What Is Success for Liberty?

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It has been a disappointing couple of weeks for many of the Ron
Paul Revolutionaries. Ron Paul received about 10% of the vote in
the Iowa caucuses and then received about 8% of the vote in the
New Hampshire primary, just missing out on third and fourth place
in both.

Iowa was somewhat understandable, being that Ron Paul does not
want to subsidize the ethanol industry, which of course means that
the whole nation subsidizes many of the people of Iowa. But New
Hampshire, home of the free
state project
, where independents could vote in the primary,
was surprisingly low. Unfortunately, the mild weather that day brought
out a high voter turnout, which was certainly a disadvantage to
the Paul campaign. If it had been freezing cold with blizzard conditions,
mostly the hardcore voters would have turned out and Paul may have
received double digits. But the results showed that there is still
a lot of work for us to do.

It would be really easy to get into a permanently bad mood and
become apathetic. These are the times that many will take a less
than optimistic view of the intelligence of the American people.
The only thing that will make some libertarians feel better is a
reading of someone like Mencken
and his references to the Booboisie.

If you must go through that stage, then it would be wise to at
least wait until the Ron Paul campaign is over, as we continue to
recruit more libertarians every day. It would be even wiser to not
let it be permanent. Most people, including libertarians, never
could have dreamed one year ago of Ron Paul getting 10% of the vote
in the Iowa caucuses. Who would have dreamed, even 4 months ago,
that he would raise over 19 million dollars in one quarter? Just
remember that Ron Paul didn't even get one percent of the vote in
his 1988 run for president. His vote total for just the Republican
primaries will likely blow away his vote total for the general election
in 1988.

Although we would have liked to see an even stronger showing in
Iowa and New Hampshire, significant progress has been made. There
are tens of thousands (and probably more) of people who have been
exposed to ideas that they had never really heard articulated before.

We must always remember that this is a battle of ideas. It is a
matter of convincing our fellow human beings that we will all (with
a few exceptions) be better off living in a society with more liberty
and less government.

The best thing about the Ron Paul Revolution is the demographics
of those that support him. He receives support from all different
groups of people, but young people have been especially enthusiastic
about this campaign. But the most encouraging thing is that these
young people actually understand his message. They don't just support
him because of his antiwar views. They don't just support him because
that is the cool thing to do. They support him because they understand
his message of freedom and how it can benefit us. They understand
that freedom is the most moral system. They understand that government
is force. They understand that the Constitution should limit the
power of the federal government. They understand the concept of
states' rights. They understand the basics of monetary policy and
that creating fiat money out of thin air causes price inflation.

The young people of the Ron Paul Revolution are a significant group
and an educated group. With the free flow of information through
the internet, we have reason to be very optimistic. The only way
to win this battle is to continue educating others on the benefits
of liberty. The ultimate success for liberty would of course be
a repeal of the state. But the main step towards that goal is convincing
and educating more and more people on how much better their life
could be with less government force.

We don't need to elect a libertarian president to become free.
We have to change the hearts and minds of the people. The colonists
didn't measure their success with an election. After all, a king
ruled them anyway. The American Revolution took place because the
idea of liberty spread like wildfire. It was people like Thomas
Paine, who published his Common Sense pamphlets that persuaded
people that they could rule their own life and didn't need a king
to tell them what to do.

We can have a peaceful revolution here and it probably won't happen
in a voting booth. As more people continue to see how destructive
the government is, the weaker the system becomes. The collapse of
the Berlin Wall and the entire Soviet Union didn't happen because
of an election. It didn't even happen because of benevolent leaders.
It happened because the system was a failure and could not be supported
any longer. The federal government of the United States could collapse
just as easily.

Gary North has written an article
on taking this whole movement local. This is certainly important
and possibly the most effective way of building off of the success
of the last year. But whatever you do, don't give up hope. A popular
slogan from Ron Paul supporters is: "Dr. Paul cured my apathy."
Make sure you are cured permanently.

Even if you think Ron Paul has no chance of winning, you should
still be taking advantage of this time to recruit more libertarians
to our cause. This is a critical time right now that you can't get
back. Ron Paul has not given up on his campaign and you shouldn't
either. We have the opportunity of a lifetime with a great spokesman
for liberty in the national spotlight. We owe it to ourselves, to
Ron Paul and to the cause of freedom to continue spreading his message
now and in the future.

Take care of yourself and your family, but don't give up fighting
for freedom. We might be closer than you think.

15, 2008

Pike [send him mail]
currently resides in Florida. In his spare time, he enjoys sports,
music, investing, and studying libertarianism.

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