A while back, I overheard someone on one of the Facebook political discussion groups I frequent refer to the Occupy movement as a “Ron Paul daisy chain”. This made me laugh, not only because it was a delightful turn of phrase, but also because it’s something which really defines the movement as much as anything.
This article points out that Ron Paul’s policies do not look any more like “Occupy” policies than, as James Thurber once put it, “the Metro-Goldwyn-Lion looks like Calvin Coolidge”. But no matter, Occupy has a special place in its heart for Ron Paul for two principal reasons. The first is Paul’s unreflective isolationist brand of pacifism, and the second is that despite actually being a Republican, Ron Paul is willing to pitch a “Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty of being politicians” line to people.
Both of those positions are really a species of one “anti-gummint” position that is impossible to square with the social commitments Occupy is presumably about. But Occupy doesn’t really care. It’s not really about those social commitments. It’s about attacking government.
Next time you hear Occupiers blast the political class, make a point to ask them what they think of Ron Paul. When the reverential hushed silence begins, can you then suggest to them that there’s something rotten to the core about a movement that can flip the bird to the mere “politician” Rep. John Lewis (a civil rights icon who could teach the world about successful civil disobedience) but has a warm spot in its heart for a purveyor of market fundamentalism like Ron Paul?