Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ron Paul, Reactionary Radical

The American Conservative's Timothy Stanley writes that "the most interesting thing that a Ron Paul biography could do is to unravel that paradox and explain how it fits into the grand history of American conservatism" and finds it in the book reviewed — Ron Paul’s Paradoxes. Mr. Stanley writes:
    The great Ron Paul paradox is that he sells himself as the most conservative Republican alive because he wants to take America back to a golden age of low taxes, no bureaucracy, and the sovereignty of the states. Yet his campaign has been anything but conservative. His supporters seem more like revolutionaries than activists, while his small-government philosophy signs him up to positions that can seem more libertine than libertarian—guns on planes, surrender in the War on Drugs, gay marriage on tap.
An important observation:
    September 11 turned Paul from a local curiosity into a national phenomenon. Strangely, the American left failed throughout the noughties to develop a consistent, compelling response to the Iraq War. It didn’t even feature as a front and center issue for the Democrats in 2008, when instead they debated the rather more trite question of who it would be more historic/cool to see as president: a woman or an African-American. Only Ron Paul—identified erroneously as a right-wing Republican—astutely and passionately articulated the case against the military-industrial complex.

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