Should We Lose Hope?

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It looks likely
that the next president of the United States will be John McCain,
Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton. There is still a chance that a
third-party candidate could come out of nowhere and win, but we
know that is unlikely at this point. Although Obama talks of change
and sometimes talks of withdrawing from Iraq, we know that we will
mostly get more of the same. Of course, Clinton or McCain would
be a virtual guarantee of a continuation of big government in every
aspect.

In this election,
we finally had a libertarian who received some publicity and actually
was allowed in the debates. It is obviously disheartening that he
didn't get a higher vote total, even if the mainstream media didn't
cover him much. Ron Paul reached a lot of people and made a few
waves, but Americans, and in particular Republicans, seemed to reject
his message.

It seems hopeless
at times, as we know that the mainstream media will never willingly
change. Government will continue to grow and the whole system has
been rigged in favor of the establishment. How could we possibly
ever reverse this course?

I learned many
things from Harry Browne, but the most important thing I ever learned
from him is that we should still be hopeful. It is really amazing
how many libertarians think that we are doomed. While there are
certainly no guarantees, the chance of gaining back liberty and
drastically reducing government in our lives is quite high in the
long run. As Harry used to say, "human nature is on our side."

Go ahead and
find a nice mall and walk around it. Look at the people talking
on their cell phones, drinking their Starbucks, and carrying their
shopping bags. Look at them getting in and out of their SUV's and
playing with their iPods. You may think they are spoiled brats,
but really it is a sign of how much wealth our society has and how
far we've come. Now we may go through some rough times in the near
future and people will certainly have to cut back and save more
money, but do you really think people are going to give up this
lifestyle?

There is a
reason that Ron Paul drew strong support from young people. His
young supporters know that Social Security is bankrupt and that
they would be much better off with far less government. But even
many young people that didn't support Paul understand that they
shouldn't depend on Social Security and all of the other promises
made by government.

It is unlikely
that we will elect a libertarian president any time soon, but that
doesn't mean that all is lost. It is the opinions and values of
the people that will ultimately count. Although too many people
buy into the falsehood of elections and think that democracy means
freedom, even these people want to run their own lives and make
their own choices.

The best hope
for freedom in this world may still lie with Americans. Although
the U.S. government has become an empire on the verge of bankruptcy,
there is still a strong sense of individualism in this country.
We have a high degree of religious freedom, freedom of speech, and
freedom of press (yes, there are exceptions).

In the last
year, the libertarian movement has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks
in large part to Ron Paul's presidential run. The strongest support
is from the youth and we have every reason to believe that this
is a trend that will continue. The government education system has
become such a joke that most kids don't even pay attention to what
is taught in school. Sure, they probably aren't learning to read
and write as well as they should, but at least many of them are
coming out of high school not believing that the government is the
answer to all of their problems.

With the open
communication of the internet, how can this move towards liberty
be stopped? We have the truth on our side and now we just have to
communicate to others on how much better their life would be without
big government.

Most comedy
shows ridicule politicians to no end and the populace has very little
respect for politicians. Their respect for government as a whole
is not far behind. The groundwork has been laid. We must build on
this. It will not happen overnight, but it can happen.

The idea of
liberty is becoming fashionable again. The empire is dying and we
will be there to pick up the pieces. We must be consistent, truthful,
radical, and unashamed of our ideas. We can win our freedom and
we will show the rest of the world how great life can be. We will
no longer spread democracy at the point of a gun. Instead, we will
spread freedom by example.

March
7, 2008

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

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