Tag Archives: Rand Paul

Ron Paul and his family

For as interested I was in Ron Paul during his plucky, unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid, I’ve been far less up-to-speed on his son Rand Paul, who stands a greater chance of winning and impacting American politics from a Kentucky Senate position.

That said, I loved reading about the family dynamics in this New York Times profile, and it reminded me why I respected Ron Paul even if I could never be confident that his policies would work at all on a national scale:

In keeping with their position as the First Family of Libertarianism, the Pauls of Lake Jackson, Tex., did not have many rules around their home.

“Behave yourself and be polite” is how Representative Ron Paul describes his regulatory philosophy about rearing five children. Mr. Paul, a Republican, and his wife of 53 years, Carol, never believed in assigned chores or mandates.

They did not give out allowances, which they viewed as a parental version of a government handout. They did not believe in strict curfews; Mr. Paul says that unintended consequences — like speeding home to beat the clock — can result from excessive meddling from a central authority.

I’m not a parent, but it’s hard to imagine any parent being strongly against the ideals of the Paulian parenting philosophy, in principle. So the implications of how the Pauls ran their family is a microcosm, perhaps, of how their policies might and might not work for the country as a whole: what works well in middle-class Texas (the NYT describes the neighborhood they’ve lived in, since 1968, as “where the streets are named for trees, flowers and fauna (the Pauls live on Blossom)“) may not be practical in Chicago or Fresno or New York City.

Still, I admire how Ron Paul strongly practiced what he preached: a conservative Christian who not only hasn’t been caught in sexual scandal, a military man who wants to cut the military-industrial complex, and a principled man who allows his intellectual principles overrule his personal moral proclivities. Does any other exist in our current political system?

This clip of him debating the War on Drugs on the Morton Downey Jr. show, a talk show that looks like how Jerry Springer would run the Newshour, is what piqued my interest in Ron Paul. If you watched it on mute, you’d think the smug, squarely-dressed elderly man was lecturing the crowd of angry, pot-smoking college kids on the dangers of drugs.

Quite the opposite:

The full segment of the show is just a wondrous thing to watch, entertaining, thought-provoking, and awesome overall 80’ness. Can you think of any contemporary U.S. politician being told, by the host, that he deserves to be puked on, and then called a white, elitist potatohead, and then respond by not only NOT walking out in anger, but in complete sentences with multi-syllabic words? (Chuck Rangel makes a cameo, but only by phone)

I don’t know enough about Rand Paul, or his opponent, to know who would be better for the Kentucky Senate seat (my first guess is that he doesn’t have the intellectual rigor and commitment and wisdom, yet, of his father)…but the thoughful, side-burns-styled Ron Paul of the 80s (who doesn’t seem to have changed much in policies since then) couldn’t be the worst thing this country’s had in its esteemed Senate.