His Excellency Ron Paul

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In the spring
of 2006, a friend sent me the book His
Excellency George Washington
by Joseph J. Ellis. I was a
bit put off by the title — until I learned that Washington’s troops
had playfully given him that moniker. They called him “His Excellency”
to signify that their allegiance was no longer to Britain through
the person of King George but rather that it was to the United States
through the excellent man by the name of George Washington. For
those of us today who value justice, liberty, and the domestic tranquility
that results, it’s now becoming increasingly urgent to do something
similar. We must first stand forth and declare that our allegiance
is firmly with the high-minded Americanism of our founders, not
with the unrealistic, pessimistic ideology called “Liberalism.”
If we hope to actually make a difference, we must do that through
an excellent man who is willing to step up and take the lead. I
believe Congressman Ron Paul is that man.

As I gobbled
up the pages of the Ellis book, I was amazed at how much I did not
know about the Father of Our Country. I came to fully realize that
George Washington was truly an exceptional human being. I learned
that he was consistently a hard-boiled realist but at the same time
an unshakable optimist. As a result of that philosophical base,
although he was born into quite mediocre circumstances, he had consistently
either seized the moment — or made the most of a bad situation.
In the end, he had become not only the wealthiest man in the nation
but also the wealthiest man to ever have served as president of
the United States — even to this day. By the time he died, George
Washington had become the most famous man in the world. It could
also be argued that the stellar example he set, one that includes
a combination of high character and a certain realistic optimism,
was a major positive influence on early America and thus significantly
contributed to the amazing success of the nation’s early years.
Today however, America’s philosophical foundation is laced with
a large amount of pessimism. Adding insult to injury, our children
are taught that adopting Liberalism, an unrealistic ideology, is
the best way to deal with that pessimism.

Sadly these
days, not many younger Americans are aware of the memorable words
spoken by Chief Justice John Marshall in his address to Congress
officially announcing the death of George Washington. They are of
course:

“. . . first
in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Ellis makes
a serious point by cleverly saying that Washington is now in our
wallets but not in our hearts. This is the result of the government
education — or rather miseducation — of the American public over
the past several decades. It’s in the personal interest of all government
workers to foster dependency on government. That’s why the present
American Liberal leadership wants us to be fearful of those who
produce, procure, and deliver goods and services to our markets
— and provide us employment. They want us to forget about the American
Dream. Such can only be accomplished by promoting pessimism, which
then induces into the people a fear of liberty and freedom. Since
George Washington is obviously the archetype of the American Dream
— the ultimate example of upward mobility achieved by high character,
realistic optimism, and hard work, Liberals naturally want knowledge
of him muted, and they have largely succeeded. No longer do our
educators use Washington’s life story as inspiration for our children.
No longer do we Americans honor George Washington as the Father
of Our Country on his birthday.

It therefore
seems quite clear that what’s needed most in America at the present
time is a good dose of both realism — and optimism. Thus, to successfully
move forward as a nation, we must first go back and recapture that
critical element from the early Americans. By means of his presidential
campaign, Congressman Ron Paul is offering leadership in that direction.
I have been following his excellent adventure over the past year,
including his clarion wake-up call embodied in his new book The
Revolution: A Manifesto
. In all cases, Ron Paul repeatedly
reminds us that it’s completely unrealistic to believe that government
can save us from the vicissitudes of life. Plus — it’s a simple
truth that a yearning for perfect freedom resides at the core of
each and every human being. Only fear can keep us from trying to
work toward creating more freedom in our lives. Thus, in articulating
the “Freedom Message” in such public fashion, Ron Paul is a living
example of hard-boiled realism — and at the same time, he’s demonstrating
an unshakable optimism that’s absolutely inspiring. It therefore
occurred to me that, more than anything, Ron Paul is now the leading
realistic optimist in the present struggle in America to find our
way forward.

George Washington
led an army of rag-tag Americans who, though suffering stinging
defeat after defeat in the early goings, persevered and with the
grace of God changed the course of human history. Later, he bull-headedly
presided over the Constitutional convention with one thing in mind
— its ratification. And of course in Washington’s famous Farewell
Address, he warned against entangling foreign alliances. Today,
Ron Paul is doing much the same thing. In addition, both are prudent
with the people’s money. For example, while president, Washington
reviewed a proposed federal budget. On seeing a request for a new
anchor for a Navy ship, he scribbled a note in the margin, “What’s
wrong with the old anchor?” Congressman Paul is fiercely protective
of the people’s money in the very same way.

Although both
men were quite successful in their private lives, both elected to
serve in the government. Washington took not one cent of pay while
serving his country — both as general during the long years of the
War for Independence and again while he served the nation for eight
years as president. In similar fashion, Ron Paul has opted out of
the lucrative Congressional retirement program. Interestingly, there
are even some trivial parallels. Both are tall, athletic men, both
have long-lasting marriages, both are prolific book readers, and
both are religious men, but not zealots. And there’s one more that’s
not trivial — like Washington, Ron Paul cannot tell a lie. For me,
it seems quite clear. Congressman Ron Paul is indeed the George
Washington of today.

It’s not about
an election. It’s about the future. So if you believe that America
should be the beacon of justice and liberty to the world, if you
want America’s societal environment to be a lovely domestic tranquility
in which you are free to be the best you can be, and if you’re ready
for some adventure — it’s time to stand up for Americanism and against
Liberalism. It’s time to choose your leader and line up behind him.
I say, “His Excellency Ron Paul is that man.”

May
30, 2008

Retired
professional engineer Eric Szuter [send
him mail
] is the developer of the philosophy called “Realistic
Optimism.” He’s a philosopher-writer, lecturer, and the owner of
Personal Enterprise Institute, L.L.C., the vehicle by which he disseminates
his philosophy. Szuter presently resides in the New Orleans area.
Check out his
Web site
.

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