A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away, I was a Republican. I stood in line for an hour or so–and was happy to do it–to be able to cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan against the dangerous Walter Mondale. The primary reason he was dangerous, I guess, is because he was perceived as weak on defense issues. He was socially liberal being for everything I was against and against everything I was for. Back in those days, I would read the party platforms (if I could find them in that Information Dark Age). The Democratic Party platform was something out of my weirdest nightmare. I agreed with almost nothing in it.
I regularly wrote letters to the editor and once wrote a letter to the editor of a county paper in which I called our liberal Georgia senator, Wyche Fowler, “a southern-fried Ted Kennedy.” (I still think that is a good line, because he really was.)
Over the years, I have remained pro-life, pro-1st and 2nd amendment, pro-church, pro-business. In many elections, especially early on, I voted straight Republican tickets, even down to the judges and state utility advisers (or whatever it is those people do). I would not have voted Democrat if you put the proverbial gun to my head. Or a real one, either.
Then, a few years back I began to notice some things, the main one being that when you got right down to it there really isn’t a hair’s breadth of difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party if you look at what they do, rather than listen to what they say. To listen to them talk you’d think they could never agree on anything, but they agree on some very, very important issues.
The main two or three issues upon which Democrats and Republicans agree–especially if they are the party in power–is that bigger government is to be preferred over smaller government, spending money we don’t have and never will have to build said government is the best way to go about it, and that various special interests (banking, military, oil, etc) should have their campaign contributions rewarded with favorable legislation, lavish government contracts, and, when possible, lax prosecution when criminal behavior occurs.
As a believer I had always believed, and still do, that God blesses nations, though I might think about it differently now than then. I was convinced that God was not going to bless “us” (the United States) if we allowed abortion, gay-rights and the like to be part of our culture. The problem was that I cherry-picked the stances I thought God would judge and ignored quite a few others that God judged in the Bible. But it really didn’t matter because those were “liberal” causes.
So, I found myself in somewhat of a dilemma. The positions that were of crucial importance to me found little or no progress, while the country continued down a financial path that seemed problematic no matter who sat in the White House or held a majority on the Hill. For the first time in my life, I thought about not voting.
In the second half of George W. Bush’s presidency it was obvious to me that Republicans were going to have a very difficult time overcoming his low approval rating and keep the White House. Sure enough, they propped John McCain up and invited him to get run over by the Obama Train.
My daughter, who had always been interested in politics, said to me, “Why don’t you check out Ron Paul?” I, along with most Americans in 2007 outside of Texans and gold coin buyers, said, “Who?” “You need to check out Ron Paul,” she insisted.
So, slowly and somewhat reluctantly I began to delve into researching this rumpled looking little man with white hair, black eyebrows, and an unfailing tendency to take any subject directly, unerringly to a screed on the Federal Reserve Bank.
She even drug me off one night in 2008 into north Hall County, Georgia, to a “meet-up” with other Paulites. Everyone was nice and there were a number of Dr. Paul’s books in supply along with signs and bumper stickers. Some of those folks kinds scared me, though, like all their household plumbing was filled with cans of pork-n-beans and beef stew waiting for the zombie apocalypse.
“Oh, boy,” I thought. “Who is this guy?”
But, every time I questioned something, she would correct me. My problem was that I was thinking of him like a typical Republican, which I absolutely should not have done.
So, I started listening to his speeches and interviews on YouTube. I didn’t depend on his debate performances, because it was pretty clear he wasn’t the best debater in the world in presentation (but the substance was there for anyone who would pay attention). There was a moment, very early in the 2008 election cycle when he introduced himself to the debate audience saying “I’m Ron Paul, and I’m the champion of the Constitution.” That one sentence set him apart in my mind from any other candidate. They didn’t act like they knew what the Constitution was.
It also reminded me that I’m an American, and the Constitution means something. It is supposed to be the track upon which this country runs, freeing the people to power the engine. It is the primary document that protects the people from the excesses of the government, the founders gift to “our posterity” to help protect them from what they were experiencing from the King of England. It’s now more commonly used for a doormat and toilet paper on Capitol Hill.
I also learned to pay attention to the rest of the Bill of Rights, not only the first two. There really was more to being an American than having freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to own guns.
There were his warnings (and again in the debate on December 15, 2011) about the centralizing of power in the Legislative Branch, a complete violation of the Constitution. His concise and accurate arguments against the Federal Reserve Banking System are devastating, but most Americans are not paying enough attention to make understand them.
He’s the only candidate in either party who makes any attempt at all to bring actual Biblical principles to bear on how things should work, rather than just quoting a scripture here and there in a speech. But, because he rightly believes that the Constitution is the guiding document for United States government, even people who don’t care for the Bible still support him.
All my life I’ve heard, “Where are the statesmen? All these stupid politicians; just once I’d like to see a statesman.” Ron Paul is the closes thing to a statesman running for president that I am likely to see in my lifetime. I think the problem is that it’s been so long since we’ve seen one, we’ve forgotten what they look like.
It seems to me, that if we will not vote for him, we probably would not have voted for Washington, Adams or Jefferson, either. I think that says more about us than it does about Ron Paul.
You do not have to take my word for it. Check out Ron Paul from his own writings.