Here’s a revised post that originally appeared on December 23, 2011. One can only hope that Ron Paul stays in this race as long as possible.
Well we’re coming into the home stretch now with the Iowa caucuses only a week and a half away. The journalists have Ron Paul in their sights, as he’s looking strong in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Can they blow him out the way they’ve blown out every not-Romney before him? And why don’t they blow out Romney? Do they roll over for him? We know how much the media love smart candidates!
Have you noticed some of the adjectives the reporters have used about Paul lately? The best one I’ve seen is batty. That’s better than nuts. You also see fringe, extreme, and consistent. The last one is not generally meant as a compliment, as the reporters usually suggest that Paul is consistent in his foolishness.
Let’s see how foolish this man is. Here are some of the predictions, observations, prescriptions, and warnings for which Ron Paul is called batty:
- Paul warned that if the Federal Reserve enjoys unchecked power, what Andrew Jackson called the money power would capture our government in Washington. With the 2008 financial collapse and its aftermath, we see that it has already happened.
- Paul has said that if we continue to act the way we do overseas, we will make more and more enemies. People who were not our enemies now hate us because we have killed their family members, imprisoned them, tortured them, humiliated them, frightened them, and made war on them until everything that sustains them is destroyed. This observation about the effects of our foreign behavior is so obviously true that the criticism directed at Paul for saying it tells you something. It tells you some people are blind when it comes to discussions about their own country.
- Paul has criticized the so-called drug war on many counts: it doesn’t work, it’s immoral, it grants government more power than it should have, it doesn’t work, it’s costly, it suppresses both personal freedom and personal responsibility, and in addition to everything else, it doesn’t work. People used to be aghast at this kind of critique. If we don’t fight drugs, then what do we fight? If drugs are permitted, everything is permitted! Interestingly, Paul’s position on drugs has not become a big issue for reporters. Perhaps he is not ahead of his time on this issue any more.
- Paul predicted that if we let the national government grow in power and authority – with no effective checks on its ability to control money, time, lives, commerce, institutions, tools of surveillance and communication, weapons, and all manner of personal choices – it would destroy our democracy. It has already happened. Long established traditions die slowly – that is true of democratic traditions as well as democracy’s institutions. By now, though, we can say that Paul has been right. He has been so emphatically right on this point that one wonders if even he thinks he could revive our democracy were he to win the presidency.
Let’s end with these four points. Read Andrew Sullivan’s endorsement of Ron Paul. The next time you read a reporter who mocks Paul’s ideas, who says he is dangerous and a harbinger of chaos, ask yourself why a person who has been right so often should be charged with battiness. Remember this paraphrase of Jesus’s famous saying in the New Testament: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.”
If Paul’s ideas seem odd to you, forget about it. Forget about what other people think. Concentrate on Ron Paul’s truthfulness. If you can’t focus on that, no one will be free: not now, not ever.