Rah, rah, Ron Paul?

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I am being urged, in comments and email, to ignore the fact that Ron Paul is a no-hoper because after all, he's an honest man who stands by his beliefs.

The same, of course, could be said of the lunatic who sincerely and with great conviction declares himself emperor of France and uses all the asylum's plastic sporks to map out his conquest of Russia.

Ron Paul has some beliefs that I like, such as his opposition to eminent domain abuse. But he also has a number of beliefs that are, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly insane. The gold standard is one; the belief that NAFTA is a trojan horse for the North American Union is another. Much of his persona, sincere or not, seems to boil down to "Foreigners are scary, and people who like foreigners are plotting to take away all your stuff."

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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