Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Does Ron Paul have Asperberger's Syndrome?

The question is posed by's Rumor Mill.

Asperberger's Syndrome, as you may know, is "one of several spectrum autism disorders," it says right here.

The Rader writer notes that Asperberger's sufferers are characterized by "extremely awkward social interaction along with obsessive behaviors and interests."

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, 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.

We're not saying we're buying this Asperberger's theory, but we have noticed The Favorite Son's twitch (We initially wondered if it was related to Tourette's.) while appearing on TV interviews, and watching him onstage last night in New Hampshire, after he came in 5th place (not too far behind Rudy Ghouliani), it's clear he's not entirely comfortable before hundreds of rabid, screaming, cheering, sign-waving adherents. On the other hand, I wouldn't be either. Hell, maybe I've got Asperger's!


Anonymous said...

He does seem to be pathologically incapable of standing up to the excesses of his staff:

I spent $25 million and all I got was this lousy primary

The County Seat said...

"extremely awkward social interaction along with obsessive behaviors and interests."

Sounds like a blogger.