I am ashamed to admit that I’ve been watching Ron Paul’s recent political acts with fingers and toes crossed, breathless.
Seeing Ron Paul educate Wolf Blitzer earlier this week, after his astoundingly fantastic performance in the second Republican debate, makes me sorry I had lost my faith in the power of truth, the power of courage. I’m sorry that I didn’t believe in the possibility that a serious person in the American political arena would commit that most radical act of speaking truth to power.
And in doing it, not only survive, but thrive!
A famous Orwell quote captures what is happening. "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." And while many have been working to prepare ground for truth and freedom in this country, I think we will note that the first shots in this revolution have been fired by Ron Paul.
Orwell had glimpsed what would become the modern political state, globally engaged in endless wars, fighting shadowy enemies who constantly change, because they never really mattered anyway. What mattered, and what still matters, is war, with its handmaidens Fear and Public Amnesia. Without fear and amnesia, holding on to domestic political power in the American neoconservative oligarchy becomes risky, uncertain.
Ron Paul is speaking truth to the whole world, with patience and patriotism flowing in equally generous portions. Like the young David, he is received by the dogs of war with sneers, self-important snarling, threatening stares. Like David, he seems almost unarmed and even unprepared for the great battle to come. But like David, he is unafraid. Like David, he understands what he believes in and knows it to be consistent with all that is good and just.
On the other hand, his political opponents, in both parties, do not truly believe in what they are saying. The neoconservative evangelical Republican Party seeks the 2008 presidency and the neoconservative socialist Democratic Party seeks the 2008 presidency. It isn’t because they believe in something — instead, they seek to access domestic power and maintain the status quo — an enriching and profitable status quo for people and organizations in power, I might add.
I’m not just saying this because I am excited about Ron Paul’s candidacy and the possibility of his presidency. Recall if you will, the first Republican debate, when the candidates were asked about National ID cards. Some of the other candidates began to respond, clonelike, each confusing the national ID card with some vague undeveloped ideas they have about security for the country. Their reptilian brains were drumming "Security, Security, Must Look Good on Security."
Then Ron Paul gets to answer the national ID card question. It is unnecessary and would have little to nothing to offer in terms of national security. Oh, and then he firmly rejected it. Like a real man!
Immediately, the candidates — even some who had already spoken, rushed and stumbled to agree or at a minimum, move toward the Ron Paul position. I recall Giuliani saying something like he would only have a national ID card for aliens. Huh? My mother says if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Let me then say this: Rudy Giuliani has the biggest reptilian brain of all the candidates.
Ron Paul offers real change, and a real way ahead for America that includes not just an embrace of the original constitutional outline of small government, but something we can really partake of each day — free economics, free speech, free will. Further, Ron Paul promises something that is valuable and precious to Americans who belong to a political party — any political party. Ron Paul offers a chance to share a real sense of our country as glorious and honorable, a joyful, fearless land of opportunity and of peace.
Because make no mistake, the United States has not been glorious and wonderful, and certainly not free and peaceful, for many decades.
I am excited about Ron Paul and his campaign. I have ritualistically voted since 1978, usually as a Republican, later as a libertarian, and last fall I voted for Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a Democrat. I’ll ritualistically vote for Ron Paul in 2008, if I can. But far more than that, I am pleased to be humbled by each new day of the Ron Paul campaign — to witness the raw power of ideas and debate — after such a long hiatus of ideas and debate from the American political game.
The Greek concept of happiness, eudaimonia, keeps coming to mind whenever I think of Ron Paul as President. It is about faithful and right action, not human exultation or social extremes. It is about the happy and fulfilling marriage of knowledge and virtue. It is about reality over fantasy, faith over existentialism, doing good over doing evil.
In other words, Ron Paul rocks!
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for MilitaryWeek.com, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com and Liberty and Power. Archives of her American Forum radio program can be accessed here and here. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.