His Excellency Ron Paul


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