Why Do Liberals Care About Ron Paul’s Goldbuggery?
~by Ryan B
Let’s call this a sequel to my last post, because it’s at least motivated by some of the same concerns. Short summary of that one: a lot of popular liberal bloggers seem allergic to the notion of discussing Obama’s failure to pursue anything like a liberal foreign policy, even after campaigning as if he would at least try.
The other side of this coin is that these folks are absolutely fixated on meaningless aspects of domestic policy. They are constitutionally incapable of saying anything about Ron Paul without mentioning that, did you know, he believes in some pretty wacky monetary policy.
Now, look. Let’s stipulate up front that Ron Paul believes some wacky things about money, the gold standard, the Fed, et cetera. Now explain to me – in short words, please – why I should care. What exactly are the chances that Ron Paul, if elected, would get his way on any of this? How likely is the US to return to the gold standard or abolish the Fed? (Get your cameras, math geeks, because this might be the first time the probability of something has ever gone below zero.)
So what is the issue here? Is it just that he’s wrong about something? I’m not going to endorse Kevin Williamson’s inane idea that what liberals really want is to make fun of people for being dumb, but that sure is what it looks like here, right? And how exactly is any of this wackier than any number of things the current president believes about the Drug War, foreign policy, farm subsidies, and so on? Short answer: it’s not, but those are establishment positions supported by enormous amounts of government money flowing into various pockets.
Anyway, to bring this all back around, the fixation on Ron Paul’s goldbuggery makes these guys commit some crazy errors in their analysis. In one of the posts linked above, Jon Chait notices that Paul beats Perry, Romney, and Bachmann 29-21-11-12 (respectively) among Republicans in the 18-29 year bracket. He follows up with:
Those crazy Republican kids just love Ron Paul… I have no doubt that whatever wizard powers Paul possesses to attract thousands of fanatically loyal followers to his bizarre paleoconservative goldbug platform will also allow him to still be campaigning for president well into the three figures.
No, dude. Just no. Do you really, honestly, think that what young Republicans find exciting about Ron Paul is that he believes weird things about money? Or might it have something to do with the fact that it’s a generation that grew up during the Iraq War (a war, I feel obligated to add, that was in part drummed up by Chait’s own supposedly liberal employer)? These kids have seen first-hand exactly what the insane foreign policy consensus has wrought, and the best you can do is talk about goldbuggery. This only makes sense if, as has been previously posited, you just don’t care about foreign policy.
Note: I need a term we can use to describe these people, so I don’t have to keep accidentally smearing every liberal (including, you know, myself) every time I write something about this. It’s too bad Professional Left has already been assigned to a bunch of non-professional leftists, because that one would be perfect.