Liberty and Defeat

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Recently by Andrew Ward: Summoned by the State

     

Almost four years ago I was lying face down and motionless on my bed. My sweet girlfriend at the time was trying her best to cheer me up, but I was too physically and emotionally numb to adequately respond. In fact, her chipper attitude felt a little bit like ridicule. I would rather her been in sorrow with me, but there was no way she could relate to how I felt.

Twelve minutes beforehand, I had left the Ron Paul 2008 PCC headquarters in disgust as the results came in for the New Hampshire primary. We were trailing behind warmongers John McCain and Mitt Romney in a state that supposedly cherished peace. Hell, we were losing to Rudy “Mussolini” Guiliani, and it didn’t look like we were going to catch up to the would-be drag-queen-in-chief.

The short walk home was longer than usual. I lived very close to the office; a month before being hired I had moved into a nearby studio so that I could spend as much time as possible working to get the champion of the Constitution elected president of these United States. I would arrive at the office early and leave late, six or even seven days a week. My job was the center of my universe, and I and many others worked tirelessly to make a Ron Paul presidency a reality.

But then, face down on my bed in self-pity, that dream was over, and the lying establishment media was telling the truth that cold January day: we had failed in the “Live Free or Die” state. It was clear then that our candidate, the libertarian “magic bullet,” the one who would make things right again in America, would not take the reigns of power, and that all the long nights and money bombs, the thousands upon thousands of emails and phone calls answered and made, and many health issues endured — all of it — was seemingly for nothing.

Eventually my girlfriend convinced me to forget about our superficial country so that we could go out to get something to eat. We walked by Madame Hillary Clinton’s massive campaign headquarters, which was full of life and hope after edging out Barack Obama that evening. I was disgusted at that sight and quickly re-lost my appetite. How could Americans eagerly swallow and enjoy this processed garbage?

Super Tuesday came and it was not so super either, and we received a notice that the campaign would soon cut back on staff. I was let go about a month later, and along with my job went my relationship with a real sweetheart, and, admittedly, my sobriety. Debates and primaries came and went, the GOP would make a deal with the Mittster to drop out, and eventually the official Ron Paul campaign ended. A few weeks later our chairman Kent Snyder, the man who started the campaign in his apartment, died after battling pneumonia for months.

My last conversation with Kent was about the campaign’s legacy. I assured him that despite our failure electorally, we had changed the course of history, and inspired millions of people around the world. It was an honest silver lining to an overall depressing situation, and I believe he took those words to heart and kept them as he left this world.

Months later I again walked by Hillary’s old campaign headquarters. It was abandoned but undoubtedly full of wasted energy and the residue of selfish political aspirations. Sure, that woman would become Secretary of State, but did that campaign spread any worthwhile, timeless message? Did their efforts open the minds of countless individuals to the ideals of human freedom? Of course not.

Their energy, like that of all the other dishonest campaigns that year, was spent blindly propelling just another statist megalomaniac toward power. Meanwhile, the R3volution earnestly planted the seeds of real, positive change.

Several years have passed now and I watch from afar as Ron Paul’s latest effort gains more steam. It seems that over the years more Americans than ever have accepted the good doctor’s minarchist libertarian message, as immediately evidenced by the rhetoric used by many in the Tea Party and elements of the Occupy movement.

The polls certainly look promising, but what if American voters as a whole aren’t mature enough to back a “radical” president just yet, and the well-organized 2012 campaign fails like its predecessor? What then? Well, I think Congressman Paul might like to admit that he was never really campaigning for president in the first place; that he was in fact always campaigning for the ideals of freedom, which continue to spread successfully.

If that’s indeed the case, then we need only to proceed in our efforts with principles and integrity, always keeping in mind that no defeat at any ballot box can ever preclude us from liberty, because our revolution, while just getting started, has already won.

Andrew Ward [send him mail] is an activist who works and lives in California.

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