There is a certain, wafting paranoia in the political air these days. It has been escaping from the fissures of inequality that are now yawning across the American heartland, and leaking from the partisan trenches currently being dug within the Beltway. And like the Pythian oracle, whose enthusiastic proclamations arose amid the noxious vapors at Delphi, the hapless creatures who breathe in these fumes become victims of a strange array of extraordinary symptoms.
Strangely enough, the extent of the problem, at first, is difficult to ascertain. Until triggered, it tends to remain concealed. But when the first spark flies, the situation turns frightening. I am certain, that like me, you too have witnessed it at first hand.
A characteristic scenario begins with an innocuous discussion regarding American politics. Relevant issues are noted and ideas are bantered, when, suddenly, someone hints, that perhaps, just perhaps, the government may be able to act in the interest of the public. The room goes silent. The trigger has just been pulled and the noxious fumes begin to work their magic.
Their first sign: the declaration that the Federal Reserve is the source of all evil in this mortal world. The words of Ben Bernanke are the very words of the devil himself. And as for the government, its reign as the enemy of mankind has worked against every vestige of human happiness to date; its very presence prevents the divine work of capitalism from driving out all evil from this Promised Land. Thus, the decrees continue interminably, until their most chilling symptom is revealed: an unsettling mania for the self-ordained high priest of the Austrian religion: Ron Paul.
From blog to blog, from millennial news site to millennial news site, his eerie presence is everywhere felt. Despite a feeble looking elven frame, this heir to Ludwig von Mises, and keeper of an incoherent faith, commands an ever-growing legion of devout Paulbots, determined to smash the Fed and do away with all government everywhere. Their utopia is just within reach if only the obstructions to private power were to be removed. One by one, each obstacle is to be overcome: elected representation, regulation, oversight, civic powers and the capacity for public action. Indeed, private power cannot operate with total impunity if these obstructions exist to impede its prophesied progress.
And so, the fumes expose their true effects and those not yet held under their sway deeply regret ever having mentioned the government or public policy. Even after the Paulbot theology has been refuted, carefully and patiently, the Inquisition presses onward, exposing blasphemy and vilifying heretics everywhere. Never mind the fact that private power, without any government checks, is a call to end our civil liberties; no, the influence of the vapors and the dogma of Lord Mises run too deep. And thus we drift, forevermore, towards the gloomy edge of extremism in our very own beloved country, all in the name of progress, the glorious victory of good over evil and a triumphant return to the gold standard.