We are: out of work musicians and multimillionaire software entrepeneurs… new age healers and christian chemical engineers… blind discordian perl programmers and bikini babes posing for libertarian calendars… veterans against war… halfbreed martial arts instructors… latino acupuncturists… hardcore tax protestors… anarcho-capitalist grocery clerks… austrian economists… disillusioned progressives… DJs doing freedom raves… young republicans… old hippies… cowboys… day traders… kooks… spooks(?)…
The “movement” is a collection of players so odd in their juxtaposition that it’s no wonder that stakeholding elites can only paint us as “weird”. What is one to make of a community populated by health freedom activists and Christian homeschoolers and anti-drug-war people and small-business Republicans and 9/11 truthers? It seems to the uninitiated like a random collection of oddities, hence the constant framing of us as “nuts”. It’s not just that Life Is High School and the children in charge need to marginalize outsiders to maintain the status quo. They don’t understand, and what one doesn’t understand, one fears.
And they should fear us. This is a deep Lesson of the Paul Campaign – that the revolution is perhaps more real than any of us give it credit for. It’s a lesson clearly lost not only on mainstream politicos but even to some degree on Ron Paul, his top staff, and the old clique that is about to see this thing leave them in the dust – the lesson is too earthshattering. Because despite all attempts to pigeonhole the “movement”, it defies description in terms of the Old Forms.
Left and Right are done. Democrats rally to McCain and Republicans to Obama. Libertarians court neocons like Barr and Root to run their party. Progressives and Socialists plug along, the best of them trying to keep up the “people’s struggle”, begging crumbs from their old “counterculture” brethren (meet the new boss…) who sold out so long ago. Hopelessly lost, the old-school “players” grasp at any straw they believe might get them a “seat at the table”.
It’s not that history is irrelevant; the nightmare from which we can never awake haunts us with incessant echoes from the deep dark well of the past. Indeed, the repercussions of that past are precisely what ours and succeeding generations will have to cope with. But there is a new politics forming in response to the empty offerings of the “normal”, and one is reminded of Nietszche, that is, none of these old fools even know yet that their Gods are all dead. Their bankrupt ideologies are only waiting for a push from Reality and the push is coming. Nobody is sure when. But its approach is inexorable, relentless, inevitable, unstoppable.
We are coming to a reckoning as a nation and that reckoning is going to be about the Small and the Big, the Local and the Federal, the Revolution and the Old Guard. It’ll be top versus bottom, not left versus right, which are after all mere figments of the imagination of an elite so corrupt it has even lost the ability to see through its own sophistry.
The establishment’s champions are themselves its biggest victims, drunk with power and stumbling blind in a faith-based universe built of lies wearing increasingly thin, incapable of seeing the coming storm. What they don’t know will hurt them. In their hubris they despise the rabble they must court in order to maintain their parasitic position on the host of the body politic. But that rabble, the Kinky-Carolists, the Perot Center, the Silent Majority, is getting wise despite all the dumbing down. And the team that speaks to the heart of that core populist center will go on to shape the next chapter of the American Story.
The Ron Paul campaign was a rite of passage. It revealed to the knowing initiate that the battle can be won, if only the warriors will follow the straight and narrow path to victory, veering neither to the right nor the left, balancing always on Truth’s razor edge. The campaign was a song sung from freedom’s radiant heart, not just an essay spoken from her limitless mind. The campaign was a journey, and all roads led back, and lead back, as they always will in this nation, not to the stilted polemicism of Ayn Rand, but to Twain and Poe and Melville. To an eyebrow raised in loving mockery; to a secret terror relentlessly driving us forward, or back; and, we pray, to redemption in the face of tragedy, that we might salvage a Republic from the tidal wave of History.
Because the truth is, the realistic truth is, that the reckoning this country faces will be no small catastrophe. And when the ship that is the America We Knew sinks once and for all, for better and worse, we will need to avoid the whirlpool, to cling to truth, to hope and love, to family, friends and neighbors – to community, not an abstract “society” – and live on to fulfill the promise of our forefathers.
Call us Ishmael.