Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein recently tweeted a link to an article disclosing the contents of Ron Paul’s investment portfolio. Evidently, Rep. Paul has invested 64% of his total investments in the stocks of gold and silver mining companies.
According to a Connecticut-based investment manager, Paul’s portfolio is “a half-step away from a cellar-full of canned goods and nine-millimeter rounds.” It protects against “unexpected inflation accompanied by a collapse in the value of the dollar.”
This could mean one of three things:
1.) Ron Paul is planning to tank the American economy if elected President and reap the benefits of his hedge against the system.
2.) Ron Paul has no faith in his ability to win the presidential nomination or election.
3.) Ron Paul has been watching FOX News.
Across the country, the heads of young voters are spinning from Rep. Paul’s populist views and marijuana decriminalization policies. Those heads might be interested in hearing the news of Rep. Paul’s investment portfolio, especially in the wake of America’s recently dismantled “welfare state” and restored capitalism. Federal and state legislation have focused on one thing this year: “taking the country back” (from what and to where, only the Tea Party can know).
So with all of this progress, how could a man who so vehemently believes in the ability of the free market and the engine of capitalism to police itself and generate efficient outcomes be simultaneously hedging against those beliefs? Perhaps America’s recent shift away from the dreaded “welfare state” isn’t, in Rep. Paul’s opinion, enough to stave off impending collapse?
Or perhaps there is a fourth alternative to what is going through Ron Paul’s head?
4.) Ron Paul is aware that the solutions to the problems created by unfettered capitalism and racism cannot be found in unfettered capitalism and racism (or even “race war”), and, accordingly, he is seeking to bring capitalism to its knees by unleashing it fully, thereby allowing for the establishment on the ruins of failed ideas of a socialist utopia for all future generations to enjoy.
Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking on my part…
In any case, to Rep. Paul’s credit, he has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to mask his proposed solutions to America’s problems as something other than what they are — the actual causes of America’s problems. And he does it more effectively than any other Republican candidate in the field, while simultaneously maximizing his populist rhetoric. To the undiscerning citizen, a candidate who espouses populist views is particularly alluring during perilous times. Barack Obama took advantage of this in 2008, and Ron Paul appears to be following the exact same script. In doing so, not only is he establishing himself as the “choice of a new generation”, he is, more ominously, also effectively propagating the capitalist worldview amongst an entire new generation of Americans.
Why is he so effective, and why is this so dangerous?
Apple Inc. benefited from something similar with the introduction of the iPod in 2001. Referred to as the “halo effect,” Apple’s entire product line benefited from the success of the iPod. From the consumer’s perspective, if Apple was capable of creating one excellent product, then surely all of their products were of equal quality. If Ron Paul can be so reasonable as to recognize the failure of drug prohibition and seek to repeal it, then surely his other worldviews are equally reasonable. The possibility of acceptance of those “other” worldviews — like strict adherence to objectivist/capitalist ideals, rejection of man-made climate change, or rejection of evolution (yes, by a man with an M.D. from Duke University) — in the absence of objective discernment could be a dangerous trend within the youth voter bloc.
Given the discombobulated world that we live in, it is no surprise that young minds are attracted to Ron Paul. Obama’s presidency can unfortunately serve as an example of the complete failure of the ideas of the “left”, despite the fact that Obama’s presidency has nothing to do with the left. His presidency can also represent a complete failure of the status-quo. Ron Paul’s position then appears as a “new alternative” in extreme opposition to the failure of leftism, rightism, and status-quo…ism. As a result, voters might seek to give this “new alternative” the opportunity to reign, despite the fact that every permutation of it has ended in travesty.
Sadly, the inability of the citizenry to identify what has been recently happening in this country as the product of capitalism is not a testament to its ignorance, but rather a testament to the ability of capitalism and its champions to effectively mask capitalist villainy.