I somehow managed to write a 1,300 word column on Alex Jones recently without giving myself the kind of excruciating migraine that usually leads me to spend hours hovering near the sink out of fear that I'll need to throw up into it at some point. Jones has that kind of effect on me, simply by virtue of his insufferable insanity and his followers' mindlessly slavish devotion. So how do I cleanse myself after that kind of horrific experience? How do I give myself a tiny break so that I might be able to regain my own soundness of mind and recharge my drained psyche? Well, there's one way not to so it -- and that's to write about Ron Paul, the older, more seductively leprechaun-ish version of Alex Jones, but really a guy who may as well be Jones both in the conspiratorial nonsense he espouses and the sycophantic loyalty he inspires among the nihilistic hipster set.
For those who worship at the altar of Dr. Paul, go ahead and get your fingers ready to bang out angry screeds in the comment section in defense of your god, because, yes, I probably won't be able to help myself and may wind up purposely antagonizing you at some point over the next few minutes. I'll do this because there's a pretty good chance you're not a genius. Or you're high. Or both.
Thankfully, Ron Paul has zero impact on the actual U.S. lawmaking process these days given that he left Congress in a giant poof of indignation and self-pity last November, leaving us all with one final 48-minute-long rant about fascism, fiat money, the erosion of our civil liberties, "psychopathic authoritarians," and, of course, liberty! But despite his official departure from the hallowed halls of the institution he claimed to despise, it should have been abundantly clear that he wasn't simply going to stroll off into the sunset to dodder away his twilight years ranting at telephone poles about the dangers of functional government. Freed from the shackles of decorum, you just knew he was going to rip the gloves off and begin spouting whatever kind of insane horseshit popped into his brain in whichever direction he felt like. That's the attitude that led to his first post-resignation op-ed, subtly titled "You're Not Free If You Can't Secede from an Oppressive Government." And that's the attitude that no doubt led to the diatribe he threw together for his friend Lew Rockwell's website, a piece published yesterday called "Liberty Was Also Attacked in Boston." (LIBERTY!)
In the essay, Paul rails not against the two alleged terrorists who killed four people and maimed dozens more at the Boston Marathon bombing two weeks ago and during the manhunt that followed; that would be far too conventional. Paul instead, of course, chooses to aim his ire at the men and women who most of us felt were doing their absolute best to protect average American citizens as a couple of killers armed with explosives were on the loose in Boston: the cops. Cue the "police state" boogeyman:
"Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down. These were not the scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic, but rather the scenes just over a week ago in Boston as the United States got a taste of martial law. The ostensible reason for the military-style takeover of parts of Boston was that the accused perpetrator of a horrific crime was on the loose. The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself."
As usual, the various police departments and state and federal law enforcement agencies called on during extraordinary events like the manhunt following the Boston bombing aren't made up of actual people, dedicated public servants whose goal is to keep us all safe to the best of their ability. Instead, the cops are one big mechanized monster that's always a phony safety drill away away from subduing the public and instituting martial law in the name of facilitating the one-world government takeover. The authorities -- the people requesting that you stay indoors because there are potential terrorists somewhere nearby who've already proven that they'll kill a well-armed cop -- are the ones you really need to be afraid of. When the police instruct you to do something during a crisis situation in the name of trying to keep your ass out of the line of fire, you should immediately react with suspicion, lest you surrender your "precious civil liberties" -- like the right to do whatever the fuck you want, man! -- so that "the government can pretend to protect us."
The interesting thing about Paul's comically melodramatic lament about the dangers of us passive sheeple being led to the slaughter by government troops, is that it mirrors almost word-for-word the wailing and gnashing of teeth that came from the usual suspects within the liberal intelligentsia in the wake of the Boston manhunt. Falguni Sheth, a regular Salon contributor who I swear was engineered in a lab somewhere, she's such a perfect example of the perpetually outraged and alarmist left, penned a column not long after the search for the Tsarnaev brothers ended that bemoaned the "surveillance state" and the public's servile willingness to take orders from the police. In the fantasy world Sheth lives in, the fact that there are now cameras surrounding us almost 24/7 -- some institutional, some the result of our own social media activity -- had nothing at all to do with how quickly authorities managed to zero in on and ultimately neutralize the Boston bombing suspects. Like Paul, she thinks the real threat wasn't from the guys with the explosives but from the people we pay to protect us -- because, like Paul, the government is never, under any circumstances, to be trusted, no matter how many local citizens it may be made up of. If nothing else, the Paul/Sheth nexus proves that the political spectrum isn't a straight line; it's a circle -- and the two extremes eventually loop back around and meet.
Yes, state, local, and federal law enforcement shouldn't generally be given carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want and there's a reason they're the subject of constant oversight. But only the most delusional paranoiacs, the people convinced that they need to be heavily armed and have doomsday bunkers that are well-stocked for the coming rise of the NWO dystopia, would think that the police exercising special measures under very special circumstances for all of 15-hours is cause for panic. Most people would just say thanks -- and are saying thanks - to the cops for selflessly putting their asses on the line and for getting two killers off the streets.
By the way, the owner of the website Ron Paul wrote his piece for, Lew Rockwell? He used to be Paul's chief of staff back in the late 70s and early 80s and oversaw "The Ron Paul Political Report." That's the newsletter that Paul tried unsuccessfully to distance himself from that featured racist, homophobic, and conspiracist anti-government writings.
Tell me whose judgment I should really be questioning here.
In fact, tell me why I should give a damn about anything Ron Paul has to say.