Born and raised here in Montana by an independent-minded, politically incorrect father and a caring and critically-thinking mother, I was naturally predisposed to the ideas of Liberty. Being blessed by what this Nation (not the government) is and has done for me, I was also conditioned to be a patriot and to yearn for the things that this Nation once stood for: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the residues of which are the blessings to which I refer.
As someone that was politically inclined, I was never a stranger to talk shows, newspapers, and magazines. Though a conservative, but because of my exposure, I became aware of the various tyrannies and liberal social programs of the Bush Administration. Having now a general distrust of both major parties and the establishmentarians within, the 2008 GOP candidates, to me, deserved more scrutiny. We know that Obama skirted the vetting process, but that is no excuse for our side to be retaliatory in our negligence (whether 2008 or 2012).
So, while at that time I had next to no idea what Ron Paul stood for, I came to realize that he was a man apart. When it became a possibility that John McCain might become the nominee, my father (like McCain, a Viet Nam veteran) balked and stated to me on several occasions that he had been fooled into voting for the lesser of two evils one time too many, and that he was considering just writing in Ron Paul. However, when it became clear that Obama was the Democratic nominee, but also that Sarah Palin was going to be McCain’s running mate, my father went back into the fold, an easy enough thing to do, given the circumstances.
On election day my father was still debating with himself whether to vote McCain or write in Ron Paul. For better or for worse, he cast his ballot for McCain. If for nothing else but to stop Obama, that is what he did. My father later confided in me that he had to force himself to vote for McCain and that he was beginning to have regrets.
We continued on our merry way and began getting back into post-election, and eventually post-inauguration politics. It was September 2009 before I saw or heard much else of this Paul fellow, this obscure doctor. I was with my mother and sisters in Costco one afternoon, and while in the book aisle, I spied a familiar name sported on the paperback trade edition of The Revolution – A Manifesto. It was inexpensive enough, so I asked, as was my custom, my mother to purchase it for me.
I don’t recall if I started it that evening or the next day or the next week. But I do recall disagreeing (though not to vehemently) with Ron Paul’s foreign policy at the beginning of Chapter 2, and agreeing with it by the end of Chapter 2. I am not sure if I read it in two days or twelve. But I am sure that I became firmly convinced that a vote simply for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. I don’t know if I was instantly changed by the man’s clear, succinct, logical, and necessary arguments. But I know, now at least, that reading the book was instrumental in my conversion from xenophobia to tolerance, from jingoism to true patriotism, from latent neoconservatism to classical liberalism.
I have since been a staunch Ron Paul supporter, though flirting with other possibilities prior to Paul’s intentions for 2012 being widely announced. I look back on even those minor temptations with shame. I am now fully radicalized for the cause of Liberty, and this time around will accept no less than Ronald Ernest Paul, M.D. as my candidate.
Other works that have been instrumental to me, as a layman: Ron Paul’s End the Fed and other works, and any number of books by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D., particularly Meltdown, Nullification, and Rollback.
Henry Moore. 21 Years. Ardent Ron Paul in Yellowstone County. Adherent to Austrian School of Economics.