Recently by Allan Stevo: A Healthy Disrespect of the Police
At 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Mitt Romney became the GOP nominee for President.
At about the same time, 5:15 p.m., I watched a man involved with Ron Paul's Louisiana victory box up phones at an outpost of the Ron Paul Revolution — a place from which some of the dispersed grassroots campaigns were run. Boxing up those phones marked the end of the 2012 phone-banking effort in that remote location. A room that I had seen abuzz with volunteer activity for months from early morning until whatever hour it is that Hawaiians start to no longer accept political phone calls was now being packed into a few small boxes and being shipped away. A few small boxes of equipment, a few hundred dollars to keep the lights on, and a dream for freer times ahead filled rooms like that across the country night-after-night. Tuesday that was all packed up.
The next night Ron Paul's son would show support for Mitt Romney at the RNC. There would be a video played about Ron Paul there, a similar video about the grandeur of George W. and H.W. Bush was also played. Just like the RNC would love to mothball the embarrassing details of the Bushes' time in DC, they would like to see the same done for Ron Paul and the idealism of his time in DC. The campaign had come to an end and in just a short time his career in DC would come to an end as well.
All at once, it felt like a death knell for the Ron Paul Revolution.
Luckily, the RNC, can't fit Ron Paul's career neatly into a little box to be shipped away.
Earlier that day, a man who'd never spoken about politics with me Googled me. He commented later "I bet you were really disappointed with how that whole Ron Paul thing turned out — how the Republicans treated him — weren't you?"
"No," was my answer. Ron Paul pushed forward the liberty movement in a way that it otherwise would not have been pushed forward. He inspired talented people from around the country; he inspired them to interact, to collaborate, to train together, and work together; he inspired some of them to travel great distances; he created a framework for greater interaction to happen among liberty-minded folks.
As a result, a discussion took place and continues to take place. It is not the same great debate I had hoped for 10 months ago; it's still a discussion in the right direction. Ron Paul 2012 has solidified a movement that Ron Paul 2008 could not have solidified in the same way.
That discussion among Ron Paul supporters starts with a sentence like this "How can you and I collaborate to make ourselves more effective together than we are separately?" That discussion was repeated ad infinitum over the past year of Ron Paul's campaign.
Saying Goodbye to the Movement?
Tuesday was a day of saying goodbye to Ron Paul 2012 as I knew it, Wednesday felt like the same — Rand Paul, George W., H.W. Barbara, and Laura Bush, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Condoleezza Rice, John McCain, and Paul Ryan all spoke in a single broadcast to a national audience about electing Mitt Romney.
Is the Ron Paul Revolution over? Far from it. It's ready for the next chapter.
I am eager to see what will happen next, yet I realize that good things may take time. Persistence is needed to fell a mighty oak. That the stubborn Ron Paulers persist in the absence of the motivational Ron Paul candidacy will be the true test. With that persistence, Ron Paul's movement will be an engine for growth; it will be a virtual Silicon Valley for political and for the more important non-political activity.
As we move forward with Ron Paul's Revolution, I focus on the themes of books like The Market for Liberty and The Sovereign Individual — books that put politics into perspective. Politics is one way to effect change. The number of non-political opportunities to effect change are uncountable.
Is the Ron Paul Revolution over? I have a phone book full of people who believe in the same ideas as I do about freedom, just as intensely as I do, and who are so very talented and resourceful. Why would I suddenly stop collaborating with those people just because a few suits in Tampa and some loser newspaper reporters who never understood it to begin with now claim that the Ron Paul Revolution has come to an end? If I were the only person with a phonebook full of people like that, amazing things would still come out of Ron Paul's movement simply because of the work that I will bring people together to do. More importantly, there are 10,000 other people similar to me — young in spirit, battle-tested, eager to see greater freedom, with a phone book full of contacts who will eagerly work alongside each other.
Precisely because of that, precisely because Ron Paul brought likeminded people together, his effect on the world will be immeasurable large. Most of that will have little to do with politics. Even the day Ron Paul's revolution marches into DC it'll be clear how insignificant politics will be to pursuits of greater freedom. Politics is just one option out of a limitless number of ways to bring change.
Ron Paul 2016
2016 will be a benchmark for the movement — a time to reflect on how far we'll have come in four years. How far we'll have come when we get together again for a reunion then and refocus some of our efforts on politics that national distraction that pulls us away from the realities of our own lives every four years. Maybe it will be a Ron Paul candidacy in four years. Maybe it will be another worthwhile candidate. Something tells me that Washington DC has not heard the last from the Ron Paul Revolution.
At that 2016 reunion, something will be clear to anyone who was involved in 2012, 2008, and perhaps even earlier — because a guy from Texas decided to run for president in 2012, an endeavor that most observers will call a failed attempt, because of that, the lives of many people who rally around his message will never be the same.
Is the Ron Paul Revolution over? Nope. The Ron Paul Revolution has already grown so large as to be unquantifiable.