The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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An open letter to Congressman Ron Paul

Dear Ron,

The last few years with you have been great. Well, that’s not entirely true. But the first year certainly was exciting, moving and a little bit dangerous.

The moment I saw you, I knew you were the one. You were the bad-boy of the Republican presidential field, emphasizing the importance of a national government limited by the Constitution and calling for a withdrawal from Iraq in a party obsessed with talking macho. I’ll admit, some of your views were a little wacky (what did you have against the United Nations, anyway?) but it felt risky, and yet a little bit safe, watching you stand up for those things.

I will always have fond memories of the time I heard you speak at the University of Minnesota. It was the only political rally I’ve ever been to when the crowd started chanting, “Laissez-faire;” not as catchy as “Yes we can,” but much more specific and, to me at least, just as inspiring.

I followed your campaign religiously and celebrated your successes as if they were my own. I checked the new poll numbers whenever they came out. When you almost won in Nevada, it set my heart aflutter.

In the end, you lost the nomination. It’s too bad, because it would have been great watching a politician versed in Austrian economics take on a big-government liberal in the midst of this recession. You would have offered a far more comprehensive and coherent, although not politically feasible, alternative to Obama’s neo-Keynesianism than John McCain ever could. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Even though you didn’t win, you did a lot of good. Your strong showing in several key primaries, your grassroots band of devotees, your forceful articulation of a “campaign for liberty” reminded people that there’s an option other than tax-and-spend liberalism or don’t-tax-but-invade conservatism. There remains in this country a vocal minority dedicated to small government, responsible spending, and constitutionalism.

I also gave you the ultimate sign of devotion. You were my first presidential vote. That’s the kind of thing a guy doesn’t just hand out to any Fred, Mitt or Rudy.

Things started to go downhill from there, though. You kept acting like you still had a chance, even though McCain had the nomination sewn up. You became a caricature of yourself rather than rest content knowing you’d fought the good fight. When you showed up in “Bruno,” I was embarrassed for you.

This is my way of saying it’s over between us.

So stop calling me. Please. If I get woken up at 8 a.m. one more time by a phone call asking me if I’d like to join the Campaign for Liberty, I’m going to smash my phone into pieces. And stop calling my family, too. I gave you their numbers as a joke, but if they get one more phone call early in the morning they’re going to smash me into pieces. Seriously, it’s getting a little pathetic.

I don’t know how all those anti-tax, pro-gun groups got my e-mail, but I have an unfortunate feeling it might have been from you. So I’d also like it if you stopped giving out my personal information.

It was a fun ride, but I need to move on. To tell you the truth, I’ve found someone new. He’s smart, funny, compassionate, and, well, the president of the United States. He’s not you, but he’s a pretty cool guy. I’m sorry.

With fondness,

Nat

Nathaniel French is a junior theater studies major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected]

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