Monday, August 15, 2011
In Defense of Ron Paul
The political blogosphere is depressing. Part of the reason for that is what I think of as the tyranny of pragmatism. Asking for realistic solutions all the time has the tendency to favor the status quo. Our sense of realism is almost entirely shaped by what we've tried before. It's only when our sense of frustration with the status quo reaches critical mass that we're willing to consider something ideologically pure, impractical, radical.
That's why I'm just going to indulge myself in a little optimism about the "Ron Paul Revolution." After all the times I've heard Paul speak, I've never found a more consistent politician. His belief in personal freedom protected by limited government extends into all areas of politics, from free market economics to bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
There's something deeply ironic about the political idea of individual liberty. The message is that individuals free from coercion can produce a complex social order that acts for the benefit of everyone, without the guidance of superior elites. But we humans need figureheads to get messages heard. In other words, we can't avoid having a political elite, whether it's people like Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Ron Paul. Right now, Ron Paul sits just outside the mainstream. Because I can't think of a figurehead who espouses more consistently the political principles I believe in, I'm afraid I'm just going to have to be one of those annoying fans of his.
It's worth mentioning that Ron Paul was a very close second in the Iowa Straw Poll. Fox News, of course, focused on Bachmann and barely gave two words to Ron Paul. At least Bill Maher likes him.