Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ron Paul of the Grand Old Party

Of the Republican candidates for president, I tend to most enjoy hearing from (for short periods of time) the amiable and likable yet delusional Mike Huckabee and the rather courageously crusty and even sometimes sensible Ron Paul. I have at least one friend who's parading his being "for" Paul, though as usual with this friend, his being "for" anything comes not from any conviction besides the desire to be as contrarian as possible.

And so, here we have two truly interesting candidates who are NOT party regulars -- and how different they are. One is 'onward Christian soldiers' while the other is 'soliders get home now.'

More on Huckabee another time. For now, I'll make a few sweeping comments regarding the new Ronnie, sort of a strangely fossilized Old World mix of Reagan and Noam Chomsky!

I think Ron Paul tends toward being very sensible about foreign policy, and the most refreshing thing about him is that he seems to be truly independent, not beholden to particular corporations -- and certainly not to the Republican Party powers that be. The media often marginalize candidates such as Paul, as the major media are mostly owned and shaped by vested interests intent on gaining audience share without rocking the boat too much. Paul shakes the status quo as he is not middle-of-the-road.

It is not that we should be isolationist, though, or libertarian at home. Paul is right to say we should not be bombing bridges, but he is wrong to not more comprehensively acknowledge that we need to be building more bridges. The world is too interconnected and interdependent for diplomatic or economic isolationism or for cultural or political libertarianism to seem reasonable. The future is more globalism and more cooperation and more partnership. If Paul could work this more progressive (and I feel politically and economically viable and indeed inevitable) world view into his own personal and political views, he might really get somewhere with millions more of us.


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