On the occasion of his 79th birthday, I thought it appropriate to share how Dr. Ron Paul has impacted my life in a very personal manner. Ron Paul (and more importantly, the philosophy of liberty that he champions) has inspired me to make life-altering decisions, the most consequential of which is to leave the military as a conscientious objector. Throw in homeschooling, sound money, economics, and non-aggression, and you’ve got a completely new outlook on life. It has not been an easy path, but this is the price for discovering a worldview that is coherent, consistent, and compelling enough to act on.
It all started with the 2012 presidential debates, which my husband took a large interest in. We began to discuss between ourselves what Dr. Paul espoused – never before had I heard someone whose words were completely aligned with what I had experienced overseas. His discussions regarding interventionism and blowback were spot-on. At that point, Hubby and I had more than 6 deployments between us, so we were credible listeners. Even more impressive: here was a guy who wasn’t toeing the party line, wasn’t kowtowing to pressure, and was actually speaking common sense! Look up any video of any presidential debate in which Dr. Paul takes part, and it’s abundantly clear that he is no politician (this is a compliment in my book). It’s safe to say that listening to RP’s position on foreign policy was the first step down the rabbit hole; I didn’t fully understand every issue that he spoke about, but his words came through like a clear bell. Who was this guy? Where did he come from? What did he know? I was hooked.
We bought a book – Liberty Defined (highly recommend it – short, sweet, and easy to understand). I felt myself being pulled out the apathetic, unconscious masses, and started to wake up. I started to care, I wanted to learn, and I needed to understand how the United States had found itself in the position of being mired in warfare, welfare, and eroding individual liberties. I had seen warfare, I had lost friends – these things mattered. This was real life happening. Dr. Paul was the first person to shed light on the root causes, and offer an alternative system.
We began to research the great thinkers, writers, and economists that Dr. Paul referenced. We discovered Murray Rothbard (For a New Liberty and Ethics of Liberty), Ludwig von Mises (Human Action, LvMI), Lysander Spooner (Vices Are Not Crimes and No Treason), Frederic Bastiat (The Law), Peter Schiff, Ivan Eland, Lew Rockwell, and countless others. Over the course of 18 months, I progressed slowly but steadily from conservative neocon (I joined the military in the first place, right?) to limited-government proponent, to minarchism, and then finally the logically-deduced, well-researched, sound philosophy of anarcho-capitalism (self-ownership and non-aggression).
When I recognized that warfare is the antithesis of liberty, I had to leave the military. My husband and I have been fighting the Air Force for our freedom for more than a year now. It has been difficult, and it has required strength, but there is nothing like the quiet satisfaction and happiness that come with acting on principle. For this, I have to thank Dr. Paul for opening my eyes to a world of possibilities and inspiring the future.
The Ron Paul Revolution is alive and well. Happy birthday, sir, and thank you.