Conservative Republican values—I remember them well from my rural, independently-minded Idaho upbringing: limited government, personal liberty and responsibility, fiscal restraint, and respect for human life, right? As proof of my dyed-in-the-wool Republican childhood, Reagan’s portrait had such a prominent place on my family’s mantle I always assumed he was one of our uncles. When George W. Bush changed his address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I was squarely in the middle of a growing young voter demographic. That’s when I got to know the heavy-hitting Grand Old Republicans in the behemoth states of California and Texas.
It has since taken me a decade to realize that the GOP is run by three types of people: busy-bodied heifers who dominate others through gossip and intimidation, their emasculated sidekicks who meekly fall in line, and shrewd business people who have figured out how to game the system for personal profit, prestige or, if they’re exceptionally shrewd, both.
Try as I might over the years to recruit fresh blood to the Republican Party, the mighty missing alpha males with their well-toned leadership abilities and hearts full of devotion to our country were invariably engaged in more noble, rewarding pursuits. It seemed the guys and gals who could turn the GOP and the country around were deployed overseas, hunting deer at the ranch, raising strong sons, running a business, or throwing a football with friends. Heroes like this have better things to do than dedicate countless nights and beautiful weekends to GOP meeting minutia. Over time, I abandoned my goal to change the GOP from within by introducing pure-hearted, limited government, common sense warriors. I then picked up a few hobbies of my own that did not result in me beating my head against the wall in a room full of mean heifers and girlie men manipulating Robert’s Rules of Order to their advantage.
Cue the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2012. By this stage in my political exposure to the GOPandemic, I knew I was witnessing the party of Uncle Reagan flatline. Mitt Romney of Taxachusetts is your pick? Really, CPAC? Congratulations. Your brand is officially ruined. Thanks for driving the stake through my party’s undead corpse.
Dejected does not begin to describe how I felt when I realized I wasted my twenties as a GOP activist. I wondered if I was the only longtime Republican who had chosen to swallow the Truth Pill in spite of its permanent side effects.
Imagine my delight this President’s Day when I found myself among 544 impressive military members and veterans excited to enlist in Republican politics! My heart soared as Veterans for Ron Paul marched in step toward Chancellor Obama’s pretty white palace, chanting for serious reform in deep-voiced unison. “End this War!” and “Legalize the Constitution!” reverberated like cannon fire off the cheerless government buildings. Upon reaching the Presidential gates, they promptly did an about face and stood in formation with their backs to the Commander-in-Chief’s residence, silently saluting the servicemen lost to war and suicide under his administration.
The Veterans for Ron Paul’s mission is to galvanize tens of thousands of their comrades standing for peace and liberty and march them to the Republican National Convention (RNC) 2012 in Tampa. This organic veterans’ movement is noteworthy due to its leaderless leadership. It grows by word-of-mouth and is assisted by social media outlets. It has no non-profit status or mailing address. It doesn’t even have a real website. Yet, Veterans for Paul are everywhere and are poised to infuse the Republican party with good-old-fashioned American reform that would make our founders proud.
It’s a shame that the same people we send off to fight foreign wars must return only to do battle with the political machine to save their country and revive the GOP.
Ron Paul is the clear choice of the troops. They both oppose the endless wars that have bankrupted our nation. Dr. Paul represents the real Republican Party, old school style. Liberty is indeed popular and his message resonates with young and old, rich and poor, military and civilian. Fortunately, he’s bringing back into the GOP fold real leaders with sound philosophies concerning the proper role of government. The fresh faces are idealistic, to be sure, but they also have iron wills, strong stomachs and are battle-hardened thanks to our misguided policies.
Mean heifers, girlie men and shrewd opportunists be forewarned: you’re about to get some serious camo-wearing competition.
For more inane American humor and Texas grit, follow PatriotWriter on Twitter and visit Daily PAuL (Peace. Gold. Liberty.) for my weekly Wednesday column.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
If you heard about the recent march on The White House by 544 veterans for Ron Paul and their family and friends, chances are you've seen Zak Carter's handiwork. As the man charged with media and promotion, he personally handed press releases on the event to various mainstream media outlets. A few of them even covered it.
The rally and march were impressive and triggered mixed emotions. The veterans were elated that Ron Paul's ideas are getting so much traction. They're devastated for their fallen comrades, their families, and for the sacrifices active duty military members continue to make overseas without, they feel, true moral imperatives.
The reality of senseless and endless war must be weighing heavily on returning soldiers. The veterans for Ron Paul stood at attention for more than eight minutes with their backs turned toward Chancellor Obama's District of Criminals' residence. The time spent saluting represented one second for each active duty military member who has committed suicide while Obama was their commander-in-chief.
I don't know if you've ever held your arm in the air for eight consecutive minutes, but it ain't easy. Veterans from the Korean War stood next to active duty military members. Both walked with similar limps. Both helped each other march in formation, working through the pain. Both care enough about our country's future that they made it a point to take a public stand in a highly surveilled city.
Zak Carter served his country by deploying to Kosovo and also to Iraq. He had three years of active duty in the Army with an honorable discharge, followed by four years as a Reservist, before he was kicked out of the Army for endorsing Ron Paul and his foreign policy in his military uniform on YouTube.
I spoke with Zak about the conversion process he went through between willingly following Army orders while deployed and realizing the extent of the foreign policy disasters he helped create. He said that he first started to "wake up" on the way home from serving in Iraq. He landed in an America airport and was met by the TSA, only to be treated like a common criminal.
After that humiliation, he began to learn about the situation on our Southern border with Mexico. Familiar with border security procedures while patrolling the Macedonia / Kosovo border, he was shocked to learn that the rules of engagement change when it it our own troops defending our own border. It made no sense to him that our military stationed on the border is issued no ammunition, must retreat when fired upon, and does not have the authority to apprehend anyone. They are simply sitting ducks in what is arguably a war zone. Yes, our federal military personnel is not allowed to enforce the laws of the land. (Posse Comitatus Act) Yet, Zak realized, the Border Patrol, the FBI, the DEA, and many other federal law enforcement agencies have free reign on the border. The difference seemed negligible. 'We're all paid by the same guy," Zak said.
The straw that broke this young man's back was when Zak's wife showed him this video on YouTube. "It forced me to look at everything I'd done in Kosovo and Iraq. I couldn't pretend anymore." he said.
Zak believes former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker when he says that if we don't get our spending and entitlements under control, the United States will be in the throes of another Great Depression by 2016 or 2017. In his own words: "We need Ron Paul. He’s the only one addressing these issues. He doesn’t want to keep papering over the problems. I loved being a soldier. I miss it. The friends that I made are more than friends--they’re brothers and I love every one of them. Many are still active, almost all of them support Ron Paul. They stay in the service because of our brothers, and don’t want them to go into harm’s way without being there for them. It’s a voluntary army, yes, but that doesn’t mean we agree with the missions. We’re not anti-war hippies because we support Ron Paul. Do NOT confuse me for being a hippie!"
For information about the upcoming march and rally at the RNC in Tampa this August, check out http://www.facebook.com/VetsforRonPaul or http://cvrp2012.com/