Monday, September 17, 2007

A "Goldwater Republican" View of Ron Paul

I asked my father to write about his experience at the September 12 Ron Paul event in Pasadena. Here is what he sent me:
Thank you for inviting me to accompany you to this morning’s breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton in Pasadena to meet and listen to Ron Paul. Here are some of the thoughts that have gone through my mind during and after the event.

Some say that in polite society one should never discuss politics or religion. The reason, I believe, that the two are offered together is that they are so closely related. To be religious, one must have faith. In modern society, one might refer to religion as a triumph of faith over experience. In many cases, politics is like religion. Party affiliation and adherence to a belief system – capitalist, socialist, anarchist, etc. – become articles of faith. To challenge one’s faith is to challenge the very essence of one’s beliefs and life purposes. It is easier to exchange the people – we need fresh faces and new ideas – than it is to change people’s minds.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when one of the major political parties represented the view that government will solve our problems and will save us, and the other major party subscribed to the view that the government which is big enough to give us everything we want is powerful enough to take everything we have. To my dismay, the former view now prevails in both parties. There was a time – which now seems very long ago – when this country shunned foreign entanglements and acted as a beacon for refugees fleeing armed conflict and repressive governments. To my sadness, this moral high ground has been forsaken for interventionist policies.

I was drawn to the Republican Party by personalities like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan and intellectuals like Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell. The first three have literally passed on and the fourth seems largely forgotten. They inspired me by their belief in individual freedoms and their large measures of distrust of government. I am very pleased to say that Ron Paul is true to the legacy of these four great Americans and others like them who treasure freedom and who understand the genius of our founding fathers and how their wisdom is embodied in our Constitution.

His road to the Republican nomination is uphill and steep. He is challenging the majority in our country who now accept, on faith alone, the value of our vast, ever-growing federal government. He is challenging a discretionary war, a war which, against American values and tradition, we chose to initiate –which has taken some of America’s finest young people into battle in Iraq, to be killed, maimed and emotionally scarred, and has ignited a veritable orgy of killing in Iraq – but beyond that, he is challenging an interventionist policy that takes it on faith that our country is morally superior and that our right to intervene in other countries is god-given. And he is challenging entitlement programs which simply transfer money from working young, whether or not they can afford it, to non-working old, whether or not they need it, and a faith that government can care for us better than we can care for ourselves.

It falls to Ron Paul and to us who understand what he is fighting for, to do everything we can to make him as successful as possible. As you have said yourself, his success would go a long way toward restoring the faith of young people in their country, a country where the blind faith of many who have come before them has dimmed their prospects for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by allowing our government to wander away from our constitution. Let freedom ring! Go Ron! Go meet-up groups!

-The Old Man

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