The Ayn Rand Dating Agency

who-is-ron-paul-president-2008

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.

24 Comments

  1. July 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Dearest Splinty, your political pet fascinations can leave me scratching my head. The Ron Paul phenomenon, seen up close and personal, is absolutely terrifying. It acts as gateway that connects vaguely disgruntled white people with the organized, ideologically committed far-right. Many of the movements regional (and national) leaders are old-hands of the established white supremacist groups, from the Council of Conservative Citizens (a revamped version of the Klan’s “political wing” from the era of armed resistance to the Civil Right movement) to Jared Taylor’s various project (American Renaissance, etc).
    The Ron Paul milieu has presented a fresh pool of fairly naive young conservatives for openly white nationalist forces to recruit from. Groups that organize against immigration from Latin America on white supremacist grounds find the Ron Paul scene an arena in which they can operate. This is the most active corner of the organized US white supremacist movement (for the movement’s intellectual wing check out vdare.com) and Paul rallies and internet forums are a space in which they can connect to a wider audience. Paul’s embrace of the Confederacy and his sympathetic treatment of the slavocracy has also made “traditional” racist-right forces feel they are welcome in the Ron Paul movement. From the most insane wing of the “9/11 Truth” movement (despite Paul not directly embracing them), to all variety of anti-Jewish conspiracy theorists, to neo-Confederates, to “direct action” anti-abortion militants (who drool over Paul’s fierce opposition to abortion despite being an gynecologist); the fringe right have been made to feel right at home under the Ron Paul tent.
    Check out a Ron Paul rally for a case in point: they are supermarkets of the white supremacist right! Dusty old Klansmen and George Lincoln Rockwell supporters who worried about passing the torch to a new generation now have hordes of spring chickens to fatten and cook. And I’m not just talking about isolated Nazi bloggers who never leave the basement, I’m also talking about highly active movements like the Minutemen who do in fact stalk, terrorize, and murder Latinos in the US southwest. And they show up at Ron Paul rallies with proud banners and out-stretched arms. They know they are amongst friends.
    I’m not sure what he looks like as seen purely from the internet or from other parts of the world. But there has not been a political candidacy that has embraced the white supremacist right as openly as the Ron Paul campaign since George Wallace ran in 1964 and 1968. The far-right anti-Obama/anti-immigration/anti-“socialism” backlash is very serious in the US and growing. Ron Paul’s movement has laid the ground work for this to an incredible degree.

  2. ejh said,

    July 18, 2009 at 8:25 am

    has to negotiate a minefield of complicated etiquette

    Everybody has to do this. Nothing to do with being a leftist as such.

  3. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 18, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Sure, everybody has a minefield to negotiate. It’s just that leftists have this propensity to add extra minefields of our own making.

    I’d like to thank Brad for his perspective. Obviously I don’t have much ideological sympathy for somebody who bases his politics on Hayek, Mises, Rand and Rothbard. I find the guy interesting because he’s such an unusual politician. And although I’m kind of glad we don’t have a Ron Paul movement here – I suppose Libertas would be the nearest equivalent – there’s a question of what the character of that movement is. I take the point that there are some similarities with the Wallace insurgency of old, but at the same time it looks quite different. Paul himself talks about his affinity with Goldwater. It just looks to me, from an overseas perspective, like a very strange, very American kind of movement that doesn’t fit easily into our established categories very well.

  4. Dr. X said,

    July 18, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. . .

  5. jp said,

    July 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Paul is a direct continuation of the old isolationist right, bad on race (since they only acknowledge ‘individual’ rights, very bad on immigration and abortion rights and things like social security but very anti-imperialist and would have pardoned all in prison for non-violent drug crimes. Would have been a huge, practical improvement over Obama since the good things he wanted to do, like end the war (as commander-in chief he could have directed his armies not to fight) and pardon prisoners, he could have actually done, while the other things he could not have acted on without congress. You want racism? look at Obama’s fathers’ day rants, or his speech to the naacp, or his Ghana speech. And if its the quality of a politician’s supporters you want to critique, try looking at Obama’s supporters – not the deluded left, but the supporters he has actually worked for (hint: it’s not all those dead afghans, or pakistanis, or palestinians, or iraqis).

  6. ejh said,

    July 18, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    You want racism? look at Obama’s fathers’ day rants, or his speech to the naacp, or his Ghana speech.

    Will you help us out with excerpts?

  7. July 19, 2009 at 2:50 am

    The problem with Paultardism is that it appeals to young dissatisfied middle-class whites on the basis of conspiracy theory – Paul’s essential theory is that there’s nothing wrong with glorious capitalism or the United States as a polity, it’s all the fault of those dastardly Fed bankers and a shadowy clique of “neocons” who have hijacked the Washington government. It’s cops and robbers, good guys vs bad guys, not dissimilar to any other petty-bourgeois radical movement where the problem is not the system, but a shadowy clique of bad guys. This isn’t fascism by any means, but it comes from the same place as fascism, Social Credit, UFO nuttery and similar fads.

    The nasty grey area where it overlaps with fascism is the idea that Israel, through their neo-con agents, actually runs the United States – which seems to be the hint that commenter JP is dropping in his last line above. All sober analysis of the real world would tell you that the opposite is the case, but that would mean understanding that the US capitalist class has a collective interest in keeping war going in the Middle East, without having to be manipulated by wily Jews.

    The question is: why is this kind of conspiracy theory and politics of resentment more popular than socialist politics? This is the same question that the SPD and KPD tried – and failed – to answer in the 1930s.

  8. ejh said,

    July 19, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I think this sort of paranoid viewpoint is particularly rife in the self-employed class and obviously extends to all sorts of people who even though they’re not in that position, aspire to it or sympathise with it. People who loathe their neighbours but can’t do anything about it, people who think their workmates are cheats, generally people who find themselves alone against the world. There is, as you say, a lot of it about.

  9. jp said,

    July 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    My comment was not “hinting” at all about Israel – the constituents Obama has best represented are, among others, financiers, the health insurance industry, arms manufacturers, and supporters (they have many reasons) of the imperial slaughter and neo-liberal subjugation projects, which, certainly, overlap with and include the ‘Israel-first’ crowd.

    Oh, he also has fully responded to white people who don’t want to believe racism is a problem anymore. Obama’s speeches i mentioned above can be easily googled – if i have time in the next day or two I may locate them for you – but what you will find is a chastisement of black families for their degeneracy (don’t give your kids cold chicken for breakfast), but torture? not an issue). Recall his statement ‘You know what would be a good economic development plan for our [black] community would be if we make sure folks weren’t throwing their garbage out of their cars’? And the gall to quote MLK and DuBois (!).

    My problem with the left analysis of Paul, much of which is accurate but over-heated, is its inability to hold Obama to any similiar standards. Maybe from Europe he looks good – but seeing the Paul people as some insidious force precludes the opportunity to connect with them through their anti-imperial instincts, which Obama supporters lack big-time. Give me a UFO believer anyday over a humanitarian imperialist.

  10. Doloras said,

    July 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Give me a UFO believer anyday over a humanitarian imperialist.

    Tough choice. The UFO believers are generally batty but not harmful to anyone but themselves and their immediate circle. In that regard, it’s like saying “I prefer eating gravel to poison”.

    Sorry for misreading a reference to der Ewige Jude into your last comment, but that kind of vague language is used by the anti-Semites who don’t want to be recognized as such.

  11. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Ben Watson, when writing of Zappa’s predilection for conspiracy theories, mused a little on whether conspiracism in the States was a cognitive substitute for the absent social democratic movement, in terms of generally powerless people seeking alternative frameworks to understand their world. Unfortunately Ben didn’t develop the theme, and I’m not sure if it would pass muster in Lobster.

    Speaking of which, Robin Ramsay is rather good in the latest Fortean Times on the Obama conspiracy theorists, who have been given a good venting in the British press by Mad Mel and Hitchens minor.

  12. ejh said,

    July 20, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I’d have thought it was a cognitive substitute for the largely-absent fascist movement, if anything. Although obviously (well, obviously to me, anyway) the US absence -and the decline elsewhere – of socialist and social democratic movements does tend to put more people in the position of feeling cheated and powerless and looking round for minorities and conspiracies to blame.

    Incidentally isn’t there something in Orwell about fascist periodicals being full of odd and occult stuff in the small ads?

  13. Dr. X said,

    July 20, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Yes, there is. It’s reproduced in the old Penguin Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters. He also notes that this went along with a nasty pornographic streak, like a cartoon showing Leon Blum in bed with his sister.

    As for the OP, I’m frankly flabbergasted to think that anyone would give a shitbag like Ron Paul the time of day. I didn’t know about the warm welcome he’d given the far right (as detailed in Brad’s post above) but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Did the comrades at Stalingrad die for nothing?

  14. jp said,

    July 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Doloras said: `Tough choice. The UFO believers are generally batty but not harmful to anyone but themselves and their immediate circle. In that regard, it’s like saying “I prefer eating gravel to poison”.’

    Actually, UFO belivers are not necessarily harmful to anyone. I kinow a few. Dennis Kucinich himself was called out for it during the presidential primary debates. The analogy should be “I prefer eating corn starch right out of the box to poison”.

  15. Dr. X said,

    July 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Let’s not forget the case of Jimmy Carter and the giant rabbit, while we’re on the subject of nuttery, American style.

  16. Nathaniel said,

    July 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    On stormfront.org Ron Paul was definitely the only candidate supported during my cursory checks during the election. Along with whatever that Florida wackjob’s name is, the full-on Christian right theocratic transitional programme one.

  17. ejh said,

    July 21, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Off-topic, but has our host been guest-producing Stumbling and Mumbling?

  18. andy newman said,

    July 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    “a cartoon showing Leon Blum in bed with his sister.”

    I didn’t even know that Leon Blum came from Wiltshire.

  19. Phil said,

    July 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I hear what you’re saying, ejh, but I think you’ll find the syndrome is well-established.

  20. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Great minds think alike. But if I was moonlighting, you’d probably get theology rather than maths as the redeeming social content.

  21. ejh said,

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Talking of theology, I happened today upon some evangelical Christian children’s entertainers who were getting their audience of three and four-year-olds to chant the words of Galatians 2:20. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.

  22. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 21, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I don’t know if that’s more or less disturbing than an audience of small children singing “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam”. No, possibly more. At least it wasn’t anything from Joshua.

  23. ejh said,

    July 23, 2009 at 5:19 am

    They were at it again yesterday evening.

  24. kensington said,

    July 31, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Ron Paul is likable but you do not have to agree with his views just because you like him.


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