Editor: I invited another friend, Kevin Hotaling, who’s been involved in Paul’s campaigns, to write a rebuttal of my original post. His article is here. ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.
This short article is a response to a recent posting on elephant journal: 20 Reasons I won’t vote for Ron Paul. I do agree with some of the points the author makes. There were other assertions made in which there was no supporting data to validate the “reason” for the specific critique.
I find the American political situating exponentially nauseating. The most patriotic action in my opinion is to not vote. To consciously draw any recognition from the validity of the system in place is the only way my responsibility can be measured in my mind. Many want to change the system and find that active participation is a more fruitful endeavor than civil disobedience. This is where the basic idea of freedom comes into manifestation and any individual should have the right to participate or not; offer critique or not as he or she sees.
I will not be voting for Paul or anyone else, yet I thought it would be interesting to have a debate of the philosophy of Paul versus the mainstream candidates. Even though the political situation is depressing and boring, there is a beauty and comedic factor as well in play. Paul’s existence in itself becomes comical in many ways. He is like the prophet that no one listens too while the high priests of the State like Paul Krugman attack his ideology with no apologies. He stands on the podium alone and speaks logically and rationally and he is described as “radical” and “extreme.” I must admit, I find it rather hilarious.
Paul is a rather strange character though. He reminds me of the great uncle you see every other Thanksgiving that always has a sage word of advice and a sparkle in his eye. After he leaves you turn to mother and say, “I like uncle Ron. I wish I could see him more often.” Virtually none of his ideas will work in present time, yet they are all grounded in fundamental truth. His communication style is rather boring and uninspiring yet the message he proclaims evokes a sense of unbridled hope and optimism of the basic goodness in humanity. He has no chance to win, yet the ideas he proclaims are the only ones that can save us.
Ron Paul will not win. And he shouldn’t. America needs to go further into the belly of the whale before it can undergo some form of collective transformation. Romney, Gingrich, Obama, Perry; any one of the four will serve as a fine leader into the further depths of America’s winter. More war, inflation, doublespeak, and loss of individual and community liberty. They will each in their own special, dishonest way facilitate the process of change so fundamentally needed.
Maybe Paul is just there for us to laugh at in our own collective slumber. A relic from the past to make us secretly inquire into our own life every time he speaks on the debate floor. Freedom? What is this man Paul speaking of? Non-violence? No, no, no. The terrorists are everywhere. Non-violence would be irresponsible. Responsibility? This is not possible. Only God or the State can have that luxury.
In addition to offering 10 specific reasons for the high affinity to the political philosophy of Ron Paul, I would also add he is the only candidate within both mainstream parties that has any real grasp on the following subjects:
1. Economics. Ron Paul has not only served as a member of the House Financial Services committee but has also authored several books regarding the history of economics and the application of Austrian economic theory. He has also been a noted and distinguished lecturer on matters pertaining to the history of American economics.
2. American History. Paul has demonstrated time and time again he has a conceptual grasp of not only the principals contained in the Constitution but also a keen understanding of the historical evolution and key figures that have shaped the philosophical foundations of the modern day Democratic and Republican party.
3. Freedom. Paul has an understanding of what freedom is. His understanding transcends parties and is perfectly aligned with various aspects of Eastern philosophical systems such as Yoga and Buddhism and the Western existentialism in the style of such writers as Kiekergaard, Marcel, and Tolstoy.
Here is Ron Paul and my Ten Reasons:
1. He has delivered over 4,000 babies. Any individual who has served as a guide for bringing new souls into the world has a level of awareness, compassion, and understanding of the human condition that I would want in a leader. His respect of woman and life are embodied in his actions.
2. He believes and practices non violence. Paul has applied the various aspects of non violence that are the hallmarks of Libertarian philosophy throughout his legislative career. He has voted against increases in military spending, any military action absent a declaration of war, and the expansion of all aspects of the military industrial complex every single year not to mention vocally criticizing on the floor of the House and through various channels of media all acts of violence that the American Empire has perpetrated.
3. He has vowed to dismantle the Department of Education. The Department of Education has overseen the unbelievable decline in the quality and competitiveness of American students since its inception. The department takes no responsibility whatsoever for the various statistical declines of the very aspect of American life they are entrusted to support and nurture. The mere thought that a group of bureaucrats in Washington D.C. claiming to know how a child in a farm community in Montana or a coastal community in downiest Maine should be educated is comical at best, tragic at worst. Education is a process of phenomenological discovery that is best facilitated in the context of local community educators not bureaucrats in Washington D.C. that have never even met a single child they claim to educate.
4. He has vowed to Audit the Federal Reserve. The Fed is a pseudo private bank that purchases US Treasuries from digital money they create with no actual production. It is supported by the mainstream left and right. Auditing the Federal Reserve Bank would be perhaps the scariest revelation of the corruption in America’s ruling class ever. Obama will not touch that with a ten foot pole not to mention he actively supports the Federal Reserve with no apologies. Paul is the only person with the courage, strength and ethics to confront this institution.
5. He would lift the embargo on Cuba. The embargo on Cuba is a restriction on freedom. It is an arbitrary restriction of human movement and creation. Whether we approve or disapprove of the Castro regime and its effects is totally irrelevant to the concept of freedom. Freedom is an ability to move authentically and without restriction. Paul has criticized this embargo for thirty years. Paul has advocated for free and fair trade and has rejected false embargoes and the criminal “free” trade of the WTO.
6. He is ideologically grounded, stable, and consistent. The author of the piece of “20 Reasons I Won’t Vote for Ron Paul” remarked, “He has integrity, consistency (not always a good thing—views can and should evolve, open-mindedness is a virtue, too)” Being open-minded and consistent are not opposition forces. In fact, I would argue that a person with a series of core values would be incredibly open minded to the fluctuations of life. And because of those very same core values the response to life would be centered, honest and real. To say a politician like so many from the mainstream Republican and Democrat parties that flip flop on nearly every issue “open minded” because their views “evolve” is not a quality of a leader.
7. He would end the secret prison at Guantanomo Bay. No, he really would. The military prison at Guantanamo is so fundamentally wrong and in violation of the very values the American Empire hypocritically preaches around the world. Our current President, with big fanfare and a televised signing ceremony promised the secret military prison would be closed within 12 months of his executive order. Of course, it wasn’t. Paul has consistently and steadfastly opposed the prison itself and the symbolization of what it has come to represent in the consciousness of America and the world.
8. He would drastically reduce military spending. With good reason, liberals have consistently criticized the size of the military budget and how those allocated funds towards war and violence could be used to address various societal ills. Every liberal President in the past 100 years has drastically increased the size of military spending. Only W. Bush and Reagan from the “right” approach the spending and action of Wilson (WW I), Roosevelt (WW II), Truman (Korea), Johnson (Vietnam), and Obama (AfPak, Iraq, Libya, and the various countries where CIA drone attacks are taking place) Paul has criticized Empire mentality for his entire career and the hundreds of military bases the US has around the world. He has been accused of isolationism by the military industrial complex and the mainstream media. But in reality, Paul has advocated for relationships with all countries based on trade and goodwill rather than military threat.
9. The close resemblance of Paul’s Libertarian values with those of Eastern philosophy. Freedom. Responsibility. Non Violence. Community as a manifestation of authentic action taken by individuals versus the enforcement of “community” by a centralized power. All of these qualities have been written and more importantly lived out in Paul’s legislative career and through his actions.
10. President Obama is planning on signing The National Defense Authorization Act. End of story.
End of Story.