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For what it's worth

There's something happening here.

I can’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 “stay the course” 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. That’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 “leave well enough alone” are doing whatever they can to minimize Dr. Paul’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 public’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. Paul’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 today’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.

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"What it is ain't exactly clear..."

There is a lot of good writing in the "For What It's Worth" piece, but there isn't much that is new or, in some ways, correct.

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.

Yes, the message is powerful and beautiful, just as was flower power in the 60's, but, as Buffalo Springfield also sang, There's a man with a gun over there; tellin' me I got to beware.

We have seen personal freedoms erode exponentially since President Bush has come to power (not office); plans for a North American Union and unfettered snooping rights given to the NSA to intercept all forms of communication. These are dark times and I do not trust the president, nor the government in general, nor the electronic voting machines or the people who program them: results can be altered, as they have been in the past.

Of course I hope Dr. Paul wins all the primaries and goes on to win the presidency. I am supporting him all I can. But I am wary of the system that runs and controls our government and its major elections.

We are riding high on a crest of lovely optimism; that the Republic can be saved and that Dr. Paul will help do it. This is a bit like Springtime in Prague before the tanks rolled in. The only hope, as the writer above states, is that grassroots activism might rally sufficiently to bring this wonderful hopeful dream into reality.

Paranoia strikes deep

No, not much new. In fact, really there is nothing new.

The need to be wary of and to limit the government goes back far beyond even the works of the founding fathers of our nation. The Magna Carta comes immediately to mind.

I'm glad that you picked up on what has been called "flower power". Unfortunately many of the 60s era activists who opposed our policies in Viet Nam did so by embracing big government policies of their own rather than by limiting the role of government. I would have to say someone like John Kerry would fit into this group. As a result, as you've pointed out, we've allowed our liberties to be eroded.

I'll agree with your Springtime in Prague analogy but I will say that we have the greatest opportunity in my lifetime to make a change in the direction our country is going by working together to elect Dr. Paul as our next president. And it's going to take a lot of hard work on all of our parts to be successful.

Let's have a healthy wariness of the government and of foreign threats, but let's also remember that the power in this country flows up from the people and not down from the federal government. And let all of us who have this wariness participate vigorously in the effort to return to the roots of our republic - the Constitution.

And for those of you out there not so long in the tooth as I am, here's a link to Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth.

Ron Paul can still be president

This may sound odd, but, given the millions of people who look to Dr. Paul for leadership (including me), even if the election is stolen from him, he can still be president.

From the internet--perhaps sites such as this one--Dr. Paul can motivate, inspire and suggest various forms of activism, redress and participation. In a way, Dr. Paul could move mountains through direct contact with his supporters and, perhaps, be just as effective than if he were in the oval office. This strategy works; the Amnesty Bill was quashed because lots of people made noise.

Of course I am not conceding anything; I hope Dr. Paul wins the presidency. But I am just a tad cynical about the powers-that-be and their ruthlessness. But, so long as the internet is up and operational, we could sill have our own president in Dr. Paul. With a vital internet presence he could continue to rally people to kick their Congress-people in the pants until things start to improve.

But, in the meantime I hope he wins the Iowa straw poll, the primaries and the Big Chair. I am keeping the faith, but other options open too.

Off topic, but...

...when seeing your moniker I can't help but think of the band Zen Tricksters with a bagpipe added. Which is kind of what Enter The Haggis is.

Re: For what it's worth

And when I look at the national debt and subprime mortgage mess, I'm reminded of "Bad Moon Rising"...