Jewish World Review Jan 9, 2012/ 14 Teves, 5772
The comedy club
By Paul Greenberg
It seems former U.S. Sen.
At 81, the longtime Republican then Democratic senator from
But what's this about a second career for
Talk about a headliner, none of the distinguished politicians who try to be funny can rival deadpan
The man just couldn't help himself when presented with an opportunity to tell more of the truth than slicker pols thought prudent. When the Republicans swept into control of the
If only more of our current leaders would level with us that way. We'd not only be better informed but better entertained. Whenever our current president delivers one of his little -- very little -- witticisms, you can almost see the ghostwriters' fingerprints on it.
Humor is the test of gravity. No one devoid of a sense of humor can be trusted with serious matters. There is such a thing as a politician's being so serious it's hard to take him seriously. Which brings me to the odd man out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination:
The other day two of his rivals --
For the man is the walking, talking embodiment of America's isolationist psyche. Not to mention his being a money crank. It all goes together. Full of obsessions, he's devoid of humor.
The good doctor could have stepped right out of the late 19th century's assortment of third-party conspiracy theorists. They had an assortment of labels: populist, greenback, bimetallist ... but they all shared the same belief: The country had been taken over by some sinister conspiracy of the rich and powerful.
Of course, Dr. Paul is opposed to America's playing a role in world politics, or even taking much of an interest in it. It just comes naturally, like his opposition to the Federal Reserve System. The man is all of a piece. An American type. Or, to be more specific, he's a piece of work.
All he needs is a whiff of anti-Semitism and he would fit right in with Coin Harvey's world and worldview. A name now lost on most Americans,
There was something in Coin Harvey's mostly crackpot theory that appealed to every American who felt his financial security, his social status, the whole of old America, slipping away. Just as so many Americans feel today.
When his presidential candidate,
The great cataclysm Coin Harvey feared never materialized, at least not in the way he'd predicted, but he did stick around till the 1930s to run for president on still another third-party ticket. Hard times are the health of strange economic theories.
Maybe when this year's presidential campaign-and-circus is history, too,
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