To my friends and readers in the Paul Patrol.
I’ve been snarky about Ron Paul’s campaign, which admittedly is a poor substitute for substance.
Here’s the deal.
I actually admire Dr. Paul. He’s got a coherent worldview and he’s sticking to it.
He’s hardly a tough guy — his affect is more Harry Reid than Dirty Harry — but he’s by far the 2008 field’s toughest and most unyielding anti-war voice. That’s a public service.
And his willingness to stand up to an opportunist like Giuliani in adressing the root causes of the 9/11 attacks is an object lesson for many Democrats in how to grow a pair.
Paul’s defense of constitutional liberties is also deeply patriotic. I admire his clarity on our guaranteed freedoms, not the least of which is freedom from our government — habeas corpus, the 4th Amendment, etc. The heart begins to swell.
And there are times when D.C. seems such a morass of special interests and unprincipled ambition that the traditional Republican message of deeply limited government holds a seductive appeal.
I remember Hurricane Katrina, the darkest metastasis of the ideology those like Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater before him have given such an eloquent voice. New Orleans is where the sink-or-swim doctrine of hyper individualism and personal responsibility allowed many of our most vulnerable to sink — all too literally — beneath the storm surge.
There are the finer details of Paul’s platform — which comprises radical deregulation and a stark break from the international community. No Department of Energy, Homeland Security, Education or FEMA. No more U.N., NATO, WTO or NAFTA.
And it only gets wackier as you drill down.
Take this plank from Paul’s American Independence and Sovereignty platform:
NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system.
So there’s some Ron Paul substance — good, bad, and tin foil hat.
Now back to our regularly scheduled snark.