My Journey to Ron Paul, from a former Neocon.Submitted by vontrollicus on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 10:12
I've been reading DP for the last few months and finally decided to join. Ironically, I credit that of Fox News and, specifically, the departure of Glenn Beck for helping to wake me up to Dr. Paul. Beck was the only personality at Fox that I could stand as he seemed to buck the establishment and stand for principles which led me toward libertarianism. Unfortunately, while I like Beck, I found through my own research that he still was a party line guy on foreign policy. I've been supporting Dr. Paul for a few months now but have recently become more vocal about it. What set me off was numerous friends that either had voted for Obama in 2008 or never had an interest in politics and this led me to send out an email to every family member and friend, most of which who religiously listen to talk radio and Fox News. The following is the email I sent to them:
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone got to spend time with their families and friends. I'm not a big fan of email chain letters and the like, and although this one was written purely by me from the heart, I understand if you do not wish to read it. Please, however, watch the YouTube video here instead (or in addition to) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I8NhR...
Many of you are aware of how politically active (and potentially annoying) I am if you have me on Facebook. Before I was old enough to vote in 2000 I worked on the election campaign for George W. Bush. I was always given puzzled glances as someone in my late teens and early twenties that listened religiously to talk radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Michael Medved. In 2004 it came as no surprise that I supported the reelection of George W. Bush. When my wife and I were married in 2006 I even had Republican logo cufflinks. There was no disputing where my allegiance was.
Fast forward to 2008 and the guy I liked in the Republican primary was Mitt Romney. With the economic storm in the air, he had the best chance in my mind to help fix the economy. But I didn't vote for him...no, rather than voting on my principles, I was enamored by a dashing young candidate named John McCain and while I didn't agree with many of his views, felt he was the guy that had the best chance to keep the presidency with team GOP.
It didn't hit me right away, but at some point after President Obama took office I felt dirty and used. The idea of sacrificing what I believed in and placing a political party over principle was really what did it. And when you step back and objectively look at the structure of the USA from 2004-2008 compared to 2008-today, the differences are extremely minor. One person went to KFC to get the original recipe with mashed potatoes and gravy. The next one promises change and goes for extra crispy and holds the gravy. No matter how you slice it, you are still eating chicken.
As the economic crisis deepened, I stopped listening to the talking heads and did my own research. All of the stories discussed on talk radio throughout the day are able to be read in a fraction of the time online (typically cherry picked from www.drudgereport.com) and have an added benefit of allowing you to make your own opinion.
Now most of us have some common ground, in that we typically wish to reduce the size of government or trim the deficit or cut back on wasteful spending. In my research, I stumbled upon the school of Austrian economics. You may have heard of them - they correctly predicted both the Great Depression and our current economic crisis. Former economic giants such as Ludwig Von Mises and F.A. Hayek were part of the Austrian school and current members with great insight are Peter Schiff and Robert Murphy. These are great resources to look at to see how the market works.
As the 2012 election cycle began, I didn't really have a candidate to get behind. I suppose I liked Romney, but he didn't really motivate me. Then I saw word my fellow high school alum and Livonia native, Thaddeus McCotter, was putting his hat in the ring. His candidacy was basically ignored and he wasn't invited to the debates - a shame as he is head and shoulders above most of the GOP field.
The ignoring of McCotter by the media led me to discover another oft ignored candidate - Ron Paul. I wrote Paul off as crazy in 2008 due to having opinions given to me by the aforementioned talking heads. But this time no such thing would happen. I saw Paul's great showing in the Iowa straw poll and the subsequent and comical ignoring of him by both the mainstream media and Fox. My intellectual independence and the ignoring or marginalizing of Paul ironically led me to him - not away. I read Paul's latest book, Liberty Defined (http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Defined-Essential-Issues-Freed...) and found myself in agreement with him on most issues.
Which seems to be what everyone says...and then it is followed by "except on foreign policy." Back in 2004, and even 2008 I would have agreed. But the facts are too numerous to do this now. I could spout off history, but if you come from this school of thought that Paul's views are dangerous the easiest rebuttal is to ask our troops. The troops overwhelming support Dr. Paul for President. He has received more donations from active duty military than all other candidates COMBINED (source - http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/jul/23/ron-p...) The top donors for Paul are US Army; US Air Force and US Navy (source - http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?cycle=2012&id=...) The top donors for Romney are Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley (source - http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?cycle=2012&id=...) Who is more credible? Those fighting overseas, or those on TV trying to persuade you otherwise?
We can't be taken seriously in wanting to reduce government if we have our own sacred cows. By bringing our troops home from bases overseas they can protect the country and bring that money back domestically. I implore each and every one of you to look at the issues without a preconceived notion.
The way I see it now we have three realistic choices for President in 2012; re-electing President Obama, Mitt Romney or Ron Paul. Is your life better off now than when Obama took office? Mine certainly isn't. Our family has succeeded in spite of government policies rather than because of them. Is Mitt Romney the candidate you can rally behind? His Romneycare debacle in Massachusetts to flip flopping on issues like abortion and simply being a typical politician rule him out for me.
You may wonder why other candidates were left out such as Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann etc...and the reason is simple - policies notwithstanding, they don't have the organizational ability to be President. In Virginia, where 10,000 signatures were required to appear on the ballot, only Romney and Paul could achieve this. Gingrich tried, but couldn't get the support required. The remaining candidates did not even try (source - http://news.yahoo.com/gingrich-virginia-primary-election-154...) How can you be taken seriously if you can't even try to get on the ballot? It wasn't a problem for candidates in years past, and the rules haven't changed.
I know most won’t read this email, but for those who did - thank you for your time, and God Bless!
I've gotten a few replies back, not one of which has been negative. Some responses I've gotten so far:
"Great email man. I agree with you all the way as a former party line McCain supporter myself to now an eyes open paul supporter. Great links. Let's hope this generation is able to see past the media and corporate bs and get behind paul. Merry Christmas to your family."
"I despise the republican party...But I LOVE RON PAUL
Really hope the media gives him a chance to be in the race to go up against Obama"
"Very well said cousin. I'm impressed. You have opened my eyes to Ron Paul and chances are I will be voting (for the first time in my life) for him on election day. I hope you had a nice Christmas, we missed you guys today."