We Were All 56 Once
The other day, Andrew Sullivan asked an interesting question: Why Aren’t The Gays Attacking Paul? And while we won’t presume to let them speak for all Sodomite-Americans, it does seem to be the case that Sully, Dan Savage, and Glenn Greenwald aren’t troubled by the newsletters sold under Ron Paul’s name. At least not compared to the transgressions of the other Republican candidates.
Greenwald, while not endorsing Ron Paul, nails the reason why he’s even in the conversation:
Whatever else one wants to say, it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial.
And Sully asks why we’re even bothering with Ancient History:
I think the attacks on his writing over two decades ago — when attitudes toward gays and HIV were extremely different than today — is less important than his commitment to limiting government, at home and abroad, now.
Two decades ago? You mean the Dark Ages of 1991? Ron Paul, who is 76 today, was 56 then. Which, since we’re now 52, means we still have four years left of penalty-free public bigotry before it counts. Also, if anybody uncovers anything untoward that we said in 1991 — shit, we were only 32, and had barely been drinking legally for eleven years. Youthful Indiscretion.
The real argument among our fellow Civil Libertarians is that Ron Paul is the only national politician who checks the right boxes on their issues. Which is, as far as we know, true. We fully agree that it would be really nice if Barack Obama was as conscientious. It would also be really nice if Ron Paul was able to steer the national conversation toward those issues, the way Occupiers got everybody to shut the fuck up about the national debt.
But Ron Paul himself? Seriously? Just because he agrees with your favorite issues? You do understand that he’s running for Preznit of These United States? You know, Home of the 3 a.m. Phone Call? Finger on The Button? Turkey Pardoner?
Are you out of your fucking minds?
We might agree with Ron Paul on half his positions, but we’ve never seen reason to trust his judgment — and this was before the newsletters came up. It’s not that he’s a Libertarian — he’s a doctrinaire Libertarian. Which means — like any other ideologue, of any persuasion — he has no judgment at all.
Ron Paul isn’t principled — he’s formulaic. And we’re just not ready to let someone so alienated from his own humanity lead a nation of 312 million souls.
My take on Ron Paul v. progressive issues: imagine somebody who’s an ardent crusader against childhood sexual abuse. Then imagine they announce that their reasoning is that only blood relatives should get to have sex with kids…
Sullivan has withdrawn his endorsement, his vanity, however, remains intact.
I find RP to be the most dangerous among the present crop of stooges running to be the Republican nominee. I have come to think that he’s actively evil. By misreading and misrepresenting the history of the nation, by appropriating the idealism of the young in a way that recalls Nader at his nadir, and by his policy ideas which are simply insane, he does more damage than the half-wits, scoundrels, and liars – though I think his relationship to the truth to be highly suspect.
He’s a free-market man whose life has been provided by the public purse. When he wasn’t collecting a congressional salary he was spreading abroad outrageous lies about our government. During all his time in government he has accomplished nothing.
In the piece linked to above, Sullivan claims that ‘Hitch’ (name-dropping is never good) claimed responsibility for his mortal illness which proves something or other. Mr Hitchens may well have done that but I bet his contract with Vanity Fair provided him with a handsome medical policy and a generous pension.
I’ve read defenses of Paul on several gay news sites, usually written by younger men than I. Why they should do this is beyond me. To claim that he’s not as bad as the others hardly cuts it when one considers how bad the others are.
Peggy Ramsay, legendary agent of the most important writers for British theatre 50s-70s, once described one of her clients in terms that perfectly capture Sullivan: He’s middle-brow, middle-class, and middle queer.
Dr. Ron Paul, ever the old texas country doctor, weary of govment regs that require a standard of care now performs political quackery.
He’s an old Bircher who used to pass pamphlets to his patients before and after he diddled them. He’s a throw back to the red scare 50’s and 60’s.
@Benedick: I don’t understand the defense of Paul by the gheyz — he calls himself a libertarian but he still checks off three of the three Gs on the conservatard checklist (Gynnie, Gheyz, Gunz) and he is anti-gay marriage, against any sort of anti-discrimination laws, and wants to regulate women’s reproductive organs. Just because he says we should be able to spark a bowl whenever we choose and get out of Iraq doesn’t make him better. Two recent analysis pieces I read were hitting the points: Gerson in WaPo and Lexington’s take in The Economist.
@texrednface: How fucking desperate must a rural East Texas woman have been to stick her lady-bits in front of him to examine? The thought creeps me out as much as Sen./Dr. Tom “I sterilize the black and brown women” Coburn.
@SanFranLefty: These days the Paultards emphasize the OB. But news stories on Congressman Dr.Paul in the seventies clearly emphasize the GYN.
I was born in 1940 and raised as an army brat post-WWII, and the N-word was in regular use. I went into the army as a Field Artillery officer with the 101st Airborne in 1962 and quickly learned that some of my best NCOs were black, as were those in Germany and Vietnam. There were a few from there on who cried “prejudice” every time things didn’t go their way, but I learned to distinguish the differences. I treated the good people of any color or nationality as they deserved, and tried to ignore the few others by the time I was in my mid-30’s around 1975.
Ron Paul’s overt racism went on long past that. I learned; he didn’t. Fuck him.
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