Here's the 3rd installment of the Ron Paul Page-A-Day, in which I supply a section of Ron Paul's "The Revolution: A Manifesto" for your enlightenment and commentary. I hope to continue this until I've posted the entire book, or until Congressman Paul's publishers say "cease and desist". In the previous installment, The Good Doctor lamented the Republican anti-intellectualism and Democratic naivete and inconsistency. In this installment, he indulges in a wee bit of back-patting before explaining why his short-lived campaign exceeded initial expectations:
"In late 2006, a number of friends and colleagues urged me to consider running for president. I was a reluctant candidate, not at all convinced that a sizable enough national constituency existed for a campaign based on liberty and the Constitution rather than on special-interest pandering and the distribution of loot.
Was I ever wrong.
On November 5, 2007, we set a record when we raised over $4 million online in a single day. That December 16, on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we broke that record by raising over $6 million. In the fourth quarter of 2007, we raised more than twice as much money as any other Republican candidate. Not only is the freedom message popular, but if fund-raising ability any indication, it is more intensely popular than any other political message.
By the end of 2007, more than twice as many Meetup groups had been formed in support of our campaign than for all the rest of the candidates in both major parties combined. I have never seen such a diverse coalition rallying to a single banner. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, constitutionalists, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, antiwar activists, homeschoolers, religious conservatives, freethinkers - all were not only involved, but enthusiastically so. And despite their philosophical differences in some areas, these folks typically found, to their surprise, that they rather liked each other.
The mainstream media had no idea what to make of it, since we were breaking all the rules and yet still attracting such a varied and passionate following. I began making this a central point of my public speeches: the reason all these different groups are rallying to the same banner, I said, is that freedom has a unique power to unite us.
In case that sounds like a cliche, it isn't. It's common sense. When we agree not to treat each other merely as means to our own selfish ends, but to respect one another as individuals with rights and goals of our own, cooperation and goodwill suddenly become possible for the first time.
My message is one of freedom and individual rights. I believe individuals have a right to life and liberty and that physical aggression should be used only defensively. We should respect each other as rational beings by trying to achieve our goals through reason and persuasion rather than threats and coercion. That, and not a desire for "economic efficiency" is the primary moral reason for opposing government intrusion into our lives: government is force, not reason.