Ron Paul in person
Here it is, photographic proof that I saw the great man in person myself. Yes, my camera doesn’t have a telephoto lens. Is there an app for that? Did I spell app correctly? I’m a little behind on the technological curve sometimes. It runs in the family. When I was a kid in the early sixties my grandfather’s phone had to be cranked to make it work. How many people remember one of those still in use? I eventually as a young man-made the phone’s wooden case into a jewellery box for my sister, I think she has it still.
Dr. Paul’s speech was an interesting experience, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a political rally before. There were a few thousand people. Mostly pro Paul, with a few exceptions. It was outdoors, which was nice. I like the outdoors. My overall experience was one of gladness and sorrow. On the one hand, it was really nice to see a mainstream political candidate who was calling for actual change, not just new monograms on the White House towels. And for an end to the War on Drugs, and an end to endless military adventures overseas. Yes, even our troops in Japan and Germany should come home. No more “nation building,” scaling back the size of the US government, all things that need to be done. His positions on abortion, woman’s rights, and the welfare state … not so promising.
The sorrow. Well, there was this quixotic aspect to all of it. The people running the rally were all so upbeat and optimistic about Ron’s candidacy, when it was obvious that the crowd of a few thousand was draw from all over the greater Bay Area. The Grateful Dead drew larger crowds when they appeared at UC. And then there’s the unspoken fact that the media and the mainstream parties have largely marginalized “outsider” candidates like Ron Paul and successfully demonized him. Most Americans now are basically programmed to think that their party has all the right ideas, the other party is going to destroy America, and third parties are dangerous lunatics. Yes, actually making changes in how the government does things is now a dangerous heresy. Washington wept.
All said and done, I still think Rob Paul is the best of a bad lot by far. For one he’s the only politician who answers questions more or less directly, instead of launching into sound bites. Or lying through his perfect teeth. More importantly, he’s the only one calling for and end to World War Two. It’s time to bring the troops home. Nearly 75 years as globocop has made a small number of Americans very very very rich, and impoverished the rest of us. War profiteering is not a sustainable base for the economy of a great nation. And his stand on reducing government spending and ending the War on Drugs is also refreshing. Refreshing in the former case because I think he’s serious about it, refreshing in the later case because the war on Drugs has been a costly and counterproductive failure.
How about his stand on abortion, fetal rights, and the welfare state? Apalling, and sadly a reflective of his all too Christian world view. Abortion especially has been the scalpel that allowed the democrats to successfully demonize Mr Paul and make sure that no “progressive” voter looked any further, lest they too be demonized as some sort of woman hating monster by their progressive friends. That’s modern America for us, no debate, just to hell with any alternatives. I have recently noticed that the progressive left is about as fair and balanced in their outlook as Fox News viewers are in theirs. Does it show?
Am I for banning abortion, making fertilized eggs into human beings, or slashing social programs? No, of course not. So why do I support Ron Paul? It’s very simple. If we don’t end the warfare state, the Christian right is going to eat us alive, and we will lose all our rights anyhow. These people have a crusader mentality, and constant war is their bread and butter. It means they are the good guys, therefore whatever they do is right. And since they are steeped in ideology and a need to make everyone conform to Biblical norms of behaviour, it’s not going to be pretty. When the Christian right eventually overturns Roe vs Wade, and then outlaws abortion nationally … Ron Paul’s idea of leaving it up to the states to decide is going to look a lot better in retrospect.
Sigh, politics. Next maybe some uplifting posts about zombie puppies or some such.
(Photo copyright Doug Stych 2012, all rights reserved. I think that’s his wife and daughter sitting behind him. And I guess those are security people watching him and the crowd. I’m glad I went, for good or for ill it’s still a very free country in many ways. It’s been a long strange path since Yorktown, and I think we are lost in Mirkwood, but who knows what is on the other side.)