The European Fascination With Libertarians

“That’s libertarians for you – anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” -Kim Robinson

Living in Europe, I get an interesting perspective on American politics. There’s the fascination with the two party system, a lack of understanding of the Tea Party, disgust at American foreign policy, and a weird love for Ron Paul.

I meet a lot of Dutch people who ask me why Ron Paul isn’t taken more seriously as a candidate or who tell me that if they could vote in the American presidential election, they would support Ron Paul.

At first, I found this love affair with Ron Paul confusing, after all, in the US, it is common knowledge that Ron Paul and his “Paulites” are totally insane and have completely broken with reality. Are the Dutch unaware that Paul supports returning to the Gold Standard, wants to withdraw from the UN, and opposes the Civil Rights Act?

In a word, yes.

The only picture of Ron Paul that the Dutch seem to get is that he was opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wants to withdraw from them immediately and he supports marijuana legalization. From that perspective, Paul seems like a reasonable candidate. In fact, on those two platforms alone, I’d support Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, with the good Ron Paul comes the crazy Ron Paul. Paul supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, doesn’t believe that sexual harassment happens in the workplace, thinks that states have the rights to enact anti-sodomy laws, denies climate change, and thinks that health care is a privilege you should have to pay for. He’s also radically anti-choice, going so far as to claim that he once witnessed “a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket” during a late-term abortion procedure. I consider myself radically pro-choice and I don’t like babies but if I was standing in that operating room, I would have thrown a goddamn fit.

I’m doing my part to enlighten the Dutch as to Paul’s problems, but it’s been an uphill battle so far.

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