Optimism Is Better Than Pessimism

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Here is a letter sent to me by an avid reader of LRC: Hi Walter, I am becoming more and more convinced that this country is a lost cause. I’m pretty much convinced that there is no hope of ever changing it playing by the rules. At a certain point you need to stop banging your head against the same door and accept the fact that peace and liberty are lost causes. As long as people have their American Idol and their iPads and their Dancing with the Stars, they are contented sheep. I will continue to pull for Dr. Paul, but I am all but convinced we are fighting a war we cannot win. I think the fact that the imbeciles in South Carolina gave the bottom-feeding piece of crap Gingrich a massive victory over the only decent candidate in the race is pretty much proof of that. The people will never rise up until there is no food on the table and no gas for their cars and by then it will be too late. I have not given up yet, but I’m very close to it. I had my heart broken in 2008 and probably will again this time, but I won’t ever put myself in a position to go through that again after this.

Here is my response: I agree with your negative assessment of short term success. It is due to biological hard wiring, in my view. However, the fight is so much FUN! So, forget about whether we win or lose. You’re right, we’ll probably lose, at least in the short run. In the long run, who knows?

I urge you to focus, instead, on the sheer pleasure of undermining the world view of the mainstream media, and all those other blowhards in the pulpit, in academia, etc. Don’t you just LOVE it when Ron tweaks their pompous noses?

I tell you, I’ve been in this libertarian movement since 1962. Then, there were but a few of us, a very few. We were fully, totally, and completely ignored by mainstream media. Nowadays, libertarianism is all over the place. We are EVERYWHERE. No longer are we libertarians confused with librarians, libertines, etc. Thanks to our man Ron Paul, we are acquainting millions of people with the freedom philosophy, and converting thousands, no—tens of thousands, no—hundreds of thousands of people to our banner. Ok, we can be a bit pessimistic. The SC vote was a downer. I, too, was hoping for better. Maybe Ron will not become the next president of the US, but I still think he has a good chance. But if we are not happy with the upward path that liberty is now taking, we’ll never be happy. I am deleriously joyful about the miracles Dr. Paul is pulling off every day. Members of my family are awestruck at me since I actually know him. I am floating around at the ceiling. It is really hard for me to imagine a better scenario than this, apart from his actual election.

6:43 pm on January 23, 2012