Possibly the final installment. :_ | It's been a great run.
Over the last couple of weeks, as the conservative candidate dropped out, the Huckster fizzled out, and Rudy succumbed to inevitability, the frothing irrational derision of Ron Paul has subsided to a simmer.
Red State is a cross section of a certain segment of Republican voters who believe they are the base, and who do indeed make up most of that chunk. For that reason they're interesting to watch. Due to their above-average involvement in politics, they also react faster than the general public, which allows an observer to predict trends using Red Staters as a bellwether.
It's unlikely that Ron Paul could become nominee even in an ideal primary process. However, it's been disheartening to watch the semi-intellectuals at RedState being led around by the nose via propaganda. They also chose to reinforce their own echo chamber by blocking new Paul supporters from the site. That was probably a good decision, if indeed their reasons for it weren't exaggerated. Nonetheless that ban and the concurrent witchhunts reinforced the community's herd behavior.
Now the choice is between
a) McCain, an economically illiterate, moderate, decrepit, cranky old man
b) Romney, an opportunist with an unknown ideology, personality, and intelligence
So of course, many at Red State are realizing that Paul is and has been the best candidate on nearly every domestic issue, with the most fervent supporters and the best shot at tearing apart the opposition's base. It's not that many people wauld support him, if they hadn't spent the last three months engaging in various forms of assclownery. It's just that some of them may regret their totally irrational prejudice. Congrats, you're in the same intellectual boat as Moe the Troll-Stomper.
Much of the core of the irrationality comes from the large emotional investment that Red Staters have in the Iraq occupation. Since the anti-war crowd is a gaggle of human filth that probably deserve long stretches in purgatory, rational people as well as neocons have had to go to great lengths and put much energy into combatting them. All this time and effort have resulted in an emotional attachment to the war that's greater than it necessarily warrants.
Is there a murderous horde of barbarians plotting the death of America, freedom, Christianity, etc.? Yes. Will they succeed? No. It's utterly impossible. They can't build up the economic and social strength to defeat us without also changing their culture enough that they wouldn't WANT to destroy us.
Is the War on Terror important? Yes. Can we live without it? Most of us, yes.
The current slide toward decadence, nearly identical to Rome's, is the real issue. If we lose to Islam, it won't be because we were soft on terrorists. It'll be because we allowed our own society to rot from the inside. It'll be because Americans would rather laze around in tedious but simple jobs, protected by the social safety net, then go home and drink beer than to propel the economy forward.
As Henry Ford said in My Life and Work, what most people want is to avoid change. It's this desire coupled with government regulation that will lead to the end of the Pax Americana.
Ron Paul was the most likely candidate to throw a wrench into the machine, but the inertia of the semi-intellectual class wouldn't allow it. The same inertia blocked Thompson.
Here's a hypothetical question. If we pull out of Iraq starting in spring 2009, will Iraq collapse? Is that chance worth shortening the lifespan of our own country?
] I was just thinking that at this point, Ron Paul or Huckabee could still win the nomination by a landslide. It's only groupthink that proclaims a winner after 10% of the delegates have been cast. Of course groupthink is unbeatable. Just ask the crew of the Challenger. And the Columbia.