Memo to His Young Fans: Ron Paul is OLD AS HELL

I don’t mean old in years, because look, Jimmy Carter is 457 and I think we should run him again tomorrow. Also being old is not a guarantee that one will be a racist, homophobic moron. One of my least favorite things is the idea that you have to attain a certain age to hold an opinion, and that once you hit 40 everybody’s Republican, and nobody younger than 25 knows anything at all about taxes or responsibility, or similar forms of reductive, ageist bullshit. I meanold in thinking, old in the world he inhabits, and old in his approach to people with whom, as a politician, he will most certainly have to deal:

He is what I would describe as “out of touch,” with both Hispanic and Black culture. Ron is far from being the hippest guy around. He is completely clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture. And he is most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence, (as are a number of Americans, nothing out of the ordinary here.)

[snip]

Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era.

Cole takes this all to mean that Paul actually is a racist, homophobic anti-Semite, and while I certainly wouldn’t argue those, I would say a larger problem that this letter reveals is that he is, like lots of people once favored by a power structure, totally out of his depth when it comes to life these days, and what’s more, DELIBERATELY out of his depth.

Which wouldn’t all be a problem for him if he wasn’t running for president, after all. One can be a racist, homophobic, anti-Semite in the ways the above letter defines and have lots of friends and live in a town and do a job and live what is deemed by society to be a reasonably respectable life. So long as you arrange things such that you have minimal contact with anyone who is not like you, you won’t ever be unhappy and thus will have no reason whatsoever to learn to deal.

Every single person reading this knows ten people like this. It’s just they usually confine their clueless pondering about why those black kids don’t pull up their pants and why all those homeless don’t get jobs and why men would ever want to kiss other men to embarrassing the younger relatives at the family party, instead of putting themselves in the position of having to decide on policy that concerns those about whom they know nothing on purpose.

That the world doesn’t work like this anymore, that it’s so much easier to be exposed to information about people different from ourselves and thus grow and change and push each other, that makes anyone — of any age — tolerant and curious and young, intellectually speaking. And anyone who doesn’t want to come along might as well be a fossil.

A.

7 thoughts on “Memo to His Young Fans: Ron Paul is OLD AS HELL

  1. Archy says:

    Yes, thanks for that emphasis on DELIBERATELY.
    I’ve always thought that R Paul (I kinda like how it sounds like Ru Paul) has a very juvenile outlook on the world and life. No real difference from Ayn Rand. So I can understand some of the appeal to younger people.
    We all may be rich with preconceived opinions and our blind spots, but being aware of our limitations and biases should be one of the things that “adult” is about. I still remember that being a teenager meant (pretty much) buying into the concept of “immortality”. These days, eh…not so much. Plus, 100 miles around home seemed to define the world.
    But, to know that there is so much else “out there” and to purposely ignore it…
    No excuse.
    None.

    Like

  2. MapleStreet says:

    From an extremely homogeneous Midwest rural area, it seems to me that Paul is extremely popular here. He represents the days when life was so much simpler. Before you had to deal with anyone who was any different and was in an occupation other than agriculture.

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  3. MapleStreet says:

    Archy,
    Wonder if Ayn Rand represents a capitalist equivalent of the Nietchian superman?
    Of course, his ideas led right into the Third Reich whild the Ayn Rand ubercapitalists of the 30s gave praise to the Nazis, euthanasia, etc. (e.g. – Ford had several German anti-semite propaganda printed in English). And could the same theme lead to capitalist excesses?
    Nietzsche is a lot of fun to watch young people read as the ubermensch idea is so appealing to them. But leads to conclusions that are so far removed from their church upbringing. But of course, the Bible says we are a little lower than the angels. But differs from N. in that N. advocates grasping superiority while most churches teach living in subordination to greatness.

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  4. Jo says:

    I was most appalled at his unwillingness to use the bathroom at a gay person’s residence. Did he think he’d catch “teh gay” from a toilet seat? For cryin’ out loud Ron Paul is/was a freaking gynecologist for years before he became a political shill. Does he really, really think sitting on a gay person’s toilet seat will “turn him gay”????
    We really want this level of stupidity in the White House? Oh wait, don’t answer that…yes the tea-partiers appear to. They are obviously looking for the stupidest human they can find to be President because it will make them feel so much better about themselves.

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  5. pansypoo says:

    gringrinch is grinch + paul in scrooge.

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  6. delagar says:

    Like Jo, the bathroom thing was the bridge too far for me. It shows a level of deliberate ignorance that’s beyond “I’m just an old country fella” and way far into bigoted asshat land. Reminds me most of the white folks who insisted on separate bathrooms and water fountains and lunch counters back in Jim Crow times. It’s not germs, exactly. More of a purity issue.

    Like

  7. Interrobang says:

    How can you know about the contents of his newsletters and still be able to say “Well, maybe he’s not really a racist, anti-Semitic, screaming homophobic, misogynist bigot, he’s just old and out of touch…”?
    Also, being old and out of touch doesn’t make being bigoted okay. It makes it more understandable, but it doesn’t somehow suddenly turn bigotry into quantum bigotoid particles or something. If it acts like a bigot, it’s a bigot; I really don’t think “intent” matters all that much, unless the person is willing to step up and say, “Yeah, I’m sorry, I fucked up, I said/did these things that were wrong, and I want to fix it.” None of which, incidentally, Ron Paul has been willing to do. He went from openly admitting he wrote the newsletters back in the 1990s to doing his quasi-Reaganesque “I had no ideaaaa” schtick now. That’s theopposite of admission, contrition, and remediation.
    The guy’s a scumbag and he hates gay people so much he won’t even use their bathrooms. What part of that is actually hard to understand? He’s also old, but so are my astonishingly tolerant elder relatives, so that part is basically irrelevant.

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