Sunday, January 22, 2012

Citizen Ron Paul

Whenever I come close to thinking about supporting Ron Paul as a candidate, I think of this episode of the sitcom Frasier:

To me, Ron Paul appeals to four basic types of folks.  One, the type that is fed up with everything in our government, our society, our country, and feels betrayed by either party's lackluster attempts to hold firm to those values we share as believers in Christ.  Two, those who just hate America, including those in America who hate it all the while sucking from the bloated tit of American prosperity and freedom, while laughing all the way to the bank at Paul's relentless insistence that America is the prime cause of problems and evil in the world.  Three, those - particularly young people - with a culturally imposed tendency to want a 'rage against the machine' candidate because, well, raging against the machine is always good. And finally, young people and older ones who appreciate the 'right to hedoism' that libertarianism promises, most prominently manifested in Paul's desire to legalize drugs.

For me, it's easy to see his appeal in a country that is unraveling, shredding its Christian roots, and becoming increasingly hostile to the Faith of my fathers.  Still, I also have to keep things in perspective.  Paul lives in an world of self-isolation.  To him, he alone (and possibly his son, Rand), are the only ones in Washington who aren't screw ups causing all the problems.  That's not a firm foundation for sound leadership.

In addition, many of his takes on history, such as his support for Southern State's Rights [to own human slaves] or how the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved, verge on the fantasy and certainly have no place in the world of reality.  And a person who bases his solutions on events that didn't occur the way he insists they did, is begging for trouble.

In the end, when I consider Paul, a man who obviously believes what he says, and think about supporting him, I think of the above clip.  I imagine hiring a person to drive a school bus.  I consider the idea that one candidate is a child molester, another a convicted felon, and yet another has a dismal driving record of citations and accidents.  I then consider a fourth candidate, one who loves kids, has a clean driving record, and an impeccable character.  I then imagine asking him how he has kept such a perfect driving record.  Then I hear him saying, 'It's because I'm careful, I drive defensively, and besides, all the elves that control the traffic lights are on my side.' 

Would I still hire him, knowing the safety of dozens of children were in his hands?  Probably not.  Perhaps I would hire nobody.  Or perhaps I would give the felon with a clean driving record who has paid his debt to society a new chance.  But just because I could cleanse my own conscience by not hiring others with obvious character flaws would be no reason to set loose a bus load of children with a driver whose mental grasp of reality was seriously in question.

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