends fits into the exact same ideological slot as them, they don’t really have any friends. A person and the ideas they have are two different things, a distinction that seems lost these days in the media and public discourse.
We have a two party system working in lock step to prevent any fundamental change in this country, change that is decades overdue; while simultaneously sidelining anyone who proposes real change. Like Ron Paul. He’s the last politician standing who is willing to stand up and say that things like the War on Drugs and the War on Terror are causing more harm than good. I certainly disagree with him on some issues, and don’t think he will get elected unless there is a “King Ralph” event, but God Bless him for being a voice of sanity in a world of lies.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, the usual caveats apply. I chose this image because it just shows him as he is, he’s just an old guy, a human being like the rest of us. And sorry about all the sighs, it’s kind of my overall response to politics in America these days: Sigh.)