Rally for the Republic, Education, and Liberty
I flipped through some of the mainstream press channels this morning to see what they had to say about the Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, Minnesota last night (2 September, 2008) . . . nothing . . . well, nothing worth mentioning anyway.
As a professed American patriot, I felt the responsibility and desire to watch all of yesterday’s speakers on C-SPAN 2.
Highlights included speeches by Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, Jesse Ventura, and Iraq war veteran Sgt. Adam Kokesh.
Diversity was very much evident in the line-up and among the spectators. Given that there were such speakers as John McManus of the John Birch Society at the same event as Jesse Ventura, one has to marvel at the beautiful expression of the campaign slogan, “freedom is popular”.
Of course, the icing on the cake was Ron Paul’s speech. In it, he covered pretty much every issue of his platform which can best be summarized as restoring Constitutional government in Washington:
The Constitution must once again be used as an instrument to restrain the government, not the people. Creative energy must be allowed to thrive without the heavy hand of government monitoring every move.
Some say man’s problems result from a persistent class struggle; others say ours is a cultural war. The conflicts that seem to be permanent and unavoidable are nothing more than a consequence of government abuse of power. When outsiders were less involved in the Middle East and the local people determined relationships, Jews, Christians, and Muslims were more capable of living peaceably side by side. Not today. Iraq is also an example of how outside interference makes problems worse.
Let there be no doubt that freedom brings people together, authoritarianism divides us and generates class, religious, gender, generational, social, cultural, and racial conflicts. If we continue to try to solve all human conflicts by more rules, regulations, threats and taxes, our divisions will only grow. Freedom provides the answers.
Admittedly, I don’t have blind faith in republicanism as the solution to our problems, but it is certainly better, in theory, than other forms of government currently in existence in the world. If the “Revolution” means anything, it means that We the People are capable of achieving greatness more adequately without the obstacle of the federal or global state.
I know that there are the nay sayers who either are under-confident in the idea that freedom and responsibility are compatible or are too frightened of the monolithic establishment to think that a few freedom loving hot heads could make a difference.
For me, it’s a question of taking a stand for what’s right. That’s right. It’s a moral issue. When George Bush the elder first spoke publicly of a “New World Order”, he spoke of “good and evil, right and wrong”. Given the current state of affairs, I question which side the neocons consider “good”. Ron Paul addressed some of the moral issues in his speech:
Over the years I have argued that the two weakest arguments to be used on the House floor are moral and constitutional. The strongest is to list the special interests who support a particular piece of legislation. The Revolution must change this attitude.
Over the course of my study of politics and economics, I found that one of the greatest evils that has been perpetrated by our presidents was the use of war to promote their personal political agenda. The willingness to use war to enhance their political position has led to the death of many innocent people and many of those have been American soldiers. There have also been presidents who have been quite willing to violate civil liberties while claiming to make us safe and free, an attitude that has been catastrophically dangerous to us since 9/11. . . .
Without liberty, all we have are the leeches and looters fighting over the spoils that the victims are required to produce. This rotten system of redistribution must end. And it will, because victims of authoritarian rule eventually quit being victimized. War and domestic violence always complicate matters once the moral defense of individual rights is rejected.
On the issues of freedom, economics, education, and history, Paul said:
We are expected to believe that freedom is old-fashioned and must be rejected. It’s claimed that modern times require a centralized government with power placed in the hands of the few. This is completely false. Freedom, as protected by our Constitution, is a new idea in the historical sense. It’s been tried and found to be amazingly successful in producing great abundance, yet the notion that it’s outdated permeates our society. What is old is the idea of tyranny. We must never be willing to give up the principles of individual liberty; instead we must convince people that progress depends on advancing even further this concept rather than succumbing to the ancient idea of political power residing in the hands of a few. . . .
Ignorance of how the economy works significantly contributes to central economic planning by the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers. The major reason for this is that government schools do not teach free-market economics.
These same schools teach that it’s an outdated notion to strictly adhere to the Constitution. They claim the Constitution must be a living, breathing document, capable of adapting to modern times. They assume that there are no long-lasting truths, such as might be found in the Bill of Rights. It should surprise no one that constitutional restraint on the federal government is nonexistent. It no longer is seen as an instrument to restrain the government, but instead is constantly distorted to justify restraining the people in all their activities and travels.
Distortion of history influences the thinking of almost everyone with a government education. War presidents are always portrayed as the greatest presidents—Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt. The economic ideas that are taught are always Keynesian or socialist. Ideas on banking always support central banking and never commodity money, as mandated by the Constitution. This problem only gets worse as every aspect of public schools is more controlled by the Congress, federal bureaucrats, the Department of Education and the federal courts. The Republic cannot be saved without addressing this issue of education.
That’s the key: education. Now some think of education as merely K-12 or College, but as Robert E. Lee said, “The education of a man is never completed until he dies” or as John Dewey said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
As we continue learning and acting on what we have learned, We the People can continue to grow in the spirit of freedom and justice. As an adult and home educator I’ve continued to learn not just documented facts but also the value of voluntary cooperation in a free society.
As I reflect on the Ron Paul campaign over the last year and a half, I cannot thank him and his cohorts enough for the lasting lessons I’ve learned and applied. The “Revolution” is nothing more than continuing the efforts of the great American founders and perpetrators of the last 200+ years.
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