Fandemonium: the cult of personality

I really should consider adding pictures and such to my blog to make it more pretty.  I’m not very artistic in that way, so apologies that it’s not so aesthetically pleasing.  Something I’ll have to work on eventually.  My wife always tells me that the things that excite me most are the things that put her to sleep — ie. politics, economics, Sci-Fi.  😉

I read somewhere on FB a comment made about how Ron Paul’s supporters are head-over-heels in blind love with him, much like Obama’s supporters were during the run up to the 2008 election.  Though I agree that there are some Ron Paul fans out there that fit this characterization, I don’t think the reasons for his recent rise in popularity has much similarity at all.

Look back on the kinds of people that voted for Obama.  I’d characterize them into 3 different broad groups though there was definitely some overlap:

  1. African Americans / Minority voters pulling for the Minority candidate.  Some people of color, including many Asian Americans, voted for Obama simply because of the color of his skin — eg. non-white.  I was born in Korea.  My parents and I moved to the United States when I was 3 months old and we eventually became naturalized citizens.  Have I felt racism in my country?  Absolutely!  But I’m an American.  I’ve never let the heritage of my parents and grandparents define who I am.  And I don’t have anything in common with Korean nationals other than we’re all humans created in the image of God.
  2. White voters that felt obliged to right some racial wrong in the past.  I have friends that voted for Jesse Jackson for the very same reason back in the 80’s.  Curious about these people because in their effort to prove they are non-racist, aren’t they basing their decision on race?
  3. Disgruntled liberals as backlash against George W. Bush.  Pretty much would vote for anyone that was not a Republican.

These are hugely overgeneralized, but I’m sure if you think of anyone you knew that voted for Obama in 2008, they would fit at least one of these categories.

The biggest differential between Ron Paul and Obama in running for President is that Ron Paul has an established track record of consistently sticking to his values of small government, tight fiscal conservatism, and a non-interventionalist foreign policy.  Obama had NO record.  During his short Senate career prior to his Presidential run, he did NOTHING of consequence.  His resume consisted of him being a Community Activist.  Basically a puppet with a lot of promises.

Now look at Ron Paul’s base of support.  Like me, most of the new supporters of Paul are discovering him for the first time because of the values he preaches AND practices.  Americans are tired of policing the world.  We’re sick of out of control spending.  We want someone to do something to fix the HUGE social entitlement bill that’s going to bankrupt our economy rather than kick the can further down the road for our children.  We’ve had enough of Big Brother regulating everything from seat belts to marriage laws to what we can watch on television.  Organizations like the CATO Institute and the Mises Institute have been around for years preaching Liberty.  They aren’t swayed by a slick campaign logo and sound bites.

And I’ll say this much.  Eventually, something will come up that may shake some of the fandemonium around Ron Paul – especially if he receives the Republican Nomination.  Maybe something from his past or some video of him speaking when he doesn’t realize he’s on camera.  We’re all human.  But those that are supporting his message of liberty should stand by that dream.  Ron Paul will come and go long after November 2012.  But the hearts of men and women will yearn for freedom.  And that will never go away.

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9 responses to “Fandemonium: the cult of personality

  1. I have become a huge fan of Ron Paul, not because I'm in love with the person, but because I love truth and liberty and he's all about both. It's refreshing to watch a presidential debate and actually hear truth spoken!Unfortunately, in our system, telling the truth and standing for liberty rarely get someone elected. As I'm watching this campaign, I keep thinking that people seem to be comforted in the short term by lies.A friend of ours who is an anarcho-capitalist explained to me that politics is about getting elected, but political philosophy is about what you believe, and there's a difference. Ron Paul talks political philosophy, not politics.I read this article on Mises about the prophet Isaiah that reminded me of Dr. Paul–not that he claims to be a prophet. You might like this if you haven't read it: http://mises.org/daily/2892

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  2. Tanya – THANK YOU for sharing the link to Isaiah's Job. LOVED IT! I have not read that before. Very much reminds me of Howard Roark from one of my favorite fiction novels – the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Haven’t ever gotten around to reading Atlas Shrugged, but it’s also on the to-do list.I'm not familiar with anarcho-capitalism, but I know I'm not an anarchist. I do think there is a proper place for government and the enforcement of the Law. I also have not read Murray Rothbard’s works yet, but many of his books are on my reading list.

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  3. I'm glad you liked the article. It gave me much food for thought.I haven't read The Fountainhead, but I made my way through over 900 pages of Atlas Shrugged before giving up! I found Ayn Rand both annoying and fascinating. It's such a libertarian classic I thought I should see what Rand was all about.I really like Rothbard, but I haven't read an entire book. We read a lot of his stuff in our discussion group, though. I am reading The Law by Bastiat right now.I'm not even comfortable with labeling myself right now, although my friend tells me I'm an anarcho-capitalist. For me, I'm examining all of it in light of biblical truth and just seeking God. I appreciate running across a Christian who's writing about these issues–thanks for sharing! I found your blog while searching around for anyone blogging about liberty. Glad I found this! Keep writing! 🙂

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  4. The Law by Bastiat is one of my favorites. Simple yet powerful. Thanks for reading and keep the feedback coming!

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  5. Awesome post, Tim. You have a cool ability to stay reasonable. I get frustrated much more quickly wwhen Ron Paul doesn't get an honest look from people.I have The Ethics of Liberty by Rothbard and some recordings of his lectures if you would like either.That being said…Tanya:I think we just became friends.

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  6. David – I'd like whatever you have to share. And believe me, I'm not always a patient or reasonable man. Took me a while to give RP a serious consideration, but no matter what happens in November, his impact on voters will have a lasting legacy. That much is certain.

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  7. Tim, I read the article you suggested on the American Revolution. That was really good. I listened to a message from Vision Forum awhile back that came to the same conclusion–that it was a war of self-defense and not actually rebellion against the government.I've been reading and listening to some good stuff today and got to go to our liberty group tonight, so I've had a lot of food for thought. I found this lecture on Mises that really helped me with my libertarian vs. anarchist dilemma. This is Robert P. Murphy and he's a Christian. http://direct.mises.org/media/1334/Introduction-to-Anarchy?ajaxsrc=audioMaybe you won't find this interesting, but that's just my personal dilemma right now. Murphy uses the term "free-market anarchist", which I kind of like. My friend Tom tells me I should read Rothbard's "For a New Liberty", so that's next on my reading list.Just to be clear, when I say anarchy I don't mean chaos and rebellion, I mean it as a political philosophy. I believe in submitting to government under most circumstances, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't remove the system and let the free market do the job if I could!And btw, thanks David! I checked out your blog and it gave me a chuckle. I'll keep reading. I admire you guys for blogging. I'm too wimpy (or too conflicted!) to blog. I just like to comment on other people's stuff. Maybe one of these days I'll get brave. I actually made a really pretty blog, but I didn't write anything on it, lol!

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  8. Tanya – Haven't finished to the whole Murphy lecture, but so far it sounds spot on. Oh no! Am I becoming an anarcho-capitalist? 😉 Should really consider a name change. Though it is technically accurate, I think it will immediately turn off people like me.David's a good friend. Don't let his youthfulness fool you. He's years ahead of his time.

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  9. Glad you're liking the lecture. I was afraid I'd offend you with my crazy anarchist ramblings! Murphy coined the term "free-market anarchist" which I prefer. My daughter says "free-market" is like a pillow to soften the a-word that follows! I agree that even mentioning anarchy tends to be unsettling for most, myself included! I haven't read the link in your new post yet, but I'll try to get to that soon. I'm sure it will be interesting. I have some loose ends to tie up here before the weekend.I commented on David's blog that I already used his article on money in my kids' school lesson today–good stuff!

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