Taking the Wrong Fork in the Road

July 9, 2008 – America is at a critical fork in the road: one path leads to tyranny and ruin, the other leads to freedom and prosperity. Guess which path America has embarked on.

By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond

Occasionally in life we encounter critical junctures, proverbial forks in the road. In the course of my life I’ve encountered a few such personal junctures and, thankfully, I’ve usually taken what in retrospect I concluded was the “correct” fork. I don’t make excessive use of hyperbole, nor do I tend to place much faith in a single leader as a savior. Nevertheless, having read Ron Paul’s recent book, The Revolution, I can say without hyperbole that America has no idea what a mistake it has made in not choosing Ron Paul to be its president. Never before in my life have I felt that the choice of president mattered as much as it does today, that this is/was America’s last chance. (Nor have I ever before donated money to any politician’s political campaign – I did donate to Ron’s campaign.) Instead of choosing the fork in the road that leads to freedom and prosperity, America has taken the fork to ruin and slavery; it had its chance and blew it.

While I don’t think Ron Paul could single-handedly cure all the nation’s ills, he could at least have guided this nation back onto the right path, a path that subsequent presidents would hopefully have followed as well once Americans got a fresh whiff of genuine freedom. People who are pinning their hopes on Obama as our savior are doomed to be as disappointed as those who placed their hopes on electing a Democratic Congress in 2006. Obama, McCain, Hillary: they represent the status quo. Ron Paul represented real “change,” which everyone seems to covet so much. (Coincidentally, as I was writing this I ran across a blog entry from Ron himself, titled “Real Change.”)

But Ron Paul represented so much more than “change.” He represented a restoration of the principles under which the United States was founded, principles enshrined in our Constitution, principles that could recreate conditions that would usher in a renaissance of freedom, respect, vitality and prosperity. While reading his book I found myself alternately laughing out loud at his common sense observations and nodding in agreement at his astute recognition of how far we’ve strayed from the Constitution.

I have often wondered how the “Founding Fathers” would react upon seeing modern day America. I can only imagine they’d be pulling their hair out and screaming, “No, No, No! You’ve got it all wrong! This is not what we intended at all! This is what we sought to prevent!” Ron Paul understands this; few Americans seem to.

I think the founders made two flawed assumptions:

Without those two qualities in the people the Constitution cannot be defended. I think the founders also underestimated how relentlessly power-mad politicians and special interests would seek to undermine the Constitution. They should have written the Constitution in more unequivocal language, less vulnerable to “interpretation” by the courts.

Needless to say, I can’t recommend Ron Paul’s book, The Revolution, highly enough. It’s lucid, fluid, a refreshing introduction to Constitutional principles, American history and economics. For example, in one of the final chapters – an important chapter that discusses how our money is created – Ron writes of the Federal Reserve (this made me laugh out loud):

Where does the Fed get the money to buy the bonds? It creates it out of thin air, simply writing checks on itself and giving them to banks. If that sounds fishy, then you understand it just fine.

Ron Paul has a better grasp of economics and the Constitution than many university professors. Among the most useful few pages in his book are those that describe how monetary inflation – and yes, Ron understands the difference between monetary inflation and price inflation – benefits the elites who control our money supply. All Americans would benefit from understanding this monetary scam, especially in light of their steadily declining standard of living, the causes of which seem to be so elusive to most people. Although Ron alludes to restoring a gold standard to our currency, we shouldn’t even need to “restore” such a standard. The Constitution seems clear enough:

Section 10
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emits Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

According to the Constitution money may only consist of gold and silver, and certainly not Federal Reserve Notes. So why is there even a debate about this? As Ron points out – as have many others – the dollar has lost 95% of its value in the 95 years since the Federal Reserve was established (an amusing numerical coincidence). Had we remained on a gold standard instead, our money would have lost no value at all.

Ron does not confine himself to a discussion of monetary policy. He also eruditely discusses civil liberties, our failed health care system, the drug war, and our failed foreign policy that is helping to bankrupt our nation while producing nothing but unwelcome “blowback.”

It saddens me that the few people I know who rejected Ron Paul did so for the most picayune of reasons – he’s religious, he doesn’t support abortion – while completely overlooking the big picture, which is our nation’s dire condition. I’m not religious and I do support a woman’s right to use her own judgment in deciding what’s best for herself. Nevertheless, I was not threatened by Ron’s personal feelings about these matters because I strongly doubted that he would attempt to impose his personal views on others, especially given his appreciation for the Constitution. Unfortunately, this sort of picky mentality pervades politics in America (especially among the myriad lobbyists), which is why we’re in such trouble. Everybody is focused on self-serving minutiae while the country slides into hell.

Perhaps another reason people dismissed Ron Paul is that he challenged the status quo. People want to believe that everything in this country is just perfect, which is far from the truth. Acknowledging that the country is in serious trouble would demand that people get off their corpulent butts and do something about it: study the issues, elect qualified candidates, examine their own lifestyles, make an effort to respect others and their rights. In other words, acknowledging our nation’s problems would have demanded expending effort to fix those problems. It’s so much easier for couch people to just lay back and permit their anxious minds to be massaged by the television; or watch fireworks shows, reassuring themselves that all is well.

So what have we lost by rejecting Ron Paul? Imagine the following that might have been:

I certainly don’t think Ron Paul was perfect. However, he stood head and shoulders above any candidate for president that I can recall. While I like Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich too, I don’t think they came close to harboring Ron Paul’s commitment to the Constitution, which is something this country desperately needs right now.

I wish every single American would read Ron Paul’s book. Who knows, maybe if enough people read this book before the election in November we can still elect Ron Paul to the presidency. Now, I wonder how one writes in a name on an electronic voting machine ...

The End