Let’s Skip 2016 Vote and Go Right to the Apocalypse

Family ties are not a new headache for presidential candidates.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (L) (R-KY) listens to his father Texas Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul speak at a campaign stop August 10, 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is an excerpt from Bloomberg's daily Opening Line column.

Jimmy Carter had Billy, Bill Clinton has Roger. Oh, brother. 

John F. Kennedy, running in 1960, faced questions about whether his father, as U.S. ambassador to Britain, wanted to appease Nazi Germany. Up for re-election in 1992, George H.W. Bush faced scrutiny of the role his son, Neil, had played with a failed savings-and-loan. Barack Obama had to answer for an aunt and uncle who lived illegally in the U.S. 

Family ties are not a new headache for presidential candidates. Still, you have to wonder: Has any major-party candidate ever run for president while a close relative was warning, publicly and rather breathlessly, that a government-caused financial Armageddon is coming?

“The savings of millions of people could be wiped out overnight, the stock market could crash by 50 percent or more, the way of life we’ve enjoyed as America for 50 years could come to an end,” Ron Paul, the former congressman and (still) father of Rand Paul, says in a multimedia campaign that appears to be an extended infomercial for a Baltimore research firm’s publication, “America 2020: The Survival Blueprint.”

The looming “full-blown currency crisis”—the result of runaway money-printing by the Fed—will cause the “total breakdown of the stock market,” Paul says.

That means “the middle class gets wiped out,” plus “civil unrest, massive unemployment” and “bank and brokerage closings on a mass scale.” Plus, “I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the government take over people’s 401(k)s and IRAs” as a means to force them “to buy worthless government bonds.”

So, what to do? Get extra ammunition and head for the bunker? Flee to Canada? Elect his son to lead the country out of this disaster? 

No, says the prospective First Father of the United States (FFOTUS)—what you really need is Porter Stansberry’s book.

If you act today, it comes free with a one-year subscription to Stansberry’s Investment Advisory at the discounted price of just $49.50. (Your subscription will automatically renew for $99 after your first year, assuming the financial system is still standing.)

A television commercial on CNN and Fox News yesterday morning directed viewers to RonPaulMessage5.com, a gateway to the lengthy infomercial. (Lots of similarly named websites also lead to the infomercial, Buzzfeed points out.) From there you can click over to Stansberry Financial Research’s pitch for its guide on what to do with your money before catastrophe strikes: 

“Nothing is more dangerous than a broke, desperate, and well-armed government. The less the government knows about where you have your money, the better.”

Rand Paul, who has represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate since 2011 and entered the Republican presidential race in April, has made clear he shares some of his father’s libertarian leanings but not all his policy positions.

In a coincidence that highlights the father-son dissonance, CNN came back from its Ron Paul commercial break to show clips from its interview with Rand Paul that included the question, “Do you think America is ready for a curly haired president?” 

Stansberry didn’t reply to a question on Ron Paul’s role with the company. Rand Paul’s campaign spokesman declined to comment.

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