If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Friday, April 22, 2011

MUST READ! Ron Paul: The Founding Father

He is a constant in a changing world, an emissary from an older America. A self-styled constitutional purist, he has for forty years been a voice in the wilderness. But now he has sparked a movement that has put him at the center of the struggle over what kind of country we want to be. But is America ready for his radical vision?

Now it's time to go backstage. Down the narrow space between the back wall and the high blue curtain, washed by the white noise of eleven thousand overcaffeinated believers waiting in a huge ballroom filled to standing room, plus two overflow ballrooms where the man's message will be received on giant screens. Here's the door to the small drab room where assorted politicians wait to audition to be the future of America. And here's Ron Paul, smiling and holding out his hand. "Nice to see ya," he says.

"You seem a little busy."

"Yeah, we're just about to get ready here."

On the other side of the cinder-block wall and high blue curtain, voices cry out one and two and then a sudden chorus, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, End the Fed, Ron Paul! Ron Paul! End the Fed! RON PAUL! RON PAUL! In another twenty minutes, he'll walk out into the wall of lights and the crowd at this Woodstock for conservatives will explode in cheers and applause and shouts of Ron Paul! and End the Fed!, another step in his amazing journey from eccentric regional oddball to the red-hot center of the American debate — after a lifetime of ridicule and obscurity, sweet vindication indeed.

Now he sits back down, pulling a padded office chair up to a round linoleum table. He's small and trim as a ten-year-old, with an unshakable air of small-town decency, and his expression seems to have just two settings: In repose, at seventy-five years old, with white hair and dark emphatic eyebrows and those deep bags slashed across his cheekbones, he's every inch the stern patriarch. But when he smiles, his features soften and suddenly he's Tom Sawyer cruising the neighborhood on his beloved Schwinn.

He smiles like that when he explains why he's never found it hard to be on the short end of a 1-to-434 vote. "Sometimes a bill will be maybe 51 percent good and 49 percent bad, and you just have to have your own rules about that. Generally speaking, if a bill has bad stuff in it, even though there's a lot of good stuff, I still think that's incrementalism."

See, it's not about him. Ron Paul doesn't think that way. It's about this neat idea, principles versus incrementalism. That's why he's taken more lonely stands than any other politician in American history: against the Iraq war even though he's a Republican, against the Defense of Marriage Act even though he's a conservative Christian, against farm subsidies even though he represents a rural district, against the Texas Medical Center even though he's from Texas — the list goes on and on. He refused to award congressional medals to Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, the Pope, and Mother Teresa. After Hurricane Katrina, he voted against sending federal help to Louisiana.

"Once you say, 'Well, you know, we live in the real world and sometimes you have to give in a little bit,' then you're never yourself, you're never your own person, and they'll badger you to death. So it's much easier for me to follow a set of principles than fussin' and fumin' on knowing exactly when you're supposed to throw in the towel."

Continue reading - Ron Paul: The Founding Father

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