Senator Ron Paul looks and sounds like your favorite uncle. He believes what he says, says what he believes, and hasn’t a deceitful cell in his body. Next to a fulminating phony like Rick Perry or a shape-shifter like Mitt Romney, he’s a breath of fresh mountain air. If George W. was a good guy to have a beer with, Senator Paul is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. I’d want him to carve.
Watching a video of him before a small audience in Orlando, Florida, he radiated sincerity, folksy charm, and presented a consistent Libertarian view. He wants to abolish the IRS, the Federal Reserve, the Patriot Act, draft registration, laws against guns, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, and all drugs, abolish unemployment insurance, Medicare, you name it.
As president he would bring the troops home “as quickly as I could get them loaded onto ships.” He spoke against “Obama’s constant wars and attack on civil liberties,” saying that “Government is failing around the world.” His audience (one wore a tricorne, the three-cornered hat popular in the 1700s), applauded throughout and gave him a standing ovation.
Well why not restore liberties cherished in the 1800s? Why not bring all troops home, seal the borders, and settle into splendid isolation from a fractious, frightening world? It’s not enough to say that we are deeply tied into that world. Senator Paul would cut such ties.
But can an industrial nation of 300 million live like an agrarian nation of 5 million? Can a multi-ethnic country divided into constituencies, states, counties, districts political, police, and school , businesses small, medium and huge, agri-businesses, unions, corporations with interlocking boards of directors, and every other organized entity that has evolved in the past two centuries, also contending with technologies that can blow up and poison the entire world or connect people anywhere and pinpoint many within two feet, revert to a vanished agrarian Eden?
If Senator Paul, a sweet man I greatly respect as a human being, were ever to find himself holding the levers of power, I’d hope that the band would quickly strike up because in very little time our ship of state, like the Titanic, would have its hull ripped open, and sink.