Monday, January 21, 2008

The Ron Paul Pandemic

This article was originally post at on Jan. 17, 2008

Whether you like him or not, Ron Paul has become a worldwide phenomenon. His banners fly in the skies over US cities. His signs are springing up alongside our nation´s highways. Bumper stickers are appearing on cars, it seems almost spontaneously. Certain days of commemoration are set up to donate on his behalf. His supporters show up in droves to wave signs and inform the uninformed of Ron Paul´s message of peace, hope and freedom. He even has a blimp to rival Goodyear´s paid for by private citizens to help spread his rEVOLution. It is a spontaneous campaign that depends not upon a flashy candidate who attracts supporters through his cult of personality, but rather depends on the supporters to follow their own gut feelings on how to best spread the message of the campaign. It is exactly this kind of spontaneity, this kind of freedom to act as one sees necessary, attracting many Ron Paul supporters not only in this nation, but in countries across the planet.

One might ask, what is it about Ron Paul that causes such excitement and devotion? After all, he appears to be just a nice 72 year old grandfatherly type gentleman. He´s not particularly well spoken or sexy. In fact, with the rampant ageism prevalent in our society, I´m surprised he gets any support at all. I like to say that it´s the message, but certainly there must be more to it than that. Well, I have to admit there probably is. Ron Paul´s message is the most powerful asset of his campaign as he propels it forward, but there are some things about Ron that make him appealing to a variety of people.

Ron Paul is honest. Some in the media have tried to paint him as a racist, an old accusation that was cleared up long ago and should clearly ring out as propaganda in the minds of anyone paying attention. He has some strange heroes (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks) for a racist. Some have called him an isolationist, again playing upon the fears of those who worry that some powerful nation is suddenly going to be amassing troops to invade the continent. This is also a disingenuous notion as Dr. Paul simply wants to stop policing the world, not stop doing honest business with it. He wants America to lead by example, something anyone with adult thought patterns realizes is the best way to influence others. I´m sure I won´t convince the paranoid few, but there´s a good chance that if the United States stopped acting so belligerent and demanding to the rest of the world, maybe the rest of the world wouldn´t hate the United States so much. Listen to what Ron Paul says. It makes sense. Watch him carefully as he speaks. One can tell how honest he is just as easily as one can tell how dishonest and manipulative other politicians are. You will never see him crying or feigning emotion in answer to a question in order to garner support. The passion he expresses is genuine.

Ron Paul is principled. One can go back twenty years and look at his voting record. He hasn´t waffled. He hasn´t flip-flopped. One knows where he stands on any given issue. He has almost always voted in accordance with the Constitution, unlike other politicians who treat their oaths to the Constitution with about as much seriousness as they treat their oaths to their wives, which isn´t much. He can not and will not be bought by special interests. He is the defender of the Constitution, not a pretender who pays the Constitution lip service but votes for unconstitutional laws. He has a record of voting for smaller government. He has a record of promoting individualism rather than collectivism.

Ron Paul cares. He cares about people. He cares about principle. He cares about this nation of ours. There are very few politicians that care beyond their own egos. Most politicians could care less about anything other than getting elected, gaining power, and taking care of their friends, family and contributors. Ron Paul wants to give everyone the best chance to take care of themselves by taking power from government and empowering the individual. This is not only the right thing to do, it´s the constitutional thing to do. Most politicians are only interested in gaining power over others.

he above qualities are easily identifiable in Ron Paul to those who pay attention. Ron Paul is no sexy movie star type. He doesn´t pay an army of image makers and stylists to primp and preen him. He´s not the son of a general or some other important political figure. He´s not a silver tongued minister that has learned to make his congregation swoon when speaking of things he doesn´t believe in or making promises he will not keep. He´s not some billionaire that can purchase an adoring following (and votes). With Ron Paul, what you see is what you get. He´s a real person for real people, not some wannabe transposing themselves over the fantasies of what people believe their leaders should be. Ron Paul is the genuine article. Many people from all cultures can see this, and that´s one reason Dr. Paul has a worldwide appeal.

It has been pointed out to me that Dr. Paul is lacking form. This is probably true. He may not be the most physically attractive candidate, but he has substantive ideas and has kept his soul intact. Americans in particular seem to be attracted to form over substance. Perhaps this is why seventy percent of us can be against the war in Iraq, yet ninety percent of us, Democrats and Republicans, have so far in the primaries voted for candidates that support wars of aggression. They are not looking at what their candidates stand for, what they have voted for. They are simply voting for the candidate that looks the best, or smiles the nicest, or makes the best sounding promises. Ron Paul is the only candidate with any substance, and there are many in nations around the world that realize this even if most Americans don´t.

Finally, there is the message. As I stated in an earlier article, Ron Paul is secondary to his message. He knows it as well as anyone else. This message of freedom, liberty and individual responsibility achieved through smaller, less intrusive government is one that resonates with people of all cultures. It´s a message that spurred the massive immigration that occurred when this country was first born. It´s the message that drove those fleeing the tyranny of the European monarchies to our shores. This is why Ron Paul is gaining popularity around the globe. People understand freedom. It´s popular. There are still many who haven´t been exposed to this message. No matter what happens this campaign season, no matter how far Ron Paul decides to take his campaign, we must strive to keep delivering this message. Freedom is always better than tyranny. Removing liberty to gain security never works. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. These truisms have been proven throughout history, and we must keep teaching them for they are lessons easily forgotten. The light of truth will shine upon us and guide us from the darkness of the cave. Those of us who understand these concepts should try the help those who are struggling to understand them. The Ron Paul pandemic is about spreading an idea that was first planted long ago in a land known as America. It is about an idea that needs to come to fruition and should be harvested across the globe. When this finally happens, perhaps then mankind will gain the peace, freedom and hope for the future as should be the birthright of all human beings.

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