He has remarkable stamina, he speaks to the point, he is unwavering in his adherence to the US Constitution, his defense of individual liberty, and his opposition to preemptive wars for empire.
And he is a man of courage. By reminding Americans of their rights under the Constitution, and by drawing their attention to the emergence of domestic tyranny and the cost of criminal wars of aggression, Ron Paul challenges America's bi-partisan ruling class in a way that invites an assassin's bullet.
Against all that, Ron Paul wears a remarkably ill-fitting suit, speaks less well than many a high-school principal, and lacks the chief elements of charisma other than courage, consistency and dignity under attack. What is more, his ideas about money seem distinctly out of date.
So who will Americans chose? Slick Mitt or the Black O'Bomber, trusty operatives in the implementation of global plutocracy and domestic peonage, or Ron Paul, the people's tribune, without powerful friends, a man who can expect to achieve little as president other than by application of the Presidential veto, a device used 414 times by Grover Cleveland, the President that Paul admires most.
Americans are not noted for their sophisticated grasp of political reality. For many, charisma is the thing. Give them a Kennedy or an Obama and they have a leader they will follow, however dark or dangerous or detrimental to their personal interest may be the the course upon which he embarks.
But Americans cannot be entirely indifferent to their private interests, which makes the candidacy of Ron Paul of more than academic interest.
He promises Americans a restoration of liberties and a tangible increase in freedom through elimination of the income tax. Abolition of the income tax is an unattainable goal, yet President Paul could surely be relied upon to veto inevitable proposals for tax increases.
More radically, Paul promises to decriminalize drugs, a proposal with profound significance for black Americans, who account for most of the one in 32 Americans under correctional supervision (i.e., one in three black Americans), the majority of whom were jailed for drug offenses.
On the downside to bringing the troops home and restoring freedom to Americans, the imperialist elite, both left and right, remind Americans, is the horrifying danger of a nuclear-armed Iran, or Syria, and of the continuing monstrous threat of Al Qaeda terrorism. The war for global empire plus routine state groping, surveillance and intimidation of the citizen, they assert, is America's only hope for security, or as the British said during World War I, this is "the war to end all war," for which, it is implied, all must be sacrificed.
Angelo M. Codevilla: America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution
JAY: Why does the “mainstream media” hate Ron Paul?
January 18, 2012: Ron Paul introduces legislation to repeal Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act
Patrick Buchanan: Ron Paul has authenticity