On Christmas morning my mother received a Ron Paul t-shirt from my brother-in-law. The gift made her giddy as she wants to display to her fellow Floridians her "Hope for America." Less enthusiastic was she about my presents though. After unwrapping the last one, she turned to me with disappointment and said, "Oh, I figured you'd get me a Paul shirt too." Later that day, she added to her booty on her own by purchasing another online. The new one was emblazoned with a quotation from Sinclair Lewis. Sadly, she rejected my advice to pick up a model proclaiming "Ron Paul Fo' Shizzle."
Mentioning my mother here may sound like nepotism (or a desire for bigger and better gifts), but it is not. People like her showcase the importance and uniqueness of the Paul candidacy. What makes her story compelling is that she backed the Democratic Party habitually since 1964 which was the first year she was eligible to vote. Her moving off the leftist plantation and appreciation for Dr. Paul's libertarian ethos indicates why this nation needs him…now, more than ever.
Granted, the last sentence contained loaded words. "Now more than ever" is a cliché forever compromised by Richard Nixon using it as a slogan during his 1972 reelection campaign. Yet the phrase is topical and draws attention to the statism endemic to both of our major political parties. Their embrace of steroidal government is undeniable and all-pervasive. Republican control of Congress did nothing to alter its course. Indeed, George W. Bush's two terms in office actually made spending worse.
Stephen Slivinski explains the extent to which George W. Bush has ramped up the size of the federocracy. His "tenure, however, is a return to the Johnson and Carter philosophy of budgeting: across-the-board increases in everything. Inflation-adjusted defense spending is higher today ($440 billion) than it was at the high point of Reagan's defense buildup ($399.6 billion) and outstrips Johnson's largest Vietnam War defense budget (421.3 billion). And real non-defense spending has grown by a total of 25% during Bush's presidency so far, compared to 15% over Clinton's entire presidency."1
In terms of the real annual growth rate for federal spending, Bush, at 4.9%, ranks ahead of all other recent presidents with the exception of Lyndon Baines Johnson.2 Calling the 43rd president a political conservative is a blatant non-sequitur. In the midst of this Grand Old Spending Party there has never been a more opportune moment for a man like Ron Paul to emerge as the champion of the American people.
Saturday's second place showing in Nevada forced the mainstream media to take notice. To my great astonishment, I even heard Brit Hume on Fox News make a special reference to Dr. Paul's positive result — although this, in no way mitigates the damage caused by the network's perpetual condescending and shoddy coverage of him. Some pointed out that it continued again that night in their post-primary coverage as well.
Regardless of his performance out west, to this commentator, he was always the only option.3 In fact, were it not for him I would skip going to the polls on Super Tuesday altogether. I first became aware of him (I am ashamed to admit) only after I began reading articles at LewRockwell.com back in 2000. He struck me then, as he does now, as a most rare form of Republican. He not only had the courage to express his views but also the courage to defend them. His honesty is what appealed most to my mother. She asked me if I thought he would run as a third-party candidate in the general election but then answered her own question by concluding, "Nah, if he says he won't run then he won't. He'd only say it if he meant it."
Dr. Paul's response to Reason's inquiry about the issues he'd advance on the campaign trail is one to commemorate. He told them, "Everything I've talked about for 20 years!" Quips like that illuminate why several conservative opinion outlets have dismissed him as being a fringe candidate and a cult figure. Candor, rectitude, and honor are traits unwelcome in an age of soundbites. Rather than hire pollsters to help him determine the nature of his beliefs, he simply states them.
The calumny which some conservatives have showered upon him indicates just how threatening his originalist and authentic positions are. He has to be demeaned because his economic views would mesmerize the Republican rank-and-file. The last thing a RINO needs is to be compared to someone who shares the vision of his constituents. Further, Dr. Paul has resisted Washington's corruptive and sybaritic influence but the same could never be said of many of his colleagues.
Nowadays every politician in power for a cycle or two has a "flip-flopping" problem …but not Ron Paul. The doctor, as opposed to Hillary Clinton, is the only leader whose election promises us a politics of meaning. Barack Obama would make a wonderful motivational speaker, but his "audacity of hope" is nothing but an empty bag of vapor. Unlike Dr. Paul he refuses to go into specifics regarding the precise nature of his plans. Why would he? There is absolutely nothing exceptional about Obama in terms of ideology. He loves the federocracy and will continue to back policies anathema to conservatives should he find himself in the White House. His claim of being a uniter is spurious, but if Dr. Paul made the same boast he would be entirely correct. A bevy of leftists now support him, and they have made their reasons for doing so known.
If his campaign causes the far left to internalize the truth of Thomas Jefferson's edict that "a government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" then his run will have done America incalculable good. All of us benefit when the ranks of those who regard government as being an ber-charity are depleted. Ron Paul supporters understand that enlarging the state diminishes the liberties of the people. The brighter all of our collective prospects will be when more leftists accept this eventuality.
The cancerous growth of the Leviathan has reached stage four. Its metastasizing force has contaminated every area of our culture and public square. Our bureaucracies already reflexively disseminate politically correct views and enforce them whenever possible. It will not be long before our thoughts are habitually tested for criminal content by the judiciary — witness the Democratic Party's ongoing support for hate crimes legislation.
Left or right, if you care about the country's future and think liberty is not a pejorative then Ron Paul is the candidate for you. A vote for him is a vote America. He embodies what we once were and what we should always be. Support him in this race and in any race he runs in the future? Fo' shizzle, my friends, fo' shizzle.
- Slivinski, Stephen. Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government. (Nashville: Nelson Current, 2006). p.149
- Ibid, 145
- I should note that I published an interview with John Bootie and dubbed it, "Teamster for President." I do think a straight-thinking normal person like Mr. Bootie — free from PC guilt and who has actually had to deal with people on a regular basis — would be far superior to most of the candidates out there. However, Dr. Paul is a better choice. I was asked if I would work on the Bootie campaign but I declined the invitation.
January 22, 2008