Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Awesome video

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Ron Paul presidential campaign is the decentralized and grassroots nature of it. It is as though Ron Paul has become a kind of lightning rod drawing all the energy of the pro-liberty movement in the U.S. and in other countries.

Ron Paul is far from perfect (in my eyes). His positions on abortion and immigration do not resonate with me. His stance on fiat currency and support for some kind of commodity standard (whether gold or silver or copper or whatever) is something I just don't care that much about. But apart from these issues, Ron Paul is as close to perfect a candidate as there could be.

Every vote for Ron Paul will be interpreted as a vote against the War in Iraq (and nation-building in general), and as a vote for freedom. That is the perfect message. When they count votes for Ron Paul, each vote will count as a pro-liberty vote, and as an anti-war vote. It will not be counted as an anti-immigrant vote, it will not be counted as an anti-abortion vote, it will not be counted as an anti-Federal Reserve vote.

Ron Paul is also the perfect messenger. But you can go find that out on your own. His voting record is, quite likely, the best voting record of any Congresscritter in the history of the Congress (that might sound like hyperbole, but I mean it sincerely. Check his record all on your own and compare). Ever. Since the beginning of Congress.

In addition, there are no skeletons in this man's closet. He is faithful to his wife and family. He is a gentle fellow. He is humble, he is kind, he is sincere, he is passionate.

He said once, "this is a great movement you have started. I am glad to join your movement." Ron Paul is not leading the movement. All he is is a representative of a broader movement for liberty that started before he was in office, and will continue after his political career is over. All people needed was an excuse, something just about every liberty-lover could rally around. He is that excuse.

To see this, consider his appeal on the internet. I laugh every time I read the news on Paul's presidential campaign. They talk about his campaign's ability to mobilize online support, to get meetups going, to get people to make signs for him, and so on. Having been part of the RP r3VO7ution since the beginning, I can tell you that his campaign headquarters hasn't the first clue. They find out about spontaneous grassroots efforts for Paul as fast as I do.

I knew about the Ames Tribune full-page ad funded and organized entirely by Iowans either at the same time as they did, or before (I ordered a copy of the paper, and the full-page ad dons my office door in the Philosophy Department). The "Ron Paul REVOLUTION" (with backward letters for "EVOL"--spelling "LOVE") meme had nothing to do with the campaign. In fact, I'm told they initially wanted to stop that meme, but then caved when they realized just how popular it was. The online polls that Paul dominates, the telephone poll for the FOX debate that Paul nearly won, and similar things have nothing at all to do with his campaign headquarters.

None of this is intended as a criticism of the campaign and the campaign team. In fact, if anything, it is a good thing the campaign is mostly hands-off. They are responding and trying to channel that energy and activity in certain directions, as much as they can. YouTube videos about Ron Paul pop up faster than you can watch. By the time you've watched the ten new videos on YouTube about RP, there are ten new ones to watch. You could spend your entire day trying to catch up with all the YouTube videos, and still not do it.

A few weeks ago, a woman in New Hampshire decided RP wasn't getting enough media coverage. Frustrated, she decided to walk 10 miles from her home to the state capital building. "Maybe this will help him get some attention," she thought. She was right. She made the news, and people talked about her walk. Online, the RP folks were buzzing. So moved were they that they decided to host a "Walk across America" for Ron Paul. In two weeks time, on August 26th, over 100 cities participated. Thousands of people walked 6 to 14 miles with banners, signs, t-shirts, and pamphlets. The campaign was as surprised by this Walk as I was.

There hasn't been an opportunity like this for liberty-lovers in 50 years. There won't be another opportunity like this for another 50 years. That's why I'm aboard the Ron Paul Freedom Train. Get on. Toot toot. Let's roll!


Blogger Bruce Stewart said...

Paul's an interesting character, all right. A fair number of the financial writers I read are backing him as a voice of reason in the USA. I make no comment on what that says about him, them, or me!

I take some hope from the fact that someone so obviously out of the norm can come so far in this run up to 2008. I think he's yet another John Anderson or Ross Perot - too odd to make it through to a real victory.

Perhaps this will encourage someone else who actually could make it through to election day and carry away a plurality (although I'm not holding my breath for that, either).

All that said, some of the things Paul stands for are things I stand for, and of all the people in the Republican race he is the only one I have any time for or care to expend effort following. The rest - including ones like "Saint Fred" who have yet to get in - hold no attraction.

Nor, of course, do the Democrats. This somewhat reminds me of 1988 here - a pox on Mulroney, Turner & Broadbent; now what? One does ultimately hold one's nose and put an "X" somewhere, but without conviction that it was worthwhile. That is the state of American politics today.

7:55 p.m.  
Blogger Matteson said...

Bruce, those last couple of sentences are exactly how I feel about American govt. This guy sounds good to me. Hooray Freedom!

I don't much care for the idea that life starts at conception. It just doesn't work out. I don't know that I care about how he feels on that issue though, because I really don't think that anything will change on that front regardless of how the Pres feels.

Of course, I'm not all that suprised that he's a great guy. He's nearly from my home town!

1:39 p.m.  

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