In 2007 Barack Obama promised us Hope and Change. Change hardly came and hope is long gone. Even his most ardent supporters are pretty miffed. Glenn Beck — clearly not an Obama supporter or even admirer — predicted that John McCain would lose because he was not running for something. Obama won because he promised a vision of America that captured the hearts of many Americans (and the leg of one newscaster).
Ron Paul is clearly the only candidate not running against Barack Obama or against the other GOP candidates. He is running to promote liberty and a restoring of the Republic to the Constitution. He does criticize Obama, but more importantly he describes our social problems as stemming from something greater and more problematic.
Yet one thing doesn’t seem to be clear to Ron Paul supporters: Ron Paul is not the hope of America, or even the world. Bleeding Heart Libertarian Matt Zwolinski cautions Paul’s supporters into being overly excited about a Paul Presidency, and has taken considerable heat from it. In short, he said that the time supporting Ron Paul could be better spent. Maybe, but that’s too sharp a dichotomy for me. Elections are for a season. Supporting institutions like the Institute for Humane Studies can continue beyond the 2012 election cycle. Call me crazy, but I’m 100% sure Ron Paul won’t run for president again. So let’s seize the day. And if we have enough time and money, we can do both.
But Zwolinski hints at a deeper point that he doesn’t quite explicitly say: Ron Paul is not the ultimate solution to our social problems. To be fair, I truly, honestly, deeply believe that no Ron Paul supporter believes a Paul Presidency will usher in the New Millennium (or something like it). I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Paul (if you don’t believe me, check out my Facebook). Yet as a Christian I am reminded that the hope of the world doesn’t rest in worldly institutions, as much as they need dramatic reform. The hope of the world doesn’t rest in the administrations of men. It doesn’t come through mere human efforts.
A Ron Paul White House would yield tremendous positive results for society and the world. Fewer nations would be threatened by our military. Diplomats around the world might begin to trust our nation. Children will have their fathers return from foreign lands. Fewer troops will suffer from psychological disorders. The importance of sound money will become center stage in the national conversation. Those changes are truly needed. Let’s not underestimate or devalue those outcomes.
But the hope of the world doesn’t come through the actions of one administration. It comes from the members of society who are committed to change, starting from the inside out. Those individuals will shape the world around them. God’s will done “on earth as it is in heaven” will happen when the love of Jesus is demonstrated throughout society. When followers of Jesus funnel their gifts, talents, resources, abilities, and passions for the good of the world, they become God’s image to mankind so real hope is present.* And even though we are ardent supporters of Ron Paul, this thoroughly hope-filled belief is the true position of LibertarianChristians.com.
Perhaps former presidential candidate Barack Obama said it best: “We are the change we’ve been waiting for!”
* It’s far too easy to ignore the virtue of suffering, something Western Christians avoid at all costs. When we suffer along with our fellow human beings, we bring ourselves closer to each other and to God in a way unlike any other. True “social justice” (whatever that phrase implies) requires it, otherwise change is anything but real. But that’s for a future article…