They say if you want to meet people you should join a club, or take art classes, or linger around dingy, smoke-choked bars with a glass of whisky in your hand. But if you really want to put yourself out there, write a blog disparaging Ron Paul. Because once you do that, brother, the people will come to you!
I had forty emails in my inbox this morning. For me, that’s a lot. That’s more in one day than I got from that Ann Coulter article I wrote for American Chronicle like nine months ago. The funny thing is, the page views for the Ann Coulter piece were way, way higher. What that says to me is that taking a shit on Ann Coulter is okay with most people, but if you fuck with Ron Paul, you’d best be ready for a ruckus.
I don’t think I’ve ever had to read the phrase “Dr. Paul” so much in my life. That’s what all his acolytes call him, “Dr. Paul.” So he’s a doctor (an ob/gyn — and a good one, from what I’ve read) — there’s no sense in being a douchebag about it. If I were a doctor, I’d discourage people from addressing me as “Dr. Shives,” unless I was in the middle of slicing someone’s kidneys off or something. “Hey Steve, here’s that clamp you wanted” just doesn’t sound right in that context. His supporters don’t call him “Dr. Paul” as a shout-out to his medical practice; they call him that because it makes him sound smarter than the other guys running. I never said that Ron Paul wasn’t smart. I just said that he’s misinformed about Lincoln and the Civil War, and that he’s fucking psychotically insane.
Most of the emails were from folks who did not agree with my assessment of Congressman Paul’s historical interpretation of the Civil War, or sanity. Some of their observations were quite cutting and on-the-mark. One guy accused me, correctly, of an ad hominem attack on Ron Paul. If “crazy old coot” and “nutjob” aren’t ad hominem attacks, I don’t know what are. Anyhow, here are a few things I’ve learned about myself in the last day, from reading the responses to my Ron Paul article:
- I’m a “yellow journalist.” Personally, I think this gives me too much credit.
- I need to turn off the television and go to the library. I watch almost no television, and I’m at the library every week.
- I enjoy being coddled by the nanny state. False. I enjoy being coddled by my girlfriend and my family. Get your facts straight.
- My article was biased.
- I have, in fact, not read the right history books.
- My smartass summary of the whole “Illuminati taking over the world” scenario espoused by many of Ron Paul’s donors and supporters was actually 100% accurate, without all the smartass.
- I am a paid disinformation agent of the government.
- I “must have” gone to public school. That’s not elitist or anything, is it?
- The Civil War was not fought over slavery. Its origins are actually very complex and stretch back many years before the start of hostilities.
So yeah, a real eye-opener.
The most thrilling part for me so far has been the email I received from Rick Warren. If you go through the article very carefully, you will find I mentioned him once, in a throwaway joke about the Council on Foreign Relations. Apparently, he has a staff there at Saddleback dedicated to Googling his name 24/7, because he read the blog yesterday and wrote me to ask if I really thought he was “sinister.” I told him it was just a joke — though, between you and me, yeah, I do.
Actually, he came off as a nice guy, and he clarified that he isn’t actually a member of the CFR, he just addressed them once, and has had no further association with them. So that’s good to know. At least when the New World Order chains us to the mighty furnace of the international omnistate, we won’t have the guy who wrote The Purpose-Driven Life to blame for it.