The r3VOLution,… and Ron Paul’s role in it.
There will come a time, sooner or later, when Ron Paul will inform his supporters that he will no longer be available as a candidate for President of the United States. The only real important question is when that will happen. Most are interested in the question, ‘will it be before or after the Republican National Convention?’
I’m certain that this election cycle will produce several “r3VOLution” books that will help provide several perspectives of what the past year and a half has meant to Americans and others around the world,… the more the better. I am of the opinion that no one will be able to claim a full understanding of what happened and why, even Ron Paul openly expresses his constant surprise. But Dr. Paul did make the enlightened observation that ‘freedom brings us all together’. My bumper sticker phrase on the subject has for many years been, “There are those that just wish to be left alone,… and there are those that just won’t leave them alone”. I use this rhetoric to help explain how you can tell where the line is for determining who the Bad Guys are. And when enough individuals insist on expressing their preference of being left alone it is often a clear sign of the beginnings of a revolution.
Dr. Paul provided the focus many freedom supporters have long sought in their effort to make their desires known. Ron Paul represented an easily understood libertarian philosophy that was consistent as it was applied to any issue of importance. To a very wide portion of our society (and in the minds of many around the world) the Philosophy of Liberty provided an ‘epiphany moment’ in their lives.
Once the philosophy of liberty was directly compared, in real time to a very wide audience, with those that have claimed ruling status over our lives for many decades, the world changed.
The “Ron Paul Revolution” is a libertarian revolution. With or without Ron Paul the ideas are now well established in enough minds to have hope. This well vetted philosophy transcends politics and will forever be part of the American culture. Now many thousands of very young liberty lovers have the renewed ability to explain and represent the message that has made Ron Paul’s effort so successful. Ron Paul’s success can be directly attributed to his full support of this consistent philosophy. Libertarianism/Olde School Conservatism? was applied to the issues he explained in full to anyone that would take the time to listen. There have been disagreements on some issues but the differences are often a matter of interpretation of some of the fine points of libertarianism, priorities in the order of implementation of policies or a simple argument over where collective government’s role should simply end.
The benefit of Ron Paul’s bravery and confidence is incalculable and we all owe him a great deal of gratitude and respect.
From the beginning I worked very hard to remain supportive without ever being tempted to get too close to the “political campaign”. I made it very clear to as many as possible, that I and those that supported my efforts were focused on the freeing of as many minds as possible. Never did we advocate any particular action inside or outside of party politics. Our efforts were laser beam focused on the education of individuals on various techniques of expressing their individual desires to be left alone. The Ron Paul Revolution was an effective vehicle for accomplishing that. Those that chose getting more involved within the political structure took what they learned and shared it with others. Good or bad, we all learned from each other. Every part of America has its own laws, rules and issues that only the locals know how to utilize or avoid in pursuit of what is important to those that are actively doing something,… anything.
I have been an outspoken critic of ‘collectives’. Any organizing effort that first strives to create a structure can expect that the organization created will eventually become more important to those in charge than the issue or mission claimed to be the reason for the creation of the organization in the first place. I insulate myself from such distractions by asking, what is the goal of this organizing effort. I then decide if I wish to help, and if I am supportive of the effort, I help. I don’t need a title or a shiny badge to express my individual support of a worthy goal. Now this isn’t an absolute. I am registered as a Libertarian and benefit from the ballot status we have worked so hard for here in Arizona to be able to present our ideas inexpensively during the campaign season. But the attitude of looking at such structures as a tool rather than a goal in itself has served many of us very well.
When an organization becomes less a tool and more of a leash I see it as counter productive in the advocacy of liberty. The diversity of individuals acting in concert with others that are not fettered, limited or regulated by the desires of others is of great benefit. Any individual wishing to make it clear that an activity they didn’t support was not pursued in their name or with their support is much easier when a structure isn’t involved. And the requirement to find a consensus of a collective before something is even planned eliminates the possibility of spontaneous diversity that was so common over the last year and a half.
I share these thoughts now because I fear that there is a misreading of what has been happening during this reawakening of the American Spirit. I must first point out that I am of the opinion that my individual opinion will have very little effect on anything. Far too often I have found that my understanding of something in the realm of politics has been equated with my causing it to happen.
Should Ron Paul decide to close his campaign for the Presidency of the United States before the nomination of John McCain I am of the opinion that the fall out will be far more devastating to his future plans than he may understand. For the same reasons that the r3VOLution was such a surprise to him and his close circle of staff and supporters, I suspect that they will be just as surprised by the disappearance of that support should he pull the plug on his campaign before the GOP nomination process.
Inside the campaign, the desire to inject some traditional conservative/libertarian philosophy into the Republican Party, and the minds of individual Americans, was all that could have been hoped for by those that have been operating under the thick cloud of GOP NeoCon domination as they did their best to advocate for more liberty. But the Internet made political parties anachronistic and overnight demonstrated the power of individuals to self organize without rules, limits or controls.
Meetups were a natural evolution. But once begun on its own the spontaneous organization was almost immediately replaced with a Meetup hub from inside the Ron Paul campaign. My immediate fear was the creation of a ‘Shiny Badge’. These new Meetup organizations took the common goals of individuals and added the goal of central organization. Too often the goal to create a structure was the primary activity. Competing hierarchies dominated the time of too many hoping to be supportive. Ironically the most effective and productive in the spreading of support for Ron Paul and his message were the most abused as they threatened the superiority of those “in charge” of the newly created and anointed collective of the campaign. I spent most of my time across the country encouraging those that would not ask permission or be dictated to. Too many Meetups attracted those with the belief that “If you are not _in_ control,.. then you are _out_ of control”. I sought to encourage the efforts of those that refused to be controlled while doing my best to avoid criticism of those passionate about exerting control.
Many inside the Ron Paul campaign believe that support of Dr. Paul’s continued presence in the race for the GOP nomination is due to an unrealistic fantasy that he may win. My first reaction is “So?”, but I am of the opinion that the support of Dr. Paul remaining in the race for POTUS is more about having a vehicle to express their dissent with what is going on in America.
As I write this on June 8th 2008 it is clear that the United States economy may not survive in its present form until the Republican National Convention, that in response to this knowledge we have an even greater chance of an undeclared War with Iran. We have the government admitting (not able to hide any longer) the largest increase in unemployment figures in 22 years, the dollar plummeting in value, precious metals skyrocketing and energy cost spiraling up with no limit in sight.
By the time of the Republican National Convention in September the political landscape is likely to be unrecognizable to what we are now experiencing. Everything that Ron Paul predicted is happening at an accelerated pace. And should Dr. Paul deny his uncommonly devoted supporters their voice at the height of the greatest economic, political and spiritual storm this nation has experienced since the beginning of this revolution in the 1770’s, I fear the dissipation of significant amounts of support for any future plans of Dr. Paul.
A long term gratitude and appreciation of Ron Paul and his family is certain, but the continued advocacy of Dr. Paul as their spokesperson would be in doubt should the most active feel a sense of abandonment.
The creation of a new organization by Ron Paul and his long time/new close supporters would certainly be welcome should he continue through the GOP Convention. But should the hope, dreams and voice of tens (if not hundreds) of thousands be taken away and replaced with disappointment, then I suspect that the request for them to support the dreams of others in a newly formed organization would go unheard by many.
Of even greater importance are the types of people that would flock to an opportunity to begin a new organization bearing the name of Ron Paul and those that would tend to avoid such an effort. I support goals, and tend not to support organizations with goals. I can certainly be counted on to continue the r3VOLution in one form or another in the effort to free as many minds as possible, but I am likely to look skeptically at the need for an organization that is more often than not created in the image of the government that dictates its structure, focus and methods. The very idea that you can use a political machine designed by government in the opposition of that very government’s effort to control us is an issue of interest, and often much debate.
I encourage Ron Paul to stay in the race for the Republican Nomination for as long as is possible. I believe it to be in his best interest and in the interests of any future effort he may wish to pursue. Since mid-April I have seen to my conscience by making my opinions clear to all of those that I felt the need to share them with so that I had the maximum influence possible. I have shared many anecdotes that demonstrated support for my opinion and I have written this article in an effort to provide some understanding for future generations. As I have said, I do not consider my opinions to rival the power of hundreds of thousands of individuals expressing themselves independently. I only hope to provide a perspective and an explanation that can be of service (and save me having to repeat this opinion hundreds of times verbally :)
Publisher – FreedomsPhoenix.com