When he came out to greet Jay Leno on Monday night, Paul walked with his eyes down to the ground. He didn't look his host in the eye (another symptom!), and cackled—grossly inappropriately for a presidential candidate—every time he brought up America's train wreck of an economy (the joke, after all, is on all of us). Check one for impaired social interaction.
As for obsessive behavior: If you're not one of the seven people who have ever cared about the gold standard, it would seem that this is something of an obsessive interest for Ron Paul. It's like a 19th-century version of World of Warcraft.
Even if Paul doesn't have Asperger's, many of his supporters may. Tech-nerds are disproportionately affected by the syndrome, and Paul's campaign—driven by online "viral marketing" —is disproportionately affected by tech-nerds.
At wrongplanet.net, the online Asperger's hangout, there's plenty of talk about the Ron Paul Revolution. According to one thread, Paul "stims," or suffers from repeated body twitches body movements, another symptom of Asperger's. On WrongPlanet, there's also a 14-page thread for Ron Paul fans. Elsewhere on the Internet, there's even a fake, tongue-in-cheek "Aspies for Ron Paul" homepage.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Paul's techie, nerd-heavy base would suffer from Asperger's. In Ron Paul's universe, meet-ups don't necessarily happen in real life; just last week, there was a 240-strong World of Warcraft rally in which avatars from across the nation came together. According to the World of Warcraft Insider, "The rally started outside Ironforge with approximately 240 players (with 400 members in their RP Revolution guild) and traveled to Stormwind, Westfall, Booty Bay, Ratchet, and finally Orgrimmar." You can't get more Aspie than that.
So there's some good news: Even if Ron Paul doesn't win the election—and let's admit it, there's no chance he will—we can still go back to the gold standard, or at least our Aspie Warcraft avatars can.
By Jacob Savage 01/09/08 12:42 PM