spent a significant sum of money running a full-page advertisement
in USA Today supporting the candidacy of Ron Paul for President
of the United States. Several people have asked me why I did it,
so I have decided to explain my reasoning.
I believe that
as American citizens we stand at an important crossroads in history.
We are faced with a very important decision that will have repercussions
for many, many years. We need to make a decision as to what we want
America to represent, and to become. History will record the outcome
of our decision. If we blow it, many more innocent people will die,
and history will not be kind. As I say to my closest friends, I
do not want to have to explain to my grandchildren that I was one
of the "good Germans."
Let me state
it clearly. The America that I grew up in believed in the rule of
law, not men. The America that I grew up in believed in telling
the truth. The America that I grew up in believed in following Judeo/Christian
values, and yet made room for those of different faiths and backgrounds.
The America I grew up in had a religious flavor, but we were wary
of those who wore their religion on their sleeves. The America that
I grew up in believed in the golden rule: treat people the way we
would like them to treat us. The America that I grew up in believed
that you did not lie, cheat or steal. The America that I grew up
in believed in the inherent goodness of most men, but recognized
that evil exists. Nevertheless, the America that I grew up in did
not believe in an eye for an eye. It believed in protecting oneself
from evil, but in the process of doing so we were cautioned not
to become what we were protecting against. In short, the America
that I grew up in was a place where one could be proud of one's
country, and thankful to the men and women who had sacrificed so
much in the past to give us this heritage.
I wake up today
as a 50-year-old husband and father of three, and I wonder where
that America has gone. I see a President who treated the U.S. Constitution
as if it were "just a god damned piece of paper." He replaced
a President who blatantly lied to the American public. Admittedly
the lie was about something that was none of the Public's business.
However, when a country is led by a liar, it lowers that country's
level of discourse and makes lying seem acceptable. It is not. Are
these the best leaders this Country can produce? I see that second
President's wife running for President with the attitude that because
her husband was elected, she too deserves to be President. Says
who? Do Americans really believe she will act in our best interest
given all the money she has received from the military industrial
complex? I see the U.S. involved in an aggressive undeclared war
against a country that did not represent a threat to us in any way.
Deliberate lies were told to get this war started. To date the outcome
of this war is that between 100,000 and 1.0 million innocent people
have died. These figures are between 30 and 300 times the number
of people killed in 9-11. Do two wrongs make a right? Furthermore,
the majority of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudis. Not Iraqis. We are
allies with Saudi Arabia and yet Saudi Arabia is far from being
a democracy. Yet we went to war to create a democracy in Iraq and
set an example for the Middle East. The hypocrisy is staggering.
The mistakes that were made are criminal. Why anyone believes one
thing that is said by the people who lied us into this war is a
mystery to me. We would be greeted as liberators. No. Oil revenues
will pay the cost. No. A secular democracy will emerge and be an
inspiration for other countries. No. The list of misjudgments goes
on an on. If they were a baseball team one would be forced to wonder
"can anyone here play this game?"
Iraqis killed by our pre-emptive war: were they collateral damage
or is that just a euphemism for murder? Has anyone taken the time
to look at their pictures on the Web? I wonder how their relatives
and friends feel about the United States. I wonder if they are more
or less likely to become terrorists as a result of the actions of
the United States. I see a Country that has violated the Geneva
Conventions. I see a Country that has violated the Christian doctrine
of "just war." I see a Country that has started a war
that is illegal under international law. As President Eisenhower
said, "Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly,
I would not listen to anyone who seriously talked about such a thing."
I see a flock of Presidential candidates, most of whom voted for
this war and many of whom believe "all options should be on
the table" in dealing with Iran. For those who are not current
on this subject, that language is code for: we should be prepared
to attack Iran with conventional or nuclear weapons. Think about
that for a moment. Leaders in this Country are actually talking
about using a nuclear weapon against a country that has not attacked
us. Are they insane? I hear Neocon pundits calling for the beginning
of World War III. I see a Country that has suspended habeas corpus.
I see a Country that has stripped its citizens of the Constitutional
protections against an overreaching government. I see a Country
that has sanctioned "rendition" which is just another
term for the kidnapping of anyone, anywhere, throughout the world,
and then spiriting them off to a remote location where they can
be subject to "enhanced interrogation techniques." Which
we are told are not torture. Another lie. I see a Country that has
engaged in torture. Hell, one leading Presidential candidate wants
to "double Guantanamo" and thinks his son's campaigning
for him is equivalent to serving in the military. Of course, he
got a deferment to avoid serving in Vietnam. I see a Country where
the top advocates of war have never fought in one. Worse yet, they
sought and obtained deferments when others were fighting. You cannot
make this stuff up. The irony is incredible. If there is karma in
the world, we are surely screwed.
I see a Country
that thinks that it owns and controls the world. I believe this
is ethically wrong. Furthermore, we cannot afford it, so even attempting
to run the world is pointless. I see a Country that thinks it should
have bases in the Middle East for the next fifty years. I see a
Country where the dominant political party, the Neocons, believe
the world is a dark and evil place. I believe the people who feel
this way are projecting their own views onto the rest of the world.
They need therapy. I see a Country that has adopted the Old Testament
view of an eye for an eye. If we adopt this view we are on the road
to becoming a modern day Pottersville. In short, I see a Country
that has lost its soul. Out of malfeasance, fear, ignorance, or
incompetence we have implemented the wrong policies and taken the
wrong course. Since this is true, then effectively the terrorists
are winning. God surely has a great sense of humor. Irony abounds.
Is it possible
that America has lost its soul? As citizens each and every one of
us is somewhat responsible for the acts of our government. All it
takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. So,
has America lost it soul: yes or no? I would submit that while the
current U.S. Administration and the vast majority of the Senate
and Congress have lost their souls, the American people have not.
We were lied to. Nearly 70% of the American population is against
this war, and yet the war goes on. The vast majority of the American
people want peace. People know what is right, yet the government
does the wrong thing. How can this be? We are supposed to be a government
OF, FOR and BY the People. Are we? What do you think? Is the government
the American people? Does it really represent the American people?
Do you think the U.S. government should kill innocent Iraqis to
make us safer? Would you advocate killing a man who lives down the
street because you think he might do you harm in the future, even
though he has done nothing to you yet? Do you think the 2 million
dead Vietnamese citizens died in a cause that was just for either
side? That is what we are about to find out.
I will say
it right now, clearly and loud: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WE HAVE TODAY
DOES NOT REPRESENT ME. I FURTHER BELIEVE THAT IT DOES NOT REPRESENT
A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS. The huge disconnect between what a majority
of this country wants and what our government is doing is the elephant
in the room that no one will discuss. I cannot in good conscience
condone or support the policies of the Neocons, the military industrial
complex, or the oil industry. I do not believe in "Full Spectrum
Dominance." I do not believe "We Are The Indispensable
Nation." I do not believe we are "History's Actors."
I do not believe we can "Make Our Own Reality." I do not
believe we should be an Empire. I think we have great power and
military superiority, and that with these come enormous responsibility.
We are a Constitutional Republic. I do not believe we need to have
strategic influence all over the world. I believe there is a power
higher than my government and that the Founders drew upon this power
when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal. That reads all men. Not all Americans. All men have god given
rights. Governments are made to protect these rights, not destroy
them. Until recently, I believe the American government did a good
job of protecting these rights if you were an American. For many
years now I believe the American government has used a different
standard or playbook when dealing with foreign countries and foreign
citizens. But that is a story for a different essay.
If it sounds
like I am mad, then that is right. I am mad as hell and I am
not going to take it anymore. (Source: Howard Beale: Network)
I am mad that my money becomes worth less every year because the
Federal Reserve can print money out of thin air. I am mad that the
U.S. Government inflation statistics are a lie, thanks to Bill Clinton's
changing of the CPI calculation. I am mad that this change and the
Federal Reserve have put the economy on a roller coaster leading
to a boom and bust cycles that benefit financiers at the expense
of the middle class, retirees and the poor. I am mad that Wall Street
titans and speculators have been rewarded while savers and honest
labor have been punished. I am mad that honesty is considered quaint
and naïve by the political classes. I am mad at the arrogance
of those who hold power in Washington, DC. I am mad that the actions
of some men in my Country have taken away the moral high ground
that the U.S. used to occupy. I am mad that my tax dollars are used
for weapons rather than for peaceful purposes. I do not want the
blood of innocents on my hands. I do not agree with many of Michael
Moore's positions, but his statement "dude, I want my country
back" resonates with me. I believe that it resonates with a
large portion of the American voter base.
Americans are great people. If 70% of this country is opposed to
the war then there is still hope. Of course the mainstream media,
the press and the vested industrial and political interests would
have us all believe that we cannot make a difference. They say we
need to listen to them as they tell us who the next President will
be. We have to choose between the two candidates they will serve
up to us. We are told who the two front-runners are, and we are
discouraged from looking elsewhere. Why bother, they say? No one
else even stands a chance. Maybe so, maybe not. This time I think
they have gone too far. I would submit that the outcome of this
election it is not so clear. The establishment dam has sprung a
leak. The leak may be small now, but it is growing. It is growing
exponentially. The word is spreading. The candidates who represent
change are moving up (Ron Paul and Barack Obama). The candidates
who represent the status quo are moving down (Rudy Giuliani and
Hillary Clinton). Even Rudy is being forced to talk about what a
great religion Islam is in order to soften his " kill'em all,
and let god sort them out" message.
The lines could
not be more clearly drawn.
message is clear and beautiful and true. It resonates with people.
You hear it and you say, "that's right, that's what I believe."
This is why his poll numbers are rising faster than any other candidate.
Yet, the media still ignores him or treats him poorly. It is beautiful
irony that every attack on him only brings him more attention as
intelligent Americans wonder, "who is this guy that everyone
keeps attacking…. I wonder if there is a reason." They say
he cannot win. They say he is a fringe candidate. They say he will
lose big. I disagree. First, I think there is a very good chance
he will be our next President. Second, I think he has won, even
if he does not win. Why? Because he has put the Freedom message
out there. It is like a virus. It is spreading. It cannot be stopped.
I believe history will record the Ron Paul Freedom Movement as a
seminal political event in the history of U.S. politics. It is an
honor to support this man. We should be so lucky as to have him
for our President.
that, we could all help history along a little bit by supporting
the Ron Paul campaign. My favorite movie is It's
A Wonderful Life. To me, the message of that movie is that
we all make a difference. Individually, none of us have the power
of the Neocons and the political classes, but collectively they
are supposed to work for us. If we self-organize and unite, we have
them badly out numbered. They are terrified, believe me on this.
And it is happening. The growth in this movement is exponential.
We can and will win this struggle. Anyone who tells you otherwise
is a defeatist or is working for the other side. I ran the USA
Today Advertisement because I wanted to plant a seed and make
a difference. WE ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Every conversation, every
person converted, every e-mail, every effort, it all counts. The
internet is what has made it possible. What a beautiful thing. The
trend is really changing and it is fun to watch the old guard struggle
as their fortress crumbles.
So what can
this December 16th we are holding a one-day fundraiser
for Ron Paul. The last time we did this over 37,000 people donated
$4.3 million dollars, or an average of $116 per person. That made
this event the largest one day political fund raiser in history.
On December 16th we will raise even more money. Every
contribution counts. Ten dollars is not too little. Each contribution
represents another American who has said, enough is enough. I am
mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore. Think about it,
what is freedom worth? I would submit that it is priceless.
If you care about the future of this Country, I know that Ron Paul
will not let you down. If you care about our troops, then you must
vote for Ron Paul. They will come home and defend America, not someone
else's country. Ron Paul has more donations from active military
personnel than all the other candidates combined. Why do you think
that is? Have you heard about it from the Mainstream Media? I think
This is it
folks. Once in a lifetime. You will never see another politician
with more integrity, and a better message or track record. Rarely
has our Country been so far off track. Our Founding Fathers pledged
their lives, fortunes and sacred honors in order to establish this
Nation. Perhaps we have taken for granted the risk they took and
the sacrifices they made. But we are being called. We are being
tested. How will we answer? Will we meet the test or will we fail?
Each of us makes a difference.
So what are
you going to do? Are you going to be a Loyalist or a Patriot? Are
you going to storm the ramparts or huddle with the bourgeoisie?
Are you going to stick your neck out or be a turtle. Americans are
brave people. I believe we can set this country back on the right
track and that we will all be better off for doing so. We can show
the evil men who call themselves Neocons that this great country
will not be hijacked by people who call themselves Christians but
are anything but. In short, we can say to the two entrenched political
parties: we will not be governed by liars and fools. You can no
longer piss on our leg and tell us it is raining. The criminal gang
which includes Dick Cheney and the Neocons will be reviled in history
for the actions they have taken and America will experience a renaissance
of Peace, Freedom and Prosperity.
to our Republic is real — we must act now!
one of us makes a difference.
You can also
join us in the discussion over at www.ronpaulforums.com.
Lepard [send him mail] is
a venture capitalist and investment manager and lives and works
in the Boston, Massachusetts area.