Elephant in the Room
JULY 23, 2007
TJ Tucker called me to do this spread portrait of Ron Paul, Texas Congressman and current GOP Presidential candidate, for the August issue of Texas Monthly. The article is entitled "The Elephant in the Room", and discusses Paul's controversial positions (at least in contemporary GOP circles) on the war in Iraq and government intrusion on civil liberties. Seems Paul is against these things! He cites both Jefferson and Washington as warning us against "entangling ourselves in the affairs of other nations" and claims that "the biggest threat to your privacy is the government". Come to think of it, those do sound alot like the words of Goldwater Republicans.
This painting had a fun personal connection for me as well: I went to school at Baylor University years ago with Ron Paul's son, Rand, and he and I were members of a underground gadfly fraternity together. Ron Paul's beliefs seemed far-fetched to many folks back then, but they've gained new converts since, and it's remarkable how consistent his philosophy has been despite a changing world. In that respect, at least, he may have more in common with our current President than we realize.
To listen to Paul's views on the war and the roots of terrorism, and witness the some of the other candidates discomfort with those positions, see this clip from the recent debates:
© 2023 Marc Burckhardt