A liberal Democrat’s hearty defense of the Ron Paul phenomenon




Our nemeses over at the Liberal OC Blog – Dan C, actually – recently posted a lame litany of why liberals shouldn’t want Congressman Ron Paul to be President of the United States.  Lame, because I don’t really know more than a handful of us who would vote for him even if he did make it through the GOP primary.  It was mainly a wearisome list – cribbed from some Daily Kos writer – of federal Departments Dr. Paul would like to abolish if he ever had the chance.  Something that would maybe be in danger of happening if there were suddenly no Democrats in the world with half a testicle to rub together.  The local justification for the post was Dr. Paul’s visit next month to LA for the California Republican Convention.

For a blog known for missing the point, Dan’s piece really broke new ground.  Not being ones for nuance, I’m sure the boyz in blue will now imagine I’m showering Ron with praise.  But my point is those of us Democrats who are progressive – those of us to whom peace, liberty, and fiscal sanity are among the highest priorities – should be CELEBRATING the fact that the ineffable Dr. P’s message is resounding with so many Republican activists and voters.  This is a great and welcome sea change for the Grand Old Party, which we should encourage in a friendly way rather than MOCK just because Ron can’t win the primary.

I am saying that it’s GREAT news that ever-growing numbers of Republican voters – and even a few Republican politicians – are beginning to agree with us progressives that:

1.  It’s time for America to stop being a nation that is permanently at war.  This is much more than, as Dan reduces it to, “Bush’s war in Iraq.”  There hasn’t been a day in my life or Dan’s life that America hasn’t been involved in some war, whether overt or secret.  Our wars past, present and dreamed-of consume half our damn budget and are destructive to Americans, humanity, and other living things;  Dr. Paul addresses the issue with a knowledge of history, a critique of US imperialism, with empathy and respect for other peoples, and fiscal sanity … and the IMPORTANT thing is, this message of his is resounding with more and more Republicans and independents.  Do you remember how he schooled Rick Santorum on the history of US/Iran relations a few weeks ago?  (While FOX News hosts rolled their eyes contemptuously and the pinheaded Santorum compared him to Obama for “blaming America?”)  How many Republicans knew – how many Americans knew – that we’ve been at odds with that troubled nation since we overthrew their last democratically elected leader Mossadegh in 1953?

2 etc. The same with civil liberties. The PATRIOT Act, government surveillance, privacy. The failed Drug War and its offspring the Prison-Industrial Complex. Attitudes toward Muslims, gays. When have we progressives last had so much agreement on so many issues with so many REPUBLICANS? This is where fruitful coalitions come from, let’s not treat this new phenomenon with contempt, the way FOX News, the Republican Party, and the craven Lamestream Media do:

PS All right, on second reading Dan was responding to some Register editorial(s). (As though THAT rag was ever worthy of response…)


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.