By Ron Paul
Editor's Note: Watch Dr. Paul deliver this speech here.
Donald Trump has captured the attention of the Republican Party and many others. The media are his best allies. The masses are flocking to Trump with the expectation that he can take charge and solve all their problems. His decisiveness is infectious and leads many to believe he will challenge the status quo that the current leaders have delivered to us. No one is satisfied and everyone seems to be enamored with the promise that the currently entrenched establishment will be routed and the guilty will be punished by a Trump presidency.
A significant majority of Americans have become skeptical of the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats. They recognize that our government can’t be trusted or depended upon to solve the problems it helped create. Confidence in our government is at an all-time low. That is the good news.
Unfortunately this consensus has led to some bad choices. Government officials and the money managers declare that we must continue to pursue more of the same policies with the hope of achieving different results. So far there’s no sign that that is working.
The people, even with justified concerns and skepticism of government, are attracted to the notion that government should provide more security, both economic and physical, and that sacrificing liberty in the process is required. Unfortunately too many Americans see this as a necessary trade-off. They are wrong! Deliberately sacrificing liberty should never be an option.
The political demagogues readily resort to promoting fear for the purpose of motivating people to sacrifice their liberties. Where fear is the tool of political expediency, it is only truth that is the enemy of the false prophets and fear-mongers.
Terrorism is real and dangerous, but the degree of fear generated by relatively small episodes is unbelievably great and exaggerated by the media, the politicians, the financial interests, and the profiteers.
The people cry out to be made safe and well-fed and are looking for a strong leader to provide for them. There are few requests for liberty.
Donald Trump provides an alternative to those seeking more efficiency in government, who want someone to take on the “establishment” that has brought havoc to our political and economic system. The big question is: Is Donald Trump actually anti-establishment or is he more likely to save the current system than to challenge it?
If our current crisis, that concerns so many, is a consequence of a deeply flawed centrally-planned economic system, manipulated by the Federal Reserve; a foreign-policy of occupation and preemptive war; and a systematic attack on our civil liberties here at home, how will Trump be helpful in finding a solution?
Is Donald Trump arguing for any significant change in policy or is he advocating only a different management style? What policy does he actually propose that the current bipartisan leadership doesn’t support? Even his outlandish statements attacking the liberties of Muslims as a group drew sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. But in the past they have explicitly supported similar policies of FDR, Jimmy Carter, JFK, and others. So essentially they defend Trump’s views while pretending them to be outrageous.
Essentially all of Trump’s positions have been endorsed by a majority of the Republican and Democratic leadership, and the frightened masses are flocking to this decisive leader believing he will protect and take care of them.
Trump’s agreement with the current establishment is never mentioned and he is never heard attacking the following policies:
The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy; welfare for rich and poor; the federal government’s involvement in education; foreign interventionism; concern about blowback and motives for terrorist attacks against us; deficits and debt; foreign aid; monopoly control of the political process by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats; controls on internet privacy; loss of state sovereignty; international government agencies; executive orders; and legislation by the executive branch.
Trump’s notoriety comes from his aggressive nature and his personal attacks on individuals as well as groups, along with his bold proposals to violate civil liberties. He never advocates an ideological position, but portrays himself as a strong, efficient boss for the people. He forcefully promotes an authoritarian type of government.
Trump is a bully – not a physical bully, a verbal bully – and that is combined with the overblown fears generated by the possibility of violent attacks against us. In reality, Trump, in spite of his bombast, is a fraud. He is the Wizard of Oz – actually the Wizard of Ooze – and his uncontrolled vitriol never stops flowing. Many enjoy this as an alternative to the misfits currently running our government. Others are intimidated and cannot defend themselves against his attacks.
The politically-correct crowd has met its match and even the media have been unable to silence the Donald. It’s great entertainment: a moneymaker for the media and Trump is in his glory. But the fact that the Trump campaign doesn’t challenge the philosophic backbone of the current system means nothing much will change. His success by pandering to the victims of current policies poses a threat by enhancing the power and influence of big government.
All the current philosophic errors from which we are suffering will continue even with a Trump victory. Only an ideological confrontation with the ideas that drive our political system can offer a solution to the problems we face.
To stop Trump now from becoming the manager of the “establishment” and the manipulator of the status quo, the curtain hiding the Wizard must be pulled back and his bluff be called. He’s the same old, same old, with a megaphone supported by a frightened electorate. I suspect someone someday will expose his bluster for what it is. It’s disturbing that so many cling to his diatribes and personal insults. But what I’m much more concerned about is what he doesn’t say.
Bullies are vulnerable. They are insecure and compensate with noise or violence. Trump compensates with noise. And many have succumbed to the artificial fear generated by our leaders and rally to the Wizard and his tough talk, though he is a shill for the philosophy of the establishment that he mocks.
Whether Trump has a political victory or not, he will have done a lot to institutionalize the current beliefs that drive our economy and political system. His demagoguery is becoming mainstream and politically acceptable by many who already accept the outrageous anti-liberty beliefs he espouses. Only ideas can derail Trump. Demagogic attacks won’t help. They will increase his “stature” with his supporters and serve to add more. His philosophy of government is the philosophy that has driven us to the economic calamity we face, along with a foreign policy that generates hatred and terrorism against us.
When it comes to competing with the philosophy of the current status quo Trump is an empty suit. The people are desperate to bring about real change, and they cling to the hope that Trumpism is the answer to our dilemma. His simplified speech is this: “I’m Donald Trump. I’ll take care of you. I am the boss. I’ll tell you what to do. Trust me.” There’s never a mention of Liberty.
For a true revolution to occur to challenge the current system we need a leader to offer liberty as a solution, not someone sacrificing it for safety and security, and a people ready to accept the responsibility of living in a free society.