Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ron Paul: Father of the Tea Party

This is probably the wrong way to do a book review, but I’m going to let the cat out of the bag: this is a really good book.  It is such a good book that I tracked down Jason Rink to let him know what a good book it was. In the ensuing conversation, he explained to me that he wasn’t the sole author although his name is on the cover. The book was a collaborative effort between him and 20 other people.  They all did research and wrote their own sections of the book, which originally appeared as Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas.  For the updated edition, Jason Rink then was tasked by the publisher with melding all this together to make it more coherent and readable and for that, his name was put on the front cover, but he feels like it’s not his book, and he insisted that in my review I mention that the 20  other people  mentioned in the Acknowledgments section deserves as  much credit as him. So there, I said it.  Now on to what a good book this is.
  I don’t know of any ‘authorized’ biographies of Dr. Paul, but this book, which bills itself as ‘the unauthorized biography of an unauthorized politician’ will be a tough act to follow.   There was so much in this book that I did not know, and I thought I knew quite a bit. In this book you see the man himself being shaped.  You see young Ronnie as a farm kid in rural Pennsylvania, one of 5 kids. You read of the Paul as an intern being forced to watch an abortion, and the impression that made on him. You read of Dr. Paul the fledgling obstetrician, whose practice had two rules; no abortions and no federal money.   Rink and company gives us insight into the  kitchen table discussion that  resulted in Ron Paul’s first venture into politics, and of the concern for  sound money that  fueled it, and then his defeat at this  first venture.
  What makes the book (which ends in  late 2011  just as  my book is beginning) interesting is to see once again Dr. Paul's consistency shine through. For example, his first campaign slogan was 'Freedom, Honesty, and Sound Money', which  could have easily been recycled  as his last campaign slogan.  Also as a consistent thread through his life  has been his willingness to take on his own party, and their willingness to  sideline, marginalize and ignore him.
  I was shocked to learn that the GOP had on more than one occasion  backed Dr. Paul's opponent in the primary races as a way to strong-arm him into  toeing the party line on foreign policy.  They also pulled  many of the same shenanigans in  his 2008  Oval office run that they did in 2012. It's the same cast of power hungry neocons over and over again who would put pressure on him over and over again to  compromise like they did,  or sell his soul one piece at a time. The good doctor refused to bend, and paid the price for it, but still had the last laugh. 
  I was also delighted to see so many early pictures of some of my  philosophical heroes  portrayed so prominently.   You get to see shots of Lew Rockwell as a much younger man standing side by side  with Murray Rothbard. I was so  moved by some of  Rinks  gripping accounts of the early days of the liberty movement that I felt the need to drop a line to Mr. Rockwell thanking him for his decades of involvement in this fight.
  This book is completely worth your time, and I thank Mr. Rink and his  collaborators for putting it out. If all you  know of Dr. Paul is what you saw on Youtube,  you  need to take a look at this.
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