Apparently, Ron Paul has a devoted following on the intertubes.
The risible candidacy of this long-shot no-hoper has managed to actually rack up impressive fundraising numbers with a one-day online take of over $4 mil. His supporters, addled and simple in their passion, open their wallets and dump cash and time into a campaign whose chances for actually winning even one caucus or primary ranks him up there with Dennis Kucinich, Tom Tancredo, and others whose candidacy dreams rank up there with defeating menacing windmills.
Those cash numbers actually provide Paul with a bigger warchest than "mainstream" and "serious" candidates like the so-delusional-he-needs-to-be-medicated John McCain. This is, in fact, the second time Dr. No's fundraising has whipped up on the diminutive Arizona Senator who makes his bones pretending to be a maverick. Easily at the head of the third tier, Paul and his foolish supporters continue in the ultimately futile pursuit of an office clearly out of grasp.
Not only are Paul's elective prospects only marginally better than my own, his chances of ever pushing even a scintilla of his campaign promises are likewise minuscule. You could put the Hubble Telescope inside a duplicate Hubble and get a better view of the White House than Paul has – except as a visitor.
Consider the sheer lunacy of a candidate running on abolishing Social Security, perhaps the single most popular government program in the history of the United States. As much as this remains a Republican/Libertarian dream, short of armed revolution and the establishment of an anarcho-capitalist junta, this simply is just not going to happen. But that doesn't stop the true believers. Paul, of course, doesn't quite come out and say this because it's political suicide, but his plan to "cut payroll taxes and give workers the opportunity to seek better returns in the private market" is merely the right wing's latest trickery to achieve this goal. Why, if we stopped funding Social Security, do you think that would cause solvency issues?
He might find more support, at first blush, with his proposal to eliminate the federal income tax. This, of course, would make today's budgetary problems look like losing a five dollar bill in a bar. The Washington Post calculated that this would leave a $1.1 trillion dollar shortage. (Granted, his position on getting out of the Iraq War would go a long way to making some of that up.)
Instead, however, Paul and his gibbering boobs advocate eliminating FEMA (because its absence in the first few days after Katrina soooo improved that situation), doing away with the Department of Education, the Federal Reserve, and generally speaking just about any federal agency.
But, he would make sure keeping out Mexican immigrants out of the country remained a priority, casting his vote for the Secure Fence Act. Indeed, a great deal of Paul's support comes (and has historically come) from a number of white power organizations like Stormfront among others. Paul has a bit of a history toying with and failing to repudiate his support from racists.
Amusingly, he'd get us back on the Gold Standard – a position only supported by the crackpottiest of economic schools, the uber-minority Austrian assholes. Any number of bizarre schemes and justifications for this are proposed, almost universally rejected by a range of economic experts, such as fewer wars being fought when we were on the Gold Standard and the mistaken notion that "hard currency" is intrinsically more valuable than paper money.
Which is probably why Paul remains an ardent supporter of the widely and wildly misunderstood Second Amendment. You'd need all the guns you could horde if you were ever so unlucky as to find yourself in a society run by libertarians.
While Biblical fundies are ridiculously easy to mock, Paulloids are somewhat savvier and try to bury one in Austrian Economic school doubletalk and hypotheticals which will never occur. A memorable exchange I had with one was how he challenged me to name another candidate willing to end the War on Drugs and provide blanket pardons to the over 400,000 black men in jail for non-violent drug crimes.
While I'd just as much like to see such things happens, Paul is not going to be elected king any time soon, and much of the responsibility for the War on Drugs does not lie in federal executive powers anyway, but is based on a series of legislative moves by Congress as well as state and local authorities.
I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm sympathetic to a great number of Paul's civil liberties positions. I too would like a rollback of nanny state intrusions into my private life and the private lives of American citizens, but the idea that this logically extends into yanking away the social safety net that protects the poorest of the poor is not only silly but mean-spirited, malignant, and selfish to a degree not seen since the Gilded Age – which would probably please Paul and his Gold Bug ME-First advocates to no end.
Seriously, the dude's name? I mean, you're joking here right? This is April Fool's Day? No? Seriously?
Well, here's your relevant quotes:
Federal agents, in a move that could have an impact on the presidential race, raided the Indiana office of the issuer of a private currency known as the Liberty Dollar — and seized tens of thousands of coins bearing the likeness of a presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul.
Mr. von NotHaus, a supporter of the presidential candidate, said he put Mr. Paul's image on the dollars to raise attention for the candidate. An eclectic nationwide crew of libertarians and coin enthusiasts exchange the coins.
I have the laziest fucking commenters on the globe. Nuts to you folks too. Show a kid some love. Or else Ron Paul will kill a puppy and eat its heart.