“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Why Ron Paul matters

by Robert Zullo
About three and a half years ago, with the presidential race that ultimately installed Barack Obama in the White House hitting full stride, I was a reporter waiting out the tail end of a busy Saturday shift at The Courier when my boss sent me and a photographer on a last-minute assignment before deadline.

It was December 2007, and our destination was the Coffee Zone on Corporate Drive in Houma, where a bearded, tanned and wiry stranger astride a Schwinn waited with what amounted to little more than an interesting political aside to the partisan war being waged across the nation's airwaves and front pages during that pivotal electoral fight.
Mike Maresco, then a 45-year-old artist and lighting technician from Hawaii, had left Santa Monica, Calif., on a bicycle in October, hoping to make it to Washington, D.C., by Christmas. He had met up in Houma with a group of supporters who shared his cause, which was promoting the candidacy of longtime Texas Congressman Ron Paul, then viewed as a fringe GOP presidential candidate because his anti-war, Libertarian positions were considered so out-of-step with the Republican orthodoxy of the time.
“I'm sick of the endless war and the endless debt,” Maresco told me at the time.
This was still during the reign of Bush the Younger, before the financial collapse and bank bailouts, before “Obamacare” and a healthy dose of fear-mongering and shameless opportunism ginned up outrage against Obama's fledgling presidency.
The only places tea parties were mentioned were in Revolutionary War chapters in history books.
How our political arena has changed. The policies espoused by Paul for years are now de rigueur on the right, with political creatures such as Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney trying to worm in on the trend, twisting themselves into knots to prove their anti-tax, deficit-reduction bona fides.
The Tea Party, of course, is a formidable, if fractious, force in GOP politics, though what exactly being a member means is open to interpretation. And while his stock has risen considerably, Paul, the man who would bend any ear that would listen about the futile war on drugs, the waste of military adventurism abroad and the inside baseball played at the Federal Reserve in service of Wall Street, continues to be marginalized. In fact, marginalizing independent thinkers like Paul is one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, as Salon.com columninst Glenn Greenwald noted last year in a piece about party establishments painting free-thinkers as crazy.
“Forced adherence to the two parties' orthodoxies, forced allegiance to the two parties' establishments, is the most potent weapon in status-quo preservation,” he wrote. “That's how our political debates remain suffocatingly narrow, the permanent power factions in Washington remain firmly in control, the central political orthodoxies remain largely unchallenged.”
We constantly complain about our elected officials, but I firmly believe we get the representation we deserve. Ron Paul's not right about everything. For example, he voted against sending aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and he disdains environmental regulations. And many criticize his advocacy of a return to the gold standard, where the value of the dollar is pegged to the price of gold or another precious metal such as silver, his desire to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and his general wish to scale back the scope and size of government to 1920s levels as hopelessly anachronistic. But at least he's his own man, a lesson more politicians should take to heart. What seems certain about Ron Paul is that his own convictions about good policy and bad policy are what form his positions, not fickle public opinion or party overlords. He is the maverick GOP Sen. John McCain claimed to be in his failed 2008 presidential run.
Even if the Republican nomination proves elusive for Paul this year, one thing his ascendancy should show other politicians is that standing on principle need not disqualify you from influencing the national debate, if you're loud and consistent enough.
Whether you love Paul or hate him, we could use more politicians like him.





Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic