Why Not Ron Paul?

Well, for me it’s a simple question: I agree with him about very little. Indeed, even though I agree with him about the war in Iraq, I don’t actually agree with his broad vision of foreign policy. There’s just very little there to like. But for Megan things are different:

Ron Paul has some beliefs that I like, such as his opposition to eminent domain abuse. But he also has a number of beliefs that are, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly insane. The gold standard is one; the belief that NAFTA is a trojan horse for the North American Union is another. Much of his persona, sincere or not, seems to boil down to “Foreigners are scary, and people who like foreigners are plotting to take away all your stuff.”

These seem like worries to have once it becomes reasonable to think that Ron Paul might become president. That’s not the case right now. If you’re as dyspeptic about both political parties as Megan claims to be it seems to me that a protest vote for Ron Paul on a Libertarian Party line would be the best thing to do. The reason libertarians don’t like either political party, is that nobody feels like catering to a fringe ideology with almost no supporters. David Boaz and David Kirby claim there’s a large “libertarian vote” but the proof would be in the pudding. Paul’s not going to be president, so one doesn’t need to worry about whether or not he’d be a good president. The question is whether or not there’s any constituency for a platform of massively rolling back the government’s activities both at home and abroad — votes for Paul will prove its existence if it’s out there, and then major parties featuring plausible political leaders will move in that direction.

Photo by Flickr user Jayel Aheram used under a Creative Commons license