I was driving a lunch today, running down to Panchero's to get a burrito. (Oh right - I'm employed again - did I mention that?) I turned on the radio, and as is the case for all of us in the Hawkeye state right now, got treated to several commercials for presidential candidates. These usually all blend together, depending on the candidate's party. Every single ad for a Republican seems to be some variant of "Bad people, most of them with brownish skin but one of them being the wife of a former President, want to do bad things to you and I'm the only one who can protect you" while every single ad for a Democrat seems to be some variant of "Together, we can make the United States a better place as long as you, yes you, vote for me". Republicans sell fear, Democrats sell hope. And Ron Paul? Ron Paul sells batshit craziness.
The commercial starts out with Ron telling us about the evils of NAFTA. So far, so good, Republican candidate traveling down fear of brown people road. But then Ron starts to go, well, most people would call it going astray, but Ron probably calls it going to the point.
"There are powerful interests trying to eliminate the Mexican and Canadian borders." What the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck? Care to name, oh, ONE of these powerful interests? I'm not saying there isn't anyone in this country who doesn't wish for the elimination of the Mexican and Canadian borders, but I'm betting the people who do are also wishing for the UFOs to land and bring us peace and prosperity. It is not a position that sane people take, certainly not publicly. Powerful interests. Powwwwwerful interests! Can someone get Ron his meds, stat?
"The NAFTA Superhighway will extend from Mexico to Canada, going right through Iowa, destroying 4,000 family farms." Uhm, Ron? Interstate 35 already goes from pretty damn close to the Texas-Mexico border to pretty damn close to the Minnesota-Canada border, running right through Iowa. And quite frankly, most of us are glad it does. As for the family farms - well, I haven't looked the number up, but my gut instinct tells me there probably aren't 4,000 family farms left in the state. After all, with 99 counties, there would have to be over 40 family farms per county to get to four thousand family farms in the state, and that seems incredibly unlikely. Further, even if there were some new north-south highway being planned to cut across the state (and there isn't), it is doubtful that it would cross through all 99 counties. At most - a very unlikely most, but one I'm choosing for ease of mathematics - it crosses 20 counties. (Interestate 35 crosses 10 as it goes across Iowa; the Avenue of the Saints crosses 13). There would have to be 200 family farms per county for such a road to claim 4,000 family farms. There probably isn't one county in the state that has over 200 family farms in it, let alone 20.
Wikipedia shows that there is a proposed state-wide highway in Texas which will result in the creation of several traffic corridors that run from Mexico all the way to - you guessed it - Oklahoma. Oklahoma. No talk of this running to Canada, or even Iowa, but hey - when you're a paranoid batshit crazy asshat it doesn't take much to get your imagination running.
So Republicans, please make Ron Paul your presidential candidate. Or Rudy. Or Mitt. Or Fred. Or Huckabee. Or - well, actually, the whole Republican field is filled with nothing but second stringers, losers, and has beens, and at this point in time, at least, everyone of them would get waxed in the general election. But Ron Paul would probably be the most fun.