After years of general apathy and malaise with regard to American politics, I have recently begun to take interest in this year’s election. Finally, one candidate has instilled any degree of trust in me. I actually feel something other than disgust for our political system. I see one and only one candidate who actually makes me want to go out and vote in November.
Unfortunately, that candidate is Ron Paul.
I use the word “unfortunate” because it seems that Dr. Paul doesn’t have a chance of winning the Republican nomination. He seems to be the only candidate who truly puts our best interests first, which I believe has been his greatest weakness. That is to say, he is more concerned with the interests his would-be constituents than to those who have the greatest influence over public opinion: the Old Boys, media moguls, corporations, lobbyists et al. In short, he doesn’t play nice with the Establishment. Because of this, the media has not been friendly to him. Since the time he announced his candidacy, Dr. Paul has been portrayed as a “fringe” candidate. A kook. An also-ran. He has been barred from televised debates.
But what exactly is so “crazy” about him? He believes in the Constitution first and lobbyists second. He believes that the Federal government shouldn’t get its meddling, bureaucratic, money-wasting hands into everything. He wants to let the States have more power over many or most issues. He wants a non-interventionist foreign policy. He actually cares about making this country more like what it was originally intended to be. See a short piece on his tech-related views on Slashdot.
It seems that whoever I talk to, whatever I read online, the typical opinion is “I like him, he makes sense, but he won’t win”. This of course is what I find most frustrating. It seems that whether or not we actually agree with him, most of us respect Ron Paul. And why not? He isn’t a corporate shill or a liar. He is an evangelical–something I’m not especially crazy about– but he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. He doesn’t use the Bible as a political compass. From what I can tell, he’s the most “genuine” politician we have seen in this country in a long, long time.
Problem is, he’s not a big enough douche.