I realize I write a lot about Ron Paul. I make no apologies for that. He is out on the forefront of a new freedom movement, a movement that is gaining strength as more and more people begin to understand its true nature. There are two divergent ideologies at odds in the world today, collectivism and individualism. Unfortunately, collectivism and group thought seem to be the dominate ideologies guiding politics in modern times. Ron Paul has emerged as the most prominent leader championing the virtues of individualism. This ideology is the spirit which drove the founders of our nation and was codified into law via the Bill of Rights in an effort to ensure that it would be the guiding ideology in perpetuity of the people who would come to these shores seeking freedom. Over the past few decades it seems that most people have forgotten this as we struggle and experiment with different collectivist political schemes, most of which have already been tried and have already failed in other parts of the world. Not only has Ron Paul reminded us of this, he has brought to the forefront of our consciousness ideas that innately make sense to many of us, the ideas of freedom and liberty.
In the fall of 2008 there was great hope and exuberance in our nation, indeed perhaps throughout the world. I didn't share in the exuberance, but of course I could feel it exuding from so many others. Still, I feel as if even back then many who praised the new “change” and “hope” that was being touted understood deep down that there was something wrong. We've all seen this song and dance before. With the exception of the most ardent and brainwashed amongst us, I think that most realized as they voted for “change” and “hope” that they were grasping at straws. They were simply so indoctrinated into this unfairly positioned two party collectivist monopoly that they either couldn't or they refused to see any alternatives. The mainstream media helped to maintain the facade, of course.
The common folk know when they're being lied to. More and more people are beginning to realize that they have been presented with illusions all these years. They are discovering that they have been given false choices, that they have been shown a false version of the way things are and the way they have to be. Many are getting tired of being told how and what to think by talking heads and politicos who are just different sides of the same collectivist coin and have come to the realization that they can determine for themselves what opinions to hold. They have stopped reading newspapers and tuning in to television news not because of convenience, but in search of an alternative source of information that more conforms with the reality they want to create. Many may not even realize that they are searching for an individualist philosophy, they only know that they wish to find an honest news source they can trust, one that shows some common sense.
Things seem to have gotten a bit worse lately. I've been hearing about how the economy is recovering. I've been listening to these talking heads spouting off about production and credit and liquidity. I've been hearing numbers that can't be true. These people think you and I are stupid. They believe they can pull the wool over our eyes even as we stare into the abyss. The means of production have been shipped offshore. Unemployment is soaring. Everywhere you look people have been laid off. Those who still have jobs are working longer and harder for less money. Private businesses are hanging on by their fingertips. No one's buying anything because most people are trying to pay off their debt.
Think about your own life. Are you better off than you were last year? Five years ago? If so, do you have to help out more people or take on more responsibility because of it? How about your family and friends, how many of them are having difficulties? Yet the mainstream media continues to try to paint a rosy picture, put on a smiling face and tell you that everything is going to be alright while the establishment politicians give all the money and power to the already incredibly wealthy (who seem to be hoarding it) in the form of bailouts and then increase taxes on the strapped middle class. The whole time they're doing this they try to divert our attention by ranting and raving about global warming and expensive health care. Is it any wonder people have started looking elsewhere for sanity? Is it any wonder people have lost trust in those who were once, long ago, considered paragons of virtue?
The political leadership of this country has been as disappointing as the mainstream media's fluff filled news coverage. They also apparently believe you and I are stupid, or perhaps that we're simply not paying attention. They seem to believe they can do whatever they want to us and not have to worry about the consequences of their actions. They can get away with spending or giving our money and our progeny's money to the undeserving because we continue to re-elect them, not to mention many of them don't have to worry about their own circumstances anyway. They get away with passing unconstitutional laws because no one calls them onto the carpet about such details.
The founders of our country set up the federal government in the spirit that individuals in this country would need protection from the powerful state governments that were to be set up, not to become a hindrance and encumbrance to individual innovation, self determination and personal liberty. This is exactly what the federal government has become in its efforts to be everything to everyone, all encompassing and omnipotent. It was supposed to be a check on competing states to protect individualism, not a tyrant issuing dictates to, demanding money from and regulating the trade between individuals living in this nation. It has stepped outside the bounds of the constitution that was written and adopted in an effort to regulate the power of a central government and the political leadership in Washington, DC couldn't care less. In fact, they wish to facilitate the change toward tyranny and increase their own personal power.
It is time to start looking for new, alternative leadership as the masses have started looking to new, alternative news sources. It is time to start looking for people who understand that protecting and respecting the rights of the individual is the best way to protect the group. “Szandor, how can we do this when it is so far from any major election?” you may ask. There need not be any elections to seek alternative leadership. In fact, elections have proven to be quite ineffectual when it comes to eliminating graft and corruption in the system. Alternative leadership should come from those who understand laws and regulations need not be proposed to control the behavior of the people and the marketplace, they need to be proposed to control and regulate the political and power elite. These leaders need to realize that a federal government should not be set up to mandate how citizens behave, but should be used to make sure that individual rights are protected from abuse by corporate and state agencies. These leaders need to start policing the political and power elite, exposing the secrets they want to keep from the general public and get them to stop trying to frighten us into surrendering our personal power and responsibilities.
Although he wasn't the first, Ron Paul is the most recent to pick up the banner of freedom and parade it in front of the masses. He did so in last year's televised presidential debates. He delivered his message succinctly in plain English so the common man could understand and with great reverence to the Constitution of this nation. While he didn't win the nomination, likely due to the characterization in the mainstream media that he was unelectable and the mindlessness of the American voters when it comes to believing the political talking heads on TV, he did awaken a great many people as to certain political realities taking place in this country and shake the apathy out of them. He gave hope to those of us who believe in an individualist philosophy.
Ron Paul's campaign also managed to frighten the political establishment. It showed them that a large contingent of the American electorate still cares about the ideas of liberty, smaller government and political adherence to the Constitution. The visual nature of his supporters and their enthusiasm gave them pause to think. The amount of money he was able to raise from the grass roots and the innovative ways in which this feat was accomplished left the political establishment and the power elite scratching their heads. They were left wondering how an uncharismatic, old country doctor could attract such a diverse base of support and collect so much from those of us who seem to have so little. The answer is simple, it wasn't the man, it was the message. As Ron Paul himself likes to say, freedom is popular.
Ron Paul showed us just how powerful a lone voice in the wilderness can be. He defied the political establishment and kept touting his message as best he could under hostile circumstances. He showed us in an honest and thoughtful manner that it's okay to challenge the political establishment and to say no to unprincipled policies enacted more for political expediency instead of necessity. He reached a great many with his coy politeness and straightforward common sense despite efforts to paint him as an unelectable crazy fool and a joke. Despite losing the nomination he has kept his name at the forefront of the political scene with his push to pass a measure to audit the Federal Reserve and bring more transparency to that quasi-government organization. His legacy also includes an organization called “Campaign for Liberty” which is helping to spread the message of freedom and garner support for efforts to regain the respect for our rights that government should hold. Meanwhile others such as Judge Andrew Napolitano and Peter Schiff have picked up on delivering the messages of individual personal freedoms and free market enterprise to the general public and are doing a fantastic job at it. These are the alternative leaders we need to pay attention to going forward.
Yet more is needed. These few are not enough to open the minds of those who refuse to listen and still don't understand exactly what it is that we have lost. Yes, more and more people are beginning to realize the growth and prosperity that cutting back government services and returning to a freedom oriented society would bring, but we need to be relentless if we are to bring about the change we in the freedom movement seek. We need more leaders to step forward, more alternatives from which to choose.
Where do we find such leaders? Look in the mirror. We all need to do our part. I saw a youtube video today of a young former soldier at a town hall meeting who demanded an apology from his congresswoman because he had upheld his oath to the Constitution but she was not fighting against health care reform as her oath to the Constitution demands of her. He received a standing ovation. I've seen other videos, read and heard about other efforts to effect change, to exercise rights and to let those who think they rule over us know that we are not going to simply sit by and let them get away with ignoring their own rules and the laws set down by the founding fathers. This is the kind of alternative leadership needed to turn things around and to activate more citizens. People are mad and they're getting madder, now they simply need a direction in which to point their anger.
You will not find these stories reported in the mainstream media. That is why they have lost viewers, readers and listeners. That is why more and more people have turned to alternative sources to get their news. Likewise, more and more people are going to be turning to alternative sources to find their leaders. It is up to us to become those leaders. It is up to us to turn the masses away from the meaningless drivel put out by mainstream media and political sources and show them the significance of individualism in our society. It is up to us to become the alternative leadership. When this happens, then we shall take back the government of the people, by the people and for the people. When we do this, then we shall become empowered and we will know what it is to be truly free and self determined.