Yes Virginia, Ron Paul is a Kook

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Ha ha. I was just kidding in the last post. It got cut off because, um, my cat knocked over a power line and my neighborhood lost electricity for a bit. But we’re all good now! And I’d just like to say that Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful president a country could ever hope to have.

Anyway. As we all know, President Obama’s most dangerous enemy is Ron Paul, and it’s now my duty to tear him down so that his siren call of freedom will never reach the American people. So here you go: a fundraising letter “written” by Ron Paul in, I guess, 1991 or so. Question: what the hell is he talking about here? He’s scared, he says, by the government’s announcement of “New Money,” which could wipe you out and leave your family destitute.

Answer: as near as I can tell, he’s babbling about the introduction in 1991 of new currency designed to be harder to counterfeit. It made his skin crawl! The bills were tinted pink and blue! And they were being printed in — a nondescript building that has security measures and three-color printing presses!

There’s also some stuff about new federal rules requiring you to report cash transactions over $10,000, and I can at least understand a guy like Ron Paul having nightmares about that.

But new currency designed to be hard to counterfeit? That’s a totalitarian nightmare? You know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the fact that Ron Paul has a few good ideas doesn’t mean he’s not a lunatic kook. He is. He’s a lunatic kook who’s learned to speak in complete sentences1 and whose kookiness occasionally overlaps with the pet ideas of both left and right.

But he’s still a kook.

1In fairness, a lot of kooks have learned this trick recently.

UPDATE: More here. Much more.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

payment methods

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate