• • Why Ron Paul is still relevant
Gary Weiss, Salon Atheism |Atlas Shrugged |Capitalism | Sure, it’s insane for progressives to support a candidate who wants to turn back the clock on the New Deal and Great Society, as I pointed out a few weeks ago. But Paul has outsmarted us. He knows that dismay about Iraq and Afghanistan is strong enough to overcome any lingering doubts about his foreign policy views among a staggering number of people who’d otherwise find him repugnant. The solution, I think, is the same one that applies to the spreading influence of another extremist who has gone mainstream, Ayn Rand. What’s needed is not shunning but debate, and an understanding that his positions need to be viewed as part of an organic whole. Anyone who reads “Atlas Shrugged” knows that laissez-faire capitalism is just part of the Randian package. So are atheism and a lot of other concepts that people in the Tea Party don’t always recognize when they brandish those “Who is John Galt?” posters. It’s the same with Ron Paul. If you swallow his foreign policy, you guzzle down laissez-faire capitalism as well, whether you like it or not.