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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ron Paul? More like ‘Wrong’ Paul

    Talyor Kessinger columnist
    Talyor Kessinger
    columnist

    Maverick Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., has gained an inordinate amount of support from a disproportionately vocal group of loyal followers. But beneath the surface of his wacky, raving, libertarian exterior lurks a dark shadow – a dark, wacky, raving libertarian shadow, that is.

    In spite of his relative obscurity – Paul never scores highly on national polls of Republican voters – he’s garnered an immense amount of support, matching John McCain in terms of funds gathered, placing high in straw polls and, most tellingly, earning the approval of many vocal Internet users on both sides of the political fence. His Wikipedia page is longer than those of most Republican contenders – only Giuliani beats him – and he has countless Facebook groups dedicated to him.

    Fans attribute his lack of popularity to a deliberate media conspiracy to marginalize him. But Paul’s success speaks more about the feebleness of the other Republican candidates save Giuliani, as well as about the ill-informed status of his supporters, than it does about himself. I hate to tell this to all the armchair pseudo-libertarians out there, but if you support Ron Paul, you’ve probably been duped.

    Don’t feel too bad. I was misled once, too. The promise of a candidate who is aware that the Bush administration’s sole accomplishment has been to expand the already-bloated federal government, that current American foreign policy is abominable, and that the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land greatly bolstered my hope for this country.

    Then I watched videos of Ron Paul, and I lost hope faster than an angsty high school student loses his conscience after reading “”Atlas Shrugged.””

    Ron Paul’s agenda goes beyond common-sense ideas like reducing U.S. interference overseas and scaling down the size and spending of the federal government. It ventures into a fairy-tale world of recalling all overseas troops, doing away with federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the EPA, and the nebulous task of “”securing our borders,”” whatever that means.

    What is especially bizarre about Paul’s campaign is that he’s managed to snare voters who lean slightly left. Never mind the fact that he supports measures to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave the matter of abortion up the states. Guess what? If you live in Arizona, a predominantly Republican state, a victory for Paul means waving good-bye to safe, legal abortions.

    Additionally, Paul’s plans to leave education entirely up to the states, combined with his promise to encourage openness regarding “”facts which contradict the theory of evolution,”” mean we may yet have to suffer creationism in our schools.

    But fear not. Ron Paul brings a trump card; the gold standard, an antiquated way of valuing currency which almost no economists support. Are there valid arguments to support a return to this standard? Maybe, but Paul’s short, rapid-fire bursts of bombastic anger certainly don’t contain any of them, and his attempt to randomly insert this issue into every speech doesn’t help much, either.

    This exposes the real problem with Ron Paul: His tactlessness knows no bounds. The dial on his back is apparently stuck on “”talk loud and fast.”” And as we all know, louder and faster equals more correct.

    Think about this man as president for just a few minutes. This is the man who, at the Values Voter Debate in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., attempted to convince a group of fundamentalist Christians that “”you can’t legislate morality.”” He might as well travel to France and try to convince the country that baguettes, wine and cheese are bad for you. It’d be every bit as futile.

    The Republican Party’s chosen candidate needs to be someone charismatic and convincing if they’re to have any chance of winning the election. If they pick Paul, they’ll get a man whose every sentence draws a small amount of loud cheering and a much greater cacophony of droning and booing – and whose grandiose plans for refashioning the federal government according to a literalist interpretation of the Constitution are overshadowed in magnitude only by the impossibility of such a task.

    Sorry, Ron Paul Revolutionaries. You’ve been seduced by platitudes and noble ideals into supporting a candidate whose plans for the presidency are rather ignoble, and if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll agree with me. Everyone’s favorite “”dark horse”” candidate, when closely scrutinized, turns out to be nothing more than a rider on a pale horse, a fitting metaphor for the doom he’ll bring to the Republican Party if his supporters don’t find someone else to rally around.

    Taylor Kessinger is a junior majoring in math, philosophy and physics. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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