Saturday, December 22, 2007

Freedom: Drawing the Line in the Sand

Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has shed light on a lot of issues facing the American people today. Of all the pressing matters in front of the people, the starkest is the fact that many Americans do not really understand or know what the meaning of freedom really actually is.

This can be attributed to a number of factors, including our lack of knowledge about our own history, our mental amnesia in connection with any world events preceding 9/11/2001, and our stubborn (arrogant) claim that we are the greatest nation in the world - not arrogant, just the greatest - and think the rest of the world should follow and be replicas of our government and system.

As stated, there are many other factors, but simple observation shows that those in control of the information and power channels in this country have gone out of their way to make sure our brains tend to function along the lines of the person or people just described above. If anyone criticizes America or its policies, they are "anti-American," "far left," etc., etc.

Author Naomi Klein puts it this way:
that shock came after "September 11, which, for millions of people, exploded 'the world that is familiar' and opened up a period of deep disorientation and regression that the Bush administration expertly exploited. Suddenly we found ourselves living in a kind of Year Zero, in which everything we knew of the world before could now be dismissed as 'pre-9/11 thinking.' Never strong in our knowledge of history, North Americans had become a blank slate - 'a clean sheet of paper' on which 'the newest and most beautiful words can be written' as Mao said of his people. A new army of experts instantly materialized to write new and beautiful words on the receptive canvas of our posttrauma consciousness: 'clash of civilizations,' they inscribed. 'Axis of evil,' 'Islamo-fascim,' 'homeland security.' With everyone preoccupied by the deadly new culture wars, the Bush administration was able to pull off what it could only have dreamed of doing before 9/11: wage privatized wars abroad and build a corporate security complex at home."
The Shock Doctrine (2007), p. 16

Repeated: we do not understand freedom. Thus the media continue to puzzle over the campaign of Ron Paul. He has no lobbyists breaking down his office door. He does not agree with most of the Republican party agenda. He does not have billion-dollar corporate donors padding his pockets. He has little chance to participate in the debates, and gets relatively little news coverage compared to the "legitimate" presidential candidates.

And yet the fact remains: supporters continue to flock to him by the thousands and dollars by the millions continue to amass without any real mechanism to drive the fundraising except Paul's followers at the grassroots level.

While they can't explain it, Ron Paul's opponents generally find ways to demean and mock his messengers. This obvious notion reinforces the greater truth: they do not understand freedom.

They do not understand the blessing of being free to read and learn without worrying about being eavesdropped upon. They do not understand the meaning of freedom as pertaining to talking on the phone without being spied upon. They do not understand the freedom, privilege and honor very few other people in the world have to be suspicious and fearful of large government and excesses of power. They do not understand the importance to citizens of the whole world to be free from torture. They do not understand that freedom is not expecting our president to "fix Washington" or "fix the country." They do not understand that freedom is getting out of the way to the greatest extent possible and letting the people participate in the remediation.

They just do not understand.

This is not really written to help them understand. For that which might have been incredible to the founders of our great nation is too common today: we don't understand, we don't know, and we don't care that we don't understand and don't know. After all, we have the freedom to be arrogant, and pride doesn't really walk hand-in-hand with seeing things from a different perspective.

Some of the "mainstream" say they agree with just about everything Ron Paul is saying. They know in their hearts that the "legitimate" candidates are nothing more than what continues to emerge in election after election as picking the lesser of two evils because we don't believe most of what any of them say. Yet they say they will not support Ron Paul because he has no chance of winning. Still just another show of the of the lack of appreciation they feel for the freedoms they enjoy.

This election could turn out to be one of the most important and historical elections in a long, long time. The line is being drawn, and more than ever those who love and embrace freedom are coming out in support of Ron Paul and his message. They are not anti-American. They do not despise freedom or our troops. In fact, it is more likely the other way around. Those who oppose Ron Paul, his message, and his followers, are simply (whether inadvertently or knowingly) displaying their lack of understanding of what freedom is.

Freedom is having a say in what government does. Freedom is speaking out, asking questions, reading, learning, protesting, fighting for the rights of not only men and women of this country, but those in the wide world, our brothers and sisters. Freedom is letting our counterparts in other countries live under the form of government of their choosing. Just as a civil war was necessary to free men from slavery, so it may take another war to tell government leaders to back off and give return our freedom to us. For much of the reason we don't know what freedom really is is due to the fact that we didn't really have as much freedom as we previously assumed. Fortunately, it is our gift and obligation to stand up and defend that which only God can give. It is time the government stepped back and realized that it does not give us our freedom; rather it exists simply to protect our freedom.

Ron Paul and his followers represent the hopes of all men to have freedom and liberty, not just promises and wishful blindness. God willing, the Ron Paul "miracle" may not be as inconceivable as his detractors seem to think. Keep loving America and what it really stands for, and keep cherishing your freedom to fight for what's most important. If you haven't joined the revolution, think about it. Freedom is the most contagious idea around.

Freedom: the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.

Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
a. Political independence.
b. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.

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