Maybe, like me, you’ll have fond memories of the fine film Reds, focussing on the relationship between John Reed and Louise Bryant, or the even better take on love and revolution in Margarethe von Trotta’s Rosa Luxemburg. Some critics, including myself when in a dyspeptic mood, will charge that these movies sacrifice hard politics on the altar of the romantic story. This is probably unjust, because I certainly wouldn’t go to see a film consisting of three hours of Warren Beatty speechifying – there has to be some drama, after all. And there’s an essential emotional truth in the way that people thrown together in a great cause will often form intense attachments to each other, the personal and the political reinforcing each other.
Mind you, there’s probably a lot less of this on today’s left than there used to be. This would be thanks to the pervasive influence of political correctness, which means your right-on socialist has to negotiate a minefield of complicated etiquette, if he wants to signal his interest in a female comrade without appearing to be a sexist git. And even the initial challenge of getting one’s leg over pales into insignificance compared with the ideological demands of sustaining the relationship. How, for instance, is a right-on socialist supposed to ask his partner if she fancies doing it doggie style?
You: You know, we’ve been doing it in the missionary position for months, and it might be nice to try something different. Would you mind awfully turning over?
Her: Whaaat?! I’m reporting you to the Central Committee, you misogynistic pervert!
But while the hip and happening left provides comedy fodder, the Old Right provides a heart-warming story of couples brought together by their devotion to an ideological crusade. And, in the annals of matchmaking, there can be no matchmaker more unlikely than US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX). According to the Washington Post, many of those who rallied to the veteran libertarian’s presidential campaign last year are now pairing off:
For anyone who doubted it, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the libertarian phenom of the 2008 presidential campaign, is a lover, not a fighter.
And he’s spreading love far and wide across the Internet, albeit unwittingly.
Paul is the inspiration behind a new online dating site called Ron Paul Singles. “We put the LOVE in Revolution,” the Web site proclaims.
It works just like any other online dating service. Plug in “man seeking woman,” “woman seeking man,” “woman seeking woman,” “man seeking man” or even “couple seeking (fill in the blank)” and you’re instantly shown the potential opportunities out there in the land of Ron Paul Love.
We asked Rep. Paul a few questions about the site via e-mail, including whether he ever imagined that he’d spur an entire online dating community built around… well, himself.
“Well, I never thought I’d speak to crowds of 5,000 college kids chanting ‘End the Fed’ and burning Federal Reserve notes, so I guess nothing surprises me that much anymore,” Paul wrote back.
The neophyte yenta said he didn’t know who was responsible for creating the Web site but “I suppose it’s all about Freedom bringing people together — spiritually, politically, and now, romantically.” And he encouraged any of his single friends who “want to meet a great lover of liberty” to sign up for the Ron Paul Singles dating services and give him some feedback on their experiences.
Roll Call newspaper reported on the Ron Paul love site in its print edition today, dubbing the congressman, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist, “Doctor of Love.”
Paul’s office declined to speak to Roll Call about the dating site, but he told the Sleuth he kind of likes the new nickname. “It’s got a nice ring to it — I’ll bet my wife will like it better than ‘Dr. No.’ And, I’ve always been sympathetic to the slogan ‘make love, not war.’”
The Web site gurus say they’re still waiting for their first real success story. But one customer has had a promising experience thus far, writing: “What initially started out as something to relieve a little boredom and to have some fun turned into one of the most beautiful experiences… I met the most amazing man on your site, it’s still fairly new but I knew from the moment I saw his eyes, (the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen) that he would take me to a place I’ve longed to be and bring back my smile forgotten.”
Rep. Paul is even responsible for making love happen offline.
Just last weekend in Las Vegas, at a regional conference of the grassroots lobby group Campaign for Liberty, of which Paul serves as honorary chairman, two young activists who went to hear Paul speak met and fell in love. And then some.
According to Jesse Benton, the senior vice president of Campaign for Liberty, the lovebirds, Brooke Kelley and Chris Kopack, met at 2 p.m. on Friday and went to a Vegas chapel at 4 a.m. on Saturday and tied the knot. “We wish the happy couple all the best,” Benton said.
If he runs for president again in 2012, seems Ron Paul has a ready-made campaign slogan: Got Love?
Regular readers will know that I’ve long had a soft spot for Dr Paul’s quirky mix of Austrian economics, strict constitutionalism and anti-imperialism. Even when I disagree with him, which is often, he always has something interesting to say. And he is also accomplished at putting the heebie-jeebies up the GOP establishment, to the extent that they are having to turn to the wingnuttery of Sarah Palin as a bulwark against the libertarian menace.
But this has thrown me a little. Ron Paul the politician of iron principle, we know. Ron Paul the scourge of the Federal Reserve, we know. Ron Paul the medical practitioner, we know. But Ron Paul, the doctor of love? A dating site being inspired by a man who at present is most prominent for his unwillingness to date a certain Austrian fashionista?
But why not? There’s a certain off-the-wall charm to the idea. I would certainly say that a resourceful writer could turn this into a pretty good comic novel.