In 1934, while in the throes of addiction, Bill Wilson desperately cried out to God for deliverance from his torment. God answered him in the form of a supernatural experience and a companion who would be able to lay down principles for obtaining and maintaining recovery from alcohol and other compulsive addictions. Although they mention God repeatedly, The Twelve Steps have more to do with a spiritual awakening than a religion. They focus more on a higher order, and set of principles than on a system of right and wrong or behavioral compliance. The Twelve Steps tap into the spiritual realm, into the existence of Truth, Life and Liberty. The pathway to these principles is through Acceptance and Surrender rather than mere knowledge and behavioral change. Liberty, therefore, is more about acceptance than choice. Ron Paul understands this.
Life, Liberty and Joy are positive principles, as are Health, Success and Prosperity. Positive principles have intrinsic value because they always give something back to those who pursue them. One who seeks out Truth, Liberty and/or Health is making an investment and will receive a return that cannot be measured in any earthly sense. This is not as much about choice as it is acceptance. One does not choose Liberty any more than one chooses Truth. In fact, Freedom is essential in order for one to be able to exercise choice. A restriction of a person's freedom impairs one's ability to choose or limits said choices. While choices will certainly be required in order to obtain and maintain positive principles such as Liberty, or Health for example, it will take a myriad of choices along with virtues such as Diligence, Patience, Humility and Simplicity in order to make these principles a part of one's daily life.
What would motivate someone to undergo such rigorous discipline in order to make such an investment? The pay-off for one. Liberty is worth the cost. However, as in the case of Bill Wilson, desperation is also motivating. As a nation, America has already experienced the former. Presently, the latter is making itself felt.
The key to working The Twelve Steps, or to mastering any discipline for that matter, is Surrender. Surrender in the Twelve Steps sense of the word does not mean "giving up". Rather, it contains the meaning of respect, or mastery. A Master of a particular craft or discipline has achieved a certain level of proficiency and understanding. The title does not suggest that the Master can now rewrite the rules or the laws of physics concerning his craft, rather that he has mastered the knowledge and wisdom required by it. For example, Ron Paul understands that Liberty cannot be brought about by force. By definition, Liberty contains freedom, choice and personal empowerment. You cannot force someone to be free, although you may be able to remove their restraints.
One does not master a principle such as Liberty without giving it proper respect. In other words, the principle does not serve the pupil, rather, vice versa. Liberty is available to everyone individually, but not just to one individual. If one does not respect the Liberty of others, his own Liberty will become compromised, which is called Justice. One has the right to defend oneself if attacked or falsely accused. If one witnesses an injustice, he has the right to intervene on behalf of the victim, with the understanding that the victim also has a right to Liberty. However, to take it upon oneself to intervene in the affairs of another based upon a presumption or deception violates the laws of Liberty. Laws that restrict the freedom to choose or impair the freedom to acquire knowledge, or inhibit one's ability to thrive are an affront to Liberty. Ron Paul gets this.
Liberty is not simply a choice, like one chooses a political party. Liberty is a Law. One either accepts Liberty and masters its principles, or one settles for something less. A nation either embraces Liberty completely, or accepts a substitute. Those who love Liberty recognize Ron Paul's mastery of it, despite his human frailty, and they will not accept a substitute.