Ron Paul: The Most Dangerous Man in America
By Bernie Quigley
- for The Hill on 2/27/09
. . . first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men. - New England’s Celestial Bard, 1838
The newspapers are in a hissy fit of indignation in the lower quarters of New Hampshire – North Massachusetts, we call it - because the folkloric north country types; men with beards; men who live in the forest, have proposed a version of Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions.
I and a few other renegades proposed Kentucky Resolutions five years ago to make the claim that the Bush administration and the federal government did not have the Constitutional right to send New Hampshire men and women to war in Iraq without the express consent of our governor. We had only two interested parties back then, George Kennan, on his deathbed, and John Kenneth Galbraith. Kennan actually applauded our initiative. Galbraith, late in his 90s but still at his desk at Harvard, called our wish to send our own representative to the United Nations “ . . . wonderfully to the good.”
Beyond that, there was zero interest. But two weeks back when my well-versed, original-thinking and inspiring representative, Paul Ingbretson, and another, Dan Itse, and several others proposed Kentucky Resolutions to the New Hampshire state legislature, other state governments started to take notice. Oklahoma actually passed a resolution in their House. And suddenly, only two weeks later, 31 states have initiated state sovereignty clauses in their legislatures.
This is all because of one man; the most dangerous man in America today: Ron Paul. In hindsight, his arrival is worth review because it helps explain the Kentucky Resolutions and it helps explain Jefferson.
At the beginning, our continent took two paths and was led by two visions; the one, the expansive, globalist vision of Alexander Hamilton of the Empire State, who saw a strong and singular central (world) government enabling a world of capital and corporations. The second was a vision of unique states and regions and peoples, loosely connecting the one to the other, growing over time, rich in character and each with its own identity and personality. These would be peoples whole in their own communities; people close to the earth and close to their experience of God. This was the vision of Thomas Jefferson, the Virginian. The Jeffersonian vision was sent into exile in 1865. Ron Paul has brought it back.
Hamilton’s vision was at war with Jefferson’s from the start. And as power accumulated in the Empire State through the rise of corporations and the industrialization of the northern cities, the Hamilton vision dominated.
From as early as 1830, when the industrial revolution came to New England and New York, Jefferson had no role whatsoever. The industrialists had the power and Jefferson and the Virginians were considered tribal and regressive. Today, for the first time in more than 150 years, Jefferson’s vision has awakened again in the world with the rise of Ron Paul.
Ron Paul awakens here to us in northern New England because we are one of the last vestiges of Jeffersonian independence in the northern parts, although all of our early great poets were Jeffersonian, including the Celestial Bard cited above. We lost our identity when Wall St. became the world vortex of capital, but as we are increasingly seeing, it is no longer.
And for whatever reason, New England does indeed seem to be rising again and coming out to NY’s shadow. It was horrible here growing up in a city of 150 empty cotton mills. I volunteered for Vietnam just to get away from it. It was so bad that in the restaurant I worked at as a college student some of the waiters also played for the Patriots. And the federalies had sent a major highway right through the heart of the city of Boston as they had through so many other major cities in the country, cutting them in half to show who was boss.
But today New England – Jeffersonian New England - is looking pretty good and so is Boston. They buried the highway. Our quarterback is almost beyond imagination. And the Red Sox have broken the Curse, and possibly broken the Yankees: Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.
Hamilton is losing ground and so is his vision of world economic conquest.
It was inevitable that the Jeffersonian paradigm would awaken after the South, Texas and the Southwest were brought into the mainstream Republican fold, as all Southern life is based on Jefferson.
As Frank Owsley, one of the great historians of the 20th century put it:
“In the beginning of Washington’s administration two men defined the fundamental principles of the political philosophy of the two societies (North and South), Alexander Hamilton for the North and Jefferson for the South. The one was extreme centralization, the other was extreme decentralization; the one was nationalistic and the other provincial; the first was called Federalism, the other State Rights, but in truth the first should be been called Unitarianism and the second Federalism.” (“The Irrepressible Conflict” by Frank Owsley, 1930)
Today, Jefferson’s vision comes out of shadow and onto Main Street with Ron Paul.
At the end of the recent campaign season, Paul was asked if he would endorse another Republican who supported the invasion of Iraq. He said: “I cannot in good conscience vote for them.”
This is the way the world begins again; with one man willing to go alone, refusing the good models, even those which are sacred to the imagination of men, as Ralph Waldo Emerson advised us to do here in New England back in 1838.