Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ron Paul’s “Crazy” Supporters and Other Nonsense

This article was originally posted on Nov. 21st, 2007 at americanchronicle.com

It can be said that the English language is a living language. This is because as time goes on the language changes. Words come to mean different things. Sometimes the same word can mean one thing to some people and quite another to a different group. This is especially true of legalese, but I won’t go into that now. As a student of the English language, this facet of its growth often fascinates me. It’s amazing how the meanings of words mutate over time. I can think of several words whose meanings are wholly different than they were about fifty years ago. Gay is a prime example, but there are others.

Most recently the word crazy seems to have seriously changed its meaning. It used to mean insanity, but to many political pundits it seems to mean anyone who disagrees with their political ideology. Now, I realize there are many other definitions for crazy, some which are positive, but when these talking heads on TV or these political pundits writing for major newspapers and magazines use this word, it seldom seems to connote a positive meaning in context. No, when these people use this word they most often seem to mean insane, not enthusiastic, devoted or excited. If confronted, they would probably claim to mean these things, but we know different. Who do they think they’re fooling? Well, they’re fooling the few who are still trapped watching TV news and reading corporate newspapers, those who are unable or unwilling to seek alternative sources to get another point of view, and those who are unable or unwilling to digest an alternative point of view and use critical thinking to come to their own conclusions. There are some people out there who continue to believe that all Ron Paul supporters are insane. A good way to combat this phenomenon is to tell people who know you are sane that you are a Ron Paul supporter. In fact, the more Ron Paul supporters one meets, the more one realizes the vast majority of them are some of the sanest people on the face of the planet. In this way, those on the fence will come to realize the propaganda being spread by some in the “mainstream” media for what it is.

Yet as if this wasn’t enough, now Ron Paul supporters have been called terrorists by some media personalities. Terrorist is not a word that has changed its meaning, but it is a word that is often misused. A terrorist is someone who engages in terrorism. Terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence with the intention of coercing or intimidating societies or governments, often for political purposes. To this point, I am unaware of any use or threatened use of violence from any Ron Paul supporter as an attempt to get Ron Paul elected. I would venture a guess that 99.999999% of all Ron Paul supporters realize how futile such a gesture would be. I have seen, however, the threat of the use of force leveled against Ron Paul supporters, dissenters, anti-war protestors, and other activists. There are a few commentators on some “mainstream” media venues that repeatedly call for the force of the state to be brought against these people. There have been many calls for violence to be used against such civil disobedience. They often do this as they advocate nationalism and adherence to the latest mantra of the state. This has been particularly true lately as more and more people find the message of freedom and gravitate toward agreement with those who have in the past been labeled “fringe.” It seems that perhaps the “mainstream” media is not so mainstream anymore. It’s almost as if these commentators can see their audience exiting the theater to check out some different act and so they start shouting and name calling in an attempt to keep the audience placated. They also seem to believe that demanding the government adhere to the mandates spelled out in the constitution is somehow threatening behavior.

We might all do well to remember the reason our country’s founders penned the constitution in the first place. Its purpose was to protect the people from the government. The people who came to America were people trying to escape tyranny. They were tired of innocent people being lumped together and punished alongside those who may have advocated violence against the government. They were tired of innocents being tortured because of their religious or political views and being forced into false confessions. They were tired of being told what to think. They were tired of being told to shut up, that the king or others in power knew better than they did. They were tired of not having a voice in government. They were pretty much sick and tired of the corrupt governments that had metastasized upon the European continent. The failings of monarchal rule were fresh in the minds of the founding fathers when they wrote the constitution. This more than likely weighed in when they decided to include the bill of rights. It seems we have come full circle. As laws are passed to try to circumvent articles of the bill of rights our very own government begins to look more and more like the tyrannical monarchies our ancestors fled. If some emergency befalls our great nation and the constitutional system collapses, we will not have a new world to flee to. It behooves us, therefore, to do our best to shore up our constitution as best we can, to make certain that power does not get too centralized to the point where a very few can do whatever they please without being held accountable. I don’t believe we’ve reached that point yet, though we are close.

Supporters of Ron Paul are excited because they believe they can realize a peaceful path to change and a way to restore faith in the constitution and balance to the nation. They realize that violence and force are part of the problem, not the solution. The Ron Paul revolution catch phrase emphasizes love found in the word rEVOLution. It is disingenuous to call his supporters crazy. It is unfair to label them as terrorists. I would never stoop to calling those in the media names or suggesting that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In fact, I believe just the opposite. I believe those in the media who are trying to discredit Ron Paul and his supporters are quite intelligent and well informed. I know they are quite well paid, unlike folks like me, and it is their job (or at least is should be) to make themselves informed. This makes their motives seem quite nefarious when they decide to engage in activities such as name calling and shouting out for state sanctioned violence against Ron Paul supporters and others.

Ron Paul’s message of freedom, peace, sound money, personal responsibility and smaller government resonates with a diverse spectrum of Americans. He will of course attract some questionable characters, as will all the presidential candidates. It is unfair to paint all his supporters with the same brush, especially when most are just average Americans. Ron Paul supporters, for the most part, have no personal monetary interests in supporting him. Can those highly paid professionals in the media who dispute his ideas and deride his supporters say the same? Who provides their salaries? Perhaps the same corporate interests that donate money to and lobby nearly all the other candidates? It makes one wonder who these pundits owe their loyalties to. It will be interesting to see how things play out as more and more average Americans find Ron Paul’s message and decide to support him morally and financially. It will be just as interesting to see how many words have completely different meanings by the end of this election cycle.

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