Thursday, January 10, 2008

Libertarian flameout

Ron Paul is outed as a racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, conspiracy-mongering piece of shit. No surprise really, but a lot of nerds are hurt and confused. Add on his support for medical quackery, denial of evolution, and ties to Christian Reconstructionism*, all I can say is, what took so long? It has been suggested that he didn't really believe all the crap that went out under his name over the years, in which case he's either too irresponsible or too willing to pander to be considered a serious candidate for anything.

I can't say I'm very sorry, but I guess I am a wee bit. US politicians are so bland and non-ideological, it was refreshing to see one with an actual belief system. And he was the only semi-serious presidential contender to take a strong antiwar stance (the other being my man Dennis Kucinich). There's something to be said for some libertarian principles entering the mainstream. Unfortunately, whatever good might have been in those principles has been irreparably tarnished by their associations with the dark, fetid swamps of the extreme right. Hopefully those looking for a place to park their idealism will look at Kucinich who is against the Iraq War, the Drug War, and has even less chance of winning than Paul.

[* that last one is a pretty weak link -- Gary North, a prominent Reconstructionist, was once a staffer for Paul -- but the article pointed to has some fascinating information on ties between libertarianism and the theocratic movement in general.]


TGGP said...

Ron Paul is closer to Christian Reconstructionism than racism or anti-semitism. He's been in the public eye for a long time (entered into Congress in the 70s) and while he's made statements that sound like the former, never the latter.

Of course, if democracy was all it was cracked up to be his policies would be what people were talking about rather than newsletters.

mtraven said...

Best comment on this so far:
When mired in a specifically racial controversy, avoid likening your enemies to “Orcs.”

Democracy involves voting for people, who can't be held to follow a particular policy. Therefore a candidate's character becomes important. A direct democracy where voters chose policies sounds good, but the California experience of direct ballot initiatives has not been encouraging -- too much of the power goes to special interests who can afford large media campaigns.