When a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism is able, without really trying, to pull in a record haul of campaign cash on a day dedicated to an attempted regicide, it’s clear that a new and potentially transformative force is growing in American politics. That force is less about Paul than about the movement that has erupted around him — and the much larger subset of Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties’ soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels, whether it’s listening to phone calls without a warrant, imposing fines of half a million dollars for broadcast “obscenities” or jailing grandmothers for buying prescribed marijuana from legal dispensaries.
I am paying attention to how the guy is doing, and my wife and I have donated money. We’ll give some more before this election cycle is over.
Meanwhile, I try to keep a good sense of humor when I hear the Fox News bimbette of the day mocking my choice. After all, I am just as merciless in mocking all the “mainstream” candidates. And my guy has more money in the bank. You might have noticed his campaign commercials lately on Fox or one of the other talking head channels.
Why does he appeal? Ron Paul is the only guy who is promising less nannying, not more. Some of us want to feel as if we still make the important choices in life. Some of us want to be free of the banality of bureaucrats, or at least to be pestered less often and less harshly by the do-gooders who want to make us safe, dumb, fat and happy from cradle to crave all at someone else’s expense.