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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Perhaps the most talented Paul songwriter I've encountered is the Pittsburgh folkie named Daryl Fleming, of Daryl Fleming and the Public Domain. He sings with a pleasing tomcat rasp, and when reaching for the bigger notes, sounds like he should be twinning harmonies with The Band's Levon Helm. Fleming feels that limited government is underrepresented in rock and folk music. He's a far cry from dancing pizzas and seems a bit self-conscious about the company he's keeping. "I am not guilty by association," he emails of the grab bag of other Paul supporters. "The 9-11 Truthers, white supremacists, and assorted kooks (perhaps some of the other songwriters?) who support Ron Paul do not invalidate his message. Faulting RP (or me) for some of his non-sanctioned supporters is like blaming Jodie Foster for the shooting of Ronald Reagan."

If there is a Woody Guthrie of the Ronulan movement, he has to be Steve Dore, a San Jose-based blues musician and boogie-woogie piano enthusiast. He's been playing music since he was 6 years old, and came of age in the sixties. As a songwriter, he "had nothing to say." The melodies would pop into his head, but the words wouldn't come. Then he started reading up on economics and inflation (he cut a record called "Inflation Nation," which he calls "training wheels" for his current Ron Paul efforts), and went to see Paul at a hard assets conference in San Francisco, where he found himself standing on his chair numerous times, applauding Paul's fiscal sense. Ever since, the music won't stop flowing.

He's written so many Paul songs--everything from "Critical to Get Political" to "Fed Reserve Song"--that he's now releasing a full CD, called "Early Songs of the Great Ron Paul Revolution." The Paul family has preordered 50 copies. Dore would've given them freebies, "but they believe people should be paid for their labor." (In keeping with Paulian philosophy on currency, Dore will accept silver as payment, currently going for $14 an ounce. He'll take gold, but at $800 an ounce, you should plan on a bulk order.)

Dore explains that a long shot like Paul appeals to writers and artists, who are dreamers by nature. Quoting Oscar Wilde, he says, "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

It's a nice notion, but maybe the mounting appeal of Paul, a politician beloved by those who hate politicians, can be explained in more prosaic terms, articulated by a YouTube songwriter named Sporty4Harvey:

So here's why I'm voting for Dr. Ron Paul

I believe he's the best of all

The candidates we have seen

Not that it's been any voters dream

You gotta admit the field is uh, pretty lean.

Matt Labash is a senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.