Throughout this election season, despite my support for Barack Obama, I have been intrigued by the campaign of a man by the name of Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is an interesting character, full of many very good ideas, such as the elimination of the IRS, ending the bullshit War on Drugs, and putting an overall emphasis on personal responsibility and liberty - all very good ideas. One might think with values like those that are so closely related to my own, why am I supporting Obama over Paul? Well, because I, unlike Paul supporters, understand that he's not a cure-all for this country's woes and would likely do more harm than good.
Foremost, Paul also has a metric ton of ideas that I think are batshit insane. He's for the repeal of Roe vs. Wade, so that's strike one. He would eliminate every government agency that's not called for in the Constitution - so while getting rid of the IRS is a great idea, he would also eliminate organizations like the Department of Education, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. But even through all that, I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, he stands up for what he believes in and his voting record shows it - unlike current Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, who we'll get to in the future.
Paul is just a product of a different era, he reminds me of the nice old man that lives across the street, always out on the front porch. A genuinely kind human being, who is just out of touch with the modern world and doesn't seem to realize that it's 2008 rather than 1948. And that's fine, we form our world view through our younger years, I can't fault him for that. His message of personal liberty still resonates, so he's a good asset to have in our congress, but he would just never work as President of the United States - congress would never let him get anything done.
What bugs me about the Ron Paul campaign would be his supporters. Obama fans take a lot of shit for "drinking the Kool-Aid," or calling him the "Obamessiah," but when it comes to cult-like supporters, you have to stand in awe at Ron Paul's. Not since the hippies in the 1960s has there been a bigger group of starry-eyed children who think all the world's problems could be fixed. "Just vote for Ron Paul maaaan and everything will be groovy." Sorry kids, it doesn't work that way - he's not a jedi, he's not going to just wave his hands and say "this is the Constitution you were looking for" and restore balance to The Force.
If anything is going to up my traffic to this blog, it will be this post due to crazed, Ron Paul supporters spamming it and telling me how I hate liberty, I'm a fascist bootlicker and that I want to vote for Big Brother in '08. Seriously, check out Digg sometime and type in "Ron Paul" in the search bar... read the comments in those articles and see how crazy these people are. These are the kind of people that talk about seceding from the union or waging a full-scale revolution against the United States - I wish I was witty enough to make this shit up, but it's true, people like this exist.
Fortunately for us, the Civil War Part 2: Electric Boogaloo isn't coming anytime soon since the overwhelming majority of these people aren't capable of being in direct sunlight for more than an hour and their carpal tunnel syndrome is likely to hinder their ability of properly using a firearm. I have to laugh at it, because it is so childish - a group of people thinking one guy is all it would take for the revolution to come and then we'd finally be free from the corporate chains in our government. Hey, I liked "V For Vendetta" too, but I'm not the kind of guy that thinks it was a documentary, ya know? It amuses me that these are the folks talking about liberty and being a patriot. A true patriot wouldn't want to destroy his country or secede from it, he would stay and fight for it, not against it. These are like the jokers that claimed they wanted to move to Canada after Bush got re-elected, a real American doesn't run, no matter how bleak the future may seem.
Ron Paul supporters, if you were truly serious about reforming our government and bringing forth many of the admittedly good ideas that Dr. Paul represents, then you would realize that real change starts from the bottom up, not the other way around. You're not going to change the system by getting 2% of the vote on election day, learn about candidates in your local elections - city, county and state. If we get enough progressive thinkers in our local governments, then they're eventually going to move onto the federal level and who knows, maybe someday, the presidency.
Or you could just spam internet forums all day, that's what the Founding Fathers would have done.