This article was originally published at americanchronicle.com on Feb. 13th, 2008
I know a bit about fantasy. I write Fantasy novels. In them, there is a clear cut good versus evil theme. The evil is always supreme, bent on the total destruction of life and beauty, and the good is always striving to save the world and a culture of decency. Real life is quite a bit different. In this world, good and evil aren´t always clear cut. They intermix and entwine, wrapping around each other like ethereal lovers who may despise each other but want to get to know one another better nonetheless. Often times evil is born of good intentions, those trying to better mankind causing unintended consequences. The same can be said of the good that comes from evil. I´ve heard it said that everything happens for a reason, and there are often positives born of negative situations. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
I´ve recently had to face reality. The government has found me and wants their money. You see, I borrowed a whole bunch of it from them so I could earn a Master´s degree. Even though I earned the degree, I have so far been unable to find a better paying job. Now I have to pay back a lot of money, and I´m not making any more than I was before I started school. So the reality is that I´m going to have to cut back on my expenses. I won´t be able to live the life I´ve come accustomed to. I won´t be able to afford certain luxuries. I can give up cable. I´ll have to live in a smaller place, in a cheaper neighborhood. I´ll have to find cheaper food, shop better. I´ll have to turn down the thermostat a little. But that´s the reality of the situation and I´m going to have to face up to it and buckle down, because if I don´t then it will just get worse. Right now the important thing is to dig my way out of debt.
There is a reality most people in the United States of America are ignoring. That reality is that the national debt is unmanageable. Ron Paul is the only candidate for president that is facing up to this reality. The other remaining presidential candidates want to sell the American public a fantasy. They want to make believe that everything is fine with the economy. They want to pretend that they can keep printing money and accruing debt without consequence. They want to promise the populace entitlements such as health care and pretend they can do it without pain, just to get votes. If anyone knows about the reality of the state of health care in this country today, it´s Dr. Ron Paul, yet I hardly ever hear any news organizations ask him about that issue. The reality folks, is that our government simply cannot continue to spend at the rate they´re spending and remain solvent. Ron Paul is straight forward on this point not only because he understands this reality, but because he feels we the people can handle this reality. The other candidates, living in never never land where they wish the rest of us to join them, simply have no respect for us "little people." They must believe we are like children unable to handle the reality of the cold, harsh world.
Ron Paul understands the reality of war. He understands not only the cost in human life and treasure, but the cost in moral standing. He served as a flight surgeon in the Vietnam war and saw first hand war´s ravages. The reality is that these wars we are involved in, these exercises in empire building, are breaking the country. They are sapping funds which would be better spent on right here, at home, on stabilizing our economy, balancing the budget, and paying off debt. They are wasting our youth, more than simply killing our young men and women, but returning thousands of them broken in both body and spirit. They are wasting innocent lives, lives of men, women and children who harmed no one in this country, had nothing to do with any crimes committed against our nation, and perhaps even liked the United States of America and at one time may have dreamt of living here.
These wars are wasting the collective spiritual karma of the nation, if such a thing exists. They are not justified, as has been shown by the admissions and proofs of lies that have been told to us to justify going to war. They have laid waste to our constitutional protections against tyrannical government as the wars have been used to shred the Bill of Rights. The reality is that these wars have enabled those in power to use torture, dispense with common law, ignore habeas corpus, and defile and ignore long standing international treaties to further their political agendas and grow their personal fortunes. We have already lost the moral high ground and any respect we may have had in the international community, except for maybe the respect that fear brings. The reality is that Ron Paul is still the only candidate who has called for the immediate withdraw of all troops and an end to these unconstitutional wars. More frightening still, all the other candidates have refused to take an attack on Iran off the table and intimate that they would get us into another costlier, bloodier, more dangerous war that will most certainly shake this country to its foundations. The reality is that these wars divide us, they force some who cannot believe their country is anything but perfect to live in denial and others to make excuses rather than ask pertinent questions. Either Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who understands this reality, or the other candidates have less than good intentions in mind.
Ron Paul understands the realities of maintaining an empire. He knows that it costs money to do so. He understands the reality that we can no longer afford an empire. He understands the reality that all empires eventually fail and we are most likely watching one in its death throes. It would be best to let it do so gracefully by bringing our military men and women home to protect our borders. We would leave the diplomats, but let other countries step up and provide protection for themselves. We have come to a point in human history where a world policeman, a world empire, a superpower, is no longer necessary. Certainly most countries would be able to think of better solutions to their squabbles than wars that could possibly lead to their mutual annihilation. Our troops no longer need be based in foreign countries. It is time to bring them home, worry about our own defense, and let the rest of the world do the same. It´s time to let the rest of the world go, and for those of you worried about this, it´ll be ok, really. Ron Paul understands the importance of trade and the realities of the world economy and we will continue to keep in touch with friendly nations and do business with them in a fair and even handed manner.
Ron Paul understands the reality of the world today. He understands the realities of politics. And so do I. I realize his bid for the white house has floundered drastically. I realize his chances are slim to nil. I also understand this tidbit of wisdom. It ain´t over until it´s over. Ron Paul will keep going to the end, be it sweet or bitter. He will keep going despite the media blackout. He will keep going in spite of the nay-sayers and pundits who still don´t understand this movement isn´t about putting a certain man in the white house, it is about preserving the freedoms and liberties that so many in power would like to cast aside and violate. He will keep going because of his frugality and the fortitude of his supporters. He will keep going because there is a message here that needs to be broadcast to the world, the message that there are still some of us who understand what it means to be free, to be truly free, and we will stand and be heard. Ron Paul supporters are not going away that easily. They will stick with their man right up to the Republican convention and they will let everyone know that there is a heavy contingent of the population who are still truly conservative, who still believe in small government, who still believe in the spirit of the constitution and its mandate to limit government power, and who still believe that the president should be a person of honesty and integrity. We will not go away and we will be heard, and we may prove to be a greater influence than anyone has yet to imagine.