By Rudy Alarcon
Growing up I always identified myself as a conservative Republican. I would always think that my arguments were spot on and that I could never be proven wrong. Taking on liberals and beating them down with the talking points I received from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh was my hobby and I loved it.
Then came the 2008 elections. I was a senior in high school, not old enough to vote but very pro McCain and would defend him and the Republican Party to the death. Next thing you know, McCain lost and all of a sudden I became lost, intellectually lost. How could my candidate and party lose so badly to someone so incompetent in so many ways? Was there something I was missing? Was I being fooled by my own behaviors?
It would take me some time and my first year in college to gain my bearings and finally take action to truly explain what it was that I was feeling. By this time I had changed all of my usual habits. I no longer had cable and stopped listening to talk radio. There was no better feeling than being disconnected from all the discord on the airwaves. But my mind needed answers. I needed to know why I, the loyal conservative Republican, could not even look to my own party and feel at home anymore.
After seeing my father come home from Iraq and battle with PTSD I could not support the wars. I was seeing bailouts, soaring national debts and deficits, and the economy going down the tubes. I would stay up late on my laptop researching why, why all these horrible things were happening and all I could see was senseless finger pointing from both sides of the political spectrum. Finding reputable sources was a challenge but when I would finish my personal research I would always come to the conclusion that both sides were equally to blame. Then it hit me. For so long I had been blind, for so long I was being deceived, and I realized that for so long I was my worst enemy.
It was a great day when I had Google searched Ron Paul. Once a man I called kooky, crazy, and stupid, he helped guide me to the core concept of liberty and escape the left-right paradigm. I began to read books on law and economics, studied philosophy and the founding documents of our nation more closely. I formed my own opinions and learned that those who disagree with me are not enemies to be taken down, but individuals who can broaden my horizons.
After campaigning for Ron Paul I got a taste of what a true revolution was about. Not the fake “hope and change” that the Republicans and Democrats pretend to give us every election cycle. But a true intellectual revolution that grows deep within the hearts and minds of individuals and advances far beyond any one figurehead or election.
This is why I have signed onto establishments like Young Americans for Liberty, (YAL), a great outreach organization that aims to educate and train new activists on the principles of liberty. I’ve even started to get involved in a new group here in El Paso, Texas called the Freedom/Libertad Organization (FLO), a very promising liberty based organization with plans to become a new driving political force in the city. These principled groups are the future of the liberty movement and are increasingly getting larger and more popular with the people each and every day.
It is my firm belief that this nation is destined for even greater things to come. The lines that separate us between left and right are too petty to warrant the way we allow ourselves and our leaders to squander their responsibilities. Our differences are quite small but the challenges and the stakes are anything but. We can either continue to carry on the manufactured zeitgeist of division, hate, and war. Or stand on principle for once, whatever it may be and find peace, love and prosperity.