Lessons of the Ron Paul campaign – Epilogue: I’m not Ron Paul, You are

My mother’s father was a bit of a legend wherever he roamed, and roam he did. A poet, musician, raconteur, father of nine (!), likely to pop off a soliloquy from King Lear at the drop of a hat, he was the sort of fella that was too big for the room, and it didn’t make any difference how big the room was. There’s a story of him in church, a swampwater Baptist ministry deep in the bible belt and well back in the good old days. The faithful were going on and on about “Jaysus!”, when it finally came round to him. “Why, I’m as good a man as Jesus ever was”.

Oh my! This was a man who could quote chapter and verse from the King James as well as most of the Bard’s best work. But that was the last time he attended services.

Sorry if that offends, but here’s another story. Bob Dylan had a fan / detractor who was obsessed with Dylan and all Dylan did and all Dylan stood for. This person went to the extreme of dumpster-diving Dylan’s garbage to see if he could divine deeper meanings from the leftovers of Dylan’s chicken dinner. The police had to hassle with this gent over and over; frustrated, they asked Dylan if he could “talk to the guy”.

So Dylan walks up to him, looks him straight in the eye, and says: “I’m not Bob Dylan. You are!”

Finally there is this. One beautiful day I was driving out to canvass, and I was struck so hard by the following epiphany that I had to pull over. The fact is that I came to a time in my life where I took stock of who I was. I’d been beat and broke in many ways and I needed to rebuild. I made a personal commitment to take responsibility for my life, to be the best son and lover and friend and neighbor and citizen that I could be (I’ve no children). I affirmed that it didn’t matter what others did, that I was the alpha and omega of me. And it seems that here in America in the early 21st century many folks have made that same commitment. We stepped out of the woodwork all of a sudden, looked around, and lo and behold we were not alone.

I looked in a mirror and claimed ownership of my life. You looked in a mirror and did the same. I’ve read the US Constitution many times. But never before did I truly understand the meaning of the words, “We the People”.

Peace and Freedom, baby.

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6 Responses to Lessons of the Ron Paul campaign – Epilogue: I’m not Ron Paul, You are

  1. greg havlin says:

    Nicely written, you should consider developing prose a litle more seriously
    greg

  2. Barry Tipton says:

    Chuck…………exactly.

  3. Andrew Panken says:

    Interesting, but I think you’re a rather off base on the LP. Barr was chosen because all the other candidates are total unknowns without real political skills, such as the ability to speak coherently to the media. The LP ran Ron Paul back in 1988, when he was a total unknown and got less than 1%. The LP would have been overjoyed to run Ron Paul this year, except he declined. Ron Paul has semi-endorsed Barr and Baldwin. Barr jumped ship from the GOP to join the LP, receiving no financial benefit, in the process. He dumped his GOP elder statesman career path, to help a small unknown third party.

    Barr

  4. I had a similar epiphany myself, although not identical. Just after the NH primary results were announced, I was “in a dark place”, sullen and grouchy that the folks in NH were so stupid as to not recognize The One when he’s right there among them. I didn’t enjoy that “place” but what was there to do about it? What happened was that after some time (a day or a few?) a thought struck me:

    You can only control yourself.

    The problem I’d gotten into was that I’d taken it upon myself — along with the rest of the RPR — to *make* others vote for RP. Well, I can’t do that; I can’t make anyone do anything, actually. I can only control myself.

    Once that dawned on me, the heaviness lifted. I wasn’t euphoric, as I had been, say, on the evening of Dec. 16th, but I was relieved of the “felt need” to be surly about *other* *people*’s actions. I was again free to just be the best me I could.

    Now, to go and do that… 😉

  5. Oil-Alex says:

    I’m totally in love with those moments of clarity/revelation; I cherish every one I’ve ever had, but I probably don’t remember them all…oh well!

    Very beautiful, yes…

    I suppose more than a few people reading this have emerged from hibernating/metamorphosing and are ready to do what we’ve all been waiting a very long time (longer than most of us have been alive) to do…

    And one more thing…You’re not Chuck Young, I AM!!!

  6. Pru says:

    Love this! I was thinking about this when I voted in the Republican primary, and I’ll take it with me to the state convention. 🙂

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