Monday, January 14, 2008

The Five Stages of Ron Paul

I need to take a deep breath and admit my guilt to all of you.

I was a Ron Paul supporter.

You see, alongside and, in my opinion, inextricably linked to my atheism is my libertarianism. I subscribe to Reason Magazine, I read Radley Balko's blog, I own Radicals for Capitalism and, yes, I do like a lot of Ayn Rand's books. I believe that the highest ideal and virtue we can offer a man is liberty. Liberty in all areas social and monetary. I believe in Capitalism. I am against "The War On (insert whatever ideological war the government feels the need to fight)."

I believe Libertarianism is the political philosophy that best fits free thought. It teaches self-reliance, personal judgement and choice. It has taught me to think critically about what I'm being told and who is telling it to me. Thomas Paine taught me about freedom in the face of tyranny and Hobbes taught me about the inevitable decent into authoritarianism that most governments fall prey to. Ayn Rand taught me about philosophical materialism and objective reality. The most liberating thing I've ever read is something John Galt says in Atlas Shrugged. "I am the man who loves his life."

And, yes, I was ready to vote for Ron Paul.

Why? Well, Ron Paul seemed to be that candidate. He is against the war on drugs and the war on terror. He is for Free Enterprise. He votes "no" on virtually everything he can vote on. And I like that, I really do. But, I cannot any longer support Ron Paul.

Because of this and this and this. Because I can't remove the man from the vitriol. Because evolution happened. Because allowing racism in your name is tantamount to endorsing it.

And this has been difficult for me to admit.

Denial: No, no that can't be true. CONSPIRACY!
Anger: Who are these people trying to destroy my guy!?!?! Damn them!
Depression: Ugh, I think he really said those things. Why? Ron, why?
Bargaining: Well, I can still support the man because of his politics despite those things, right?Acceptance: Enough, Ron Paul. May flights of angels see your campaign to their rest.

So, there you have it. I offer a mea culpa and I beg for leniency. I am officially disavowing my support of Ron Paul.

Now what do I do? My number two, Bill Richardson, is out. The Republicans are a joke, Edwards comes off like an ambulance chaser and voting for Hillary would endorse the aristocracy that has had a stranglehold on the White House for two decades. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.

Than there is Obama. A man whose politics I hate but whose humanity I admire. Can I vote for someone who, on a personal level, I can point at with pride and say "That's our President" while disavowing his politics? That's a tough thing to do. As Larry David once said, "I'm in the muck, I'm trying to ascertain if there is any mire involved."

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

"Can I vote for someone who, on a personal level, I can point at with pride and say 'That's our President' while disavowing his politics?"

Isn't that what the Evangelicals did en masse in the 2000 and 2004 elections? :) Or more specifically, don't the Evangelicals ONLY care about the personal level and ignore the politics (as long as their blessed tax cuts are extended.)

Just Another Atheist said...


I think you're right. What a quandry. It's a political position. I'm voting for someone's views and not for them. Maybe I'll just abstain...sigh.