Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!
Me, pondering thoughts like these while listening to Ron Paul at the Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis’ Target Center, with Barry Goldwater Jr., Jessie Ventura and Tucker Carlson all onstage at once. After that, the German Libertarians libertarianism and legalizing hemp to me. In German. So, I’m thinking this little aphorism about life can be illustrated with just about anything, and this is it.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnais…e jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..
‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.
Newt Gingrich spoke at Global Security Services in Davenport, Iowa at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, to a small crowd of approximately 100 people. There was no press check-in, which was odd, but there was food, which was also unusual. Only 10 chairs were set up in what appeared to be a garage. And a garage across from the Col Ballroom—not the best part of town— an area which the national media following the campaign were photographing in all its paint-peeling glory.
Face the Nation Appearance
The day prior, Newt appeared on the Sunday, Dec. 18 “Face the Nation” program with Bob Schieffer, where he discounted the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of opponent Mitt Romney saying it was from a liberal paper. He touted his own endorsement by the Manchester Union Leader. [Iowans would not categorize the Register as liberal.] At that time, he dodged Schieffer’s charges (from Romney) that he was “an unreliable leader in the Conservative movement.” Newt laughed when asked if he had asked for Christine O”Donnell’s (“I am not a witch”) endorsement, which Romney also got. Newt also seemed proud when he said, “I’m not a lawyer. I call that an advantage.”
From that point on, Newt rambled about the 1958 Warren Court, the Federalist papers (and the abolishing of over 1/2 of the judges that had just been placed in their posts, by Thomas Jefferson) and called the Dred Scott decision, extending a ban on slavery to the entire nation, bad. (So did Bachmann in the last Republican debate). Newt most famously and repetitively attacked the 9th Circuit Court because of its stance on “one nation, under God” and repeated that assertion on Monday in Davenport.
Newt: “Everything you’ve heard is true.”
For a guy who’s been married 3 times (cheated on his first 2 wives and asked for a divorce when the first was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery), who has now announced that he is Catholic (in deference to wife #3), he sure has a “holier-than-thou” attitude. [I’m Catholic, and I’m even wondering how a man who has already been married two times can BE married, as a Catholic. Plus, he’s only BEEN a Catholic for 2 years.] And I’m not even going to get into his censuring by Congress or the lobbying charges hurled by Bachmann in the last debate.
Evangelical Voters in Iowa
Newt points the finger.
I don’t think Newt is fooling the Evangelicals in Iowa (or anywhere else.) In a piece entitled “Pastors: Newt Gingrich Is Empty Suit With Broken Zipper” by Tony Leys on 12/13, the Reverend Albert Calaway of Indianola wrote, “Mr. Gingrich is the Don Draper of 2012. When it comes to his character record, he’s a very fine, empty suit with a broken zipper. Christians in Iowa—and I understand many of his old U.S. House colleagues as well—desperately want to see a changed man, yet we keep on seeing a glib, wordy cheater. On all fronts, Newt should just be faithful.” The Reverend went on, “When you endorse a check, you sign it. When you get married, you sign the license. When you sign a contract or covenant, that means you are all in. But, Mr. Gingrich has yet to sign for many things which Christian Iowa cares about very deeply.”
Larry Riney, author of the book on the "Effie Afton" and the Lincoln/Douglas debates, is this you in the crowd?
Newt also took some flak from Schieffer (on “Face the Nation”) over Newt’s avowed intention to reform the courts. Schieffer wanted to know: “Wouldn’t your policies throw the courts into chaos?” Newt pointed out that there were 80 judgeships vacant out of 800 and continued his attack on judges, in general. “There is a fundamental conflict underway about what kind of country we’re going to be,” said the Now Holy candidate. This quote (from Dec. 5, 2011 “Newsweek”) is also telling: “A country which has been, since 1963, relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have because we’ve in fact attempted to create a secular country, which I think is frankly a nightmare.” Oh, Puh-leese. This from the same man who was having an affair while prosecuting Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky mess.
That statement was made at the FAMiLY Leader debate, where Vander Plaats, who ran unsuccessfully for Governor against Terry Branstadt said, “Though they don’t embrace or endorse or condone his (newt’s) personal past,. they might be more willing to get over that if he’s the best one to lead to preserve the America they want for their children.” Well, Bob, he’s not. Get over it. Newt is Newt, and, as he said on Monday—the day after his “Face the Nation” appearance—“I’m really different than what they’re (Washington, D.C.) used to.” I would say that this comment, as well, is quite disingenuous, since Newt has spent more time in Washington than any of the other potential candidates, with the possible exception of Libertarian Texas Senator Ron Paul, who’s got to be the oldest guy running for anything (born Aug. 20, 1935).
An unidentified audience member catches the mood of the crowd.
The Dec. 5 “Newsweek” article stated —erroneously, I feel—“The Bible makes room for complicated, morally compromised heroes. Now Christian conservatives, desperate for an alternative to Mitt Romney, are learning to do so as well.” That was Michelle Goldberg’s view in an article entitled “Let There Be Newt.” No, Michelle, Iowans are not learning any such thing, and if you were from these parts, you’d have picked up on that, but, apparently, you’re not and you haven’t. Today’s Huffington Post polls show Ron Paul surging at 24%, Romney at 20% and Newt sliding into oblivion at 14%. The article was written by someone named Michelle Goldberg and accompanied by a picture of Newt with a halo light effect. I have a feeling that Ms. Goldberg is not from around here, she said wryly.
The Mainstream Media’s Take The national media I spoke with today characterized Newt’s appearance this day as “Newt’s book tour” (he’s written 24) and a pushy woman in a red dress seemed to be barking orders about “the books” and getting the books out for purchase. There were precious few other workers apparent. Newt, himself, said in closing, “We need folks in every precincts.
Apparently Newt needs more workers to contact potential caucus-goers, since 60% had been contacted by Romney’s people, according to a poll by the “New York Times,” 47% by Ron Paul’s, and only 30%—-1/2 of what Romney has scored—by Gingrich’s workers. The comment made to me by the other press was that, “He’s disorganized.”
Newt quotes from his Davenport Dec. 19, 2011 appearance :
Zepelin, a guide dog for the blind, toughs out the speech with trainer Julie Hogenson of Princeton, Iowa.
On negative ads: “The only person who profits from negative ads is Barack Obama, and I think that’s pretty reprehensible behavior.” (Meanwhile, outside in the parking lot, ironically enough, opponents were placing negative flyers under our car door handles.) Most of the carping was about Newt’s taking money from Freddie Mac as a “lobbyist” by some other name.
On Israel: “I’m not prepared to see Israel annihilated. …We need to give a sense that we are a leading country and willing to defend ourselves.” In watching GPS (Global Public Square) with Fahreed Zakaria on Sunday, December 18th, all of the panelists. which included the Jewish editor of the “New Yorker” magazine and well-known Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan, decried the constant harping by the Republican candidates on Israel as the sum and substance of U.S. foreign policy. All saw it as pandering to the United States Jewish vote. All noted that foreign policy is notoriously complex and simply declaring one’s support for Israel ignores the complexity of modern foreign policy. Most of the panelists, in fact, were complimentary of Obama’s handling of the Libyan situation. Newt then added that he had “taught 1 and 2 star generals” and you just got the feeling that his giant ego could barely be contained. The man has a HUGE head and a HUGE ego to go with it.
On North Korea (whose leader, Kim Jong II died recently): “We have no idea whether the new regime will be more open or worse.” [Well, gee, Newt. I’ll alert the media to that insightful bit of hot air.]
This man spoke up about having to work into his 60s and 70s, not being able to count on Social Security, which Newt did not seem particularly keen on preserving.
On the economy: “I believe it is possible to turn around the economy with amazing speed…That’s why we need a program for very dramatic job creation.” (No specifics offered.) Newt cited Ronald Reagan creating one million jobs in August of 1993 and unemployment dropping from 10.8 to 5.6% during Reagan’s years. Those were very different years, and I don’t see Ronnie (Trickle Down) Reagan anywhere around at this time. Nor do I see ANY president capable of turning around the economy “with amazing speed.” That includes Romney .
On Social Security: “People should not have to depend on politicians, nor be threatened by the loss of their Social Security check.” Newt seemed to be in favor of letting people not pay in to Social Security and save the money themselves….which, of course, is problematic if they do not.
On college students and student loans: “They (students at the College of the Ozarks, Newt’s model college for financial assistance) all do real work. I’m an advocate of real work.” Newt held up some College in the Ozarks to a student from Iowa State University in Ames who asked him a question about public education. The student noted that the average student debt for Ames graduates is $48,000. She wanted to know if that was “public education.” Ames is a fine school. To tell Iowa State University that they should start taking cues from a college in the Ozarks that nobody has ever heard of sounded lame.
On gun ownership: “Our rights will not be taken away from us by a dictatorial government.” Nice rhetoric. Again, no substantive policy discussion.
The sparse crowd. Only 10 chairs, and 2 of them are empty.
On Freddie Mac and charges that he received over a million ($1.2 million? $1.6 million?) in payment for lobbying efforts for them: “I should have had a much more coherent answer. The Gingrich Group was hired. I only made about $35,000 a year. I make more than that for speeches.” Again, your ego is showing, Newt. Take it down a notch.
On his run for the White House: “I am really different than what they’re used to.” About that time, as a joke, he said, “It’s tricky for me to turn to the left, but I’m trying.” Whatever Newt does seems “tricky,” to me, and I am not surprised that Donald Trump seemed to be his biggest supporter, while none of the 12 people he served with in Congress has come out and endorsed him, nor did John Boehner during his appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, December 18th.
Would he propose a new Contract with America? “Yes. I’d use executive orders to do away with 100 to 200 White House czars on my first day in office.” I wonder if he would bring up some of his less feasible ideas about Mars, et. al.? About this time, Newt began comparing Obama to Saul Alinsky. I doubt if many in the room knew much about Saul Alinsky. I did not, so I looked him up when I got home. Here are the results:
Saul Alinsky Reference
Newt signing books, which went on for quite some time.
Saul Alinsky was born in Chicago in 1909 and became a cracker-jack community organizer. Adlai Stevenson said of Alinsky: “Alinsky’s aims most faithfully reflect our ideals of brotherhood, tolerance, charity and dignity of the individual.” If you don’t like Adlai Stevenson, consider that William F. Buckley, that Conservative icon said of him that he was a near-genius at organizing.
Alinsky wrote, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. ‘The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. My book was written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
Wikipedia goes on to say that Alinsky would not join political organizations of any kind, including those he formed. He said, when asked about Communist and Socialist parties, “I prize my independence too much. And, philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.” When I heard the term(s) “intellectually constipated” and “doctrinaire” and read Alinsky’s description of someone who thinks they know everything, Newt’s name was used to illustrate this personality trait.
So, here’s my question: Why would it be a “bad” thing to be compared to a man who tried to help the poor and disenfranchised to organize and get their fair share? Newt’s comparison of Obama to Alinsky seems to be the fear of the rich white man who sees his grip on power threatened by the likes of the Occupy movement.
Debates Ad Nauseum
Last, but not least, Gingrich told the audience (citing the Lincoln/Douglas debates) that, if he is the candidate, he wants to debate Obama constantly and that, if Obama will not agree, he would let the White House be his scheduler and arrive in the towns where Obama was to speak 4 hours behind him. “Unlike the president, I studied American history,” crowed Gingrich. Right. And Obama studied law at Harvard and life in the streets of both Chicago, the Philippines and Hawaii. Gingrich went on to say, “How can he say he is afraid to debate some guy who taught at West Georgia College?” (He hasn’t said it, that I have heard.) And Newt added, “I will concede in advance that he can use a teleprompter.” Wow! That old Speaker of the House arrogance just rolled off Newt’s back like water off a duck’s.
Woman Hurt at Rally
I hope this woman had an X-ray. Check out the bump on her forehead.
Gingrich then signed a book for a very nice elderly lady from Florida who fell down on her way into the garage (missed the step) and took a very nasty fall onto hard concrete, giving herself a huge goose egg on her forehead. I urged Lou Phillips to get an X-ray after she said, “Oh, the EMTs looked at it.” All I could think of was Liam Neeson’s loss of his wife, Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter, the actress Natasha Richardson, who fell while skiing and hit her head, but said she was “fine” for several hours afterward, ultimately dying from the fall.
After the rally was over, we were not allowed to leave until Elvis had left the building and we were sternly warned not to take any pictures or video. [Like anyone wanted to.] All the national press referenced this appearance as “Newt’s book tour.”
Polls Show Gingrich Falling; Paul Rising
Gingrich, put a brave face in the wake of the release of a new (Dec. 19) Huffington Post survey of 597 caucus-goers that shows Ron Paul at 23%, Mitt Romney at 20% and Newt sinking to 14% saying, “President Ronald Reagan was 30 points behind in the polls at this same time in his presidential run.”
That sounds about right, and it is what I predicted days ago: a Ron Paul surge. Let’s face it: Bachmann and Santorum are toast. Perry has done himself in with his “oops” moments. Cain was not able. Romney may take the nomination, nationally, but Iowans are peeved that he didn’t come here and court them, as he did in 2008.
Romney in 2008
That year, Romney started with his $10 million of ads in March (of 2007) and visited all 99 counties (either himself or via his family members). This year, he spent only about a week in Iowa and had spent $3.1 million on TV and radio spots, but had only used about $868,000 of it, to date.
The Col Ballroom on W. 4th St., across from the rally, in a decidedly seedy part of Daveport, Iowa.
I did hear some rumblings about Perry’s ads from the locals, also. They don’t like them.
If Iowa could give their seal of approval to Huckabee in 2008, despite the fact that he didn’t win the party’s nomination, there is nothing to stop them from anointing Ron Paul this time. Yes, he’s ancient. Yes, he’s flakey. But he’s likeable and the young support him. He won’t win the national nomination, but anybody but Newt!
In the wake of Michele Bachmann’s pulling out all the stops, including bringing in Travis Tritt and “meat sundaes” to her tent at the Iowa Straw Poll, is it any wonder that, after 17,000 votes were cast, she was pronounced the winner by a slight margin (200 votes or so) over Ron Paul, who also had his “Dump Bernanke” tank and the “dollar slide” AND the best tent position. Add to that Bachmann’s claims to being “a 7th generation Iowan” and it doesn’t seem too surprising that she won the straw poll, which is about as unscientific as you can get and seldom predicts the winner, anyway.
That is why this line from Matt Strawn, Iowa Republican Party chairman, seems disingenuous: “I think for the first time in a long time, there’s probably more uncertainty over what the ultimate finish will be in Ames.” My reaction to that: “Ha!” I wrote a piece that appeared yesterday that pointed all the above out and drew the obvious conclusion that Bachmann would do well. She did. What is Matt Strawn smoking or eating over there in Ames?
When I was in St. Paul, Minnesota for the Republican National Convention in the fall of 2008, my blog guy, Phil, insisted that I had to take myself over to the Target Center to attend the Ron Paul Rally for America that was going on there, at the exact same time that the old-looking, white, Republican hordes were nominating John McCain and Sarah Palin in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. What I knew about Ron Paul you could put in a pea and it would rattle, but I had seen him on television during the caucus season, and I felt he was getting the short end of the stick most of the time. He often seemed the only Republican up there who actually made a little bit of sense. And soon after he was allowed to appear for a few debates, the PTB shut him down and we saw less and less of old Ron, although his supporters became more and more vocal and active, appearing at nearly every big campaign event.
Dr. Paul doesn’t make sense all of the time, but he certainly got my attention with his comments about spending more than you take in being a bad thing. He could was eloquent when talking about the crime that he thinks was committed when America left the gold standard (for backing our currency) and began printing money up like worthless scrip. I even remember my banker father taking a few gold dollars (uncirculated) and putting them away in a safety deposit box, telling me that these would, some day, become collectors’ items. (And, boy, was he ever right!)
When I entered the Target Center in Minneapolis (St. Paul’s twin city), which most people had paid $17 a head to enter (press got in free), I was amazed at the fact that the place was full and, also, at the diversity of the audience members. There were many spectators walking around wearing delegate badges to the “real” Republican convention across town in St. Paul. When I asked one of the delegates to the RNC why he was here (Minneapolis) rather than there (St. Paul) he said, “This is where the real action is.” And I felt he was right. I got a sense of enthusiasm, of supporters who were not just rich fat cats or old white men, but a diverse group cutting across all segments of the nation. Why, I hadn’t had a feeling like that since I was present in Denver at the DNC at the Pepsi Center! Now, the Ron Paul Rally for America action was odd action. I was sandwiched between 2 economists from Germany who tried to give me a crash course on Libertarianism and seemed to think that Ron Paul represented the second coming. (I was afraid one of them might accidentally give an unfortunate salute at any moment, such was his unbridled enthusiasm.) I felt I was having an out-of-body experience when, onstage, appeared (at one time) Barry Goldwater, Jr. (looking just like dear old Dad), Tucker Carlson, Jesse Ventura (former professional wrestler, actor and Governator of Minnesota), and Ron Paul. When the conversation took off on legalizing hemp, I began to really feel I had wandered into an alternate universe. It was surreal.
But the one thing that you could say for and about the St. Paul “Ron Paul Rally for America” is that it had youth. It had vigor. It had action. It had a feeling of some life and some commitment to the cause. I had some hope that the elephant might survive, IF it could find a way to get these radical rascals back into the herd. And I don’t mean the herd of old white fat cats with no visible diversity at all. This year, in Bush Jr.’s absence the party had even given up the display of token inclusion they attempted during the second of “W’s” conventions.
Imagine my surprise to pick up the December 14 (2009) issue of Newsweek magazine and belatedly read Howard Fineman’s article “Is There a Doctor in the House?” in which he says (among other things), in a discussion of Ron Paul, “No one thinks Ron Paul is going to lead the G.O.P, let alone be president. He’s 74 years old and just too…out there. He is an obscure guy who waited patiently (if not quietly) for the cycle of history to come back around his way, and finally it did. We have been arguing about money, credit, and banks since the first days of the republic. Paul is a bargain basement Jefferson for our time.”
Wow! My ears perked up at these words of praise for the old warrior. I read on, because what Howard Fineman said next is what I have been telling everyone everywhere since the Republican National Convention in Minnesota and I want to thank Phil (my blog guy) for making me go hear Ron Paul and the Libertarians, who seem(ed) to much more fully capture the zeitgeist and spirit of America than the Gestapo-like horde of old white guys downtown in St. Paul.
Said Fineman in his article: “Still, the GOP needs to study Ron Paul and learn. No one has better captured the sense of Main Street outrage over secret insider deals and Wall Street bonuses. No one has been more consistent about sticking to core conservative values—including the one that says the government shouldn’t spend more money than it takes in.” [At this point, I’m sure, were my own dear father alive, he’d be chiming in, shaking his head in assent and saying, “That’s right!”]
Fineman went on to say, “If the GOP is going to appeal to independent voters, it has to confront its own corporate allies…The good doctor, of all people, is showing Republicans the way. What they need is a candidate who embodies the spirit of Ron Paul. Just so long as it isn’t Ron Paul.”
Hear, hear! I’m beginning to think that I do make some sense once in a while, because Howard Fineman has come around to my way of thinking roughly a year after my Eureka moment in Minneapolis.
I’m going to pretend that ALL the pictures posted here are from the RNC. In reality, the one of me with the Biden poster was taken inside the Pepsi Center in Denver, but I’m trying to keep all of you honest. Likewise, the picture of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a dead-ringer for his father, was from the DNC.
After that, it’s all about the shenanigans in St. Paul. There are several pictures of the “Closeted Gay Republican Tour,” orchestrated by a Los Angeles film crew to publicize a new late-night Fox TV show hosted by someone named “Spike.” Spike is shown, smiling at his executive producer, who is decked out as Abe Lincoln and whose fake beard is falling off in the photo taken with Yours Truly. They invited me aboard the Closeted Gay Republican Bus, but it was going to end up at the men’s bathroom stall at the Minneapolis airport, and, quite frankly, I had dinner plans. (Ahem). I only got out of my car and went over to interview Abe because I thought he was the 6’8″ Lincoln impersonator from Marion, IA, that I had read about in a local newspaper. Au contraire, mon frere. This was a totally different Lincoln impersonator, and I spotted about 5 of them before the week was out.
Then there are the Ron Paul photos, taken at the Target Center in Minneapolis. If the RNC was less-than-thrilled to have me inside the Xcel Center, rest assured that the Libertarians couldn’t have been nicer! You see me fingering my Press Credential badge in one shot.
Mickey’s Diner, a St. Paul landmark, was the scene of many stand-offs between the protesters and the riot-clad Gestapo, whom I picture crossing the street in another scene. If you wonder about the shot of someone taken from the back, that was the Obama impersonator, but I was driving at the time, and it didn’t look good for me to be able to get out of the vehicle. There is also a girl with pink tape on her mouth, who ended up on Conan O’Brien’s show…also a protester.
All-in-all, it was a busy week, with me lost much of the time and trying to get out of the city for what seemed like hours. If you want the “long” version, go read my account of the Closeted Gay Republican Tour on Associated Content, where I actually paid attention to the names of one and all, but, for now, enjoy my photos of the Republican National Convention from St. Paul, MN,…except for the Ron Paul Rally, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and, of course, me inside the Pepsi Center. Woo hoo!
I’m sitting here right now listening to Ron Paul, the former Libertarian candidate for President, say that the War on Drugs has been ‘a complete and total failure. The war has led us to a condition where the states pass laws that say, if you get sick (AIDS, cancer), the federal government actually arrests sick people in the name of compassionate conservatism. But some say, ‘Well, it’s dangerous.’ ..I said, “Yes, some of the strongest drug lawyers in Washington, D.C. rant and rave about a sick person using marijuana, but they have no inhibitions about indulging in a drug called alcohol. The drug war has caused us to do so many foolish things. It violates the concept of state’s rights….The first law against the use of marijuana was in 1937. It’s a recent onset. During the war, it was important that hemp be used in the war effort to make food products and clothes. But we are obsessed and confused. If you go out and plant hemp plants, you’re going to go to jail. What’s going on? In order to get high on a hemp cigarette, the cigarette has to be as tall as a telephone pole. This is a very serious issue. The last thing I want to leave anyone with is the thought that drugs are safe; I think that drugs are very, very dangerous and we should be very cautious about them. But, as a physician, I also recognize the great danger of prescription drugs. (Applause). What about the government mandating these programs for all our school kids.
I lost my skepticism; I hope you lost your apathy.
“It’s not the 1950’s any more.”
They put road blocks in front of nuclear energy and then they put federal subsidies behind making ethanol out of corn, which doesn’t make any economic sense. The Brazilians can actually sell us ethanol made from sugar cane cheaper than we can make it from corn in this country. But we put a tariff on it. But there is a better source than ethanol, and it happens to be hemp. The founders were great. They knew the importance of freedom of choice. Government are incapable of making good economic decisions; they are only capable of making mistakes. This entire idea that the government can tell us what we can eat and drink and smoke leads to some other silly things. Can you believe that the federal government has regulations on the delivery of raw milk. They can’t give you enough freedom to make up your mind whether you drink whole milk.
I’ve heard so many times over the year, ‘I’m opposed to this welfare system; I’m opposed to this system,” unless you need it. And then what happens, if it’s something that comes for free, so often the good moral high ground that the other side has doesn’t really help the other side. What it generally helps is the people who are in control. Just witness what happens when the government gets in charge of housing programs. What they do is, they end up doing the same thing over and over again. What we need to do is break up the cycle. If we don’t, it will bankrupt the country and destroy our liberties. There is one issue that frequently I barely mention: the bum rap we get who believe in freedom that we don’t care about the environment. That is just not true. The environment has been damaged, very often, by bad federal regulations. The dependency on the government to build our dams and our levees and they build them in the wrong places and we have these consequences. (Promotes strict adherence to property rights.) We don’t have the right to pollute our neighbor’s air, water or living space. Just like in welfare, the corporations benefit. Somebody abuses the system. That is why government should be very minimal. It means you have a right to your own life but you don’t have the right to do any harm to your neighbor’s rights or property. That is the one limitation that we have. One thing that I believe is coming as a consequence of the campaign, (and now we’ve had a grand campaign and we’re climaxing that campaign right now) and there’s every reason in the world for us to be energized. (Stomping of feet).
All I can say is that a year and a half ago, I had no idea what it would lead to. I firmly believe, now, that our day is coming. The conditions are such that there is room now for the defense of liberty. It’s not working monetarily. They will not welcome us with open arms. I found that out. But there is a vacuum out there. The vacuum is not in one political party. It is pervasive. Ideas spread. You can’t stop them. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government. (People waving “Rally the Republic” signs and standing and cheering; CNN coverage).
They like to describe us as being on the fringe and a little bit kooky, now and then. We talk about privacy, a sound national defense, liberty, …and they want to say that these are bizarre ideas. They harp about the need for us being around the world. The candidates out there right now don’t have many differences in their foreign policy. They want troops around the world. (Boos). Both candidates now think that we should send more troops to Georgia to protect their oil ines..and that’s not the state of Georgia, either. The public school kids probably don’t even know where the country of Georgia is, and somebody said, “They probably don’t even know where the STATE of Georgia is!”
It’s amazing that the drums of war can be beaten so that we want to go to war with Iran. They have no weapons, no tanks, no nuclear missiles. And we’re supposed to be intimidated and scared. The Iranians…they don’t even refine their own gasoline…and we’re supposed to be frightened and intimidated by them? We’ve got to get the truth out; that is what we need.
A wonderful thing about restoring the Republic and restoring our interest in liberty is that that is the key to restoring individual liberty. Energy and creativity comes from the individual. We all are individuals, but we have to have the motivation. The strongest motivation in the world is to take care of ourselves. We should be embarrassed at asking somebody else to take care of us!
The wonderful part about a free society is that you eliminate entirely victims. I have a bumper sticker on my desk that says, “Don’t steal. The government hates the competition.” It’s rather popular. Some people worry that our neighbors aren’t great enough…that we don’t have 51% of the population behind us, but ideas only need to be run by 5% of the population. But today I heard a statistic that shows our numbers are much greater than that, even in the face of the Republican party. Just think how much greater they are in the whole country.
We will bring about change. We will attract the young people. What we have when we have a free society, we reject the idea of people being leeches and looters and plunderers. We need self-reliance, self-respect…I have been asked, these last several days, what I am doing this for, what the purpose of all this is. In many ways, it is true that it is to send a message. Being disruptivce doesn’t really achieve anything and puts us in a bad light. This is much greater than the Republican party. So, I encourage people if they want to campaign within the Republican party, do so, but in a true revolution, a true revolution will be then reflected in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Independent Party, and everyone in the country will be affected.
When the subject comes up not too infrequently, “When do we get so dissatisfied with our current operation that we try to bring about change?” Some are so frustrated with the slowness of what we do and want to change things in a much more aggressive manner. But there is a time and place for peaceful, civil disobedience. The changes brought about by Gandhi and Martin Luther King were peaceful. We do know that our members have already been affected, because they may be correct, but they end up behind bars.
Let’s say this foreign policy gets out of hand, which I worry about all the time because both parties are becmoing more militaristic. Those who want to reinstitute the Empire will want to reinstitute the draft. We should never ever have a draft. If there is a draft, those will be very, very hard decisions. I have already resorted to saying I will be rallying the troops and running for office. That is the way I will be working.
Amy Allen sang the song “the Universal Soldier” for me because I asked her to do that. It talks really about the essence of decision-making. It talks about should you strike and not participate any longer. It’s the universal soldier that allows the power-mongers around Washington to exist. It’s always done by getting the young people and making them feel that,if they don’t participate, they’re unpatriotic. I think of the story of the early days of WWI, on Xmas Eve, when the Germans and the British took a break and began singing Christmas Carols. And then, on the morrow, the leaders came back and said, “You will go back to killing one another.”
As a young man, as a doctor, I was drafted. There were times that people were starting to resist, but I marched off and I was the Universal soldier. What we need today is the Universal Champion of Liberty. (Cheers; waving of placards). Just as we need a President who offers to do less and not to run your life and run the economy and police the world, we need freedom, which is really the answer. And, fortunately for us, freedom is still very popular. (Chants of “Free-dom! Free-dom!”) Traditionally, over the history of mankind, governments have appealed to idealism, whether it’s to patriotism in drafting us or in sonething else. They’re always appealing to the idealism and the idealists go along with it. They get people pulled in because they are idealists and they want to do the right thing. Why can’t we appeal to the people of the country to do the RIGHT thing?
Let me close by giving you a strong word of encouragement. I sincerely believe our day is coming. What is happening these last 18 months has been phenomenal. Can you imagine going from those 12 spammers we had at the beginning to what we have here tonight? (People standing and cheering.) So, in 18 months, let’s say we had a 1,000% in our number of energetic freedom fighters. What about the country? We’re not talking about 10,000, or the million.2 that voted in the election, we’re talking about millions of people in the country and around the world that have heard our message, and it seems like, even if they tried, they can’t stop us.