Ron Paul is respected around the world

U.S. Congressman Ron Paul
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 cafĂ©, 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?”

This level of recognition not just of U.S. politics in general, but of Ron Paul was nothing short of stunning to me. Especially when earlier in the night, when I first met the Canadian, I asked what part he was from and he said “Ottawa.”

I ignorantly inquired “is that on the Eastern side?” And he chuckled a bit and said “No, it’s sort of in the middle and is actually the capital of Canada.”

To which, in self-deprecating fashion, I replied “You know us stupid Americans don’t know our own geography in North America.”

And that’s perhaps why I was surprised by their level of knowledge about America, because of my ignorance of a country that bordered where I grew up and which I even visited on two occasions.

However, Americans’ centric view of themselves may not be completely without reason. In fact, after my gratifying conversations with these travelers, I realized that America is still the big elephant in the room that everybody notices when it moves.

They may not know all of the small details about local legislation or political bickering but they notice the big moves that send ripple effects across the globe like the wars and the fact that oil trades in U.S. dollars.

And that seems to be why they know who Ron Paul is, because he’s the only one talking about bringing about peace by ending the U.S. involvement in foreign wars and the only one who seems to understand how devaluing the dollar affects every economy in the world. One thing is for certain, Ron Paul has not just gained recognition by foreigners but respect as well.

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  1. Excellent Article!!! Thank You!

  2. The financial system of the world is now so broken and unfortunately so interlinked that many of the world's economies are on the precipice of implosion. There seems to be no statesmen or leadership amongst the dominant countries that understand the cause and most of all how to remedy the problem other than Ron Paul. His election is vital so as to help re-set the world finances. I have been a follower of him in Australia for the last 10 years and pray that he is able to get over the opposition from within his own party leadership to rise to the top. Ron Paul 2012

  3. I'm in California, which is bigger than many countries put together, speaks many languages, has many cultures, many climates, and many sets of values. I don't appologize for my ignorance of other countries; it's a full time job just knowing my own part of California. That said, I have a superficial understanding of the rest of my continent, hemisphere, and the globe, that is probably above average, both worldwide and in the U.S. Cut us some slack.

    I do think, however, that Ron Paul is showing how the world can be described, not by geography, but by the reach of ideas through the Internet.

  4. No offense meant anon, but personally I feel embarrassed by my lack of global knowledge, and compared to most I feel it's quite good actually.

    As we travel the world it is amazing to see how much more knowledge people have of the world from other countries; more languages, cultural understanding, economic awareness, etc.

    We can all have a better level of empathy and global understanding if we seek out information. It has been my experience that Americans are the group of people that care the least about this knowledge.

  5. Take a look at this poll that has been running since 2008. It shows Ron Paul gets more votes worldwide than all the other candidates put together. Unfortunately it only polls candidates in the 2008 election. The only candidates polled then and are running again are Obama, Romney and Ron Paul.

  6. great story, wow! thank you from germany

  7. Your anecdotal evidence dovetails nicely with these "votes" from around the globe in the US Republican primary:

  8. I live in Sabah, Malaysia and people are quite clueless (probably rationally so). All the locals I've talked to love Obama because he's black. Some have heard of Romney and a spattering about Santorum. No Paul.

    I did have a great conversation with some Chinese shop owners over a couple beers about the Federal Reserve - very surprising!

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in that most of the people I talk to don't know anything about libertarianism and love Obama.

  9. I wish Ron Paul could lead our country out of this debt nightmare ... he seems to be the only one that even cares. He is amazing to me - honest with the American people, but most are like ostriches sticking their head in the sand. I wish we could have our own Ron Paul country of sanity - I would move there!

  10. It doesn't surprise me that GOC is in such dire straits
    when an adult American is so ignorant about a neighbouring country. I'd have thought the Vietnam experience would have opened your eyes, but, alas, you're no better off than 35 years ago. In fact, with the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, the reputation of the US has deteriorated. And now you're threatening Iran. What a sorry state your country is in.

  11. I've been watching Ron Paul's bid for a Presidential nomination since the last election and have great regard for his tenacity and integrity...and his humility. For all those reasons he has no hope of securing this nomination or the Presidency, which is a terrible shame.

    My 18 year old son is one of the legions of young people with huge regard for Dr Paul. I bought him a Ron Paul ReLOVEution t-shirt for Christmas - his favourite gift! (He's wearing it now) He's a von Mises and Hayek proponent too.

    We're Irish, by the way and live in Dublin, where Dr Paul has many admirers.

  12. I totally agree anon! The US is really in a sad state and viewed pretty poorly worldwide. Here's to hoping Ron Paul actually has a chance!