Paul A. Ibbetson
Ron Paul and the "Cujo" effect
By Paul A. Ibbetson
March 4, 2010

In the early 1980's Stephen King made all dogs a little more suspect with the horror novel Cujo. The story hinged around a more-than-loveable St. Bernard that contracted rabies while chasing a rabbit and became an unpredictable, crazed killing machine. A large portion of the novel and its well-created movie equivalent was centered on a mother and child as they fought to stay alive against the continuous attacks of the transformed-rabid dog. Among the thrills and chills of this story, one can pick out many sad parts to this tale. I have long thought that among the many losers of this story the dog Cujo got the worst end of the stick.

You see, Cujo, while depicted as evil and deadly, was not so; he simply had a "little crazy" in him. Unfortunately, that "little crazy," in the form of rabies, permeated his character and affected all the actions of the dog until his demise became the only reasonable solution. Heck, by mid-way through the story we were all praying that Cujo would die, and die quickly! In the end, unfortunately, a "little crazy" goes a long way and on that note, we transition easily to Ron Paul.

Ron Paul, the failed presidential candidate of 2008, has become the Cujo of the Republican Party, but not for many of the reasons you may think. Just like the loveable St. Bernard of Stephen King's creative mind, there is an often unobserved duality to the Texas congressman. Like Cujo, Ron Paul is far from being "all bad." Many of his long-standing beliefs in the constitution, limited government, and the free market are not only conservative beliefs but also bedrock examples of what has made this country great. As well, Paul's military service to this country is exemplary and worthy of emulation.

Unfortunately, Ron Paul's positive points are outweighed by his radical views on many important issues. While many rail against the tax system we currently have, Ron Paul advocates eliminating the Federal Reserve and the IRS with no feasible replacement system. When Paul gets to slashing government entities, he includes the FBI and CIA, saying they should also go the way of the dodo bird. It is here that the inflammation of a skewed viral way of thinking begins to be seen in the Paul mentality. This is not something new for the Texas congressman. During the 1980's Paul was attacking Ronald Reagan on the use of the CIA along with his "eye rolling" support for the legalization of drugs. Today, Ron Paul's modern day conspiracy theory stances and "blame America first" positions have garnered him the 9/11 truth crowds and the paranoia-pill pushers such as Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura. In reality, this is a dog that has been hunting for a long time. It is the added benefit of perspective that shows Ron Paul and Cujo to be on similar ground. Both are not inherently bad, they both just have a "little crazy" in them.

The rabidly rough ramifications of Ron Paul are that despite his libertarian foundations, he is one more unneeded albatross around the neck of the Republican Party who has enough problems already. Paul's straw poll victory at CPAC is more than a little reminder that non-scientific polls have drawbacks; it is a reflection that the Republican Party can still be easily made to look foolish. Of course, Ron Paul will be no more electable in 2012 than he was in 1988 or 2008 and those who believe otherwise should be quarantined and observed. What he does achieve is creating more-than-adequate fodder for those that wish to link Republicans, Tea Party goers, town hall meeting attendees and the mainstream majority of this country with a few radical elements of this nation. As for those who wish to defeat Barack Obama and the big government socialists currently at the helm of this country, they must separate themselves from the frothing fans of Ron Paul. Yes, a "little crazy" also goes a long way in killing credibility for political parties, and this nation cannot afford another loss by default in 2012.

As in the case of Cujo, the presidential aspirations, and more importantly the political impacts of Ron Paul, must be "euthanized" in the country before more damage can be done.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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