I remember after the 2008 elections when George W. started bailing out Wall Street, how it finally became clear to me that big government and big business were in bed together. When Obama came into office, he did not even break stride in continuing the bailouts and the wars in which contractors from the US were literally paid by the wheelbarrow loads. It was at that point that I took a closer look at Ron Paul.
I remember in 2009 when Ron Paul Republicans were without an official monikor and it was difficult to identify ourselves as a movement. The title "patriot" was used often and had become the highest compliment one could be paid. I knew beyond any doubt that we were grassroots because we did not want endorsement, especially government endorsement, from anyone. Ron Paul was more of a symbol than an actual person, although the individual certainly personified our core values. We were an extremely diversified group and often clashed in our opinions, but we all wanted the same thing, Liberty!
However, as anti bureaucratic sentiment grew, so did the Freedom Movement and we were in effect, leaderless. I can clearly remember trying out different "labels" that would clearly identify us, but nothing more clearly represented us than Ron Paul himself. Town Hall protests began to spring up and I can remember conservative politicians being shocked by the apparent hostility from their supposed supporters. We had had enough and refused to either be ignored or spoon fed any longer. Then came Santelli's rant against Obama's housing stimulus. Thousands of Americans took up Santelli's challenge to form tea party protests across America.
These demonstrations provided the perfect opportunity for business and political moguls to co-opt the wave of hostility now erupting against government's fiscal irresponsibility. It quickly became apparent that Dr. Paul's message was becoming diluted as neo-conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin and Dick Armey began to be named "Tea Party leaders". Ron Paul's message was one of Freedom and Liberty. He was against war profiteering, Patriot Act laws, and "corporatism", which Gerald Celente had identified as the true meaning of "fascism". However, these new "leaders" remained pro-war, pro-Patriot Act and up to their necks in big corporate funding.
I now watch as Occupy Wall Street emerges with the same type of energy and fervor of Ron Paul supporters, claiming to be "leaderless" and composed of "grassroots America". Instead of Liberty, they rant and rave about "equality" and "Justice". Truth is, Liberty and Justice are of the same realm. They abide together, along with Peace and Love. Some of these protestors seem to confuse Justice with fairness and equality with sameness. While all human beings are equal in value and have the same inalienable rights, every individual is unique. Ron Paul understands that force does not create Justice any more than it creates Liberty and that government is force. Positive principles like Justice and Liberty do not require force, they require respect and surrender, adherence. The power of the people is not to "force" the government, it is to "be" the government.
Just like the Tea Party was co-opted by business and political interests, so OWS is in danger of being taken over, if not orchestrated by, political and financial interests. Liberals who protest against injustice must also recognize that it is unjust to take from those who labor and give to those who do not. Humanitarian effort should consist of efforts to empower, not to enable dependency. Socialism has not proven to be superior to capitalism, which is not the same as corporatism. Ron Paul's solution to corporatism is not more government regulations, it is simply, "prosecute fraud and corruption".
The grassroots of OWS are tired of being overworked, overtaxed and overburdened. However, there are powers-that-be that would tap into this energy and steer it with propaganda and rhetoric. In the middle, we are individuals trying to enjoy our families, meet our needs and fulfill our destinies. We are out matched and out maneuvered by others with more wealth and resources who seem to want to control us. Our elected officials team up with greedy corporations and write laws to subdue us, control us and spy on us. On this we all agree. Let us not get caught up in paradigms and philosophies, rather let us pursue Liberty and Justice.
If we as a people desire to embrace Liberty and Justice then it is we who must submit to their demands and not vice versa. They will not bow to our personal agendas or philosophies; however, if we accept and surrender to them, we will enjoy their presence in America as a nation.