In case you haven’t heard, today Politico announced that several members of the 2012 Ron Paul Presidential Campaign have been indicted for allegedly bribing an Iowa state senator prior to the 2012 Iowa Caucus. As I wrote in early 2014, there were some of us who heard or personally witnessed some shady dealings during Ron Paul’s most recent presidential run.
Now Jesse Benton, John Tate, and Dimetri Kesari are all facing charges for their supposed role. And personally I believe this revelation is a net positive for the liberty movement. Yes, the timing is poor, coming right before the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 season and it will likely cause a considerable headache for the Rand Paul campaign. But, I think it is important to root this corruption out of our cause before it becomes even worse.
During my nineteen or so years in the Republican Party, from time to time I would hear about shady, immoral, and possibly illegal dealings. And, when these revelations came to light, what do you think would happen? Would the politician or staffer stand up for what is right? Rarely. Unfortunately, the typical mentality was to condemn the other side for their transgressions but turn a blind eye when it involved “one of our own”. What gross hypocrisy!
When thinking of it objectively, either something is wrong or it is right. How can an act be wrong when one guy does it and ignored when another acts in the same fashion? Is bribery wrong? Yes! Is theft wrong? Yes!! Is election fraud wrong? Yes!!! Is sexually assault wrong? Yes!!!! Wouldn’t any rational person agree? And yet I’ve either witnessed or heard about all of these things and more. I regret to say that the typical response from the higher ups is simply to ignore or, even worse, use their political power to cover up such transgressions. It is a system of justice for some, but not for all. Regrettably, politics often attracts the worst people in our society. To make matters worse, these people work in tandem to make certain their subordinates, colleagues, and bosses get away with these nefarious deeds as much and as often as possible.
Unfortunately, many of us knew that there were some powerful and corrupt elements in the 2012 Ron Paul campaign. However, without tangible proof, the liberty-minded activists couldn’t do anything other than watch the campaign spiral inward, while the well-connected got their cut of the pot. I’m sure many of us thought, as it is written in the book of Job, “Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?” Job 21:7 (NLT). It was so frustrating!
But, to borrow a quote from Batman Begins, “What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?” As advocates of liberty who hopefully strive for honesty, it is the duty of each of us to report any and all illicit activity. How much does it harm our cause for us to stay silent at a bribe? How terrible is it to hear of a person getting assaulted and stand mute? What would the average person think of us and our principles if we promoted a man whose hand is deep in the till of liberty?
If Benton, Tate, and/or Kesari are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused, we should not rally to their side or excuse their behavior simply because they are supposedly “one of us”. Despite what principles they may profess to have, anyone who abandons basic human morality to achieve their goals was never really on our side. Just remember that the cause for which we fight is greater than any of us. Although I wish this revelation would have been dealt with much earlier, I am glad that it is finally going to be resolved. Perhaps this terrible stain can finally be scrubbed from the liberty movement. We ought to rejoice that justice is being done!