Skip to comments.Hate Ron Paul? Blame the establishment
Posted on 01/16/2012 5:52:12 PM PST by traviskicks
He has a solid, unshakeable base. His poll numbers are rising, not sinking. He hasnt had to go negative. He hasnt had to deliver a speech to get past his newsletter-induced Reverend Wright moment.
Oh, and one other thing: hes in this race til the finish line.
His name is Ron Paul, and you have the establishment to thank for his shocking march from the margins to something almost mainstream.
In retrospect, at least, theres really nothing shocking about it. At every step, he has been boosted up and pushed forward by the horrendous failure of the establishment to remove the real-life conditions that heighten his appeal.
Some of these failings, and their great power, have begun to inspire pieces of commentary unthinkable even two years ago.
Says Charles Krauthammer of his position in the GOP: regardless of my feelings or yours, the plain fact is that Paul is nurturing his movement toward visibility and legitimacy.
Says Mark Steyn of his foreign policy: deploring it is an inadequate response to a faction that is likely to emerge with the second-highest number of delegates at the GOP convention.
Says Glenn Greenwald of his embarrassment of the left: Ron Pauls candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of Americas Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, its one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception.
All true. Yet in the minds of many, inside and outside the Beltway, the particulars of Paulmentum continue to taint the phenomenon with more than a whiff of illegitimacy. There is the newsletter issue. There are the associations with conspiracy-mongering. There is the almost wickedly gleeful hawk-baiting on the subject of Iran. There are the legions of Paul fans, on the Internet and in meatspace, whose enthusiasm borders on the berserk, and sometimes more than borders.
These things inspire something more dangerous than fear in the hearts of elites (and of normal people who cant quite bear the thought of deciding to comprehensively reject the elites global leadership). They inspire contempt.
Natural a reaction as it may be for some, contempt for Paul, his supporters, and his sympathizers is so dangerous because it reinforces the sense that the response of the establishment elite to the global economic crisis should leave only a crazy person feeling worse than ever about the U.S. and the world.
After all, the establishment makes an apparently compelling case that, even if you hate some things about the way the post-crisis world is shaking out, you ought to thank your deity of choice that we even have a world to hate on. Barack Obama is not the only one to insist, in so many words, that the establishment saved the human race from a total financial meltdown. Surely you tinfoil hat people could set your overactive imaginations racing with visions of the apocalyptic nightmare that would have entailed. Now wherere the thanks?
Well, theres just one problem. The establishment elite managed to forestall Armageddon by intensifying the conditions that led to the colossal crisis in the first place. Some say they did this by choice; others say they were forced to do it. The motives dont matter half as much as the outcome: a financial system more concentrated than before 2008; a political system more dysfunctional; an executive branch more powerful; a federal government possessed of more money, greater reach, and broader authority; and promises of even more to come.
One objection to the picture you are no doubt beginning to form in your head is that, this time, they got it right. This is actually a nontrivial claim. Surely you remember doing something insanely irresponsible and knowing in a flash (miraculous survival!) that youd never be so carelessly stupid as to try that again. Give the establishment the benefit of the doubt.
But the benefit of the doubt doesnt matter either. Again, look at the outcome: an increase in the level of risk of total system collapse, courtesy of the intensified factors that led to 2008.
Surely the old military adage holds true, though, that the safest place to hide from an incoming artillery shell is in the crater blown open by the last one? Unfortunately, the ground is shifting beneath us. The international situation, with its complexly interdependent political, economic, financial, and religious variables, is deep into a period of extreme volatility, and getting deeper.
Put differently, we are carrying a Jenga into a moon bounce, with the role of the Jenga being played by civilization as we know it.
The intuition of an inadequate response at this order of magnitude is the animating spirit behind the Paul phenomenon. Its correct to note that Pauls foundational emphasis on liberty is central to his success, but not enough thought is being put into why the liberty pitch is working.
Answer? Because the logic of liberty offers an alternative structural response to the foreboding risk calculus exacerbated by the establishments answer to 2008. Dispersing political authority, and the financial power that concentrates around it, makes for a game much different from Jenga.
Back in June, in my first column in these pages, I advised that a new world disorder would be blunted in the U.S. because of the deep and well-dispersed cultural and historical resources uniquely found among Americans at such a scale. As a whole, our establishment elites have proven unable so far to craft a response to the ongoing global predicament that will not minimize what advantages the American people do enjoy should a new crisis indeed transpire.
Given the apparent likelihood of a fresh crisis event, and given how our post-crisis system is structured to cascade disruptions toward catastrophe, the somewhat out-of-left-field logic of liberty advanced by Paul seems to be striking a growing number of Americans not just on the right as something less of a gamble.
there is a reason orn Paul is tied with Obama right now in the polls.
don’t you holier than thou types fng get it yet!!!!
many of us H A T E the newt, perry, bush, types with a passion and are sick of this garbage!
Ron Paul is the only one who jas not flipped and flopped 15 times over on the sot important issues.
It is no surprise that RP has and his followers have gained traction politically in the last six years.
Our economy has tanked, the war against Islam is a really tough grind, and we have a Democrat controlled government that is clueless on how to turn the nation around.
These conditions set the stage for zealots and political cults to prosper.
So, the emotion behind RP is understandable. However, his positions are so wrong, it is obvious to the sane among us that his cure would be worse than the disease.
That is why he and his supporters can only be spoilers, never winners.
The net effect of RP’s followers this election will be to hand the nation back to Obama, because Republicans will not agree with their far out requirements. They will sit at home or vote Democrat because the Dems are closer on their social values (let me do what I want).
That is the bottom line, and why RP supporters should be held in low regard. They are not conservative, and care more for themselves than for their nation.
Do realize that 60% of alterPauls support comes from democrats?
Do you get that he is a surrender monkey, who sympathies with islamic thugs?
Do realize that the nazi party of America endorsed him?
Do you realize that David Duke endorsed him?
Do you realize that he endorsed Cynthia McKinney?
Do you realize that he is a fraud? Terms limits but been in congress over 30 years. Cut government spending yet never introduced anything to accomplish that goal, or loads up bills with ear marks, fraud.
There is more of course.......
alterPaul is an anti-Semitic, racist, flip flopping delusional dangerous old man.
Ron Paul and Romney are the only two with a chance of beating Thugbama whether you like it or not.
Sorry. Neither one will beat BHO.
The polls disagree with you. Ron Paul or Romney cam beat Ghettobama, none of the others so far have shown that ability.
BHO will be reelected no matter who runs.
You follow a nut
The obama media want this racist 9-11 truther to be the poster boy
Of the GOP !
Paul voters are Dem crossing over to damage to the GOP !
Where have you been and who are you trying to fool here ?
We know Paul is a lunatic racist !
I go issue by issue. rp is closest to where I am.
Really, you are a racist, anti-Semitic surrender monkey who is fraud? Sorry about that.
I am A B O. I would vote for Joran Vandesloot over Obama right now.
Most of us are anyone but Obama or Romney. Problem is Romney is Obama and he’s ahead in all the polls.
Ron Paul was horrible in the debate tonight. Only the low intellect of his supporters could explain the results that indicate a win for Ron Paul. The man makes absolutely no sense at all. He rambles and says nothing and his supporters cheer. It’s amazing. These same low intellect Paulers still argue about the separation of church and state.
No, Paul was the one who was responsible for most of theanti-Perry campaign. Perry just doubled down on his own destruction with his early debate performances. He sure turned that around tonight. Maybe too late, though.
Paul is a bigger nut than Ross Perot and more dangerous. He followers are dumber. Ron Paul utters nonsense and his supporters cheer. It doesn’t matter if he makes sense, he supports legalization of drugs! YEY!
I think Perry may have earned his way onto the ticket, though.
You left me out: a sober 62-year-old, vet with Jewish in-laws who can't stay up late enough for George Noory. And I will vote for Ron Paul.
Yep. It took three sentences before the first outright, bald-faced lie. That’s where I stopped reading.
Of course, I should have looked at who posted it and skipped the drivel altogether.