The Magazine

Sing a Song of Ron Paul

The enchanter of the disenchanted attracts white-boy rappers, truth troubadours, and would be Woody Guthries.

Dec 10, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 13 • By MATT LABASH
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Paul himself is not a conspiracy theorist. And suggesting all his musical supporters are would be unfair--about as unfair as the government blowing the levees in New Orleans, and imploding the World Trade Center so that Dick Cheney and his Halliburton cronies could get free ExxonMobil gas cards. In actuality, only about 70 percent of Paulheads are conspiracy nuts. Paul is the enchanter of the disenchanted. Drag him through a college campus, and he's like a human lint roller, picking up cat-hair covered pamphleteers from all sides of the political spectrum.

There's the group A-Bomb, whose rhymes sound like distress signals from Planet Caucasian. I'm not really sure what their Ron Paul song says. Once on their website, I was too distracted by links such as "Understanding chemtrails," "Bilderberg Watch," "Preparing for Invasion," and songs such as "FEMA Camp" in which Norman Mineta gets blamed for the "inside job" which was 9/11.

Then there's a group called Griffenz, whose "Money Bombs" is an anthem for the upcoming "Tea Party" in which Paul supporters are striving to achieve a record $10 million donation day. Most rappers boast about the size of their tire rims or the extensiveness of their firearms collection. Griffenz boasts:

Yo we're having a tea party on December 16th

Ron Paul taught us all revolution hits deep .  .  .

If you wanna holla at us

Hit up the Daily Paul .  .  .

It's our blog war weapon

Boston tea party revolution keeps on steppin

Note to white political rappers: Name-checking former transportation secretaries and boasting of your blogging prowess isn't the best way to build street-cred in the hip-hop community.

But not all Paul singers are white rappers. There's the reggae group Three Shoes Posse, who seem to have some trouble distinguishing between subjective and objective pronouns, with songs such as "Can't Fool We." With a website that calls to "Let Jah Will Be Done," they'd also seem to be out of step with Paul, who is a Baptist by way of Lutheranism. Likewise, they feature a photo of him in his doctor's coat, administering defibrillator paddles to the Constitution. (As with Dean, the doctor theme is rampant throughout the songbook, though few want to recognize that Paul was actually an OB/GYN as it's rather hard to rhyme anything with adnexal torsion or Fallopian tube.)

They aren't all stone-cold nuts; some are charming eccentrics. There's Mark Thornton, an economist with the Ludwig von Mises Institute--Paul, who wishes to return to the gold standard, is a devotee of the Austrian School of economics--who's tailored the Beatles's "Revolution" into "The Ron Paul Revolution." Thornton sings more like Ringo than John, but he keeps the lyrics simple, knowing its really un-rock 'n' roll to go into the fine points of the Hayekian concept of intertemporal equilibrium. Thornton also does a cover of George Harrison's "Taxman"--"I Hate the Taxman"--with revised lyrics that change the voice of the song "to that of a Rothbardian tax protester." Paul disciples seem to like casually dropping "Rothbardian"--referring to libertarian economist Murray Rothbard--with no further explanation.

Then there's Rick Ellis, who used to front the Screamin' Sea Monkeys but, after meeting heartache and hearing In the Wee Small Hours, became a Frank Sinatra impersonator. He now plays Sinatra not only in real life, but in Second Life, the online fantasy world, where his avatar performs three nights a week in a virtual Playboy Club. Ellis says he had an epiphany when toying around with "New York, New York." Amended lyrics:

It's your right to choose

It's the American Way

The Constitutional heart of it

Ron Paul, Ron Paul.

Ellis attends the virtual Ron Paul meet-ups in Second Life. He's thinking about doing a virtual concert for the virtual Ron Paul. "I know it's crazy," he apologizes, "I shouldn't have mentioned it."