To the People of Texas: Concerning the Republican Presidential Primary
It is no accident that so many of the books and movies about the Old West are set in Texas. There is something about Texas that stirs the soul like no other place in America. What is the reason for this mysterious phenomenon? It is not a mystery at all. It is the yearning for freedom.
From before its birth as a republic or a state within this union, Texas has been a place where people have gone to be free. As an isolated state in the Mexican republic, Texas provided a sanctuary for all who wished to live their own lives without interference from a distant capital. When the Mexican government attempted to exert centralized, despotic power over the free people of Texas, your ancestors fought with Santa Anna on the side of the federalists. When that general later repudiated liberty and betrayed the Texans that had fought for it by his side, the people of Texas stood against him and won their freedom again.
Americans have always thought of Texas as an independent state that only reluctantly joined the union and has had one foot out the door ever since. That is not to say that Texans are unpatriotic. On the contrary, Texas is the last place in America where the founding principle of federalism still seems to live. None doubt that Texas is there to support and defend her fellow states. However, any American who loves liberty has always fondly imagined Texas’ stance towards the federal government to be, “Don’t push us too far or we’ll leave. We’re quite capable of taking care of ourselves.”
What is more American than that? Independence. Self-government. Voluntary association. Self reliance. In an age where centralized power has reached into every aspect of the lives of the people, only Texas seems to exude a spirit of resistance. When Americans think of a well-armed, independent populace that will not be pushed around by anyone, they invariably think of Texans. If the unlimited expansion of the power of the federal government is ever to be checked, who better to lead than them?
What makes America a free country? It is not free just because people say it is free. America has always been different from any other place on earth because of her Constitution. Freedom does not come from the Constitution, but the Constitution was an attempt to protect freedom. How? By limiting the power of the federal government. America has been freer and wealthier than any country in history not because of what the government has done, but because of what the government has not been allowed to do.
Those limits on federal government power have been under attack since the birth of the republic. Now they are all but gone. The government no longer protects your life. It claims the power to kill you without trial. It no longer protects your property, but loots it to fund its failed social programs and foreign adventures. Worst of all, it no longer recognizes your God-given right to liberty. It believes that whatever liberty you have comes from the government, to be increased or decreased at its pleasure. It believes that it can tell Texans what they can eat, what they can drink, how they must run their businesses, where they can go, what they can and cannot do on their own property, and even what they can think.
Sadly, most Americans have forgotten how abhorrent these ideas are. However, many of us like to think that Texans have not forgotten. Have you? Hopefully you have not. You have an opportunity to say so loud and clear during this election year. There is one man running for president of these United States that opposes everything that is wrong with America. It is no mistake that he comes from Texas.
For Texas Republicans, every election must bring back the sting of Santa Anna’s betrayal. Republican candidates say that they are going to cut federal government spending and roll back federal power. They never do. Ronald Reagan promised to eliminate the Department of Education, to cut federal spending, and to “curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people.” He did none of this. He grew the size of the federal government by over 70%. He expanded the role of the Department of Education. He increased the power of the federal government, further breaking down those distinctions that he promised to recognize.
George W. Bush made similar promises with similar results, as had Nixon and Eisenhower before him. Republican politicians are elected by those who vote for them specifically to cut the size and scope of government and thereby increase liberty and prosperity. They never do.
The truth is that no presidential candidate, in this century or the last, Republican or Democrat, has attempted to check the growth of the federal government. The Democratic Party openly admits that it seeks to expand government at all levels. At least they are honest. The Republicans claim to oppose that agenda, but have expanded government whenever they have been in power. What Republican president has ever made the government smaller?
This election year is no different. Certainly, Barack Obama makes no promises to cut the size or power of the government. He believes that all economic growth originates from some sort of government intervention. He believes that the purpose of government is to redistribute wealth. He opposes the basic ideals that made America different from any other place in human history. He makes no secret of this. At least we know where he stands.
It is the Republican candidates that represent the potential for another betrayal. As usual, they say that they intend to cut federal spending and power, but they will not name one specific program that they will cut, or one regulatory agency that they will abolish. That is, none of them with one exception: Ron Paul.
Congressman Paul has stood alone for decades against the unchecked growth of the federal government and is the only candidate in any party committing to cut it. He has already published a budget that cuts $1 trillion from the federal budget during the first year of his presidency. It eliminates five federal departments, which not only saves money, but reestablishes a founding American principle. It is that the federal government has no business regulating Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Energy, or “the Interior.” These are all powers properly left to the states or the people. No other candidate makes similar promises because they do not truly believe in these principles. They do not believe in limiting the power of the government. On the contrary, they seek to expand it for themselves.
You may have been told that Ron Paul is “unelectable” because of his foreign policy. Yet, what is that policy? It is that only the American people may decide to go to war, through their elected representatives in Congress. Ron Paul insists that no president or general may usurp that power. If war is said to be necessary, then there should be a debate in the Congress and a declaration of war. When America followed this constitutional process, she won wars. Since she has abandoned it, she has never really won a war.
We have instead sent our soldiers to far-off lands with no definition of victory. Their hands are tied with confusing rules of engagement that prevent them from winning and allow the wars to drag on. This is suspiciously convenient for those who profit from war at the expense of taxpayer money and precious American blood. How much longer shall we go on like this? Over sixty years later, what is the U.S. military’s mission in Korea and when will it end? Germany? Japan?
Ron Paul will end those missions now and recommit our military to defending this country. Most importantly, if war should come during his presidency, Ron Paul will have the war properly declared by Congress and he will allow our military to win it. Ask yourselves if you truly believe that any of the other candidates will do likewise. Make no mistake, Ron Paul is the only president that will win the next war.
Our nation is in crisis. It faces economic collapse and a myriad of social problems. Every reasonable person recognizes that the federal government is at the root of the problem. But who will stand up and oppose it? The government has every media outlet arranged against Ron Paul or anyone else that suggests pushing back against federal expansion. Americans are daily bombarded with propaganda supporting the status quo. The leading Republican candidates do not oppose it at all. Neither do entrenched Republican Party leaders.
At this point in American history, Ron Paul may literally be our last hope. A vote for anyone else is a vote for more of what has led our nation to the precipice. Time is running out on the option to reverse course. Courageous people in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada have already cast their votes for liberty in large numbers, but they have not given Ron Paul a victory.
Hopefully, that will have changed by the time you hold the Texas Republican Primary. At that time, you will have an opportunity to strike a blow for freedom. Texas commands 155 delegates. A Ron Paul win in Texas can prevent another big government elitist from clinching the Republican nomination. Most importantly, it sends a message that a large and prominent state has rejected the unnatural form of government that we have adopted. It says to the federal government what our forefathers once famously said to the British, “This far shall you go and no farther.”
It is the responsibility of every individual to defend his or her own liberty. It is the responsibility of every state government to defend the limits on federal power. Texas cannot do it for the other states, but she can lead by example. The stand against tyranny must begin somewhere. If not in Texas, where else? If even Texas does not resist the federal juggernaut, how can we expect any state to do so?
There is a yearning for freedom within every American heart. For many, it is buried beneath decades of lies, shoddy education, and propaganda. But it is there. Ron Paul has reawakened it in millions, young and old. The forces of tyranny recognize this and are uniformly aligned against him. They despise freedom and independence. They thrive on dependence and control. One side is going to win. Freedom can only prevail with Texas leading the way. For the Texan inside every American, do not let us down. Give Ron Paul and Liberty a victory that neither the government nor the people can ignore.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.