In an essay written in July of 2007 I posed the question "Can Ron Paul Cure America's Apathy?" A little more than three years later I have to say the answer is no, but I do believe he helped quite a bit. I think he helped open a lot of eyes and educate many. You see, before then I had nearly given up hope. I imagine that was true for many others who think like I do. I had thought that almost everyone in the world had fallen victim to the collectivist, statist disease that has infected our planet. I felt that too many people were counting on government to provide answers to all societal problems. It was as if everyone was worshipping government and praying to it to cure all of mankind's ills. Too few were looking inward and trying to exercise their own initiative to help become the answers.
Ron Paul's campaign excited me. Here was a presidential candidate discussing issues as they should be discussed. Here was a man getting on national television and distilling issues to their basics. Instead of arguing from a left versus right paradigm, he would argue from a freedom versus tyranny stance. Instead of pandering to an audience, telling lies and making promises that would be impossible to keep in order to garner as many votes as possible, he voiced his principles and explained how they worked in order to educate the electorate so they could make an informed decision. He was an honest man in a field where cheats and liars excel.
But there was a problem with this approach. The corporate media wasn't behind him. He was a threat to their masters' interests. They minimized his efforts by calling him things like "radical" and "unelectable" despite his popularity and the active nature of his supporters. Whenever possible they would ignore him. Most of all, they tried to make his ideas sound like unobtainable pipe dreams, like he didn't know what he was talking about and like they couldn't possibly work in the real world. But Dr. Ron Paul stuck to his guns and kept delivering the message of freedom, confining government to its constitutional limits and maintaining a non interventionist foreign policy. In the end, after they felt he was no longer a political threat to the establishment, the media actually sought him out and welcomed his appearances and his opinions, particularly about the economy.
Suddenly, after he was no longer running for president, Dr. Ron Paul seemed like a pretty smart guy. He is no longer a lovable kook spouting idealistic rhetoric, but someone whose opinions should be listened to and respected. He has written two best selling books, "The Revolution, a Manifesto" and "End the Fed" and has shown he has a better grasp on how an economy runs than most politicians. He has shown that he has a better grasp on morality than most other politicians. He has pointed us in a better direction than most other politicians in this country. He is now speaking out in more corporate media venues than ever before and helping to expose more people than ever to the message of liberty. These ideas are becoming more popular with each day.
It would be interesting to see how the corporate media would reconcile these facts. It would be interesting to see if the talking heads and political pundits would once again try to tell us Dr. Paul was unelectable and his libertarian ideas were unacceptable to the public if he once again ran for president. If that was the case, why have they been asking him to appear on their programs for so long now? With all the exposure he's been getting since his presidential run, if they decide to pull their old tricks and attempt to minimize his campaign, perhaps that would help more people understand the true nature of the corporate media and how they manipulate and falsely frame political discourse. Perhaps that would help show how corporate media is no longer acting as a public watchdog to keep politicians honest and principled, but works instead to politically weed out those individuals who exemplify such traits.
Ron Paul's honesty and principled stances puts him a cut above any other politician holding federal office, in my opinion. He did not get his millions by taking advantage of the power of his office. He does not get millions in campaign donations from corporate interests like most of his fellow congress critters, he got them from ordinary, grass roots folks. He doesn't play the polarizing two party game, but addresses issues head on. He gives honest answers to what problems the federal government should and shouldn't even address. He sticks up for the Constitution of the United States of America and sticks by it and his oath to uphold it. In short, he is the kind of person who should be leading this nation, not one of the bought and sold politicians who hold their corporate backers and globalist buddies above their own nation, their fellow citizens, the principles upon which our nation was built, and even above the laws they pledge to uphold.
Those are the reasons I believe Dr. Ron Paul should hold the highest office in the land, but I hold no illusions as to whether or not he ever will actually hold it. I don't believe for a second that the establishment will ever welcome him with open arms. In fact, if he ever did get elected, I think the establishment would fight it kicking and screaming all the way. Worse, I think that the establishment would do everything in its power not only to prevent that from happening, but to create what disasters it could and to be as uncooperative as possible should it happen. The corporate media would lie and deceive, as it does now. The electoral process would be as fixed and corrupt and hackable as they can get away with, as it is now. The established moneyed elite and their cronies would continue to buy what politicians they can and try to become as powerful and influential as possible, as they do now. The likelihood of a populist candidate like Ron Paul actually becoming president is slim at best.
But winning is not the real importance of a Ron Paul candidacy. Though it would be nice to see a principled individual acting as president of these United States, one man can not undo over a hundred years of creeping statism that has inflicted this nation. It is more important to educate the masses as to their place in a free society. It is more important to start discussions about freedom issues and get people thinking about the meaning of liberty. It is more important to shake the misconceptions from those who have been completely indoctrinated by the system. There are still far too many people who still believe in the left/right paradigm and that there is a difference between a Democrat and a Republican.
If nothing else, a Ron Paul presidential candidacy will keep people thinking. If nothing else it will enlighten more people and draw them into the freedom movement. If nothing else it will reinvigorate those who might become frustrated and want to give up. If nothing else it will help shed some light onto real issues and bring fresh ideas of how to solve problems to the forefront. Ron Paul needs to run for president so that he can continue to bring the message of liberty to the common folk who have not been exposed to it, a message that makes sense and resonates with the vast majority.
Dr. Ron Paul cannot solve America's apathy by himself. We all need to get involved. Other voices need to be raised not only in support of his candidacy, but in support of the principles he represents. The discussion needs to be changed from that of what big government can do for us to that of what we can do to help ourselves. The conversation needs to be changed from that of what should change about big government, to how we can start dismantling big government and return power to the common man. A Ron Paul candidacy would help stimulate such conversations and help spur the change we need to become. The sooner this discussion begins, in my opinion, the better.
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