The Austin “Culture Map” reports,
Last Sunday, Ron Paul was back in Austin headlining a Tea Party rally on the steps of the Capitol. Paul’s supporters launched the Tea Party movement back in the 2008 election cycle, but, by the 2010 midterm elections, the Party (or at least a large segment of it) had been co-opted by the traditional right.
Amy Kremer, spokesperson for the Tea Party Express — which was organizing Sunday’s rally — and one of the emcees for the event, rattled off the traditional Tea Party rhetoric (Obama is evil, Obama sucks, Obamacare is an unconscionable travesty). The crowd was almost comically un-enthused by her tired Republican talking points; by the end of her speech, Kremer couldn’t go a minute without the crowd erupting into chants of “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul!” . . .
Ron Paul is misunderstood, and it’s time to address these misunderstandings. To his detractors, Ron Paul is a kook from a century back who hoards gold, courts racists and wants to isolate America from the rest of the world. With this in mind, they ignore him and his ideas like they do their crazy uncle at Christmas.
To his supporters, Ron Paul is Thomas Jefferson incarnate, the unappreciated truth-teller crusading against tyranny, oppression and collapse. This idealized assessment gives an “us vs. them” mentality that so often steals the spotlight away from the very ideas they are trying to promote.
Both sides need to reconsider the liberty-loving Congressman from Texas. Here’s where to start:
To Ron Paul’s Detractors
First and foremost, Ron Paul is not a politician. He does not entertain lobbyists, never (ever) flip flops and doesn’t tell crowds what they want to hear. His honesty and conviction are, in my opinion, the most refreshing breath of fresh air in American politics since George Washington came clean about the cherry tree. There is no media-speak with Ron Paul; every sentence from his mouth is a well thought out piece of his philosophy rather than a focus group-tested phrase developed by a New York PR firm.
Moreover, the guy is an honest-to-goodness sweetheart. He is gentle, sincere and honest. . . .
The man has ideas, ideas that harken back to the founding of our country. Paul’s true love is monetary policy (see hisrecent debate with Paul Krugman for a good primer), but he has enough to offer without having to delve into Austrian economics and the gold standard (although, to be perfectly honest, all of Paul’s ideas are rooted in his view of the free market).
Listen to what Ron Paul has to say. Even if you think his ideas are pie in the sky, don’t we need a dose of idealism in a world of stark pragmatism? His ideas are inherently American, honestly defended, and passionately dedicated to the ideas of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . .
Back to the Steps of the Capitol
With Amy Kremer finally off the stage, Ron Paul’s son, the junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, took the stage. Of all that Ron Paul has done, Rand’s election to the senate is far and away the most legitimate pragmatically. Rand’s more polished speaking style loses him a bit of the sincerity that so attracts people to his father, but, for all intents and purposes, the future of the Ron Paul Revolution is on his shoulders. . . .
When Ron Paul took the stage, the crowd let loose. Their love for the seventy-six year old obstetrician is unlike anything else in American politics. His speech was sharper than it was last week at UT, but it was still classic Paul: folksy, sincere, and single-minded. Liberty, liberty and liberty. Catching site of the “RAW MILK” sign once again, Paul couldn’t help but comment on the simple yet fundamental message that the freedom to drink raw milk carries.
To quote Paul: “A true revolution has to be ideological. Revolutions can be violent, they can overthrow a government with nothing really improved. An ideologically positive revolution is what is necessary, and that’s what we have going in this country. . . .Freedom is a new idea; it was really developed in this country. We have lost our way, but we can find our way again, and that is what is happening now!”"