Gentlemen, Start Your Screeds

« January 2008 »
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
5
6
8
12
13
14
19
20
26
27
31

Memo to Ron Paul fans: BE BETTER NERDS.

This will be an interesting test of the reach of this column. Because evidence has shown that it is physically impossible to say anything bad about Ron Paul anywhere on the Internet without the Paulies finding out about it. (And yes, I know that in these modern times, they prefer to be called "Paulers".) So we'll see if they find out about this.

Because when they've found out that you've been talking shit about Ron Paul or the Ron Paul movement, they respond. Oh, how they respond. With paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs of long-winded twaddle. Usually calling him "Dr. Paul", as if we're supposed to instantly respect him more because he's got a medical degree. And usually accusing the naysayer of being afraid of the Paul movement.

I will freely admit to being scared of Ron Paul nerds, in much the same way I am scared of the guy on the bus wearing a ratty Army jacket who is desperate to inform everyone within earshot that the CIA took his puppy and replaced it with a robot puppy, and not one of those Japanese robot puppies but an exact cyborg replicant puppy. There are three kinds of Paul nerds: people who don't know everything Ron Paul believes; people who know, but don't care; and people who agree with everything Ron Paul believes.

Ron Paul is an American libertarian. This means he's a freak. I wish it weren't true, but it is. I've got plenty of libertarian leanings myself, but any beliefs that people should be allowed to do what they want are tempered by the knowledge that most people want to do stupid shit. Libertarianism in America is a curious mix of Republican anti-tax free-market worship, paranoid bunker-building gun-nuttery, and what could be charitably described as a charmingly Southern attitude towards "states' rights".

Libertarians think anything the federal government does is, by definition, bad. And this message has resonated with the public, because for the past seven years, nearly everything the government has done has been, in practice, bad. But just because the Libertarian position on Iraq, Gitmo and wiretapping are wise doesn't mean that the libertarian position on the Federal Reserve, Department of Education, and race relations are also wise. And as I mentioned above, Ron Paul fanboys either don't know about that other stuff, don't care, or agree with it.

Where this became crystal clear was during the recent dustup over the Ron Paul Blank Report. For 20+ years, Ron Paul, or people hired by Ron Paul, or people permitted to speak for Ron Paul, or people who reached an agreement with Ron Paul to use his name, have put out a monthly newsletter with various words filling in the "Blank". It is unclear who was actually responsible for them, which many people think is an important fact since The New Republic's James Kerchick found a pile of old copies, read through them, and found a whole bunch of vile, racist, homophobic crap. And while I don't have any particular respect for The New Republic or James Kerchick, there are direct quotes. And PDF scans. You can look 'em up.

One of the main characteristics of the rabid fanboy nerd is that if they like something while they think it's good, and it goes to shit, they will insist that it is STILL good because they have so much invested in continuing to like it. So it should come as no surprise that the Paulies responded virulently, denying the quotes, maintaining their irrelevance, or explaining how the quotes really are true, depending on the type of Paulie they are. ACTUAL QUOTES TIME!

"It's no surprise that a last minute smear job of Ron Paul by 'Concerned Individuals' would come to pass. After gaining over 10% of the vote in Iowa, he beat the 3% polling by way too much, and it was time to put him in the ground for good. Anyone espousing and end to Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big War, etc., just can't be allowed near the Citizenry, or at least near enough to get their votes. Throw a promised end to the IRS, and Federal Reserve Monopoly Money Banking System into the mix, and you've just scared the bee-jeesuz out of the Ruling Elite." - "veteran21", heeding the call to comment at salon.com

It's a smear job! The Ron Paul Political Report didn't actually say "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began." Big Pharm just borrowed a Xerox machine from Big Oil and a time machine from Big War and had to discredit Ron Paul because he was coming dangerously close to fourth place in Iowa.

"Just because someone 'cites' something doesn't mean that they agree with it." - "lonewacko", of "lonewacko.com". Well, when they cite something in support of the idea that people with AIDS should be banned from restaurants so that they don't give other customers AIDS with their saliva, then yes, it does mean that they agree with it.

"The other possibility is that he may not have even found out about what was said until years later because you assumed he was still a subscriber." - "phantasyman" on ThinkProgress.org. If this is true, I have to admire the commitment to free-market capitalism shown by The Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Freedom Report, and The Ron Paul Survival Report in not actually sending comped copies of their newsletter to RON FUCKING PAUL, but instead making him subscribe to it.

"The riots lasted three days and welfare dependency was the norm in the riot-torn black South Central neighborhoods. Paul vented his frustration at tax-funded anarchy. And for that he is faulted?" - Kenn Gividen at endiana.com.

YES. I think, even given the backward, segregationist days of 1992, that it's fair to fault someone for saying that black people stopped rioting in LA because they had to pick up their welfare checks. But then, I'm not a screaming racist.

Of course, to me, the most damning thing about the newsletters isn't the racism, the homophobia, or the general crazy. No, for me, the real key is the name change in the 90's to "The Ron Paul Survival Report". It was a deliberate attempt to market the thing to the burgeoning Bunker O' Guns at the time, the people who were converting their fallout shelters so that they could hold out against the inevitable United Nations / ATF takeover of America, the people who believed that Janet Reno was the single most dangerous force of oppression known to man.

Which means one of two things. Either Ron Paul approved of the move to get his name, and his views, out in front of a large audience of black-helicopter and tinfoil-hat crazies, or he didn't have creative control over the noun that appeared in giant letters immediately following his own name. Either one would, to me, be enough for me to at least question my support of him, but then, if there's one thing I'm not a nerd for, it's any individual politician.