I admit it. I really think Sacha Baron Cohen is funny. I also think Ron Paul is the most honest, down-to-earth, and forthright politician of my lifetime. Upon learning that Ron Paul would be appearing in Cohen’s upcoming “Bruno” movie my immediate reaction was “Uh-oh.”
Cohen’s take-no-prisoners approach to comedy is fine as long as you aren’t the one being duped. He’s duped some of the more popular modern politicians, journalists, and celebrities. His punked list includes Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, C. Everett Koop, Donald Trump, John McCain, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Andy Rooney, and now Ron Paul.
Cohen is not a political puppet aiming to shame anyone. His goal is to entertain and make people laugh. In doing so he raises the level of awareness, or the “brand” of his target. In Ron Paul’s case this means more people will know who he is. Is this the kind of notoriety Ron Paul wants? Not likely. I’d much rather people associate Ron Paul with being the “most honest politician” in DC as John McCain said of him rather than being the guy Bruno tried to seduce.
However, there will be some people who see Cohen’s movie and wonder, “Who is Ron Paul?” They will then do some research and learn that Ron Paul is not your typical politician. They may eventually end up being Ron Paul supporters. On the flip side, those that base their political support decisions solely on what they saw in a movie are lost causes from the start.
Don’t complain. Let Sacha Baron Cohen/Ali G/Borat/Bruno do what he does. Ron Paul will continue doing what he does. Use Paul’s big screen comedic debut to help spread the message of liberty to more minds.
Imagine this scenario unfolding between you and a liberty ignorant friend after having seen the movie:
You: What was your favorite part of the movie?
Friend: I liked the part when Bruno pulled down his pants in front of that political guy.
You: Ron Paul?
Friend: Yes. He ran away in fear like a homophobe.
You: Well, he is in his 70′s and a bit old school, but he’s the best politician I’ve ever known. He’s honest and down to earth unlike the rest of the bozos in DC. You should check him out online. There are hundreds of videos on Youtube with him. That will give you a picture of who he is better than what you saw in the movie… but I agree with you that scene was funny as hell.
Friend: Cool, I’ll check him out.
And just like that you may have created a new Ron Paul supporting liberty lover. Sure, I’ll be laughing with the rest when I see “Bruno” after it comes out on July 10th, but after the movie I’ll get to work framing the Paulian message to anyone who will listen.
Ron Paul appearing in what will be a huge summer movie seen by millions of people is no liability. Instead it presents an opportunity, if handled properly, to spread the freedom message to more people.