I was able to watch the interview on Wisconsin Public Television’s Director’s Cut with the Directors/Producers (Chris Rye & Corey Kealiher) of the film, “For Liberty: How the Ron Paul Revolution Watered the Withered Tree of Liberty,” which gave me a closer view into what motivated these men put this movie together.
What drew them to Ron Paul? His anti-war position and strict constitutional beliefs poignantly set him apart from the rest of the Republican Party. His common sense ideas are a stark contrast to the warmongering of the other candidates, like this quote, “They come over here and attack us because we’re over there.”
What did they learn? They were amazed by huge demographic range that his supporters included. They commented that if you did a movie on any of the other presidential candidates and interviewed supports, it would have been a little, since each candidate attracts a unique sector of society. But Ron Paul had followers everywhere, from every class, every age, it didn’t matter. Liberty unites. “It is just the message of liberty. It brings people together from all sides of the spectrum.”
About the movie?
It was very well designed and produced, it doesn’t have the put-together feel of “homemade” videos I’ve watched. Despite, as the producers admitted, a slim budget, they did a fantastic job. Not only is the message inspiring, the way it is conveyed is professional and and very well-done.
One of the main themes of the film is what Austrian economists might call “spontaneous order.” Most of Ron Paul’s campaign was not his official campaign, but the efforts of thousands of Americans doing what they wanted to do. They didn’t take orders from the Campaign HQ, they discussed ideas together–mainly in the immensely popular Ron Paul Forums–and when a group of people got excited about an idea (like the Ron Paul blimp) they made it happen. There was no central planning of any kind, the citizens just did their own thing. Other campaigns have claimed to be grassroots, but the makers of this film soon discovered Ron Paul’s campaign was the only authentically grassroots effort in the presidential race.
I watched the movie from start to finish, and nearly cried as they covered the disappointing results of the primaries. After seeing so many Americans put so much effort, time, and money into it, I felt their pain. At the age of 15, I was spreading Ron Paul slim-jims in every restaurant and building I entered. We put up a Ron Paul sign. I became known to everyone as a Ron Paul fan. He was-and is-my hero. While I didn’t join any official groups until much later, in the Campaign for Liberty, I was doing my small part, in my own small way, and I knew how it felt when Ron Paul lost in the elections.
I don’t think anyone in the two party system can understand why this movie had an upbeat and positive ending. It is something that defies the norm of running for an office for the sake of getting more power. It doesn’t stop with the primaries. As one of those interviewed in the movie said, “He [Ron Paul] wasn’t the movement, he was a man.” For thousands of Americans, his presidential campaign symbolized the movement of liberty that breaks through social-economic lines and brings people together because of their belief in freedom. It didn’t stop with the primaries, as the Rally for the Republic proved, and it didn’t stop with that either. As Ron Paul said, an election is a short-lived campaign. A revolution is long-term. It isn’t about getting one person elected. It is about ideas that pervade a society and change the way people think.
For those of us who have been in this from the beginning and are asking, “what now?” Tom Woods reminds us at the end of the film, “It is a good thing to fight for what is right.” We are fighting for liberty, we are fighting for the idea of liberty, and this is an idea which “cannot be stopped by any government or by any army.”