Roger L. Simon

Ron Paul in the Land of Oz

Or I should say Ron Paul supporters in the land of Oz… but I’ll get to that in a moment.

The background is that Ron Paul has returned to the Pajamas Media Poll because the Presidential candidate got one percent of the vote in the most recent Gallup Poll. He immediately shot into the lead with … at this moment … an amazing 52%. And that figure is amazing considering Paul is going nowhere fast on statistically sampled non-Internet polls, sometimes making one percent and sometimes not. In the big world, he’s no Fred Thompson.

So who are these Paul supporters that are so devoted to their paleo-libertarian hero? [Full disclosure: I find Paul brain dead, as I do most ideologues.] They certainly are a feisty lot. When Paul fell below one percent for a couple of weeks, they wrote PJM tons of obscene email. I could quote a bit of it here, but this is a family blog. [I didn’t know that.-ed. Neither did I, but their emails are too boring to quote and most of them were deleted immediately anyway.]

But their obscenity is only one way the Paul people are out of touch. (Their repeated obscenity and abusiveness is not exactly the way to win friends and influence people.) They seem to think that organizing and bombing an Internet poll is a good way to get their candidate noticed and elected. (“Hey, guys, let’s all run down to Pajamas Media and vote like crazy.”) Well, maybe. And given Paul’s low standing on the national polls, they would have to do something. But attacking one poll in this manner is so obvious to readers – we get a stream of email now telling us to ban him altogether for the sake of the poll – that I cannot help but think it just turns people off. It does me.

Of course, psychological sophistication isn’t a hallmark of Paul supporters. Ideological purity is. More than most groups, they live deep in the world of theory, typing away on their computers with very little connection to the real world. In that way they are somewhat like their candidate – a man who, I confess, was not on my radar screen until recently – who seems to suffer from a kind of cognitive dissonance. When you listen to him answer questions at the debates, he never appears to answer directly. And I don’t mean that he spins in the way nearly all politicians do. He seems so lost in ideology he doesn’t quite comprehend. Can you imagine this man actually being elected and telling the G8 he wants to go back on the gold standard? I guess his supporters would applaud.

But obviously the last thing we have to worry about is Paul winning. And I don’t think his supporters really want that anyway. What they really want – and I think their behavior makes it clear – is the feeling of being right.