Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It’s Not Ron Paul, It’s the Message

This article was originally published on Dec. 3rd, 2007 at americanchronicle.com

When I first started writing these articles back in April 2006, I had no idea where they’d take me. I had a few things to say and when the opportunity presented itself I thought I’d go ahead and say them. I knew my writings were political in nature, but I was also trying to relate my viewpoint to real life experiences. I never really considered myself an activist. I realized our country was heading in a wrong direction and that we were teetering on the edge of something America was never meant to be. I wrote subtle warnings about such things in a way I hoped people could relate to on a personal level. Still, I could not imagine where all this could lead and at times I doubted I was doing much good at all. I certainly never believed I would end up advocating for some Republican presidential candidate.

There was a point in time when people were telling me I should go into politics. I have always been a good diplomat. I’ve often been able to build bridges between people and ideas. I always believed, however, that I would never succeed in the world of politics because I was too honest. I was too principled. You just don’t see too many successful politicians because the nature of our system calls for one to be able to fudge on certain points in order to garner the most votes. I didn’t believe that any honest, principled politician could ever succeed, particularly at the national level. Then I discovered Ron Paul.

I first heard of Ron Paul because of his stance on the Iraq war. He agreed with my point of view, that we should leave as soon as possible. That got my attention. For a brief moment, I thought perhaps he had read one of my articles. I looked into him and found he advocated the same principles that I had advocated all my adult life. On top of that, he seemed to be an honest, principled politician. I have no idea how he had survived in politics as a Republican for so long, but I’m glad he did. You would think that dirty tricks and corrupt politics would have sidelined him long ago as they have sidelined so many promising honest and decent individuals that have tried to stand up for the interests of the common man in the past. Cynthia McKinney comes to mind. It just seems to me that if you’re a politician and you’re not doing what the big money tells you to do, you’re not going to last very long. But none of that seems to matter now. Ron Paul somehow managed to survive all these years and now he’s seizing the spotlight. It’s almost as if providence has put him where he needs to be at the very time our country needs a man like him. He is putting the message out there and the masses are responding to it.

Now, I think Ron Paul does an excellent job of getting the message across. That message is of course the message of freedom, personal responsibility, and smaller government handcuffed by the constitution so that those in charge can’t wantonly violate the rights of individuals they are supposed to be considerate of. This is a message that libertarians of all stripes have espoused since before the bill of rights was utilized to codify these ideas into law. It is a message that has been censored, hidden and removed from public discourse as much as possible during these last few decades, going back perhaps as much as a century, as little by little, bit by bit, the freedoms we hold so dear have eroded away at the hands of a ruling elite. These Democrats and Republicans, this duopoly of power, have in the past passed laws making it difficult for honest, principled third party candidates to run for office. They leave third party candidates out of their debates so the public is denied consistent, well reported access to excellent ideas, the same ideas that helped to found this great nation of ours. We are instead treated to a steady diet of minor issues that should be handled at a state level while major constitutional issues that need to be discussed at the federal level remain unheard. This is why Ron Paul has been so successful, because he can finally bring these issues to the forefront of national consciousness. These ideas he brings to the debate, ideas that his rivals and others in power have for so long sought to silence, are ideas that resonate with the general public. His message is what people are responding to, not the man. The message he espouses of peace, freedom, liberty and the hope that we can once again be a great nation that offers these things to the downtrodden and oppressed of the world is the message that so many of us want to hear. Yes, Ron Paul has an excellent persona and delivers the message expertly and gracefully, but so did Harry Browne and many others. The difference is that not only does Ron Paul have a more visible platform from which to announce the message, but I believe the American people are finally ready to once again pay attention to it.

I hear other candidates, both Republican and Democrats, asking about how Ron Paul does it. How does he garner such support? How does he raise so much money on the Internet? They have tried their own money bombs and they have failed miserably. Barack Obama’s money bomb managed to get just $4600 from 69 donors. They just don’t get it. It’s not Ron Paul, it’s the message. The other candidates are under the impression that running for president is nothing more than some kind of popularity contest. They have deluded themselves into thinking that they need to stand for nothing of substance, that if they can just look good, smile and pretend to be nice that the average American will back them in their campaign for president. They are counting on the apathy of the American people, that the average citizen just doesn’t care and so they can appeal to the special interest groups and curry favors and money from them. But the average American does care. The other candidates are quickly discovering this. The average American simply had not been exposed to Ron Paul’s message before. The “mainstream” media certainly would not have presented it to them. In fact, they were complicit in hiding this message, which has been espoused by others (myself included) who were effectively ignored. It was the Internet that allowed this message to become widely dispersed. It was people like me, who were tired of the lies and deceit practiced by corporate media and politicians over the last few years, who decided to turn to alternative sources to discover what was really going on and rediscovered the message of freedom. These are Ron Paul’s supporters, the disenfranchised who yearn for freedom, average Joes, simple folk, middle class America, those who make the country work. They are giving their money, their time, their hearts and their souls to Ron Paul’s campaign not because of the man, but because they still believe in the message.

The media is still trying to minimize and marginalize Ron Paul. They give him less time in the debates than the other candidates and then they ask him irrelevant questions. What on earth ever possessed CNN/Youtube to allow a question to Ron Paul about conspiracy theories? Who cares what Ron Paul supporters think about such things? I want to hear what Ron Paul has to say about real issues, like taxes, sound money and the Iraq war. Of course, CNN doesn’t want the American public to hear his ideas on those things because they make too much sense and will resonate with the opinions of many. Why weren’t any of the other candidates forced to answer such nonsense? I think Ron Paul handled it rather well, explaining there was a conspiracy of ideologies, of people who believe in world government vs. people who believe in national sovereignty, but it would have been interesting to see if the other candidates would have denied such things existed for fear of losing votes or if they would have had the guts to admit the truth in the face of ridicule. These ploys don’t deter Ron Paul. They don’t shake the support he receives. Why? It’s the message.

Ron Paul detractors continue to try to smear him and his supporters. They continue to try to distract from the real issues by name calling and trash talking. They continue to claim that sound, proven ideas are “crazy” or won’t work in today’s world for whatever reason. One must assume that these people either don’t properly understand the message of peace and freedom, or they have something to gain from war and big government, or they are afraid of losing something should peace break out and freedom regain a foothold, or they simply don’t want people to be free to make their own decisions. Whatever the case may be, Ron Paul detractors aren’t worried so much about him as they are his message. They would vehemently oppose anyone who advocated such a message. These are people that think getting rid big government is a bad idea. They want to be told what to do. They somehow find it comforting to not have to make their own decisions. There’s a good chance that many of them will advocate pre-emptive war. They somehow believe that killing innocents and destroying other countries’ infrastructure will keep us safe and help spread democracy. I have the feeling that many of these people will soon find they have become marginalized and are on the fringe. If you ever get the chance to visit an institution for the mentally unstable you might find many of the insane believe they are sane and the rest of us aren’t.

Ron Paul has a message and we should all listen to it. It’s a message the founders of this country believed in. It’s a message that many believed died long ago. It’s a message that some would just as soon bury. But these are ideas that are inherent to mankind. These are ideas we constantly try to implement no matter the circumstances, no matter the oppression, no matter the punishment for failure. No matter what happens with Ron Paul’s candidacy, no matter what the future may hold, it is most important that we keep broadcasting the message. With hard work and vigilance, we will see Ron Paul as our president, but we should try to remember the importance not of Ron Paul, but of his message.

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