It is often said that a convert to a cause is more fervent than those born to it. That is probably true about me and my "conversion" as an immigrant to this great country.
In that spirit of passionate desire for my adoptive land to become everything it was meant to be, may I humbly suggest, America, that Ron Paul is Your Man.
Just a few years ago, I was excited to follow Obama's success in the hope that he would undo the worst of the un-American shenanigans of the Bush administration, including the abrogation of rights of American citizens, the killing of citizens of lands that don't threaten us and the wholesale transfer of wealth from those that create it and play by the rules to those that do neither of those two things.
Perhaps I was a little caught up in the excitement, but my intentions were good.
As it has turned out, in most things that matter, Obama is not even Bush-lite: he's more like Bush-plus. I'm not questioning his moral intent, but simply looking around me at new wars, continuation of laws that remove Americans' basic rights, mass transfer of wealth from the working man to the large subsidized groups, including financial corporations and unions, that fund the old political game.
The old, tired, self-defeating left-right paradigm of American politics is about two teams that want to shape the world in one way or another, but both sharing the desire to impose their view on others, and both, therefore, with an interest in maintaining those fundamental aspects of the modern political settlement that allow politicians and their favored institutions to operate outside the most basic confines of the Constitution that was supposed to make the USA a Republic that protects life, liberty and property of all individuals.
Indeed, the two-party system, and all the unstated assumptions shared by both sides, does more to undermine practically the principles gifted by the nation's Founding Fathers than any other single political structure in the USA (except perhaps the Federal Reserve, which acts secretly and without political accountability).
Ron Paul transcends the left-right pseudo-divide.
He is almost unique in that he doesn't want to make a country of the left or a country of the right. Unlike every other politician, he doesn't need me to agree with him on anything -- except that I should be free to decide on what to agree or disagree with him about.
Ron Paul's world is quite different from that offered by almost any other American politician. In his world, neither the president nor the Congress gets to impose their preferences on 300 million citizens through the monopoly of force that is government, because Paul knows that the government has no such authority. Paul's world is a world based fundamentally on the principle of non-aggression, which is simply, "I may disagree with you but I do not get to use force, including the force of law, to impose my will on you as long as you harm no one." This principle is a philosophical one. It precedes politics -- and that is why it allows Paul to transcend the bankrupt left-right paradigm.
It is this true freedom that, paradoxically (given how most of us disagree about most things) promotes true unity, as division arises only when some people feel imposed upon by others. The promise of a more united nation under Obama (remember?) came to nothing, because Obama's politics, like Bush's, are as much about promoting a particular kind of world, which inevitably benefits some at the expense of others.
Ron Paul is one man who doesn't want to do that, because America was not created for that purpose.
Moreover, if one were to score American politicians on a) integrity, b) philosophical understanding of humanity and governance, and c) understanding of economics by looking at their speeches, votes, books and predictions, Paul would be among America's Very Best.
The huge movement behind Paul is demographically diverse, and has attracted people who used to think that they were on the left, as well as people who used to think they were on the right -- before they found out that what really matters, and what America was designed to preserve, is bigger than both left and right.
But here is the most unlikely, telling, astonishing, and ignored fact about Ron Paul: Paul's campaign logo (one of a few created spontaneously by his supporters for his 2008 run) has the word LOVE in it.
It actually has the word LOVE, picked out in big red letters from the word "Revolution." "Love Revolution," no less.
Politics based on Love?! Can you imagine any Western politician putting that in a speech and not having his or her audience shift in their seats uncomfortably at the strangeness of what they were hearing?
And yet, there it is, "LOVE," right in the middle of his logo in big red letters.
Love is expansive, accepting, free. It is also kind. (When did you last hear that word in politics?) Love says to its object, "As you wish," and a Paul presidency would say to its citizens just that: "It's not government's job to decide for you. Your life should be as you wish."
Now, that is true "free love," 2012 style.
As I ache to see America become the nation that was always meant to be, since 2012 will be the last American presidential election that I will not be permitted to vote in, I can only hope that my adoptive countrymen will take their astonishing opportunity to choose not just a political revolutionary, but also a philosophical one.
In electing Paul, Americans have the chance to say to each other, live and let love -- a politics of non-aggression in its profoundest sense.
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