PETER'S NEW YORK, Sunday, July 27, 2007--It is interesting that one candidate for the 2008 presidential race, an obstetrician turned politician, who can perhaps be more aptly described as a philosopher, has managed to inspire, not just the attention, but the action, of the younger generation. Ron Paul is the man behind the dream they are pursuing, and it is truly an amazing phenomenon.

Ron paul event
Photo by Junalyn Duveen           
Peter of Peter's New York (right) chats with fellow Ron Paul supporters Saturday on a street corner in Troy, New York. This demonstration was one of many around the country bringing the Ron Paul presidential candidacy to the attention of the American public.

I remember Ron Paul from some twenty years ago, when I interviewed him for an article about, if I remember correctly, changes the U.S. Congress was then considering on the design of Federal Reserve notes.

That was a long time ago, but I have never forgotten Ron Paul, because I too was interested in the gold standard, and America's departure from it. One of Paul's thoughts was that the Congress should repeal the legal tender laws. These laws, enacted during the Civil War to raise funds for the North, and supported by Supreme Court decisions (arguably a stacked court at the time), allow the government to stamp a piece of paper with a certain value, and compel the citizenry to accept that certificate in lieu of the commodity. In other words, the paper is "legal tender." So if the government-issued paper says "20 cows" on it, you must accept the paper in lieu of the value of 20 cows. This is a tremendous power on the part of government, and one that it is unlikely the founders of our nation ever intended to give it. Nowadays, the government currency, the dollar-denominated Federal Reserve note (DDFRN) says $1, which in actuality (and correct me if I am wrong) means 1/42nd of an ounce of gold.  But 1/42 of an ounce of gold is today the market value of 21 dollar-denominated Federal Reserve notes (we call them "dollars" these days, even though they are not. A dollar represents a certain quantity of gold). This is because gold now trades at about 900 DDFRN, making 21 of these notes equal to a dollar. But true to the legal tender laws, we are obliged to accept a piece of paper with an amount emblazoned on it that is 21 times the value it actually trades for. Fortunately, the marketplace bas not yet been compelled to value the DDFRN at its nominal value, and nobody will force you to fork over a dollar in gold for a DDFRN.

Ron paul event 2
Photo by Junalyn Duveen.                                                              
Not yet of voting age, a youthful supporter holds a sign, likely of her own design, at a "sign-waving" demonstration on behalf of Ron Paul's presidential bid on Saturday in Troy, New York.

But I digress! Let's just say that Ron Paul is not a Johnny-come-lately, but has been espousing the same ideas for the past two or three decades.

Paul's stand on the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq--that we should not be in Iraq and that we should not be meddling in the internal affairs of other countries--is another one that captures my attention, because it is so closely aligned with my own thoughts and feelings regarding that horrific atrocity that has been committed by this country in violation of its own laws and treaties. When Paul faced up to another (pseudo) presidential contender, Rudolph Guiliani, and said that America brought the attacks of 9-11 on herself because of her belligerent foreign policy, I also could not but agree, except for the fact that we really don't have a clear idea who perpetrated the 9-11 events, and some evidence points, not to the 19 hijackers that the government accused of pulling off the massive destruction of that day, but to the government itself.

At any rate, Paul would get us out of Iraq, help us form friendly and productive alliances with other countries, and would withdraw our troops worldwide so that we could afford to get rid of the income tax. I support all of those measures.

Yesterday, I was out at a busy intersection in Troy, New York, albeit for only a quarter of an hour or so, holding signs with others of like mind who also support Ron Paul's bid for president. It is unfortunate that the elections appear to be rigged from start to finish, but perhaps the sleepy American electorate, or enough of them, by observing the unfair treatment the Ron Paul campaign has endured from all quarters, will come to realize that we have already lost democracy, and will make a concerted attempt to win it back.

I was glad to meet, if only briefly, my fellow "Ron Paul"-ites, many of whom were half my age or less. Not that age means anything, but it is of great surprise to me that the issues that I feel are of great importance are the same ones that are awakening the young public these days.

If you are one of the two or three people who occasionally browse this site, you will already know that I have written a few postings about Ron Paul. There is always the possibility that, if he does not win the Republican nomination for president, he will run as an independent, or under the flag of another party. His candidacy and his message are, in my opinion, too important to relegate to the whims or destiny of any one political party.

UPDATED 1/27/2008, 8:53 P.M.