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Hope, History, and Hard Work

Although I usually devote this column to ways that the grassroots can organize, indulge me as this entry will be something of a departure. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and look at what we are trying to accomplish. Earlier today, I took a step back from doing campaign work for a little while to read about our own roots. With all the challenges we face, I thought that inspiration might come from learning about the Constitutional Convention and the challenges that those men faced in their day and how they relate to us.

The men who wrote the Constitution had varied interests, contrasting viewpoints, and distinctive personalities. Heading into the Convention, they had no idea what to expect, but they shared one common belief. They did not necessarily know what was right, but they certainly knew something had gone wrong. The strength of the states made the central government so weak that it had basically ceased to function precipitating doubt over whether this union could survive. There were many more questions than answers and no one knew what to expect from a gathering. However, they knew that something must happen or this great experiment would fail.

The sanction given for this Convention was certainly not broad. Most states seemed to expect that there would be some amendment of the existing Articles of Confederation, of the way things had been, and that this would be sufficient. However, the people who gathered in Philadelphia in 1786 came to see things differently. Conservative in temperament, they became the least likely of radicals and came together to make something new, something unexpected, something where nobody knew what the final product would be. Their efforts and their struggle overthrew conventional wisdom, and against long odds, they managed to get all the states with their various interests to ratify this one document: the Constitution.

Our challenge is not so different than theirs. Our government is broken. Where their government failed for being too weak, our government has become too strong. Our executive has far exceeded the authority intended the office, and our legislature has shown itself unwilling to oppose this transgression. The judiciary remains silent as this all happens under their watch. Echoing the fears of Washington, parties now rule the day instead of the principle of better service to this nation. We have come to an age where one votes simply based on a color, red or blue, and for no nobler reason than to deny power to an opponent. Cynicism and apathy pervade the electorate. Money and influence strangle the halls of power, and the people languish.

We find ourselves then, as unlikely allies, in an unlikely campaign. As Americans, driven by principle and faith in one another, we gather in the belief that we are entitled to something better. Like those who came before us, we do not agree on everything, or even on most things, but as patriots we know that change is needed. We agree that people must have their liberty, protecting the fundamental act of having a choice and a voice in their lives. We agree that the conflux of regulation, media monopolization, and powerful entrenched interests serve as a formidable barrier preventing the average citizen from becoming involved in politics. In this campaign, we agree on one other thing: this must change and that no one else besides us will see this happen.

Ron Paul is many things to many people, but he recognizes that he is part of a much larger message. It is a statement of hope, that we the people can and should govern our own lives, and that any government that dictates how we must live instead of protecting our essential liberty has another name: tyranny. People shy from using words like that in this age, but when the government takes your money, disrespects your rights, and purports to tell you how to live in your own supposed best interest, there can be no other description. Whether we are conscious of this fact or not, it is this intuitive understanding that motivates us all and drives us to do what people would have us believe is impossible.

In our long history as a nation, whenever Americans have stood together and spoken in one voice, we have shown our strength, courage, and virtue. This does not happen through the exercise of force, but rather through restraint and sound judgment. Our greatness does not derive from what we impose upon others, but upon how we defend our inalienable rights of liberty, property, and prosperity. We respect those same rights for others that we claim as essential to ourselves. United, as we have become in this campaign, we have the power and the passion to make a difference and confront the corrupted system that currently holds power. In so doing, we take back what is rightfully ours: control of our own destiny as a nation of free people. That is what is at stake, and that is why we must win.

It has been done before. It can be done again. The rest is up to us.




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Ron Paul's supporters are one of the 'Percs' of this campaign

Thanks to all of you. This is one of the surprises of this campaign. The profound depth of intelligence and insight of his supporters is refreshing and I thoroughly enjoy speaking and listening to all of them! You are all the cream of the crop.

Vali

'...truth is loved in such a way that those who love some other thing want it to be the truth, and precisely because they do not wish to be deceived, are unwilling to be convinced that they are deceived." --- St. Augustine, Confessions (10:23), 5th cent.

'...truth is loved in such a way that those who love some other thing want it to be the truth, and precisely because they do not wish to be deceived, are unwilling to be convinced that they are deceived." --- St. Augustine, Confessions (10:23), 5th c.

Splendid

A splendid essay, my friend.

"our inalienable rights of liberty, property, and prosperity"?

Are you feeling OK?

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What is begun in anger, ends in shame.

a clarification

As good as I ever have.

I expanded that line a bit, but I think they follow. Liberty means that people must be free to have choice, and to do that, there must be possession. To claim something as your own is what the act of choice represents and whether property be intellectual or physical, I think that is true. As far as the prosperity, I think that is the natural result of people freely choosing their tasks and the efforts of their labors.

Hyperbole, perhaps. But it was a nice piece of rhetoric.

Prosperity fits nicely.

Let us not forget that in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson used the words "... life, liberty and the pursuit of property."

Beautiful Piece

Thank you for your well-written and intelligent article.

Terrific, in theory

.
You present a really nice piece; well-reasoned and written.

While I agree with you 100% that our situation is, in many ways, similar to that of the founding fathers - facing a tyrannical government imposed on them/us, the challenges we face today are far greater.

Back then there were no corporations to influence policy; there was no CFR, CIA, FBI, NSA, etc; and our economy was mostly in agriculture. Today we face around-the-clock surveillance, rigged elections and our rights being swept away by Executive Orders. As well, back then one could be anonymous, but not today. Each of us is in many data banks - credit cards, motor vehicles, insurance companies, medical care, schools, etc. In short, we are tracked. If we do something, it gets recorded. Even if you buy a loaf of bread with cash, it is likely a security camera will record you in the store.

You are right when you say we must win, but I think there are only two things we can do. The candidacy and popularity of Ron Paul has awakened and galvanized a formerly-quiet segment of the population, and this is terrific. So, informing the public is the first, important step, and that is being done in great numbers. More people than ever before are awakening to how bad things are. Alex Jones, regardless of what one may think of him, has a made thriving career pointing out the various dire situations which exist. He has no solutions, by the way; he just yells about how terrible things are.

The second thing we can and must do - as individuals and as Ron Paul supporters - is to be in constant contact our legislative representatives and insist they vote Our Way on a particular Bill. Their re-election could be compromised if enough people from a particular state sent enough emails, faxes and phone calls. It does work. In my "Three Suggestions for Ron Paul" post, I encouraged him to set up a web site where all of his supporters could instantly send messages to their reps in the House and Senate about pending legislation, such as the re-vamped Amnesty Bill. It's not sexy but it works. It is the only avenue of direct participation that is open to us. Others mentioned the DownsizeDC site, and that is very fine also.

If all the Ron Paul supporters, as a group, took a stand on one piece of legislation it would have thunderous repercussions in the Congress. Not only would the Bill go in our favor, it would send shock-waves throughout the marble halls: the people have spoken.

Only by changing Congress do we have a chance. It's slow and cumbersome and takes continued, individual efforts. It might take years - even if Hillary or someone else wins the presidency. We can still prevail by changing the personnel in Congress.

There may be other solutions but I don't know what they might be. Perhaps another poster will think of something good.

true enough

I thought about getting more into detail, but it ruined the rhetorical flow of the piece. I agree with you that what we need to do is enact changes at all levels of government, and I actually think the legislature is more important than the executive, but that the executive is a better rallying point around which we can build our network.

The really large advantage we have that they didn't is a free flow of information. Communication in the 18th Century was extremely cumbersome at best. We have the tools and the innovation to make up for some of our monetary disadvantage.

The biggest disadvantage, however, is the indifference of the people that we face. The founders had to convince state legislatures. We have to convince everyone, and yet, it can be done . There are many more of us than there were of them.

After this campaign, I actually am thinking of starting up a group to try to help grassroots activists make an impact upon legislation. It could be fun and it is something we'll need. Of course, there'll be many such institutions, and I think that's the point. But, the better we do in this election, the easier that will become.

Government too strong

It is wonderful to log on to the Ron Paul website and see so many articles well written and researched such as yours. The articles show a lot of thought and give much to think about.
Our government is made up of three branches: Legislative. Judicial, and Executive. These three branches were to provide a check and balance. However, as I see it, most of the Legislative branch's 435 members have been bought out by the elitist. Their only concern is being re-elected and amassing individual wealth
The Judicial branch appointments are very much determined by the President. And this is where the problem lies in our government today - the Executive branch. Our Presidents are now picked and elected thru the efforts of the CFR. As such, our branches are not functioning equally as intended. Rather, the Executive branch is all powerful even to the point of over turning the constitution!!
We need a president who will adhere to the constitution. RON PAUL I pray will be our next president.

jimt