Not since 1939, when Winston Churchill’s lonely, defiant voice called the Nazi’s for what they really were, has anybody this old, been this right about something so dangerously missed by the rest of the public.
For the last decade, Ron Paul, a stubborn, ridiculed, white haired, Texas congressman, has been a persistent, irritating, lonely voice on the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives, warning the nation about the imminent collapse of the American economy. And suddenly, like Churchill’s unheeded prophecies of long ago, the disastrous tide of our own prescient Nostradamus of Lake Jackson, Texas is crashing down upon us.
Of course, comparing Ron Paul to Winston Churchill is comparing apples with oranges or maybe apples with grapes because Ron Paul hasn’t had his chance to do anything about it all but some comparisons of the two narratives are uncanny. Churchill was warning that, like it or not, the German’s were rearming, another war was coming and England better get ready.
Ironically, Ron Paul’s pleas have been the exact opposite. Different times and different circumstances have demanded a different kind of courage. We spend a trillion dollars a year unnecessarily maintaining our overseas world empire, the Texas congressman intones, and it has not only brought us to the verge of bankruptcy, even worse, it is hurting us more than it is helping us, creating new enemies we don’t need.
The message of both men was, at first, treated unfavorably. Mr. Chamberlain had looked Mr. Hitler in the eye, had seen his soul and had returned from Munich with “peace in our time.” People wanted to believe Chamberlain and they felt comfortable in their majority.
Likewise, when a Republican president ordered the invasion of Iraq, connecting it to 9-11, and Ron Paul rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to say we should stick to fighting terrorists and not start another, unprovoked overseas war, colleagues laughed at him. We were assured that the people of Iraq would be cheering in the streets. After all, Saddam Hussein was a bad man, another Hitler.
The world is full of bad men, Ron Paul pointed out. Pol Pot had killed three million of his own people but five American presidents had served out their terms without offering to bring him to justice. African tyrants rose and fell, without Americans dying by the thousands to police the continent. The cost of endless years of arrogant, international interference, Ron Paul pointed out, would someday reach a breaking point. The budget couldn’t handle it. His colleagues laughed. Iraqi oil, they said, would pay for the whole adventure and even turn a profit. American private companies rushed to line up for their share of the loot.
When a Republican president seized on the perfect political solution, don’t raise taxes, in fact, lower them, just print more money and in the process dilute the coinage, make everyone’s money worth less, only Ron Paul rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to condemn the hypocrisy. And he was hooted down for his trouble, by Democrats and Republicans alike. The GOP held him in special contempt. Democrats had raided the treasury for years, they said, now it was the “conservatives” turn.
“But are we truly conservatives if we too raid the treasury?” He argued. For his trouble, Republican leadership blocked him from early televised debates and rigged state conventions to keep his growing numbers from participating.
Like Churchill, Ron Paul has found himself estranged from many in his own conservative political Party. Both men have experienced the wilderness. Both men have been marginalized and ridiculed by the media for their “alarmist” positions. And both men have persistently spoken the inconvenient truth, even when theirs was a lonely, isolated voice.
When a new popular president and a new popular administration, in the name of an economic crisis, extended the corrupt cycle of electing and rewarding, opening the spigots of the U. S. Treasury to preferred voter blocks, this time on the left, while punishing others, Ron Paul once more stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and spoke against the tide of a vast majority.
“We need this new stimulus bill,” they argued, “or things will get worse.”
“But if spending got us into this crisis,” Ron Paul answered, “Why do you think spending will get us out of it?
Or as Winston Churchill once remarked, “However beautiful the strategy, “you should still occasionally look at the results.”
“What has changed?” Ron Paul asked congress. And what is the difference between Wall Street greed that uses bailout money to pay big bonuses and cabinet nominees who “forget” to pay thousands of dollars in taxes? Why should executives from General Motors be shamed into parking their corporate jets while a new president, demanding belt tightening, picks up a new Marine One helicopter, costing more than his 747 Air Force One?
Slowly, inexorably, Ron Paul’s message is beginning to take. Members of his own party and liberal media personalities, some who would have been the least expected, have begun to sense the danger. Conservatives are coming home, some ashamed, acknowledging that it was they, not Ron Paul, who had drifted away. Some Governors and senators and televisions pundits are now mimicking Ron Paul’s message, even paraphrasing his exact words. There are Ron Paul look-alikes, such as Governor Mark Sanford. “He’s just like Ron Paul,” his supporters assure us, “only better.” Who would have thunk it? It is now popular to be like Ron Paul.
But there is one last Churchillian comparison that remains unclaimed, one comparison that cannot yet be made. When the tide of war raced across Europe and the full danger of what Hitler intended for the world was seen for what it was, the people of Britain, even the political leaders who had once condemned and ridiculed him, soon called on Winston Churchill to rise up and lead them. He had seen something that they had missed and the people were demanding that he, especially, be called upon to help solve it.
And what about us and our times? Has fate and history conspired to bring us to this brink and leave us without remedy?
Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans are echoing the questions that the islanders of Great Britain were asking in their time of crisis. If superfluous spending and overseas arrogance has driven us into this financial crisis, if we are on the verge of The Second Great Depression, then shouldn’t we get help from the one man who saw it coming all along? The one man who risked exile and ridicule to call a spade a spade?
“Talent,” Goethe said, “Is hitting a target no one else can hit. But genius is hitting a target no one else can see.” America needs Ron Paul. And they need him soon. Before it’s too late.
(You can follow Doug Wead’s series on how Ron Paul can actually win, go all the way, do it, be elected and change the world, by signing up to follow Doug Wead on twitter http://twitter.com/dougwead1234 .)