Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ron Paul Detractors Need a Wake Up Call

This article was originally published at on Aug. 17th, 2007

“That’s what you get for pretending the danger’s not real.
Meek and obedient , you follow the leader
down well trodden corridors, into the valley of steel.
What a surprise! A look of terminal shock in your eyes!
Now things are really what they seem. No, this is not a bad dream.”
Excerpt from the song Sheep by Pink Floyd
I’ve noticed a number of people on the Internet complaining about Ron Paul supporters recently. Many of them have the same complaint, that Ron Paul supporters are too pervasive. They call them Ron Paul spammers. They claim that a very few people are so dedicated to Ron Paul’s candidacy that they have skewed all the polls and made it appear as if Ron Paul has more support than he actually does by voting for him again and again. On Digg, they claim that there is a core of supporters that wait for a Ron Paul article to come out so they can Digg it and catapult it to the front page. If that were the case, they were taking time off when my articles came out.
These detractors need to think for a moment. I don’t know which candidates they support, but those candidates are getting support of very few people in the online community. One must wonder why some of these candidates don’t have that kind of support. One must wonder why Mitt Romney doesn’t have dozens of technologically savvy supporters going online to spam the polls or to create a buzz on Digg. One may wonder the same about John McCain or Rudy Giuliani supporters also, or the supporters of any of the other republican candidates. Could it be that the supporters of the other candidates simply aren’t as excited about their candidate as Ron Paul’s supporters are? Doesn’t it make you wonder why Ron Paul supporters are so excited? And I personally don’t think that it is in fact true that Ron Paul supporters are low in numbers and spamming the Internet. In fact, I think the number of Ron Paul supporters is growing day by day despite the fact that the Ron Paul detractors have tried to keep this from happening.
Another tactic some Ron Paul detractors use is name calling. They claim Ron Paul supporters are crazy. Since when is it crazy to speak out about someone you believe will make a difference, especially if that someone is doing something as important as running for president? Since when does following a dream make you crazy? They claim his supporters are on the fringe of society, that they are mostly 9/11 truthers and conspiracy theorists. Well, I don’t think that’s so true. I think a lot of everyday regular people are supporting Ron Paul. I’ve talked with a number of people who support Ron Paul and the subject of 9/11 or conspiracies hardly come up. And even if some of them are 9/11 truthers or conspiracy theorists, what’s wrong with wanting to know the truth? What’s wrong with asking questions, especially when those questions haven’t been answered satisfactorily? What’s wrong with not believing everything you see on the TV news? Do you believe everything the television news people tell you to believe? If you do, you might want to rethink that position and start getting information from other sources. There’s nothing wrong with comparing and contrasting different points of view to try to get a better understanding and a more complete picture of the world around you. They claim Ron Paul’s policies are too impractical, that he is too much of an idealist. Since when is being an idealist a bad thing? Isn’t that what our founding fathers were? Since when is it impractical to speak of freedom and liberty? Again, our founding fathers risked their very lives speaking out about such radical ideas. How long ago was it that the United States of America became a place where dreams died? When was it that spies were unleashed to see to it those same dreams could not be resurrected?
There’s something else Ron Paul detractors don’t seem to understand. Ron Paul supporters are supporting more than just Ron Paul, they are supporting ideas. Oh sure, Ron Paul is a very amicable person. Unlike most politicians, he answers questions straight on and doesn’t dodge them. He doesn’t try to answer in a way that everyone agrees with. He speaks his mind and it doesn’t matter to him if he loses votes doing so. He is that rarity of rarities, an honest politician. Perhaps that’s why they are so angry, because they know they support someone who is not honest. Perhaps that’s why Ron Paul’s supporters are so excited, because this is something they’ve never seen in their lives. But his honesty is not the idea I was talking about earlier, the idea is freedom. The idea is a smaller, less intrusive government. The idea is to give the people back control in their lives rather than having the government decide everything for them. It is the ideas of freedom and liberty that Ron Paul supporters are supporting. It is these ideas that have gotten them so excited.
The main stream media tries to ignore Ron Paul, as do the other candidates. Why do you suppose this is? He scores first in many online polls and still the media ignore him. His supporters generate a loud buzz and still the media ignores him. He came in fifth in a questionable Iowa straw poll and still the media ignores him. Today he came in third in the Illinois straw poll and the media will still probably try to ignore him. Why are they so afraid to report on him? Could it be because they don’t want his ideas to get out? Could it be because they’re afraid his ideas will resonate with the general public? Could it be that, for whatever reason, they’re trying to push someone on us that will somehow promote their interests? Perhaps the main stream media is just behind the times and really doesn’t realize what a phenomenon Ron Paul is becoming. I really don’t know, but I do know that Ron Paul is everywhere on the Internet and nowhere on the main stream media, with the exception of a couple of cutting edge shows. That simply seems strange to me.
Whatever reason one may decide to berate Ron Paul or his supporters, it might be helpful to step back and consider what you’re really against. Are you honestly just mad because there are so many articles out there praising Ron’s policies and his stances on the issues? Then why are you reading them? Is there someone with a gun at your head forcing you to read them? Then don’t read them and leave the rest of us who want to read about Ron Paul alone. Are you mad because your candidate isn’t able to generate the kind of grass roots support and Internet buzz that Ron Paul is able to generate? Then write articles about how great your candidate’s big government tax and spend programs are going to be and try to create that buzz yourself. Perhaps you’re against a certain issue that Ron Paul is for. Fine, then make that argument and make an intelligent, well thought out argument supporting your point of view, don’t simply dismiss those who support an opposing point of view by calling them names. Or, perhaps you’re against freedom and liberty. Perhaps you’re against the constitution. Maybe you’re one of those who feel the constitution is a quaint antiquity and the bill of rights just gets in the way of your security. Perhaps you simply don’t want to make your own decisions in your life and feel the government should mandate everything for you from what you learn in school to the kind of job you do to what doctor you see for your health care. Perhaps the idea of an endless war on terror appeals to you. Whatever the reason, you’re going to have to defend your position. Ron Paul has rubbed the magic lamp and now the genie is out. The ideas of freedom and liberty are once again loosed upon the world and they are gaining support. Name calling and ignoring Ron Paul and his supporters will not make them go away. People care again. If nothing else, politics in America has changed because of Ron Paul, and I think that’s a good thing.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ron Paul and the War on Terror

Nearly six years ago, on September 11th, 2001, a criminal act occurred in New York, New York. It was broadcast around the world. I remember that on that day I called my mother and told her to turn on the TV while I could only listen to the radio because I was at work. I remember telling her that we were at war. It was a very frightening day I’ll never forget. Many people will never forget that day. A couple of days later President Bush declared a war on terror. As of this moment, it looks like a war that will never end.
The question arose as to why these people would want to attack us. The answer, according to President Bush, was that they hate our freedoms. They are jealous of us. If we take President Bush at his word, then the terrorists are winning the war on terror. They have already managed to get us to relinquish some of the freedoms they so hated us having. What was one of the first things our legislature did after the terror attack? They passed the Patriot Act. Have you read the Patriot Act? Neither have I, because it’s so long and full of legalese. How anyone could have read and understood it in the short time our legislators had to do so is beyond me. I have read parts of it, though. I know that it infringes upon some of the rights that the constitution guarantees us will not be infringed upon. It tramples all over the fourth amendment which reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Patriot Act allows the FBI to come into your house without permission, while you’re not there, and go through your things without a warrant. I don’t know about you, but that sounds more like the KGB than the FBI to me. After the Patriot Act came a host of other laws granting the police power to violate our rights. The terrorists managed through a single criminal act to get us to turn our country into a police state.
Now there are warnings about another imminent terror attack. Secretary Chertoff has a “gut feeling” that another attack is about to take place. What would the purpose to such an attack be? Well, the purpose of any terror attack is to terrorize. It is to make the people scared. It is to frighten the populace. What would we do if such an attack took place? How would America react if a horrific event took place causing massive casualties? Would we allow even more of our freedoms that they hate so much to be taken from us? Would we allow the police to start putting people in jail because they protest or question the government? Would we let the current ruling class stay in power if they decided to suspend elections due to the emergency? Would we quiver and cower like scared little children and pray for the government to help us, allowing armed, militant police on every corner as they stop and check us and demand to see our papers anytime we want to go somewhere? Would we gladly submit to having chips implanted under our skin so that we could be easily identified as God fearing, good Americans if that is what was asked of us? Would that be the new freedom? Should such a thing come to pass, the terrorists would have nothing to be jealous of anymore. In fact, should this come to pass, the terrorists could end up having more freedom than us. After a few months of tyranny, government crackdowns and round ups, and having to ask for permission from the government for our most basic needs, we might be the ones that are jealous. At that point, the terrorists will have basically won the war. Our freedoms will be gone, and they will have nothing more to be jealous of. Or maybe I’m just paranoid, but should we really take such a chance?
Seems to me a better strategy would be to demand more freedom. If that’s what the terrorists are mad about, if that’s what they want to destroy, then we should stand tall and bravely demand we be allowed the freedom to forge our own destiny. Rather than cowering in fear and letting terror take over our lives, we should courageously demand that we not be looked after like little children while we go about our daily lives. We are adults that can take care of ourselves and we need to let our politicians know that. We need to stop living in fear. Aside from this, I don’t really believe that the terrorists fighting us are too worried about our freedoms. I doubt very much they are jealous of us. More likely they just want to be left alone. More likely they just want to go about their daily lives without being asked for their “papers” everywhere they go. More likely they don’t like foreign troops in their country telling them what to do.
Ron Paul understands this, as he has publicly stated, and so does the CIA. No other candidate wants to end the war on terror. They want to maintain the status quo and thus their power. Ron Paul wants to bring our troops home. He doesn’t want to commit them to a never ending war with no goals and unlimited casualties. Getting the troops home is how we win the war on terror. By doing so, we remove the terrorists’ reasons for attacking us. By doing so we start the process of restoring our freedoms. By doing so we open the door to once again doing business with the world in an honest fashion and not at the end of a barrel of a gun. By bringing the troops home we can also use them to patrol our borders and help minimize the threat posed by undocumented foreigners entering our land. We don’t need our own people spied upon. We don’t need our police milatarized. We need strong leadership that understands that freedom is a reward unto itself, and that free people should not cower in fear whenever criminals threaten our way of life. We need lawmakers that understand that the best way to lead is by example. We need to keep America a shining light of freedom for the world to see. That is Ron Paul’s message, and we should listen.