Never have I followed a political process more closely than the current Republican primary race. And never have I been more thankful for a politician than I am for Ron Paul. After watching all of the debates and forums up to this point, viewing countless “news” programs and biased political talk shows, listening to friends in casual conversations, visiting some candidates’ websites, and reading his book Liberty Defined, I realize that I owe a debt of gratitude to Ron Paul for his endurance in this campaign for the following reasons.
· He is relentlessly consistent.
If one follows Ron Paul’s candidacy, it doesn’t take long to believe he or she possesses a psychic gift with the ability to predict Paul’s answer to almost any question when it is asked. His message is simple: individual liberties trump just about everything else. His positions are the same every time! One can sense a hint of reluctant awe from even his opponents and critics (conservatives and liberals alike) when it comes to his remarkably consistent record. Unlike any other popular political figure in recent years, he does not change a thing regardless of the date, location, audience, etc., even to his own detriment at times. No matter where he is, when it is, or whom he is with, everyone can expect – and get – the same Ron Paul. Without exception! (Just ask Jay Leno.)
The only way this degree of consistency is possible by being completely principle-driven, and it makes following him easy. Paul’s core convictions really do drive everything he says and does – his speeches, debates, and most importantly, votes. I am grateful for his principle-centered leadership for the obvious, refreshing reason that it is nice to see character instead of merely hearing people claim it and talk about it with superficial slogans. Furthermore, Paul uses his principles to teach. As an ordinary citizen, I am learning the following lessons (some for the second or third time, but it is good to be reminded).
· Governments produce nothing. Solutions and goods come from people.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the debate over whether government supply is superior or inferior to private production that I lose sight of the fact tthat his is a false (not to mention misleading and dangerous) dichotomy in the first place. In reality, as Paul reiterates, “Anytime government provides a benefit, it must first steal it from someone else who is producing it” (page 70, LD). The government, or “public sector,” is an agent of re-organization and redistribution of the goods and services, including health care and education, which are actually supplied by ordinary people. Despite how anyone spins it, hard-working individuals, innovative businesses, and generous charities make up the backbone of this country. It is worth remembering that every dollar that goes to, or through, Washington, DC is someone else’s dollar, namely yours or mine. This reality does not change when a new party is in the White House or in control of Congress.
(to be continued…)