For what it's worth
There's something happening here.
I canâ€™t help but think of the old Buffalo Springfield song from the Viet Nam era as I examine the 2008 presidential race.
On the Democratic side it is mostly business as usual with the candidates all spouting virtually the same message. Those who are in closest alignment with the status quo lead the parade and are doing their best to marginalize and silence those who have a differing outlook on the issues.
On the Republican side it is the same way. But there is a major difference.
The war in Iraq is, of course, the central issue of the day and the Democrats are pandering to the desire of seventy percent of the public who want to end the war, but at the same time they are allowing it to continue by doing nothing substantial to stop it. Meanwhile the Republicans, almost to a man, continue the â€œstay the courseâ€ strategy.
But it is the major difference inside the Republican Party that is most significant. One candidate, Dr. Ron Paul of Texas, is diametrically opposed to the standard party line. Dr. Paul has opposed the war in Iraq from the outset. As with his other positions on the issues, he has remained consistent. And those positions are the old-line conservative positions of non-interventionism abroad and limited government at home.
These positions are popular with your average American citizen. Thatâ€™s because they reflect traditional American values of freedom and self-reliance. They are not popular with the military-industrial complex, the federal bureaucracy or anyone else who derives profits from the pocketbooks of the citizenry. As a result, those in power who want to â€œleave well enough aloneâ€ are doing whatever they can to minimize Dr. Paulâ€™s ability to get his message, the traditional American message of freedom and self-reliance, out to the public.
But something is happening. The public is hearing the message anyway. Because it is the publicâ€™s message. It is our message and we are spreading it. Despite being largely ignored by the large media corporations that dominate the airwaves and press today, the American public is spreading Dr. Paulâ€™s message through grassroots efforts. The traditional American message is so powerful and beautiful that it can not be suppressed no matter how much the corporate elite, the military-industrial complex, the federal bureaucracy or anyone else want to silence it. And examples of this can be seen from Des Moines to Silicon Valley to Spartanburg to San Antonio to Pittsburgh as overflow crowds come out to hear Dr. Paul deliver the message of freedom to the American people. A great example of this occurred at the South Carolina Republican debate when Rudy Guiliani confronted Dr. Paul about the reasons for the 9/11 attacks. The crowd of party hacks in attendance cheered Guiliani but the public responding to polls clearly and strongly gave their approval to Ron Paul.
In todayâ€™s America, even though the two parties do their best to disclaim it, the Democrats and Republicans are really two sides of the same coin. The Democrats are more honest about their position of wanting more and more government intervention into our lives while the Republicans verbally denounce big government but in practice do all they can to continue its growth. The small neo-conservative movement using fear and false patriotism has taken control of the Republican Party and the federal government with the tacit approval of the Democrats who are doing nothing to stop them or even slow them down. But now that the folly of this path is becoming clearly apparent to most Americans the libertarian faction within the Republican Party is gaining strength as shown by the enthusiastic grassroots support that Dr. Ron Paul is receiving. As such we are moving ever closer to the day when control of the GOP is taken away from the fearmongers and corporate interests by those who believe in traditional American values so that we may once again have a true two party system of government in the United States.