A columnist for the HuffPo has some opinions on the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He’s not a big fan.
He makes some good points about the right-libertarian idea of “liberty” in the US these days, and his description of the Ron Paul meme as a “shibboleth for nihilistic hipsters” is possibly a stroke of genius. And yet there seems to be a point being missed here.
The repeated refrain of “But, you know, ‘liberty!'” is used to point out the ludicrously oppressive inequalities which would in fact result from some of Paul’s proposed “libertarian” policies – widespread discrimination based on ethnicity and gender, deregulation of business allowing the richest to screw the rest of the country even more than they already have been, and so on.
But, you know, liberty is meant to be a good thing.
The right-libertarian ideal might not provide as much of it as it claims in theory, but don’t let’s start acting as though the cry for greater liberty and less authoritarian oppression were itself a sign of foolishness.
The writer of this article explains why Ron Paul’s supporters are deluded to think he has any hope of getting anywhere with this election:
The reality is that our political system has remained relatively intact for 224 years because most people, despite their gretzing, are actually comfortable with the continuity it provides. If voters were as militantly anti-system as they claim to be in anecdotal conversations, they would elect more incumbents and fringy third-party challengers.
I guess I agree with that, about people being generally more complacent and less enraged by the current system than it sometimes seems. Maybe the difference is that I don’t find that comforting.