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Gary North has a point about Gandhi and Ron Paul

June 20, 2007

I read an article by Gary North in which North cites similarities he finds between Gandhi and Ron Paul. Both leaders, for instance, consistently advocated non-violence and self-government as opposed to empire. True enough, but the differences in their social philosophies keep me queasy about the comparison. Gandhi inspired Nelson Mandela, and while I wasn’t a fan of apartheid, I’m not a Mandela freak either. I despise the tyranny of the local collective at least as much as foreign rule.

Gandhi was grandstanding in 1915, and the British pulled out of India in 1947. Gary North acknowledges that the Empire was already nearly bankrupt from the world wars, but Britain had no intention of withdrawing and leaving India to home rule. How much the end of British rule of India had to do with Gandhi and how much was simply pragmatic reality, I can’t know. But within 32 years, Gandhi’s message became a reality and India was, for better or worse, under self-rule. Well, I hope that doesn’t mean that Ron Paul’s message will have to wait until 2039 to become a reality. But Ron Paul has been broadcasting the same message at least since the early Reagan years, so maybe it won’t take that long. Perhaps the time is near.

More interesting to me than the comparison between Ron Paul and Gandhi was Gary North’s assessment of the polls. People who actively vote in internet polls vote overwhelmingly for Ron Paul. People who are passively polled in random sampling do not: Ron Paul is virtually unknown to the majority of people who don’t tune in to debates and who wait for Gallup to call.

What we are not seeing here is internet voters spamming for Paul. What we are seeing is a bright-line breakdown between active and passive political participation: people who bother to watch debates and bother to go to websites and vote, versus people who bother to do neither.

Unfortunately, unless something changes very drastically, the passives will likely have it, as they nearly always do. But Goldwater was nominated against all odds, and Reagan was nominated and elected, though his defeat of Mondale can hardly be considered an oddsbuster. George McGovern wrested the Democratic nomination from Hubert Humphrey in 1972 against seemingly impossible odds, but his defeat by Richard Nixon was so resounding that the blip bounced off the screen never to be sighted again. But Nixon did end the Viet Nam war. The message of McGovern, a one-trick pony against the war, was heard.

I’m hopeful about Ron Paul. Some of us very quietly articulate in the privacy of our own dining rooms that he is the only candidate distinct enough from the inevitable Democratic opposition to actually win the election. And if not, we hope for gridlock. The big thing between now and the primaries is to keep up the buzz.

  1. June 20, 2007 11:38 am

    100% agreed. I think he has more of a shot than people realize . . .

    The remnant might be waking up and realizing its power. We can network these days like never before. The net makes a lot of things possible.

  2. Sd Davis permalink
    June 20, 2007 11:47 am

    Maybe as Gandhi eventually led to an independent India, perhaps Ron Paul can successfully remove the thugs who have hijacked the federal government and given us control and plunder instead. And then, maybe not.

    My view is that we are approaching a civil war point which will occur when the economy begins to contract over a long period of time and the pain from fighting back will be less than the pain from enduring slavery. I sort of am reminded of the period of time leading up to the French revolution and the arrogant, unresponsive ruling class partying on while the surfs could no longer tolerate their misery. I doubt that we get past 2020 as the USA we now know. The future should be very interesting.

  3. June 20, 2007 11:49 am

    Uhoh, our quiet articulations are no longer secret. I guess I’ll just have to add some more search-term words for the inter-Buzzzzzz: Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul.

    It really is fascinating to observe the information/perspective divide between the internet-connected political citizens and the TV-based citizens. Most people who rely on old media are only beginning to hear the reasoning that guided our country’s original principles for ordered liberty. To the internetophiles, it’s old news.

    It’s also amazing how formerly disparate groups, such as gun owners and anti-war liberals, are realizing they have common cause and a common enemy. We can pray the pace of awareness will quicken by the speed of the connections.

    God is sovereign and it is getting interesting.

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