Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Libertarians

Ron Paul: Is There A Dr. in the GOP House?

022When I was in St. Paul, Minnesota for the Republican National Convention in the fall of 2008, my blog guy, Phil, insisted that I had to take myself over to the Target Center to attend the Ron Paul Rally for America that was going on there, at the exact same time that the old-looking, white, Republican hordes were nominating John McCain and Sarah Palin in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.
What I knew about Ron Paul you could put in a pea and it would rattle, but I had seen him on television during the caucus season, and I felt he was getting the short end of the stick most of the time. He often seemed the only Republican up there who actually made a little bit of sense. And soon after he was allowed to appear for a few debates, the PTB shut him down and we saw less and less of old Ron, although his supporters became more and more vocal and active, appearing at nearly every big campaign event.

019Dr. Paul doesn’t make sense all of the time, but he certainly got my attention with his comments about spending more than you take in being a bad thing.  He could was eloquent when talking about the crime that he thinks was committed when America left the gold standard (for backing our currency) and began printing money up like worthless scrip. I even remember my banker father taking a few gold dollars (uncirculated) and putting them away in a safety deposit box, telling me that these would, some day, become collectors’ items. (And, boy, was he ever right!)

015When I entered the Target Center in Minneapolis (St. Paul’s twin city), which most people had paid $17 a head to enter (press got in free), I was amazed at the fact that the place was full and, also, at the diversity of the audience members. There were many spectators walking around wearing delegate badges to the “real” Republican convention across town in St. Paul. When I asked one of the delegates to the RNC why he was here (Minneapolis) rather than there (St. Paul) he said, “This is where the real action is.” And I felt he was  right. I got a sense of enthusiasm, of supporters who were not just rich fat cats or old white men, but a diverse group cutting across all segments of the nation. Why, I hadn’t had a feeling like that since I was present in Denver at the DNC at the Pepsi Center!
016Now, the Ron Paul Rally for America action was odd action. I was sandwiched between 2 economists from Germany who tried to give me a crash course on Libertarianism and seemed to think that Ron Paul represented the second coming. (I was afraid one of them might accidentally give an unfortunate salute at any moment, such was his unbridled enthusiasm.)  I felt I was having an out-of-body experience when, onstage, appeared (at one time) Barry Goldwater, Jr. (looking just like dear old Dad), Tucker Carlson, Jesse Ventura (former professional wrestler, actor and Governator of Minnesota), and Ron Paul. When the conversation took off on legalizing hemp, I began to really feel I had wandered into an alternate universe. It was surreal.

But the one thing that you could say for and about the St. Paul “Ron Paul Rally for America” is that it had youth. It had vigor. It had action. It had a feeling of some life and some commitment to the cause. I had some hope that the elephant might survive, IF it could find a way to get these radical rascals back into the herd.  And I don’t mean the herd of old white fat cats with no visible diversity at all. This year, in Bush Jr.’s absence the party had even given up the display of token inclusion they attempted during the second of “W’s” conventions.

Imagine my surprise to pick up the December 14 (2009) issue of Newsweek magazine and belatedly read Howard Fineman’s article “Is There a Doctor in the House?” in which he says (among other things), in a discussion of Ron Paul, “No one thinks Ron Paul is going to lead the G.O.P, let alone be president.  He’s 74 years old and just too…out there.  He is an obscure guy who waited patiently (if not quietly) for the cycle of history to come back around his way, and finally it did. We have been arguing about money, credit, and banks since the first days of the republic. Paul is a bargain basement Jefferson for our time.”

Wow! My ears perked up at these words of praise for the old warrior.  I read on, because what Howard Fineman said next is what I have been telling everyone everywhere since the Republican National Convention in Minnesota and I want to thank Phil (my blog guy) for making me go hear Ron Paul and the Libertarians, who seem(ed) to much more fully capture the zeitgeist and spirit of America than the Gestapo-like horde of old white guys downtown in St. Paul.

Said Fineman in his article: “Still, the GOP needs to study Ron Paul and learn.  No one has better captured the sense of Main Street outrage over secret insider deals and Wall Street bonuses.  No one has been more consistent about sticking to core conservative values—including the one that says the government shouldn’t spend more money than it takes in.” [At this point, I’m sure, were my own dear father alive, he’d be chiming in, shaking his head in assent and saying, “That’s right!”]

Fineman went on to say, “If the GOP is going to appeal to independent voters, it has to confront its own corporate allies…The good doctor, of all people, is showing Republicans the way.  What they need is a candidate who embodies the spirit of Ron Paul. Just so long as it isn’t Ron Paul.”

Hear, hear! I’m beginning to think that I do make some sense once in a while, because Howard Fineman has come around to my way of thinking roughly a year after my Eureka moment in Minneapolis.                                         020

Ron Paul Rally in Minneapolis Attracts 10,000

I’m sitting here right now listening to Ron Paul, the former Libertarian candidate for President, say that the War on Drugs has been ‘a complete and total failure. The war has led us to a condition where the states pass laws that say, if you get sick (AIDS, cancer), the federal government actually arrests sick people in the name of compassionate conservatism. But some say, ‘Well, it’s dangerous.’ ..I said, “Yes, some of the strongest drug lawyers in Washington, D.C. rant and rave about a sick person using marijuana, but they have no inhibitions about indulging in a drug called alcohol.  The drug war has caused us to do so many foolish things. It violates the concept of state’s rights….The first law against the use of marijuana was in 1937. It’s  a recent onset. During the war, it was important that hemp be used in the war effort to make food products and clothes. But we are obsessed and confused. If you go out and plant hemp plants, you’re going to go to jail. What’s going on? In order to get high on a hemp cigarette, the cigarette has to be as tall as a telephone pole. This is a very serious issue. The last thing I want to leave anyone with is the thought that drugs are safe; I think that drugs are very, very dangerous and we should be very cautious about them. But, as a physician, I also recognize the great danger of prescription drugs. (Applause). What about the government mandating these programs for all our school kids.

I lost my skepticism; I hope you lost your apathy.

“It’s not the 1950’s any more.”

They put road blocks in front of nuclear energy and then they put federal subsidies behind making ethanol out of corn, which doesn’t make any economic sense. The Brazilians can actually sell us ethanol made from sugar cane cheaper than we can make it from corn in this country. But we put a tariff on it. But there is a better source than ethanol, and it happens to be hemp.
The founders were great. They knew the importance of freedom of choice. Government are incapable of making good economic decisions; they are only capable of making mistakes. This entire idea that the government can tell us what we can eat and drink and smoke leads to some other silly things. Can you believe that the federal government has regulations on the delivery of raw milk. They can’t give you enough freedom to make up your mind whether you drink whole milk.

I’ve heard so many times over the year, ‘I’m opposed to this welfare system; I’m opposed to this system,” unless you need it. And then what happens, if it’s something that comes for free, so often the good moral high ground that the other side has doesn’t really help the other side. What it generally helps is the people who are in control. Just witness what happens when the government gets in charge of housing programs. What they do is, they end up doing the same thing over and over again. What we need to do is break up the cycle. If we don’t, it will bankrupt the country and destroy our liberties.
There is one issue that frequently I barely mention: the bum rap we get who believe in freedom that we don’t care about the environment. That is just not true. The environment has been damaged, very often, by bad federal regulations. The dependency on the government to build our dams and our levees and they build them in the wrong places and we have these consequences. (Promotes strict adherence to property rights.)
We don’t have the right to pollute our neighbor’s air, water or living space. Just like in welfare, the corporations benefit. Somebody abuses the system. That is why government should be very minimal. It means you have a right to your own life but you don’t have the right to do any harm to your neighbor’s rights or property. That is the one limitation that we have. One thing that I believe is coming as a consequence of the campaign, (and now we’ve had a grand campaign and we’re climaxing that campaign right now) and there’s every reason in the world for us to be energized. (Stomping of feet).

All I can say is that a year and a half ago, I had no idea what it would lead to. I firmly believe, now, that our day is coming. The conditions are such that there is room now for the defense of liberty. It’s not working monetarily. They will not welcome us with open arms. I found that out. But there is a vacuum out there. The vacuum is not in one political party. It is pervasive. Ideas spread. You can’t stop them. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government.  (People waving “Rally the Republic” signs and standing and cheering; CNN coverage).

They like to describe us as being on the fringe and a little bit kooky, now and then. We talk about privacy, a sound national defense, liberty, …and they want to say that these are bizarre ideas. They harp about the need for us being around the world. The candidates out there right now don’t have many differences in their foreign policy. They want troops around the world. (Boos). Both candidates now think that we should send more troops to Georgia to protect their oil ines..and that’s not the state of Georgia, either. The public school kids probably don’t even know where the country of Georgia is, and somebody said, “They probably don’t even know where the STATE of Georgia is!”

It’s amazing that the drums of war can be beaten so that we want to go to war with Iran. They have no weapons, no tanks, no nuclear missiles. And we’re supposed to be intimidated and scared. The Iranians…they don’t even refine their own gasoline…and we’re supposed to be frightened and intimidated by them? We’ve got to get the truth out; that is what we need.

A wonderful thing about restoring the Republic and restoring our interest in liberty is that that is the key to restoring individual liberty. Energy and creativity comes from the individual.  We all are individuals, but we have to have the motivation. The strongest motivation in the world is to take care of ourselves. We should be embarrassed at asking somebody else to take care of us!

The wonderful part about a free society is that you eliminate entirely victims.  I have a bumper sticker on my desk that says, “Don’t steal. The government hates the competition.” It’s rather popular. Some people worry that our neighbors aren’t great enough…that we don’t have 51% of the population behind us, but ideas only need to be run by 5% of the population. But today I heard a statistic that shows our numbers are much greater than that, even in the face of the Republican party. Just think how much greater they are in the whole country.

We will bring about change. We will attract the young people. What we have when we have a free society, we reject the idea of people being leeches and looters and plunderers. We need self-reliance, self-respect…I have been asked, these last several days, what I am doing this for, what the purpose of all this is. In many ways, it is true that it is to send a message. Being disruptivce doesn’t really achieve anything and puts us in a bad light.  This is much greater than the Republican party.  So, I encourage people if they want to campaign within the Republican party, do so, but in a true revolution, a true revolution will be then reflected in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Independent Party, and everyone in the country will be affected.

When the subject comes up not too infrequently, “When do we get so dissatisfied with our current operation that we try to bring about change?” Some are so frustrated with the slowness of what we do and want to change things in a much more aggressive manner. But there is a time and place for peaceful, civil disobedience.  The changes brought about by Gandhi and Martin Luther King were peaceful. We do know that our members have already been affected, because they may be correct, but they end up behind bars.

Let’s say this foreign policy gets out of hand, which I worry about all the time because both parties are becmoing more militaristic. Those who want to reinstitute the Empire will want to reinstitute the draft. We should never ever have a draft. If there is a draft, those will be very, very hard decisions. I have already resorted to saying I will be rallying the troops and running for office. That is the way I will be working.

Amy Allen sang the song “the Universal Soldier” for me because I asked her to do that. It talks really about the essence of decision-making. It talks about should you strike and not participate any longer. It’s the universal soldier that allows the power-mongers around Washington to exist. It’s always done by getting the young people and making them feel that,if they don’t participate, they’re unpatriotic.  I think of the story of the early days of WWI, on Xmas Eve, when the Germans and the British took a break and began singing Christmas Carols. And then, on the morrow, the leaders came back and said, “You will go back to killing one another.”

As a young man, as a doctor, I was drafted. There were times that people were starting to resist, but I marched off and I was the Universal soldier. What we need today is the Universal Champion of Liberty. (Cheers; waving of placards).  Just as we need a President who offers to do less and not to run your life and run the economy and police the world, we need freedom, which is really the answer. And, fortunately for us, freedom is still very popular. (Chants of “Free-dom! Free-dom!”) Traditionally, over the history of mankind, governments have appealed to idealism, whether it’s to patriotism in drafting us or in sonething else. They’re always appealing to the idealism and the idealists go along with it. They get people pulled in because they are idealists and they want to do the right thing. Why can’t we appeal to the people of the country to do the RIGHT thing?

Let me close by giving you a strong word of encouragement. I sincerely believe our day is coming. What is happening these last 18 months has been phenomenal. Can you imagine going from those 12 spammers we had at the beginning to what we have here tonight? (People standing and cheering.) So, in 18 months, let’s say we had a 1,000% in our number of energetic freedom fighters. What about the country? We’re not talking about 10,000, or the million.2 that voted in the election, we’re talking about millions of people in the country and around the world that have heard our message, and it seems like, even if they tried, they can’t stop us.

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