Watching Ron Paul on the Colbert Report, I noticed something that has come to my attention before: Ron Paul is not the most articulate guy in the world. He’s far, far from a blithering idiot, he knows what he’s talking about, and he’s completely consistent in his positions, but often I feel that he doesn’t really manage to get his point across. Combine this with the very short time he has to speak in most interviews and debates, and there’s a very good chance for people to misunderstand his views, or simply not know what he’s trying to say. This has probably contributed to the perception (less prevalent this time around than in 2007–2008, but it’s early in the campaign season) that he’s a ‘kook.’
This isn’t a problem with Paul’s ideas, or his intellectual ability. When he writes, or reads a prepared speech, he almost always manages to say what he means to say (though I might wish for more nuance or explanation occasionally). He just doesn’t have a gift for powerful, charismatic, impromptu speaking. Well, neither did Jefferson.
What’s more, Paul suffers from the difficulty that his ideas, though largely shared by the Founding Fathers (and of course, many other people at the time of our Nation’s founding), are completely unfamiliar to the vast majority of today’s government-educated populace and therefore are simply impossible to explain in sufficient depth in a soundbite, and frankly difficult in an article or even a book that’s not specifically dedicated to that purpose.
So I’ve conceived of the idea of writing a blog that takes these soundbites and statements that Paul makes, and interprets them for a general readership. What, for instance, did Paul really mean that we should use “whatever the people want” for money, as he said in the Colbert interview above? Well, yes, but that idea simply makes no sense to most people, and needs explained. Also, he stated very clearly that he was against raising the debt ceiling, but did not get the chance to explain how there were other options than raising taxes or defaulting. These things deserve explanation.
So the intended audience for this blog is twofold. First, it is aimed at Ron Paul supporters, so they can have intelligent, clear responses when asked about this or that ‘wacky’ idea of Dr. Paul’s. Second, it is aimed at those interested in Ron Paul (whether that ‘interest’ is due to curiosity or hatred) and want to learn more about his views and their justifications.
Note, however, that I am not Dr. Paul, of course, and cannot speak for him in any definitive way. These are my explanations of what I believe, and believe that Dr. Paul agrees with me. If I’m wrong about that, I hope to be corrected.
I made myself a promise, months ago, that if Ron Paul ran for President again in 2012, I would devote as much time as I could manage to his campaign, in whatever capacity I could. As that’s looking more and more likely, this blog is my first step in that direction. However, I am not going to try to post an article about every speech or appearance Paul makes; that would likely be a full-time job, which I can’t afford unless I actually get paid to do this (on that note, feel free to drop some coins in the tip jar).
Enjoy! And if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me (flames and praise should go to blog comments, not email).