Ron Paul & Martin Luther King inspire for the same reasons, similarly appealing to our ideals
There are so many differences between Ron Paul and Martin Luther King that I never thought to compare them. Ron Paul is against minimum wage. Martin Luther King was assassinated while helping out in a garbage strike. I was lead to believe that Ron Paul was against unions, but actually is against the government getting involved in union management squabbles, voting to allow air controllers to strike. I kind of thought King stood up for oppressed Palestinians but his comments were back before Palestine was established, when Nasser was vowing to destroy Israel,
However, most people know that Martin Luther King thought America’s ideals were wonderful, and dreamed of us living up to them some day. Many know excerpts of King’s “I have a dream” speech. Concerning Ron Paul, most know he thought the US founders had fantastic ideas when it came to limiting government and earlier Americans lived a good life, and with Ron Paul’s inspiration we might do so again.
Parents and educators are warned to never tell a child, “You are a bad child” instead you are supposed to tell them that they are a good kid who happened to do a bad thing or things. King likewise told the US that we were wonderful people with wonderful ideas that happened to do a few bad things, which he was determined to correct. Perhaps we all act like children more than we realize. Ron Paul, while reminding us what we once were, had been amazingly effective in getting young people involved in the otherwise aging protest movements.
Some progressive activists get upset that King’s memories seem to levitate toward the clouds every January 15. This year with President Obama getting intertwined with King’s memories as a general philosophy of hope, angered some radical blog commentators who are reminding people of King’s faults and Obama’s too. Obama is doing more backing down then I would like. Compromise and finding the middle ground is not exactly King’s spirit. The concept itself to me seems sound. But somehow all the protest concerning Israel seemed to stop on January 20. And only silence on the boycott of Cuba, both causes relating to Ron Paul’s efforts, causes one might expect to more likely succeed under a new President and Congress. Nor any efforts to close the school of America or help to organize poor people. Remember the huge effort to get Native-American activist Leonard Peltier a pardon that stopped during Bush as a hopeless cause. Today only a few are clamoring to get a sick old man out of prison,
After King and Ron Paul inspired people they worked and volunteered long hours, but with Obama so far a lot of cheering. I remember under Kennedy being inspired to try to join the Peace Corps and many others did likewise. Something is missing from Obama, but let’s figure out what it is, rather than radical bloggers condemning him as a bunch of hot air. I believe the spirit of King and Ron Paul can inspire in the future. There may be some way to combine the two dreams in a powerful way. Think of all the energy both King and Ron Paul managed to inspire. If Paul didn’t get young people involved, the peace in Iraq movement would have been overwhelmingly elderly; if King didn’t get people involved I wonder what the country would have looked like. What Obama is doing doesn’t need to be belittled as hype but needs to be improved upon.
Criticism has to be dished out in measured doses, mixed with praise if it is going to have a positive result. Obama like everyone else has to be doing some things right as well as some things wrong. Blanket criticism can do no good. But I am worried about too much praise of him and too many people expecting him to do what they want instead of lobbying to have it done themselves could be bad news as well.
Since January 20 should have been a time to start working for an improved more even-handed policy toward Israel and Palestine, rather than the date to quit protesting, I wrote the following link trying to combine the Ron Paul, Dr. King spirit, and to both appeal to Jewish humanitarian traditions and criticize what Israel had been doing in the same breath. It fits in well with Ron Paul’s recent intense efforts to end the Palestine-Israeli War,
As for how it relates to King, I once thought Kings’s efforts today would be similar to Carter’s, but searching the internet King history links makes me think he would have done something different and unique in trying to stop the fighting over there.
I hope others join me in trying to find more exact details on how Ron Paul and Martin Luther King inspired so many, and how this could be repeated in the year 2009.
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