Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Ron Paul Is A F*cking Nutbag... Who Cares If He Claims to Oppose War
I've seen some great things attributed to the Ron Paul campaign. That sign with the reversed "LOVE" in "REVOLUTION" called out? Genius. The notion that the U.S. should not be marching around the world dictating policy? Laudable. A desire to bring troops home from Afghanistan and stop sending a fortune to Israel? I'm down with that. But you know what? It doesn't fucking matter one bit.
Because Ron Paul is a right-wing, anti-gay, anti-choice, racist, conspiracy theorist NUTBAG. This is plain to see. Obvious from hearing thirty seconds of the man speak. Clear as day from the actual historical record revealed in a simple google search.
And yet there are legions of Ron Paul supporters twisting themselves into pretzel shapes trying to excuse his disturbing history of pandering to the far-right fringe. There are armies of pseudo-intellectual morons trying to make sense of his calamitous economic ideas. And there are unfortunate crowds of young white people trying to focus on his anti-war appeal while pulling the blinders closer to avoid seeing how close this man stands to those other folks on the Republican stage like anti-gay scum Rick Santorum, deranged fantasist Michele Bachmann who actually runs a business that tortures gay people, racist narcissist Newt Gingrich, and tool of big business Mitt Romney.
I could post facts about how Ron Paul has denounced Civil Rights laws. I could link to stories about how his Iowa chief of staff is a veteran of anti-gay hate groups. I could bring up his ties to the John Birch society. I could repeat what his former staffers say about his unwillingness to use a gay man's bathroom. I could link to stories that challenge the distance Paul claims he has put between him and the scandalously racist newsletters of two decades ago. I'm not going to do any of that. These stories are not hard to find. If you are not busy pretending not to see these things you will find them in ten seconds on the internet.
The Mitt Romney machine has been very very busy demolishing each of his Republican competitors one by one, and they are surely a force behind the sudden media scrutiny of Dr. Paul. But I think given Ron Paul's ground operation he could still do quite well in the upcoming Republican Iowa caucuses. In truth I don't really care who the Republicans go with...they're all horror shows beyond the pale. But I have acquaintances (who should know better) who are actually suckered in by the bizarro-world Ron Paul delusion. I find it sad that people outside the rarified club of bigotry and hateful ignorance that is the Republican party should find themselves strolling down such a doomed path of bad thinking. Actually it doesn't make me sad; it makes me furious.
Libertarianism is a cult-like ideology that elevates selfishness into an economic and political theory. Key to Libertarianism is its omission of a class analysis (the same class analysis rudimentary to the nascent concept of the 99% expressed by the #OWS movement). And there's a good reason for that: because Libertarianism isn't egalitarianism, it's rich-ism. It's about a system where the rich and wealthy are unfettered in their exploitation of the rest of us. With impunity. It's worth repeating: If you want to visit a Libertarian paradise, visit Somalia. I am not exaggerating.
There are Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters running around in OWS, for sure. But take a deeper look. They do not actually want the same things the rest of us want. What the Libertarians are doing is filling an ideological vacuum: given the history of Democratic Party betrayals (hello, Mr. Obama) and the failure of the Marxist left to (yet) emerge from its historically discrediting Cold-War defeat, Libertarians are talking systemic changes and ideological solutions, even if the substance of what they're talking is absolute nonsense.
The 2012 election is still eleven months away. A lot will happen in that time. If I've learned anything from the last year it is that voting for President once every four years is a sad substitute for actual democracy. I think the optimism that so many felt with Obama's rise, and the subsequent reaction to the failure of that rise to actually bear the sweet fruit that many of us hoped for is one of the factors that has contributed to the Occupy Wall Street awakening. The challenge of the next period is to sustain the momentum of last year, to make an alternative to the electoral trap feasible, to show what real direct democracy is. We can aim higher than choosing the best of the worst to predictably disappoint us.
Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian who loved puppies. If you're looking in a library for books about Hitler, I'll make an educated guess that "pet care" and "cookbooks" are probably the wrong places to look. When the books are written about Ron Paul, I'm certainly not saying they will be on the shelves next to books about Hitler, but they sure won't be on filed under "anti-war" either.
If Ron Paul sometimes sounds like a fucking right-wing nutbag... it's because he is one.