The war on freedom (and why I like Ron Paul)

Like many of my friends, I don’t waste much time following what’s going on in Washington. I’m disenchanted with the whole political system in the US and prefer to speed my attention on things I can actually change. It was only recently that I discovered a candidate who makes sense to me and that’s Ron Paul. Ron Paul tells it like it is. He’s intellectually consistent and fights for ideas I believe in like freedom and personal liberty. He’s the only candidate with a serious plan to balance the budget. He wants to bring our troops home, while everyone else seems impatient to start dropping bombs on Iran. As if, all we need is another war!! Ron Paul recognizes that our national debt is the biggest threat to our way of life and printing money isn’t the solution. I’ve never really identified with either the Republican or Democratic parties. Other than petty fights over contraception, both parties seem to have the same plan — more government at the expense of personal freedom. Over the last couple years I’ve noticed a frightening trend. Our personal liberties are being systematically undermined and taken away from us. We’ve wandered a long way from the freedoms laid out in our Bill of Rights. Let’s look at a few examples in this ongoing war on freedom.

Today, you can donate money online to the Ku Klux Klan, but not Wikileaks. Regardless of your feelings for Julian Assange or Wikileaks, our Bill of Rights is pretty clear regarding freedom of the press. The financial blockade against Wikileaks is unprecedented and a worrying sign of how things work.

When I go to the airport, I have two choices — pose in the nudie photo maker or subject myself to a grope-down. Whatever happened to “probable cause”? Never mind the fact that the whole experience is nothing more than security theater. Our liberties are slowly being taken away and we’re adjusting to it like frogs being slowly cooked to death.

SOPA and PIPA got a lot of attention, but even without those laws websites are being seized all the time without due process (compliments of Homeland Security’s ICE department). Bradley Manning was stuck in solitary confinement for months without being so much as charged with a crime or being tried in front a jury. Oh, and case you missed it, Obama signed the NDAA bill allowing Americans to be detained indefinitely without trial.

So, why Ron Paul? Look at his voting record. He’s served 12-terms in congress and has been preaching the same message of liberty and fiscal responsibility the whole time. Listening to the media, you’d think he’s a fringe candidate with no chance of being elected. But then I happened to notice a few maps on Meetup.com. Remember how the media raved about Obama’s organization and ground support? Let’s compare how Ron Paul and Barack Obama compare as far as meetups go (click the images to see the results for yourself).

Wow, pretty remarkable. I would have never guessed that from listening to CNN or any other traditional media. How about the other GOP candidates? How do they stack up?

Both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were surging for a while. They have lots of crazy ideas, but not a lot of support from the American people of meetup.com. It’s turn out, not many people care about advancing the careers of more corrupt politicians. Mitt Romney might have lots of money, but he doesn’t inspire a lot of passion from his supporters.

Ron Paul actually stands for something. He inspires people. And he’s gaining momentum as people are fed up with the lies, the pointless wars and the endless spending. The media may ignore him, but people are waking up. The cool thing for me is that supporting Ron Paul isn’t about propping up another politician. I still don’t care for politics. I care about the principles at stake. I care about the defense of liberty. Ron Paul is bringing attention to values I really care about and for that I am grateful. As Ronald Reagan said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

  • http://www.mikesoltys.com mrsoltys

    Josh,
    I think your way of showing Ron Paul's support amongst the people is skewed. If I take all the people "Interested" in each candidate, and add them up (assuming nobody is "interested" in more than one candidate), and then divide by the population of the US, you'll note that meetup.com represents the views of 0.017% of the United States. Second, you're assuming this super small sample is representative of the whole population, when in reality I think that users of a site like Meetup.com are going to be in general less conservative, and more along the lines with a candidate like Paul. It's analogous to saying Santorum has more support than Paul based on a poll of fox news viewers. It's just not a convincing argument that the people are rallying up behind Ron Paul, and that the Media is hiding/ignoring his popularity.
    -mike

    • mrsoltys

      P.S. Being a researcher funded by the NSF, using government services such as NOAA on a daily basis, and having little faith in capitalism to drive responsible, ethical behavior: I have a lot of trouble getting behind a candidate who's main view is "the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else."

  • http://guessworktheory.com Justin

    I commented earlier but apparently my comment go eaten. I just wanted to say I love Ron Paul. I think he has more honesty and integrity than maybe the entire House combined. But I can't vote for him for president. He wants to eliminate everything from the Department of Education to all foreign aid. He wants to legalize everything from prostitution to heroine. He wants to bring every single soldier home, regardless of whether they might be doing real good protecting non-Americans like innocent South Koreans. He wants to abolish the Fed and introduce a second currency to get us back on the gold standard, which could wreak economic havoc. Of course he wouldn't be able to get hardly any of this past Congress, but even so, I'm afraid what little he could would do more harm than good. If I were in Texas, I'd vote for Ron for Senator every year. But I wouldn't want him as commander in chief.

    Also I think Mike's right, you're overestimating Ron's popularity. Even the Tea Party, which presents itself as the champion of limited government, has not rallied around Paul. He will never be able to win over a majority of the Republican party, much less the general election. But it's great that he has done as well as he has, to provide a platform for his out-of-the-box ideas.

    • http://www.onlineaspect.com Josh Fraser

      For what it's worth, I agree with him about de-criminalizing prostitution and heroine. I wish we had more intellectual consistency in our laws. If tobacco and alcohol are legal, why isn't marijuana? Is the role of the government to stop us from doing stupid things to ourselves? It's one thing when our actions affect other people (driving high for example) but I'm not sure it's the government's job to stop me from risking my own life base-jumping if I want to.

      I'd like for us to be able to do more protecting of innocent people abroad, but most of our aid currently goes to propping up dictators and when we're trillions in debt, I think we need to fix our issues here first.

      You're totally right about the meetup data not being representative of course. I just found it interesting. :)

      • http://guessworktheory.com/ Justin Scott

        I understand the desire for "intellectual consistency," but I would offer that politics isn't a science; philosophy has not given us an intellectually consistent justice system. Our laws are defined by our values (which change), and in many cases what is just and unjust comes down to the decision of one (or 12) judge or justice, trying to do his or her best to determine what is right for the individual, and for the society.

        Tobacco and alcohol are legal because they became social norms before we properly understood their harms. Marijuana, prostitution, and heroine remain illegal because the majority of Americans believe that allowing their use would be detrimental to our society. More women would be subjected to sex slavery and exploitation. More drivers would be killed by people under the influence of marijuana. More babies would be born deformed because of their mother's use of cheaper, safer, more easily available heroine. Most Americans disagree that the use of things this destructive only has an effect on those who use them.

        I doubt "most of our aid currently goes to propping up dictators." Certainly we do this, but I think it's primarily through military spending, and I know for a fact a large portion of our foreign aid is used to fight aids. The amount of foreign aid we spend ($25 billion) is a tiny fraction of our debt, our deficit, our GDP, and our government's income. Eliminating it completely wouldn't make a dent in the deficit or the debt. And for what it's worth, as a percentage of government income or GDP, the U.S. is one of the stingiest of the industrialized nations on the planet. I'm all for getting the most out of our money, but if we really want to solve our debt problem, foreign aid is a footnote to the real problems: the entitlements.

        Paul's answer of course is to turn them into block grants to states. I'm ok with that, except that it has very little chance of ever making it through Congress. And this is one of my biggest problems with Libertarians like Paul: their solutions aren't workable. In order to fix a societal problem in a democracy, you must convince enough of its people that your solution is the right one. Americans, through their representatives, will never agree to gut Medicare like Libertarians would love to do. Therefore, gutting Medicare is not a solution.