The Conscience of a Curmudgeon
by David Bardallis
Here is my
little confession to the world at large: Iím a Ron Paul supporter.
This might not seem like much in the way of a confession, but for
me it represents something of a coming out. No, Iím not some aging
red-diaper baby who has only now seen the light. Itís more like
a reawakening. Let me explain.
In my most
youthful and idealistic years I labored in the vineyards of conservo-libertarian
think-tankdom. They were not necessarily bad years; in fact, I met
lots of dedicated and wonderful people, most all of whom I consider
friends to this day. Together, we toiled tirelessly to produce studies,
reports, commentaries, and policy briefs full of logic and evidence
and reason explaining why this or that political or economic course
of action would yield the most desirable outcome in terms of justice,
prosperity, morality, decency, and simple human dignity.
I grew disenchanted with the whole project. It began to dawn on
me that we could churn out report after report warning of the malevolence
and stupidity of any given government proposal and extolling the
fairness and wisdom of the best alternative policy decisions Ė and
yet it would never matter. And the reason it would never matter
is because those to whom the studies, reports, commentaries, and
policy briefs were most obviously addressed did not care about things
like logic and evidence and reason. They were corporate media hacks
and politicians, and what they care about most is popularity and
power Ė things that only the most disordered of personalities place
at the pinnacle of their Maslowian hierarchy of needs.
In the years
since my exodus from "The Movement," as we used to call
it, Iíve (understandably, I plead) become a bitter, curmudgeonly
cynic on the subject of all things political. I decided my father,
who once told me he hasnít voted in any election since Nixon became
president and who believes all politicians are thieves and parasites,
is absolutely right. Like Dad, I do not suffer fools and their B.S.
gladly, with the result being that I cannot read newspapers or stand
watching even 30 seconds of any TV "news" at the risk
of my boiling blood greatly curtailing my personal longevity. Iíve
become a principled nonvoter and, in the process, annoyed some of
my friends and utterly baffled my girlfriend.
But I digress.
I met Ron Paul a few years ago, while I was still toiling in those
aforementioned vineyards. He was, just as he appears in his current
campaign, a warm, affable, sincere man who firmly believes that
what heís doing is in the best interests of his fellow Americans.
We spent some time together in a car driving to Hillsdale, Michigan,
where he was to give a speech at the college there, and it was a
wonderfully refreshing drive. In my life in think-tankdom, Dr. Paul
was far from the first or only politician I interacted with. What
he was was a normal human being who happened to hold a seat in the
U.S. House of Representatives. And as far as I know, to this day,
he is the only member of Congress to enjoy this distinction.
So when I say
Iím a Ron Paul supporter, I want it to register with as much impact
as possible. I hate politics and politicians. I hate the stage-managed
presidential dog-and-pony shows. Excluding public hanging, I have
never truly supported any politician for anything, whether Democrat,
Republican, Libertarian, or nebulous independent.
I sent in a donation to Ron Paulís campaign. Why?
In 2000, I
was convinced that Bush, Jr. vs. Gore might very well be the most
awful presidential election ever conceived. In 2004, I thought Bush
vs. Kerry was the worst "choice" ever. And now here we
are in 2008, and the terrible prospect of Hillary Clinton vs. John
McCain exceeds the capacity of the English language to describe
its truly monumental dreadfulness.
No, I donít
believe in electoral politics, and Iíd rather spend my time and
money on more personally gratifying endeavors, like any normal fellow
would, but I think that, after the last eight years of misrule under
the scion of a family of mediocrities, Dr. Paul might be the last
hope for America to recover some sense of itself as something other
than a retarded, belligerent, imperial suicide.
On the day
when I present my papers to the heel-clicking goon in a ski mask
demanding to know why I am leaving the land of the allegedly free
and the home of the selectively brave in favor of some tropical
island that does not have soldiers in more than 130 countries, I
at least want to have the peace of mind knowing that I tried. I
tried as much and as often as my circumstances and temperament allowed.
Ron Paul wonít
win the Republican nomination, but I donít care about that. I care
about the message the existence of his candidacy powerfully perpetuates.
And that message is, "Dear Corporate Politico-Media Complex:
I will not be told what to think or who to support, nor will I ever
again appear to approve of your vast criminal enterprise. Kindly
kiss my rear end, now that youíve been exposed to the entire world
for the evil phonies that you are."
If for nothing
else, I thank you now for this, Dr. Paul.
Bardallis [send him mail]
various frustrations on his blog.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com