"[T]he burden of government is not measured by how much it taxes, but by how much it spends." ~ Milton Friedman
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Ron Paul for President gives many people hope that the system can work. If only the right man could take the reins, then this beast would be controlled and used for good purposes. The long years of conditioning and indoctrination are difficult to get past. As a naïve young man, I voted for him because I thought that capital L Libertarianism could really work to reform the democratic-corporate-state system. A Libertarian President would surely be an improvement in the short run, but it would not change the system in the long run. I hope that a valuable lesson can be learned from this exercise.
The romanticism of an old-college-try is inspired by the genuine good-nature of Dr. Paul. His sincerity, intelligence, knowledge of economics and dedication to the ideals of liberty elevate this humble man to a very special status among those who would wear The Ring. He is the only politician alive with whom I have a hard time finding disagreement with. Of the 535 members of Congress, Ron Paul is the only person who truly deserves the title Honorable. The man has followed his oath to uphold the Constitution like no other. He is definitely for real. If a successful internet campaign can generate the needed support to have his campaign be taken seriously by the media-ocracy, then he can win. But if he wins, can he dismantle the behemoth Federal Government? Or would he just make it look more acceptable?
I believe that Ron Paul will scare the living daylights out of the powers-that-be and has a better chance of winning than most pundits think. The amusement factor alone from an 18-month spectacle of political debate between a principled man committed to liberty and the other fakes and frauds is likely to be worth the price of admission. This will be a media event of the highest entertainment order for sure.
The interests of "political science" can be furthered as empirical data galore should come forth from this grand experiment. The Republican label in the rigged two-horse race may punch the ticket to the White House for a libertarian. The main question to consider is not "Can he win?" but "What if he does win?" The potential to slow the inevitable collapse of the state into bankruptcy may do more harm than good in the long run by giving people false hope that "the system can work," if only for a short time. Hopefully, I am wrong and he really can clean up government, ending the naked exploitation of what remains of free society by the well-connected few. This, however, is tilting at windmills.
The self-delusion isn't that he could maybe win the election, it's that he could do anything of substance if he actually did win. After Leviathan steamrolls him like, say, it did another President Ron (if you believed his act) along with every good man who ever went to Washington, D.C. on a white horse, then President Ron Paul being "in-charge" (of the continuing expansion of state control and intervention leading to said collapse) should prove once and for all to anybody with a smidgen of analytical ability that our political problems are systemic and not due to personnel issues.
So I do hope he runs and wins. Not because I think that he will strike through the root of evil, but because I know that he can't. The na've notion that the Constitution is a cage for politicians, and that a brave politician-tamer can just push them back into that cage and close the door makes windmills look like giants. This illusion should be shattered by a President Ron Paul Administration. George Will was right; Ron Paul is an anachronism, because Will knows exactly how the system works with or without Ron Paul.
Unfortunately, he could also be set up as a scapegoat for the ills created over a century or more leading to all kinds of demons being unleashed upon those who support liberty. For instance, a final push to control what is written on the Internet or a peace-loving president (appeaser) being blamed for being too soft on the terrorists after another orchestrated attack occurs on American soil. The American elite who believe in "creative destruction" make Nero look like a piker. This must be understood to appreciate the true nature of the democratic-corporate-state system.
A President Ron Paul will either (1) be thwarted by the vested interests that have so much influence over the existing political system or (2) liquidate those interests. The smart money is on the bet that he is thwarted, even if this breaks my heart to say. I do pray that this wonderful man is not crushed by this process. I'm sure this thought weighs heavy on his indecision to run. It should. Democracy is ugly business.
The media lapdogs of the status quo will constantly seek an opportunity to undermine his legitimacy, slowly strangulating his persona until some contrived spectacular media event puts an end to his challenging the powers-that-be. Even if he runs this gauntlet far enough to reach the White House, Congress will find a new spirit of "bipartisanship" to cast out this heretic who believes in individual liberty with the full backing of media hounds. Hopefully this futile effort will allow more people to learn a profound lesson: it's the system, stupid!
Representative Paul hasn't been able to appeal to the good conscience, reason or plain good sense of his fellow Congressman over the past twenty-or-so years, and I don't see him doing it as President. Today he makes them all look like the court jesters they really are, but the media is able to marginalize him and protect their illusion of public integrity. When he fails to deliver as President, the excuses will be many (like we need to elect more men like him), but the results will be the same.
Does anybody remember the promises of how wonderful the Federal government would be if only we had a Republican House, Republican Senate and a Republican President choosing the members of the Supreme Court? That worked out just great, eh? What will it take for "the people" to see that the system itself just plain sucks?
When Ron Paul is either marginalized by the media during the election or set up as a scapegoat for systemic problems after winning, don't think that voting again and again and again for anybody will make one damn bit of difference. The Internet will be a bigger factor than any presidential election in history and it may well be the difference this time around. So the dream of so many that a true libertarian gets a legitimate shot at being President looks like a reality. It just doesn't make any difference when push comes to shove, literally.
I would love to be proved wrong this one time and see a President Paul liquidate the corrupt, bankrupt U.S. Federal Government. But if I'm right and he doesn't affect substantial change, then never vote again and spread the word. This will allow the relic of a political system we inherited upon birth to wash away so that we can finally move on to the next level of social organization. Authority is not liberty and democracy is not freedom, no matter who you vote for.
It looks like a win-win situation for lovers of liberty: either a President Ron Paul is the elected dictator that fulfills the dream of setting all the slaves free, or he proves that the system is a scam and must be completely scrapped. At the very least, it should be a spectacular show watching the puppeteers squirm and the puppets panic at the sight of a man running towards them with scissors. I'd hate to miss that show. Someone might even make it into a musical someday about how democracy almost worked once. Maybe, just maybe, then enough people will finally realize that, after all, it's just a show folks, it's just a show.