Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ron Paul. Still Crazy After All These Years.

While driving to New York City the other day, I noticed Ron Paul stickers and posters in numbers surprisingly high for the blue states I was crossing. The same phenomenon is visible in the comments threads of many liberal blogs: otherwise fairly sane lefties are suddenly keen on this far-right Republican extremist, running for the president of the United States. And now Time Magazine has written a story about Paul's appeal to the American left (though also to the libertarians). What is going on?

Opposition to the Iraq war. Here, finally, is a candidate who doesn't like the war and wants the U.S. out as soon as possible. This appears sufficient for many liberals.

But the man is crazy, and we should not forget that. Orcinus has a good post summarizing his views on various domestic issues, his desire to return to the Gold Standard in monetary policy, his determination to abolish the United Nations and his racism. Phenry summarizes his voting patterns on various issues. Paul is about as extreme a wingnut as they come, and though he spouts of freedom for all he doesn't mean freedom for women. He is opposed to reproductive choice. Well, he is pretty much opposed to the government, including federal income taxes and any foreign interactions. Someone with those values would not function well in the aftermaths of future Katrinas, for example. And of course any Republican president would turn the Supreme Court into a multi-decade enforcer of the values of the extreme political right. And did I mention that he is a racist?

Despite Paul's sudden popularity in odd places he is not polling very well in the Republican primary. He is a fringe candidate, and I, for one, would like to keep him on the fringe.