Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kooks & Loons

Our fair city has experienced a Ron Paul boomlet in recent weeks. Well, sort of. Depends on your definition of a boomlet. A few weeks ago, overnight, dozens of very homemade cardboard signs turned up on lamp posts around town. And when I say cardboard, I mean cardboard... As in cut up cardboard boxes.

Then, last night, I saw a group of Ron Paul supporters rallying. These folks had real signs. There were probably a half dozen of them.

What surprised me were their ages. Given that Ron Paul has the reputation of a semi-John Bircher curmudgeon, I would have expected the average Ron Paul supporter to be a 50 something white guy who is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. None of the people I saw looked to be over 35.

Now, I don't live in an ordinary town. This is a college town and college towns are pretty much divorced from reality. They are the sorts of places where you can find a kid reading a book by Noam Chomsky at McDonalds. Still, it was surprising to me. Of course, given that Ron Paul is a quasi-libertarian, maybe these were the Ayn Rand sort of college-towners.

Ron Paul isn't a serious candidate for the Republican nomination. Everyone knows that. Even One Note Andy's boycrush on him is more wishful thinking and amusement than anything else. Still, I think he serves a valuable purpose when juxtaposed with the rest of the party. Ron Paul isn't a kook or a loon, he's the entire Republican Party from as recently as about 40 years ago.

Just goes to show you that yesterday's mainstream is today's fringe and vice versa.

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