Ron Paul is Respected Around the WorldSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 06:44
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It’s not everyday that you can have an intelligent discussion about American politics with an Australian, a Canadian, and an Austrian.
We find ourselves in a quaint guesthouse in Penang, Malaysia four months in to our world travels. Although the area is home to many expat travelers and tourists alike with high-rise condotels, beach resorts and even a Hard Rock café, it’s certainly not the type of place you’d expect to find people who care about U.S. politics.
The lone traveler that is sharing the guesthouse with us is a retired backpacker from Austria. Upon first meeting him, I asked if he spoke English. He responded “a little bit,” which is the typical response from fellow travelers whose first language is clearly not English. Yet after a minute or two of discussion, it’s obvious they all speak much more than just a “little bit”. In fact, most of them should be labeled fluent even though their confidence is lacking.
After making small talk, we moved on to larger subjects like the state of the world, the wars, the euro situation and, finally, the United States. He revealed that he was a big country music fan and has visited the States a half-a-dozen times to go to festivals. His handlebar mustache suddenly made more sense.
So he wasn’t completely unfamiliar with America. Upon reflecting on the challenges facing America, he asked if I thought any of the current presidential candidates could make a difference. I told him there’s only one guy who’s even discussing the real issues like the monetary system, restoring freedom and privacy, and ending the aggressive wars. And before I could mention his name, he blurted out “Ron Paul?”
Later that same night, I joined two fellow family travel bloggers for some beers at a local pub. One is a website developer from Australia and the other is an economist from Canada. Both have been keeping a home base in Malaysia for many months and work remotely. Again, after talking of world events, the topic turned to American politics. Each of my drinking companions displayed a surprising level of understanding of how our system works; the two political parties, the Federal Reserve, and so much more.
As some of the problems facing America became agreed upon, they leveled their focus on me to see if I thought some of the presidential candidates would make a difference, if any. Yet again, I said there’s only one guy speaking of the issues we just discussed and before I could name him, the Canadian chimed in with “Ron Paul?” And the Australian said “who, the Libertarian?”
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