I was talking to my brother the other day about Democrats and Republicans. We were discussing the increasingly obvious perception that there is no difference between the two parties. The reason for this, in my humble opinion, is also obvious. Both Democrats and Republicans lust for power. They want the world to be twisted to their point of view and they want others to honor and adore them for it. They want to tell everyone how to live their lives and where to spend their money. Both parties love big government, the bigger the better. It increases their power and their personal worth in their own eyes. The average person, on the other hand, likely wants more freedom, though he may not even realize that's what he wants. The common folk have for millennia been seeking more say over their destinies.
Politicians have a way of saying what people want to hear, making promises as to how they will behave, and then not following through with their actions. They have a tendency to tell you how to think rather than listening to you to find out what you think. They ignore what they don't want to hear and justify the actions they take which violate the oaths they made. They have no problem with hypocrisy, so long as their power and influence is increased and yours is diminished.
Freedom has been broken down and divided into two basic categories by politicians and their client experts, economic freedoms and personal freedoms. Whether this was done purposefully or not is debatable, but it has resulted in a divide and conquer system that has led to bigger government and more tyranny despite promises to the opposite. Republicans promise greater economic freedom, but only deliver bigger government in terms of military spending and a growth of the police state. Democrats promise greater personal freedom but only deliver bigger government in terms of more spending on social programs and more regulations and restrictions in the business sector. Somehow, no matter who is elected into office, government always manages to grow in size and scope despite the demand for the opposite. The elite class gains more power and disregards the rights of the common folk. The elite class wins, the common folk lose.
In 2008, Ron Paul threw a wrench into this machinery in his bid to become the Republican presidential candidate. This was because he advocates a pro liberty stance no matter the issue. He has a record of voting for less government, no matter the issue. He has decided to honor his oath to the Constitution and protect individual rights, no matter the issue. It was because of his principles, his honesty, that the media painted him as unelectable and against certain mainstream Republican dogmas.
Ron Paul makes a lot of sense to a great many people, more than many might imagine. This has more to do with the message than it does with the man. As is often pointed out, Ron Paul is not the most proficient speaker in politics. He is not capable of hypnotic oratory that fires people up like the current president. In fact, sometimes he has a tendency to hesitate in his speech or stumble over his words. But this is an honest shortcoming, one that people are willing to put up with when they are interested in the subject matter.
Ron Paul has a message of more freedom, not more restrictions. He has a message of smaller, limited government, not more regulatory agencies adding more bureaucracies and more potential for corruption and tyranny. He has a message of free market competition rather than government monopoly. While it may not be apparent to some right away, the ideas he proposes make economic as well as moral sense. Some will argue differently because to them freedom is hard work. It might mean giving up some things a few may feel entitled to, but it also means greater opportunity to provide for yourself, not having to worry so much about losing what you've worked for, and regaining a sense of pride and accomplishment by taking personal responsibility for yourself and your loved ones.
Ron Paul has declared he will run for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2012, as many of us figured he would. This is a good thing in and of itself. He will now be included in the debates, one of which has already taken place, and will continue to disseminate a liberty message to many who might not have otherwise thought of issues in such a manner. He will be able to further clarify and explain the message to an even larger audience. It is my hope that more and more people will be able to hear the truth in his words and listen to the sense his ideas make rather than believing in the illusions woven by the lies of the other politicians and listening to their empty promises.
Freedom makes sense in this world. It makes sense for you to keep the wealth you earn for yourself and for you to decide what to do with it. Does it make sense for you to receive wealth you didn't earn from some uncaring stranger? Does it make sense for you to let someone else decide what to do with the wealth you've earned, someone who takes that wealth through coercive threats and force?
It makes sense to want to trade peacefully with other peoples in the world. It makes sense that by building such friendships we have more influence upon them and more impact in changing their cultures. Does it make sense to bomb and shoot them or their relatives and then expect them to be nice to us? Does it make sense to force change upon them through violence and then expect them to meekly accept that change? Is it possible that at such times people would be willing to sacrifice what little personal liberties they had to support strong men who promise to protect them from us?
It makes sense that you should decide what to do with your own body. Does it make sense to allow complete strangers to mandate what you can and can't do with your own person? Does it make sense to allow those same people to tell you how much risk you can take in your own life? Does it make sense for you to allow them to hire others to spy on you and enforce any such nanny state laws? Don't you think that such power would be abused? Don't you think that people might use such power to benefit themselves and their friends regardless of who it might hurt? Doesn't it make more sense for each individual to decide what is right in their own lives for their own bodies so long as they don't harm others? Doesn't it make more sense that each individual should decide the risk level he wishes to take on in his own life? Doesn't it make more sense for people to be able to learn from their mistakes and celebrate their successes rather than never even being able to test their potential because a faceless state won't allow them to take such risks?
Some say the American experiment in freedom has failed, but I say this is not so. The American experiment in freedom was working just fine, so fine in fact that I believe many fell asleep at the wheel and stopped paying attention. We became the mightiest economic engine the world has ever known because of its individualist roots and philosophy, not due to welfare or warfare. At the turn of the twentieth century, the collectivists gained a foothold in this nation and they have been slowly eroding the foundations of our prosperity. It is their socialist, fascist, corporatist experiments that have failed. It's their philosophies that are now prominent in our federal government institutions and it's their laws and actions that have led us down this path of self destruction and economic crisis. It is time to reverse this trend and reinforce the principles the American nation was founded upon. The first step in this process is to do what Ron Paul suggests and simply start following the Constitution. In this way perhaps we can once again become the shining beacon on the hill for the rest of the world and we can evolve into the free nation our forefathers envisioned and millions fought and died for.
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