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The Future of the GOP Is Ron Paul?

The point isn't who he is, it's that he's catnip for crazies.

by
Frank J. Fleming

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May 5, 2010 - 12:00 am
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It’s a good time for a reemergence of conservatism. Liberalism has discredited itself by trying to govern and passing hugely unpopular legislation, and the opportunity for the right to strike back is coming this November.

Thus conservatives are looking for someone who can lead us to victory and small government, and one candidate in particular has emerged, winning the CPAC straw poll in November and falling just one vote short of winning the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll last month.

Of course, I’m talking about Ron Paul.

Yeah. Him again. Just when we thought it was safe to once again have an inconsequential poll, here come the Ronulans to try and snatch up a pointless victory. Yeah, okay guys — all the online polls and text polls Paul won back in 2008 didn’t convince me Ron Paul had any actual support, but now I think it’s for real. That was sarcasm, by the way (I don’t think a lot of Ron Paul’s supporters understand sarcasm), but sarcasm aside, I argue that if we’re smart, we’ll invest the future of the GOP in Ron Paul.

So who is Ron Paul? I don’t really know. I think he’s like a representative from Texas or something who thinks gold is shiny and wants to follow the principles of George Jefferson. The point isn’t who he is, though; it’s that he’s catnip for crazies.

I remember I first heard about him when PJ Media took a poll on who the Republican presidential nominee for 2008 should be. Ron Paul won handily. I had never heard of him, so I deduced that his followers must be a bunch of crazy people. If you’re wondering why I’d jump to such a conclusion, it’s because if an unknown makes a big showing in an online poll, he must have a lot of over-enthusiastic supporters. And I’m from a generation that equates genuine enthusiasm with stupidity and insanity.

Now, that’s sort of a problem — it’s nice to unironically enjoy something every once in a while — but my instinct was pretty on the nose here. Pretty soon after the poll, Paul’s followers were like Beetlejuice; you just said “RON PAUL!” three times anywhere on the internet, and out of nowhere people would appear to tell you how Ron Paul was the only one who could save America.

And these were the thickest people you’ve ever encountered; it was just impossible to make them understand how off-putting their over-the-top love for an odd little man from Texas was. They’d just come at you with the supposed Gandhi quote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Which is a stupid quote; I make fun of chimpanzees at the zoo, but that doesn’t mean that next I’ll be fighting them, and then Planet of the Apes will happen for real. Still, there was no reason to get too angry at dense, silly people, but then I started to realize how many of them are white supremacists, anti-Semites, and truthers — basically everyone the MSM likes to pretend the tea partiers are — and my patience started to run very thin.

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