The thought crossed my mind in sixth grade, it was the first year of Middle School and my view on politics consisted basically of whatever Rush Limbaugh said because that’s who my dad listened to. Doing the math, that would have put me at the age of 12 and it was 1994(ish), so President Clinton was just starting to turn tricks in the White House. I just now remember what prompted the thoughts on what freedom really meant and asking the questions: What if drugs were legal? Why are they illegal? Why is half the stuff illegal that is illegal and does this mean we are not actually free?
Oh how the Ron Paul Revolution does bring back some distant memories…
Digging deeper into a past that seemed a step away from memories grave, this was also the first year I found herb in my dad’s closet, while looking for porn mags (which he did not have–pre-internet days), with a friend and then attempting to smoke it. For the record, we did not know how to roll a joint and we did not get high. It was another 4 years until a joint, bowl or bong touched my lips. I remember a great moral conflict in how I saw my father. Does smoking weed make him bad? He’s a Defense Attorney afterall so my mind was blown. I remember really thinking about it after lunch on my way to recess. Knowing me, I probably told a couple friends just to get a firm grasp on the insanity and so my insecure self could sound cool, but I digress. My point is, this must be why I really started asking the basic questions of why laws exist that eat away our freedoms.
I remember arguing with a friend about whether drugs should be illegal or not. I argued with the kid all of the time because he wrestled and I played basketball–so we debated the difficulty of the sports. But in this case he said, “if drugs were legal more people would do it.” I argued the opposite, stating the case for freedom and spitting out some Amsterdam talking points (facts). I have no idea if my friend would now support decriminalization of drugs or not but I do know that my dad is wrestling with the issue of supporting Ron Paul or not.
In the last year I’ve been chiseling away trying to get my parents to buy into Ron Paul. Part of me was looking for validity for the candidate, part of me looking for validity of my parents. I knew I liked Paul and I knew I liked my parents but there is a piece of you that always feels foolish supporting any politician and always wanting to convince parents of things. My dad said Dr. Paul is the type of guy who said 9 smart things but then 1 that would make you say, “What the fuck?” He concluded with, “But the man is not establishment, and with the way things are today maybe that’s what we need.” Later he objected to Paul’s commentary about Bin Laden but for us Paulbots…there is hope on the parental front.
It is true that a non-establishment candidate is what we need. Anti-Paul liberals are usually the first to argue that he is establishment, while anti-Paul conservatives are the first to argue he is not electable because he is fringe. But my issues with Paul don’t have to do with whether he is establishment or whether he is electable, but rather, is he really leading an intellectual revolution? Many Paulbots seem to think he is leading a revolution and that he does have the philosophy needed to fix America. These people are setting themselves up for epic disappointment.