Something Big is Happening

As many of you know, I used to be active in the Republican Party but when they talked about small government and liberty, their actions told a different story. Today, Republican leaders have grown the American government to an unprecedented size and are stripping us of our civil liberties at a frightening pace. While they still talk about small limited government, there isn’t a sliver of evidence that the current Republican leadership has any intention of reducing the size of government. I gave up on them and vowed to never support another small government phony.

But I still cared deeply about personal freedom. I cared about the future of America and the world. The political animal inside of me didn’t die. So I looked for a new political home. I knew there were hundreds of thousands maybe even millions of others just like me. Most of us stayed home on election day 2006 and the Democrats took back the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The change of congressional power made little difference. After the 2006 election, congressional approval reached an all-time low of 14%

Until very recently, I planned to sit out 2008 as well.

Several months ago, I first heard about this long shot running for President, Ron Paul. But I didn’t think much of him. I’ve heard too many hollow promises before.

  • Then I heard his principled positions during the debates.
  • Then I heard he raised 5 million dollars in the 3rd quarter.
  • Then I heard he has refused his congressional pension plan on principle. Refusing one of most generous pension plans in the world, worth millions.
  • Then I learned that over the past 30 years he has voted for human freedom and liberty, never flip-flopping.
  • Then I heard lobbyists don’t even bother knocking on his door, because they know he isn’t for sale. 
  • Then I heard he is the top choice of US Military personnel. The troops have raised more money for him than any other candidate.

But I was still on the fence.

Then, last week, as Christine and I were watching Ron Paul on YouTube, I said to her, “This guy is the perfect candidate. I’ve never seen a guy this good. But I don’t want to get excited. He can’t win.”

She looked at me with the look. A look that says, quit talking like a fool – I thought you were smarter than that. And then she said, “Why not? Get excited. What an opportunity. Finally a guy we can vote for.” 

So with that kick in the ass, I jumped off the apathy fence and landed in Ron Paul Country.

The next day I went to Ronpaul2008.com and donated $100.00.

Two days later, I called Marianne Stebbins, his Minnesota campaign chair and volunteered to be a precinct captain.

A few days later I went to the Ron Paul Campaign headquarters and got a few bumper stickers and a lawn sign. That’s where I bumped into a Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter. He noticed that I was an outsider, that I had just stopped in off the street with my family and asked for campaign material. When he asked me why I was interested in Ron Paul I said, “For me it’s simple, he is the only honest ethical man running for president. Not only that, I like most of his ideas. Did you know George W Bush has outspent LBJ? Hillary won’t be any better. If you asked me three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be standing here saying this, but it’s true, Ron Paul has cured my apathy. For me Ron Paul is the only candidate worth voting for.”

The day before, at work, I walked back to the shipping dock to talk to the guys about Ron Paul. When I mentioned him, they already knew about him. They agreed that he had a great message, but everyone said, “He can’t win.”

Thinking about that, I paused a minute, and said this, “If we keep telling each other this, we’ll never elect a decent candidate. If we don’t believe an honest man can win, someone with good ideas, we’ll never get an intelligent honest president. We’ll keep getting the same corrupt power hungry clones. We have to believe we deserve better than Bush, Giuliani, Romney, and Hillary Clinton. Do you like any of these candidates? I can’t believe anybody likes these guys. But for some reason we believe they are the only ones who can win. But it isn’t true. We get to decide who wins, not the media. Ron Paul is the best candidate for president I have seen in my lifetime. This is the guy we’ve been looking for. Don’t let the opportunity slip away because you don’t believe he can win. He can win, but it is up to us to believe it. The pundits said Jesse Ventura couldn’t win and he did win. It was guys like you that elected him. Ron Paul is ten times the man Jesse Ventura is. Don’t let this opportunity slip away.”

I don’t know if my little speech changed any minds. These guys are seriously jaded. And you know what? I don’t blame them.

Jesse Ventura was a major disappointment, but he showed us what was possible if you can turn out the young, the disaffected, and the apathetic.

A guy at work who has never voted in his life is on fire for Ron Paul. If the 30-40% of Americans who do not vote, voted, it would turn the political world on its head.

I have a brother in northern Minnesota who I would describe as liberal (in the American sense of the word). He’s into organic farming, alternative medicine, eastern philosophy, anti-corporatism, and a myriad of environmental and health related issues. When I talked to his wife this weekend (he was in the middle of BF North Dakota helping to ease a housing shortage) she said my brother had been researching Dr. Paul and he didn’t care if Dr. Paul was a Republican, he was seriously considering supporting him because something has to be done, the government has gotten completely out of control, and they’ve got to start listening to us. If my brother is supporting him, something big is happening.

So right now I’m telling everyone about a grass roots effort to get people to give Ron Paul a $100.00 donation on November 5th 2007. The goal is to get 100,000 people to donate $100.00 at ronpaul2008.com on November 5th. The result will be 10 million dollars in a single day, which would be an unprecedented event in the history of political fund raising. If we pull this off, the mainstream media could no longer ignore us. The best way to send a message right now is to vote with your dollars. Christine and I will donate $100.00 each on November 5thYou can register at this website to pledge your support for this event. But don’t feel you must register to participate. I haven’t registered, and I know a dozen people who have not registered that will be participating. The important thing to remember is to give what you can on the 5th of November. I will post a reminder on 11-5-07.

Dr. Paul will be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight 10-30-07. It is a great opportunity to see him.

I want my regular readers to know th
at
this blog will not become a “Ron Paul site.” But I may post occasional stories about my involvement in his campaign.

This is life. It’s happening right now. Don’t miss anything, click and subscribe.

53 thoughts on “Something Big is Happening”

  1. I knew you had it in you Steve. Well done. Your story is like many across our country. This needs to happen and I’m glad you’re onboard.

  2. Thanks for the kick in the pants Steve. I have felt seriously disaffected over the past few months of campaigning. None of the big name candidates bring anything to the table worth mentioning. Like you, I used to be more politically active and interested, but the current environment, with essentially a single party, leaves me without a political home.

    I have an interesting story about the power of a single vote. A few years back, there was a heavily contested election for our state senator. One of the candidates was very attractive to me, but I decided not to vote for him in the primary because he had “no chance of winning”. I felt like I would be wasting my vote. I voted for one of the other politicians, and the candidate I really thought would do a great job lost the primary by 3 votes. I know others who voted the same way I did, and if we would have voted with our hearts, the candidate we were passionate about would have been on the ballot in the general election. What a missed opportunity.

  3. Steve – thanks for the kind post, and for your support of the Nov 5 money bomb.

    DaveP
    Co-organizer,
    Pittsburgh and Western PA meetup

  4. I’m sorry, but I’m sitting here at the keys chuckling
    away at your post. It’s truly awesome as your passion
    has risen to the roof. Welcome to the “freedom train”,
    the New American Revolution! Keep your sign close to
    your house, mine was kicked an ripped but I taped it
    back together and taped it inside my front door! Heck
    with those who don’t like Ron Paul I say…

    Those that have been rooting for Ron Paul for several
    months now, just smile as we see the folks who feel
    like you do. What it does is gives us the strength to
    continue on, fighting for a “cause”!

    Great to hear that your friends and family have
    also jumped on the band wagon…

    Did you hear? The word is out…there’s a guy
    named Ron Paul running for President!!! Yahoo!

    I’ll have to surf your site and do some reading
    while I’m at it…thank you for posting!!!

  5. Great post Steve. I’m a registered Republican but never voted Republican (or Democrat for that matter) in a Presidential election. Ron Paul is the first candidate to ever get me excited about voting. While other candidates offer the typical political rhetoric (talk a lot without really saying anything), Dr. Paul actually has substance.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with Ron Paul. I’m curious what you think of Barack Obama? I’ve been impressed with his integrity and balanced thinking, too.

  7. @Mark,

    I can’t say I know a lot about Barack Obama. But I just looked at his issues section on his website so I could respond with a little knowledge. From what I read his positions on issues don’t inspire me. In most critical areas he tells us what he and the rest of the government is going to do for us if he is elected. It smells of bigger government and less personal freedom and responsibility. I don’t believe that any politician is the solution to our problems. We are the solution. That’s what I’m hearing Paul say. Give more power to people and less to the government. But with that power we must learn to be responsible for ourselves and each other.

    But I’d much rather see a Obama presidency than another Clinton. This idea of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton for twenty years stinks of a modern monarchy.

    I know many people backing Barack and they speak highly of his intelligence and integrity. I can respect that even if I don’t agree with his fundamental political philosophy.

  8. I was at a Halloween party on Saturday and met two people who said the same thing — Ron Paul is the ideal candidate but he “can’t win.”

    I think there are huge numbers of these people, and once he raises a little more money and climbs a little higher in the New Hampshire and Iowa polls, there’s going to be a big bandwagon effect.

    I don’t believe the “scientific” polls for a minute, incidentally. His support is much higher than they let on.

  9. Honestly, the way I see it…save your energy. You’re fighting for the wrong cause. The problem is not our candidates, the problem is our election system. Plurality voting is simply broken. It doesn’t work. We will never ever break out of this two party system as long as we use plurality voting as our method of election. I suggest you read up on plurality voting, arrow’s paradox, and the other voting methods (my favorite being condorcet). And then start polling for a campaign to reform the electoral process, to enact condorcet voting (or at least something better than plurality voting). This is something that will remedy the problem for the forseeable future, as opposed to a long-shot at remedying the problem for the next four years.

  10. Right on. Thanks for that. I agree with you- that people need to express their own inspiration and sovereignty, and I respect your thinking a lot, so I appreciate hearing your opinion about it.

    I get a little nervous when people start talking about “smaller government.” To me, it always brings up associations of a very fundamentalist right wing agenda that wants to decrease funding to schools, while increasing funding to the military, police and jails…

    I’m not saying you are saying that, it’s just a buzzword that says to me: I need to hear a LOT more about what they really mean before I can buy into that.

    I think there are portions of the government that need to be there and be present, that represent a legitimate expression of collective will in the public good in a way that an individual group of people could never easily accomplish on their own.

    But, perhaps it bears thinking about- that if it can’t be accomplished by individuals collectively self-organizing, maybe it shouldn’t exist. There is at least one argument out there that the public highway system destroyed an entire pace of life, and made it too easy to move long distances, thus breaking up local communities, as one example.

    Hmmmm… (sound of Mark thinking). Thanks again, Steve.

  11. I like Ron Paul and have for a long time. I love his ideals and values (and the fact that he actually has them). My problem is that he’s already 72 and will be 73 by election time next year. Does anyone else have a concern about his age?

  12. Word has it that Barrack’s wife is a secretary on the
    board of Council on Foreign Relations, (ie; the shadow
    government=one world government) Unless I can
    prove otherwise, I would say Barrack is as bad as
    the rest of the gang.

  13. Steve,

    I like you.

    I like your blog.

    You have alot of very cool and insightful things to say.

    But please think twice about Ron Paul.

    At least until he answers this open letter posted by radio host Michael Medved (who, BTW, HATES wasteful government spending as much as you do.)

    Unfortunately politics comes down to being a part of the stupid party (R) or the dangerous party (D). Ron Paul I fear is a little of both.

    Keith

  14. I’ll come clean. I am a Buddhist. I believe that Jesus was a Buddhist – read his word and Buddha’s word – they are practically identical. I support Ron Paul, because I support Christ, and I support the philosophy upon which this nation is founded – that all men are created equal – endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. This means that the rule of law does not come from the consent of the governed, but from God (or Buddhists would say that all reality is dependent, and therefore subjective to dissolution – so any claim to governmental authority is dependent reality – ie. transient authority unworthy of spiritual investment). You can vote for Ron Paul even if you think he won’t win. Give his campaign money! Vote for him in the Primary! Do it today! You can decide to vote against him later, but voter registration deadlines occure before voting day in most states.
    http://thisnovember5th.com/
    https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/
    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/primary-and-caucus-information/

  15. Keith, I have been watching Ron Paul for some time now and do not believe he supports any of these fringe groups. But he does support personal freedom, even if that grants freedom to people who think and act completely opposite of him. Ron Paul has many times stated his personal beliefs on issues and voted not to support his own beliefs, because it would be unconstitutional to do so.

    The fact that some of these crazies support him just shows you how real Ron Paul is about letting people believe what they want. Thought Crime is a policy of the neo-cons and liberals(americanized version) not true Americans. So long as freedom is match with personal responsibility, it is a good thing.

    Everyone who does not want the government telling them what do loves this guy, that is going to include the people the current government loves to crush most.

  16. Keith,

    I appreciate your time and your kind words.

    I don’t agree with ANY of those groups mentioned in Medved’s letter and I am sure Dr. Paul does not either. I am supporting Paul not because I think the world is going to hell or being ruled by some vast conspiracy, I am supporting him because I think he would make things even better than they are already are and we may even see a modest reduction in the government, but even he would have an extremely hard time doing that.

    But this whole attack is a bit of conudrum. It is typical of a Karl Rove or Hillary Clinton attack machine. Attack the messenger not the messsage through guilt by association when no association exists.

    You see, the problem is a catch 22. If Paul calls a press conference and publiclly repudiates the kookburgers who like him, he will reinforce the image that he is somehow associated with these people when he isn’t. I think he has already made statements repudiating them in the past and that should be enough.

    He recently gave some conspircy buff his contribution back and then he was accused of supporting the guy because he sent him a check.

    There are a lot of fringe groups in America and when a guy like Paul starts to talk about getting government off your back they will support him because they see government as the biggest obstacle to living thier lifestyle.

    I suppose polygamists support Paul too. But does that mean he supports polygamy? I doubt it.

    What if sex offenders start to support Paul? Does he need to hold a press conference stating he doesn’t support sex crime? Can you see how ugly this is?

    When you start to talk about freedom and people begin to believe you are serious, the people who are into all the weird shit think you are talking about them.

    If you watch the Morton Downey clip from the 80s, when Paul suggests we should legalize drugs, Morton Downey fires back saying, “What if you want to kill your 4-year-old child? Should you be free to do that too?”

    To even respond to a question like that is absurd.

    There isn’t any way to defend yourself against this kind of attack.

    Judge the man on what HE says. If you don’t agree, fine, but let’s have debate without smear tactics.

  17. Steve,

    It’s great to know that you’re on the Ron Paul bandwagon. I’ve been a Dr. Paul fan for several years (probably because I’m a libertarian and he’s truly a conservative libertarian). I’ve written about him a few times at my blog despite realizing that he is still a long shot because there is an entrenched power structure that doesn’t want the government to be smaller.

    However, long shots can win if enough people are talking about them even if the mainstream media doesn’t give them the recognition they deserve. The paradigm has changed in this digital age. Dr. Paul’s campaign seems to recognize that fact better than any other candidate.

  18. Thanks for that link, Steve.

    I have to admit something. The Libertarian view, as I understand it, scares the heck out of me. It seems to rely on an assumption about human nature that I don’t believe is always true: that people function best without limits or structures. Please forgive me if I’m mis-stating the case, I’m happy to be corrected.

    I don’t believe this always true. I think that limits and structures can be dis-empowering, but that they can also be empowering. I believe that there are times and situations where a community can and should use communal resources to support individual needs. I believe that a government can sometimes be an agency or an expression of communal/collective goodwill.

    Do I think this is being done well by the US government? In many, perhaps most, cases I do not. Do I think that the government could use some serious re-organizing, that our entire political system could use some serious overhauling, I do.

    But, I’m not keen on a straight “smaller government” rhetoric, because I don’t have trust that we wouldn’t be facing a “Lord of the Flies” scenario without some way of expressing communal standards for compassion and care. Or that ‘smaller government’ is a code word for more police and more jails, and fewer social/health/educational resources.

    I could probably use more understanding of what you, and perhaps what Ron Paul, mean by ‘less government’ before I can agree or disagree.

  19. I’m glad you’ve discovered Dr. Paul! I never donate to political campaigns, but for him I made an exception. Recently, I got together with folks from a Ron Paul meet-up here where I live and I thought it was so cool that there were people from all over the place politically. The one (and possibly only) thing that some of us had in common was that we are all independent-minded thinkers. Everyone agreed to put their differences aside while we all looked at the big picture, of which a huge part is honesty.

    I don’t know if he has a chance or not, but I’m doing my part. I’m also proud that Texas is finally doing something right. 😀

  20. Mark,
    The last thing I want is everyone to agree. 🙂 If that ever happens, I’ll know we are in serious trouble.

    I read about “The Myth of Bootstrapping” on your site, and this might surprise you, I agree, it is a myth. We all need help from others to get through life and to achieve our goals. But we first must be willing to accept help, to listen, apply the wisdom, and to be grateful for others. No one can help you until you make the decision to accept the help, and few people will continue to help you if you don’t work at it and show some gratitude.

    You are right about the assumption Libertarianism makes… well kinda… For pure Libertarianism to work, people have to change they way they think about themselves and others. I agree with you that people need structure and limits and society will not work with out those limits. There is no freedom without an equal amount of responsibility. It’s the people who do whatever they want without taking responsibility for their actions that cause most of the trouble and require all this government. But I will argue that people work best when structure and limits are imposed internally not externally. A pure libertarian society would require its citizens to have strong self-discipline. And you are right… humanity isn’t there yet. But we must began to learn to be responsible for ourselves and others without the threat of violence from the government. I personally believe that is what we will evolve into… that is where we are headed as a species. If we believe that most people are incapable of good decision making and must be coerced to do the right thing, then we will get exactly what we believe and we will produce more and more people that can’t make good decisions.

    I believe all people are capable of making good decisions and being responsible, they just don’t believe in themselves. I know, I know, Pollyanna. We aren’t going to get there overnight, but that is where we need to go. We need to create responsible people not dependent people.

    This subject of Libertarianism is far too complex to try to sell in a blog comment, but I will say this…

    Even if Ron Paul is elected he won’t be able change much. But I think he will move things toward a better future. Regardless of what happens, he is getting people to think about the use of violence and coercion to accomplish goals.

    I like Ron on three big issues:

    1. War – we need to stop using war as a method of spreading freedom. Let’s spread freedom instead by being a shining example of freedom ourselves. People don’t hate us because of our freedom. They hate us because we keep trying to force our way of life upon them with violence.
    2. Drugs – He is the only guy talking about ending the war on drugs. Our drug war is one of the most egregious violations of human freedom in history. We have teenage boys being gang-raped in prison everyday because they possessed an illegal substance, and there are people who think it’s funny. The ‘blowback’ from our war on drugs has created corruption in our government and even worse corruption in the governments south of our border. Drug prohibition has created a worldwide criminal syndicate which is 10,000 times worse that Al Capone. Legalizing drugs will cripple the cartels.
    3. Education – We need choice in education. I believe strongly in introducing market forces into education. A $5000.00 tax credit which follows every child wherever they choose to go, including homeschool, is a good start. Some say this plan would take resources away from education when they are already short resources. But I disagree, in Minnesota we spend about 15K per student which is more than enough money, but they still scream for more. Detroit has the highest paid teachers in the country and still boasts a dropout rate of nearly 80%. Our education resources need to be used more efficiently and markets are always more efficient than government bureaucracies. I believe very strongly in education… kids are being cheated… especially poor ones… it’s time to force change through a free market. Our school system is a dinosaur that should have been extinct long ago, but we keep protecting it. The biggest lie revolving around education today is that schools educate. The don’t and they never will. You educate yourself by willingly accepting help from others and thinking critically. A good teacher doesn’t teach or lecture, a good teacher sparks curiosity and then helps. My vision is millions of little entrepreneurial learning centers, homeschools, and neighborhood co-ops.

  21. I like Ron Paul, he is the first American candidate for presidency that I really like. And though I am from Republic of Moldova, I will donate 100$ on the 5th of November… for a better world.

  22. @Ririan,
    I love your blog. I’d love to get over to Europe and visit you guys. Do you think an RP presidency would help restore our image in other part of the world?

    @Michael,
    Contact Corey Stern at coreystern@lpmn.org I think he can hook you up with a sign.
    I picked it up at a Halloween party at the Liberty Center and Corey had a pile of signs.

    The Liberty Center is at:
    799 Raymond Avenue St. Paul, MN 55114
    651.646.8980

  23. Jesus H. W. Christ, Steve!

    Ron Friggin’ Paul!?

    *EYE ROLL*

    Uh, huh.

    Ron Paul has about as much chance of winning the Presidency as the Neo-Conservatives (who maintain control of both parties) do in relinquishing their diabolically genocidal plot to usher in World War III.

    “We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear’s work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come.”

    ~ Joseph Paul Goebbels

    Put down the kool-aid and go back to mindlessly spending and consuming to America strong.

  24. “A guy at work who has never voted in his life is on fire for Ron Paul.”

    The bizarre thing is, that describes me, too; I’ve never felt it worth my time voting, let alone canvasing, until Ron Paul came around.

    My wife and I are donating $4600 on November 5, and going door to door in LA.

  25. I just wanted you to know, Steve, that I appreciated your response to my question about LIbertarianism. Unfortunately, I got hit by the crud that’s been going around, and I’ve been sick in bed, so I hadn’t responded. And my head is none too clear now to be very intelligent in my response.

    What you wrote resonated with me. I’m definitely enjoying thinking these things through. Thanks for adding to that for me.

  26. The good old USA has served pretty well for over 200 years, but it obviously would be best to flush the toilet and start all over–let’s desolve the federal government, hold a convocation of states, and, based on what we have learned from GWB, let’s do it right this time! A good start would be to put the capital of the new USA somewhere near ST. Louis, MO.

  27. Question Steve:

    I consider myself an opened minded individual. I’ve alway thought along the lines that if the republican party went back to its fundamentalist ideals that they would garner more of my support and possibly even my vote. At the very least, by sticking to its ideals the republican party would find people less dissillusioned by its outrageous antics of late.

    Anyway, Ron Paul sounds great. I can appreciate his stance on almost every issue. It isn’t Ron Paul that concerns me, I think I would be happy with his presidential leadership, its his ability to pass bills. Will he be able to pass anything in office or is he too radical? Would we see four or even eight years of a deadlocked government accomplishing nothing but fighting while the country goes on hurting?

    I know that the big Republican players are choosing to ignore Paul hoping that will be an effective method of keeping him from winning the primaries. I think he could win, but then what? Would the support be there from the Republicans in congress or would they be too concerned with keeping their own personal pork projects to give the support needed to initiate real change in this country? I want to believe, but at the same time it seems like a safer gamble to go with an Obama or someone more likely to get the congressional support necessary to pass the occassional bill.

  28. I think this question that comes up every election for both progressives and conservatives (as well as plain ol’ human beings) is: do we vote our heart and our ideals, or do we compromise because we don’t think it will work?

    I for one want to make an end in my life for compromising my heart. I’m very willing to work out compromises with others, in the context of a relationship and a given situation- but I no longer want to trade away my heart, or my vote, for a compromise of what I think will or won’t work because of hypothetical resistance.

    If Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr, or for that matter any of millions of ordinary entrepreneurs decided to go for what is safe, rather than what is true in their heart… well.. we’d be a lot worse off, in many ways.

    And, it feeds on itself. There’s a book called “The Cultural Creatives”- and the premise was that there is a majority of Americans who have this neither conservative nor liberal perspective, that falls into another category all-together. The problem being that each person things they are alone, or part of a small minority, so it won’t be effective to speak up.

    I just want to add my voice and my support to any of you longing for something better, to vote with your heart. I don’t care if we don’t agree on who we’re voting for- but if more of us don’t act from the heart, from what’s true for us, then these devil’s compromises will continue us down this same path of mediocrity… which is about the least safe path to take.

  29. Joey,

    Your question is a question I have pondered frequently over my life and I always come back one answer…

    Gridlock is better than the big government ideas winning. I’d rather have a government in gridlock than a government that get things done.

    I want a government that does as little as possible. I’d like it to shrink itself, but that is very unlikely right now, even with a Paul victory. I think the best we can hope for is several years of stasis, after which some congressmen might wake up and then we can reduce government.

    I expect gridlock from a Paul administration and that is okay with me. A representative government is best when it bickers and worst when it agrees.

    But one thing Paul will do that congress can do nothing about is bring our troops home from overseas and to me that is worth supporting him for.

    In my heart I don’t believe Obama will bring the troops home. I don’t know why, I just don’t think he’ll do it. But I believe Paul will.

    I also believe Paul will call off the DEA dogs attacking hemp farmers in North Dakota. Congress can’t stop him. Obama will never do that. He doesn’t believe states have the right to legalize hemp.

    I bet Paul will do both in his first year.

  30. After reading carefully through Ron Paul’s website, I find in my heart that I can’t support him. Between his desire to remove our participation from the United Nations, to his focus on making government smaller, without any articulated plan on what to do with the millions of uninsured people, and especially with his unequivocal anti-abortion stance, in my heart I feel that his policies would end up giving too much power to Christian fundamentalists.

    I don’t have any concrete evidence of this- it’s just what feels true to me- similar to your thought about Obama and Iraq.

    On the other side, my experience of hearing Obama speak and reading his positions, he feels like someone of strong integrity, who isn’t afraid of some amiguity or complication in an issue. He doesn’t have black and white answers for complex issues, but it is willing to engage in dialogue and learning, something I believe the US needs a lot of. He also falls much closer to my own heart around what’s important: and I think one of the most critical has to do with the environment and how we use energy.

    Thanks for the discussion, Steve. I’ll be watching to see how it all progresses for you.

    with tremendous respect,
    Mark

  31. Mark,
    I understand completely. It would be a tragedy if we all agreed. And worse it would be incredibly boring. The important thing is to be intelligent and respectful, something sorely missing in political discussions. We all have things to learn from each other and it’s difficult to learn when someone is shouting.

    A part of me likes Obama. If it is Romney or Guiliani against Obama, well see, he might get my vote, I won’t rule it out. If Hillary wins the dems and Paul doesn’t win the repubs I’ll probably vote third party, maybe Libertarian or Green. Maybe I’ll write in Mickey Mouse or Eric Cartman. One thing is certain, I will not vote for Hillary, Romney, or Guiliani.

  32. Steve,

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for a little while now and your endorsement of Paul carries weight with me. I respect you for the the intelligent blogger that you are. Thank you for providing me and the rest of the intertubes with thought provoking, interesting articles.

    I don’t know if it is just careful moderation on your part but I’ve also enjoyed reading the comments as your reader community discusses this candidate as adults should. That rarely happens online anymore.

    In reference to your above reply. I hope you’re right I really do. Yes Paul can bring the troops home and I’m in favor of that. Sadly the economic damage of the war is already done. If only we’d had a Ron Paul in 04….As it stands my grandchildren will still be paying for this war.

    Where the gridlocked government you spoke of obviously couldn’t increase spending, it couldn’t really lessen it and therein lies the problem. I just can’t see how a gridlocked government could provide this country with any real progress. Congress would continue spending, we’d still be up to our ears in pork with a present healthcare crises and future social security crises looming. A government gridlocked for four or eight years wouldn’t be any closer to resolving these issues.

    I guess there would be hope for some kind of congressional sweep two years after Paul is elected where we as voters clean up congress to work with him but I realistically(not negatively) don’t see that happening.

    I would love nothing more than for you to be right. The thought of a president that not only doesn’t embarrass us abroad but improves our lives domestically by letting us keep more of our money is almost too sweet of a dream to wish for. Alas, I fear that our system as it stands is already broken beyond what one leader could fix and I just don’t see how gridlock will help advance us.

    However, You have given me plenty to think about and I hope for all our sakes that Dr. Paul grabs the nomination. I would love to see him debate and I think regardless of the democratic nomination that he would be almost unbeatable in the presidential election. His real battle is in the primaries and I hope he surprises us all.

  33. Gridlock in the government would help dramatically. If the budget is vetoed, and not overridden, the gov has to work off the last budget. That means with inflation, the government effectively decreases 2-4% per year that no new budget is introduced and passed. In a mere 8 years, our communo-fascist overloads would barely be able function and would have to severely curtail active repression.

    Beyond the joys of gridlock, is the presidents ability to simply not do anything. Imagine if the DEA or IRS for example were specifically ordered by the president to stop harassing citizens. Even with no change in congress, the president could drastically increase the real experience of freedom for citizens.

    The executive branch is huge, I am not aware of any law saying a department must use all of their budget. Ron Paul already returns unused portions of his budget, I imagine he could and would do the same with budgets of departments under his control as president.

  34. Anyone seeing how much has been donated to the campaign today? $3 Million+ and the day is far from over. This should make more of the MSM take notice and fund more offline awareness (tv, radio), etc.

    Thanks to all for the “adult” discussion.

  35. Several points, Steve. A vote for Ron Paul is, unfortunately, a wasted vote. I wish it were not so from the small government side of things. A vote for Ron Paul also brings forth an incredibly juvenile perspective on foreign policy—an isolationist view that will only make our problems with the hostile world more difficult to solve when we’re forced, in order survive, to become involved. A vote for Ron Paul in the general election is, in effect, a vote for a big government leftist, likely Hillary Clinton.

    The way to do this is work from inside the Republican Party to pull it back to its low tax, smaller, in fact, government (not mere reduction in the increases), and running more of the real, Jeffersonian, liberals against these RINOs.

    That’s the reality. Not wasting money on a fine man in Ron Paul, but, unfortunately, a man not capable of winning a national election and, frankly, not a person, foreign policy wise, that would serve this country well in that narrow, but none-the-less vital job.

  36. BOG, Ron Paul is not an isolationist, he just isn’t a world policeman. Try reading some of his writings or watching videos of his speeches. He is strongly in favor of real free trade, just improperly named ‘Free Trade Agreements’.

    Take a look at his fund raising and you will see he is electable. Those thirty thousand donors on Monday were not spam bots, but real live citizens putting their money where their mouths are. Ron Paul will win, the more people learn about him, the more excited people get; if he can get his message out there, he will win in a landslide.

  37. Thank, Mike. The military is an arm of foreign policy. There are plenty of bad neighborhoods in the world today, the inhabitants of which only understand force to blunt their ruthlessness. That’s how you clean them up. It’s a fair argument that we should not be “nation building,” but, setting that aside, how about making the world safer for ourselves and, as a by-product, allowing democracies to grow in the place of dictators. Can you imagine that, at some point in the next ten years, our military will have to re-take the oil fields of Columbia and eject Chavez? I sure can. Ron Paul won’t do this, even if we’re oil-starved.

    Ron Paul isn’t an “isolationist” in the sense that he will crank up the castle doors and build a moat, particularly, I agree, when it comes to economic issues; he he certainly is one when it comes to aggressive foreign policy that will keep the creeps off our shores. He’s hell bent on eliminating the IRS (the creeps already on our shores)—which I can’t wait to happen— but there are larger threats “out there.”

    As for electability, Obama and, before him Howard Dean, raised a lot of money on the internet, it’s somewhat meaningless. But, let me ask you this: If Ron Paul doesn’t win the nomination, who are you voting for, if at all? I will tell you, if Ron Paul wins the nomination, somehow, there is no doubt I’d vote for him for a socialist-marxist like HC.

  38. I was encouraged to read “Something Big is Happening” and all the replies so far. I would urge everyone to really follow your hearts (and still use your heads). Liberty is something everyone has from the beginning. It’s bigger than any political definition. No one can take it away unless we accept the leash and give it up. Ron Paul is the single best candidate for ANY public office I’ve come across in my 50 some years, and I’ve paid attention for a fair share of those.
    Affecting my thinking lately…Butler Shafer and Karen Kwiatowski found on http://www.lewrockwell.com .
    Regarding the IRS, taxes etc… Peter J. Hendricksen at http://www.losthorizons.com
    Pete has astoundingly thorough explanations of what’s really in the code. The narrow definitions of “taxpayer, and income” are not at all what we generally believe them to be. Thought provoking and actionable.

  39. Long Live Stumble! Because that’s how I found Stever Olsen!!

    Steve, my man, absolutely fantastic post. I haven’t voted or paid much attention to any election since Goldwater’s try in the 50’s and I finally understood what they were doing to us. But i’m so excited right now I can hardly sit at this keyboard. Lots of good replies too. Keep it up Steve – you’re right on target.

  40. Steve,
    I’ve just recently discovered your site and I have liked a lot of what I’ve read.
    I am curious of your opinion of the Ron Paul Newsletters where that contained racist remarks.

  41. Kevin,

    I’ll tell you what I think of it…
    The same thing I think about Obama using cocaine
    or McCain using racist slurs or Hillary covering for her husbands perjury or Mitt Romney having polygamy in his family tree….

    They are all smear tactics used to instill fear in all of us. To keep us from running for office or expressing our views. To keep good people out of the system. To keep us from talking about substance and issues.

  42. Well, Steve, these are hardly “smear tactics.” These are “real.” You can debate their significance. Smear tactics suggest, at least in part, the allegation is false or “wrongfully” revealed, in some way.

    More to the point, Obama is the one that “revealed” his own drug use (preemptively, most likely, to his presidential run). Do I care, probably not. It’s probably insignificant in the big picture of his socialist agenda.

    The Romney-polygamy charge is pretty remote and, frankly, irrelevant. Mormons really don’t care about polygamy anymore. Not sure we should.

    The Hillary transgressions take on a whole new level of relevance. The Clintons are creeps and the more you know about them, like Hillary’s abetting her husband’s sleazy conduct in all respects, is important to understanding how they would, again, conduct themselves in office. As if we need to know more.

    Ron Paul’s racist emails, hmmmm. Not sure I know what those are all about or how egregious they really might be.

    Bottom line, I don’t see how these things are scary in the sense it makes me afraid to vote or, for that matter, express my views. You’re right, though, it’s a diversion from the real issues—like socialized everything.

    I just want to know if we’re all ready to hold our noses and vote for McCain. I am. But, wow, do we need some leaders to come forward. It’s awful.

  43. BillOGoods,

    Yes they are smear tactics. You call them emails…
    email hadn’t even been invented when this stuff came out. They were written with what appeared to be a typewriter.

    But do you see where this leads? We aren’t talking about issues or current events. We are talking about some newsletter written 18-22 years ago, that obviously wasn’t in Paul’s voice, that he has denied writing, he has stated repeatedly he does not agree with those statements, they sound nothing like anything he has EVER said…

    And now I am supposed to defend myself against this? Somehow the implication with this nonsense is…

    That if I support the only candidate speaking the truth, the only one that will end the war, the only one who respects the constitution, the only one who will end the war on drugs, that somehow because of some newsletter from decades ago, I have to defend what is in it? That somehow if I don’t repudiate the only man with the guts to tell the truth and vote for John McCain that I am guilty of racism by association?

    This whole thing is absurd. It’s like conspiracy theories. It’s a waste of time and energy. If it leads you to believe Paul is a racist, go ahead and believe it. I don’t believe he is a racist.

    I’m never voting for McCain or Clinton, ever, under any circumstances. I might vote for Obama, we’ll see. I abhor socialism, but I also abhor the war and the drug war. As far as I can tell McCain and Hillary are socialists just like Obama.

  44. As my favorite college football announcer of all time, Keith Jackson, used to say “whoaaaaa Nelly . . . !” I’m not saying Ron Paul is a racist or a liar. Maybe I should of said something more like that the reality of the situation is that these Newsletters (thank you, I don’t know why I said emails!?) are out there, they exist, they have his name on it, and people have to account for this stuff—including Ron Paul. I’m quite sure he’s not a racist. Remember “The Bell Curve” by Charles Murray and Richard Hernstein? The storm of “racist” accusations on those guys for a scientific study about race? Huge. But, if you’re going to be a public figure and in the public arena, you have to take the heat. That’s democracy.

    Also, I disagree that this takes time away from the “real” issues. Frankly, character is a real issue. Politicians and others can beat the lies back—look at the Geroge Bush-National Guard document fraud. CBS got a black eye for touting fraudulent documents, heads rolled, and Dan Rather was shown to be the scum bag he is.

    Steveo, this is politics. Paul, good man that he is, cannot connect with people—even people that should be his natural constituents. I suppose that’s his “fault.” As I said above, he’s right on domestic policy and the economy. He is awful on foreign policy. The world is what it is. The notion that we should not, as George Washington warned, become entangled in foreign alliances does not work. The world is hostile—unfortunately against us for a great part. To think otherwise is fanciful and simply not the truth. So, Ron Paul has no traction.

    McCain is an awful candidate, but he’s sooooo, farrrrr better than Obama or Clinton would be. At least he claims to want to cut the budget, so does Ron Paul.

    The conservative Republicans need to go to work right now and start to polish candidates to our liking to run. They have to form some alliances in the party with others so the power can be taken away from the “moderates” that are now in control.

    It’s the conservative Republicans (and I’m not a formal member of any party) “fault” we are in this fix with the horses that threw their hats in the ring. This can’t happen over night, but if you get some Big Government health care plan in place with a Democrat, or high taxes (oh, only on “the rich”), a “global warming” boondoggle of a program, and the Jihadists in control of the oil fields in Iraq—-then you’ll be saying: “whoaaaaaaa Nelly . . .” my friend.

    Hold your nose, let’s regroup, and beat back Big Government and socialism—or slow things down until the cavalry comes. The answer isn’t to just take your ball and hide, not voting or voting for someone who will do more harm to the Country.

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