Monday, May 26, 2008

Ron “Speed Racer” Paul

This article was originally published at on May 18th, 2008

When I was a child, my friends and I used to rush home from school to watch the next installment of the cartoon “Speed Racer.” It was my favorite cartoon. For whatever reason, I was always anxious to see how Speed would get out of the trouble he was in at the end of the last episode and what new problems awaited him. I remember these as happy times. I was spending time with my friends. After the program, we would often go outside and run around like kids do, but for that half hour we were totally engrossed with Speed Racer’s world. This is why I was both excited and apprehensive when I found out Hollywood was making a movie about Speed Racer. I was excited because of the childhood memories I had that I hoped the movie would live up to. I was apprehensive because I know Hollywood can often times take such childhood memories and create huge disappointments.

I’m about to discuss the plot of the movie “Speed Racer” and give away the ending, so if you plan on seeing it and you don’t wish to know these things yet, I suggest you stop reading now.

I took my kids to see the movie “Speed Racer” last weekend. I thought it was very well done. My kids, aged sixteen and fourteen, also liked it, telling me as we walked out of the theater that it was much better than they thought it was going to be. Of course, I guess they thought it was going to be some kind of hokey, lame, cartoonish movie with no substance. Admittedly, it could have been so, just some action movie about some race car driver trying to win races just for the glory of it. Surprisingly, it was the plot and depth of character which made this movie such a gem. I could relate to the principles the characters were trying to adhere to and the temptation presented to get them to forsake their principles.

As a child, speed falls in love with the sport of racing because his family is so involved with the sport. He sees it as an honorable competition where certain rules of conduct are adhered to and certain principles maintained. He grows up to become a talented racer, like his brother was. As such, a manufacturer of automobile parts tries to recruit him to his team. Having a winning racing team is good for business. Speed refuses explaining that he prefers to stay independent. It becomes obvious that he believes that racing is a sport where fair play still prevails. It is at this point he discovers that the sport of racing is phony, that a system was set up where all winners for years had been determined before the race was run. Speed returns home depressed and dejected, feeling helpless.

The rest of the movie details how Speed Racer battles the evil liars, cheaters and scum that have infiltrated the racing industry. He does this in a principled manner using only tricks that are defensive in nature and counteract the offensive, aggressive cheats the dirtier racers use. During the course of this movie, he even exposes the cheaters for all the world to see. He shows the world that it isn’t only winning that’s important, but that integrity, fairness and honesty are as important.

In the end, Speed Racer wins despite the odds stacked against him. He does so with an independent spirit and without compromising his principles. The audience cheers as the underdog takes the trophy. It leaves the viewer with a good feeling and believing that a man of principle, no matter how naive he may seem, can still come out on top without selling himself out. Perhaps this isn’t the easiest way to make it in today’s world, but it’s still quite possibly the best if at the end of the day you want to go to bed feeling good about yourself.

This movie reminded me of Ron Paul and his candidacy. The establishment seems to have done everything in their power to keep Ron Paul from winning. They have marginalized him to the best of their ability and still he continues to hang in and refuses to quit no matter the odds against him. There are a couple of obvious differences between Ron Paul and Speed Racer, however. Of course there is the fact that Speed Racer was destined to win his races because that’s how the writers wrote the script. Those who are writing the script in the presidential race did not plan on having Dr. Paul stick around for so long. They wanted their guy to have sealed the victory by now. They are now scrambling to rewrite the rules they have previously lived by to further assure their man’s ultimate victory. Those who are writing the script for the presidential race are the cheaters and they want the man who has sold himself out to the powers that be to win. In the movie Speed Racer, the media covering the races he was in were fair and impartial. They helped Speed Racer expose the corruption and cheating. In the presidential race, the media is on the side of those in power and seek to stifle and minimize any exposure of corruption and cheating that may surface. The odds are most certainly stacked against Ron Paul.

Americans certainly seem to love an underdog when it comes to the movies. They applaud and appreciate it when someone like Speed Racer beats the odds and wins. If only it could be like that in the presidential race. Here is a true to life underdog they can rally around. If only Americans would appreciate more the man of principle, integrity, honesty and honor. If only they would embrace the man who has proven himself to be the champion of the Constitution and a true advocate of smaller government. His supporters have done an excellent job of following his example, but they need support also. Perhaps there is a way something can be done to at least restore the integrity of the Republican Party, but even that seems unlikely. Still, it would be nice to see Ron Paul accomplish more than just becoming an also ran. It would be nice to see an underdog actually win something in real life, just like in the movies. If such a thing is to be accomplished, then his supporters must not give up. They must maintain that fighting spirit and remain faithful to the cause of freedom. Hopefully, there are still some surprises in store for us before this race comes to an end.

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