Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Ron Paul excels as false revolutionary

Illustration: Julie Peterson

Of all the detestable presidential candidates still in the race today, I reserve my worst ire for Ron Paul. True, some of the other candidates are far more despicable than he––notably Rick Santorum, who believes that women should stay in the home and not the workforce, and claims that the separation of church and state makes him want to “throw up”––but Paul still takes the cake.

My special hatred for Paul does not come from any fear he might win the nomination: that honor will go to Mitt Romney. My hatred for Paul is not even entirely his fault, though I’m certain that his campaign is thrilled at the circumstances that are bringing it about.

I abhor Ron Paul because so many people are wrong about him, although for the right reasons.

I’m referring to the peculiar following that the Texas representative has among young liberals. The fact that certain Whitman students and hippies from my hometown of Austin alike have raised Paul up as a messiah has baffled me ever since he stepped onto the national stage.

Near my home, a sign on a fence bears the words “Ron Paul Revolution” with the “evol” in “revolution” formed by the word “love” spelled backwards. Many of you may have seen these signs, and some of you may have wondered who insists on repainting the godfather of the Tea Party as some kind of underground rock ‘n’ roll freedom fighter.

I understand the appeal of Paul. His foreign policy represents peace at a time when we can’t seem to stop blundering into wars. He wants to legalize marijuana, an obvious choice when rationally considered. More broadly, however, he represents change: true freedom from the endless grind of choosing between a Democrat who will screw up and a Republican who will screw us over.

This is false freedom. It’s true we need this change, but Ron Paul cannot and should not be a viable third option. He wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, handing control of the economy over to large private banks, which would then control credit, smaller banks and even printed currency according to their business needs. His much-vaunted foreign policy amounts to little more than total isolationism. He has stated that he believes global warming to be a hoax.

Ron Paul is, in fact, the opposite of a liberal. It can be argued endlessly whether he is a conservative or a libertarian, but he is definitely far from a liberal. To be fair, I’ll let the man speak for himself:

“The proper role for government . . . is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.” – Ron Paul, Feb. 5, 2007 (from his congressional website).

People whose speeches skew eerily close to the admonitions of Adam Smith––that government is for nothing but roads, an army and lighthouses––tend not to be popular on college campuses. Paul, however, has subverted this by presenting himself as a rebellious option, a man outside the system.

This is why I despise him more than the others: because he has perverted the noble concept of rebellion and revolution in order to trick the opposite constituency into viewing him through rose-colored glasses. Rick Santorum may be a misogynist , but at least people react to him as badly as he deserves.


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    ACApr 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Not to mention the fact that he’s supposedly a libertarian, but is anti-gay marriage and anti-choice… kind of the opposite of personal freedom.