Monday, February 20, 2012

Ranting Ron Paul in Idaho

I met Ron Paul in Friday. He was in town for a rally at University of Idaho's student center. I popped in to get a sort of anthropological sense of the event. Who would be there? How many people? What kind of rhetoric would Paul be spouting?

I stepped into the student center only to be greeted with a line of people waiting to get into the auditorium. What were they waiting in line for? The rally had already started. There was no chance that the people filling the auditorium would be leaving -- so what was the point of these people outside the auditorium standing in line? For a country that is remarkably selfish, I was surprised to see how these dumb people just stood around for no end. I walked right past the line to another entrance to the auditorium. I couldn't see Paul from where I was, but I could hear every word.

The place was packed. It was mostly students, but I don't know if that is because it was at a university, or because young people have been flocking to Ron Paul lately. The usual republican types were there -- the leather american flag jacket type, the collared shirt buttoned up to the top type, the old and racist-looking type -- but at least there were no corporate types. There were a decent amount of young student-types, and I couldn't tell if they were just gawking or supporters.

I like some of what Ron Paul had to say, mostly his anti-war policies along with his monetary policy. He knows it is expensive and reckless for the American military to go policing the world in our own interest. It is so rare to have a mainstream candidate spouting this kind of anti-military isolationism, and it is refreshing. I also really like his populist rants against the 1%. He knows that the reign of the monetary system in the country (and therefore the world) is over. The creation of fiat currency away from real value commodities like gold has been taken to an extremely abstract place. One where money doesn't really mean anything anymore since the idea of trading paper has been abused by financial investors for all of us.

But the flip side of Ron Paul's love for a gold standard is his love for true free market economics. Economies will not regulate themselves to do what is in the best interest of the common good. He thinks they will, and for this he is insane. He went on and on at his rally about how government is taking away civil liberties (which it is, NDAA), but governments don't necessarily do this. This reminds me of a few posts down when I added this Elizabeth Warren video from the Daily Show. Just because THIS government is corrupt and useless doesn't mean ALL governments are.

The governmental system in this country has most certainly already failed. It is not going  to fail, it has failed. That's for sure. The country is too big, too heterogeneous for a two-party system, too injected with capital to be any good for anyone but the already powerful. Yet, that doesn't mean that any government is necessarily bad. We need laws. Laws represent us coming together and agreeing that some things that people (or groups) do are not good for all of us.

Well, since I've given up hope that this country will turn around long ago, I guess Ron Paul is the best candidate for radical change. Even if his platform is really messed up in a lot of ways, at least we'd see some radical transformations under President Paul.

So, after the rally, I saw that Paul was exiting out of the side of the building. I quickly moved outside to the door where he'd be leaving. I was standing there alone. A crowd of a few thousand people and I'm the only one who thought to meet him at the exit? Hm, bunch of geniuses here in Idaho, I guess. I waited there casually as his security were covering the door, I pretended to be waiting for a friend and called Patrick.

He came out within a few minutes and I pointedly asked him if he would put the US back on the gold standard and get rid of fiat currency, something Max Keiser has been ranting about for a while now. I don't think he heard me, or thought I was crazy, so he kept on walking. Oh well. A moment alone with Ron Paul and I didn't even get him to do his little elfish gold dance. Dang.

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