The Times They Are A-Changin’: And Right Now Ron Paul Leads the Way

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

-Bob Dylan

It’s funny how good art not only holds up but also shifts in meaning as the years go by. The Times They are A-Changin’ is such a piece of art. This venerated song of my parents’ generation, for many an anthem of the left, is now 50 years old.

And it is and was an anthem for the left, to be sure. But times have indeed changed and the people who are now in the way are the same people who were pushing the old guard out of the hallways a half century ago.

The establishment is ossified and self-serving. Dylan’s song is a song of rebellion and optimism. It speaks of a new world that is nearly incomprehensible to the older generation. We have a very similar situation today.

Whereas the baby boomers had access to much more information than their parents, and much more technology than their parents. Such a difference was there that the term “generation gap” was coined to explain the differences between the generations. How much wider is the gap today?

Talk to the average 60 year old person about social media and often one is met with at least some derision (which I believe masks fear). At least this has been my experience. This is of course by no means uniform. Some of the most technologically adept people I know are in their 60s and 70s. They built Silicon Valley after all.

However, I feel that the establishment in general fears more than celebrates the broad sharing of information and ideas. I feel that many see the world as far too tumultuous, and that technology is the culprit. Gone are the steady union jobs. Gone are the 2 parties one could count on. Gone are the 3 familiar talking heads giving the country the news every night. Gone is the world they used to know. And what do we have now? Twitter? God help us!

This past Sunday night I was watching Madmen which this season takes place in 1966 New York City. One of the key ongoing themes of the show is how the World War II and Korean War generations dealt with the massive influx of new ideas which were born from the baby boomers. There was a good bit of fear, but for many of the characters there’s even more a sense of just plain confusion. What the hell is going on?

Funny that the agents of change are now the bloated bureaucrats, but maybe that’s just the way of the world.

Both political parties are trying to deal with what is going on in broader society, change on par with what happened in the 1960s. The Democrats have the luxury of having an incumbent president who campaigned on “change.” This insulates them a bit to what’s going on but at least some within the party know that their time leading the idea parade is rapidly running out.

The Republicans on the other hand are beside themselves. It looks like Mitt Romney, a man so liberal he was elected governor of Massachusetts, is about to be nominated as the GOP candidate. This after a real challenge from the social conservatives in Rick Santorum.

But though Romney is the choice of the GOP establishment, the establishment could have dealt with Santorum had the former senator been able to go further or even take it to the convention. Santorum was a vestige of the 1980s Moral Majority. The current leadership of the GOP has placated evangelicals for over a quarter century. The “Christian conservatives” were/are not of real concern.

Ron Paul however scares them to death. Why?

Because Ron Paul represents a whole new way of playing the game. All the old tried and true ways of dealing with a rival candidate don’t work with Paul and his followers.

The reason the tried and true ways don’t work is because the game has changed. Interestingly Ron Paul, the oldest guy in the race, is the only one hip to it. Sean Hannity is not the future of politics, sorry.

But instead of embracing the new and fresh energy Ron Paul has brought into the party, a party which desperately needs young people to be sustainable going forward, the GOP has dug in its heels and declared that it will not bend to the Ron Paul barbarians. You know the barbarians who actually believe in free enterprise and small government. The GOP is the establishment’s party. Ron Paul is not invited.

The Dems have quietly looked on as Ron Paul has challenged the status quo in the GOP. But they aren’t smiling. The Obama machine knows Mittens has the ability to squeeze out a win. But though Ron Paul has the potential to lose bigger, Ron Paul also has the potential to win a mandate ala Ronald Reagan in 1980. This would be a disaster for the Dems because suddenly the TEA Party becomes mainstream and real issues are suddenly on the table. There would be a massive influx of new, market oriented thinking in Washington, and big bureaucracies—the heart of the Democrat Party, would likely be cut. Romney isn’t going to cut anything.

So both the GOP and the Dems fear Ron Paul because he is a true agent of change. Not phony baloney, big government 1930s-esque change. But real, honest to goodness, new ways of thinking, 21st Century, change.

It’s coming whether the establishment of both parties wants it or not.

So again in the words of Bob Dylan:

As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

OneTinSoldier66 5pts

Mitt Romney might be the presumptive nominee according to some powers that be, but Ron Paul is the presumptive President of the American people!

Mr. 'Merican
Mr. 'Merican 5pts

Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blueI didn’t know what in the world I wus gonna doThem Communists they wus comin’ aroundThey wus in the airThey wus on the groundThey wouldn’t gimme no peace . . . So I run down most hurriedlyAnd joined up with the John Birch SocietyI got me a secret membership cardAnd started off a-walkin’ down the roadYee-hoo, I’m a real John Bircher now!Look out you Commies! Now we all agree with Hitler’s viewsAlthough he killed six million JewsIt don’t matter too much that he was a FascistAt least you can’t say he was a Communist!That’s to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria Well, I wus lookin’ everywhere for them gol-darned RedsI got up in the mornin’ ’n’ looked under my bedLooked in the sink, behind the doorLooked in the glove compartment of my carCouldn’t find ’em . . . I wus lookin’ high an’ low for them Reds everywhereI wus lookin’ in the sink an’ underneath the chairI looked way up my chimney holeI even looked deep down inside my toilet bowlThey got away . . . Well, I wus sittin’ home alone an’ started to sweatFigured they wus in my T.V. setPeeked behind the picture frameGot a shock from my feet, hittin’ right up in the brainThem Reds caused it!I know they did . . . them hard-core ones Well, I quit my job so I could work all aloneThen I changed my name to Sherlock HolmesFollowed some clues from my detective bagAnd discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!That ol’ Betsy Ross . . . Well, I investigated all the books in the libraryNinety percent of ’em gotta be burned awayI investigated all the people that I knowedNinety-eight percent of them gotta goThe other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me Now Eisenhower, he’s a Russian spyLincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guyTo my knowledge there’s just one manThat’s really a true American: George Lincoln RockwellI know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus Well, I fin’ly started thinkin’ straightWhen I run outa things to investigateCouldn’t imagine doin’ anything elseSo now I’m sittin’ home investigatin’ myself!Hope I don’t find out anything . . . hmm, great God

RobertFallin 5pts

Great article, Nick.  Yes, Ron Paul has the potential to lose big AND he has the potential to win a mandate, just as the last "dangerous" GOP candidate, Ronald Reagan.  Today, the consensus is that Reagan was our last "great" president.  Who knows, Paul may turn out to be even greater.

honeybee 5pts

Old guard Republicans want new blood, but the newbies had better not rock the boat.  Mustn't do anything to change the status quo. 

Thekman71 5pts

I read an article yesterday that said that RP should go Libertarian again this year with Gary Johnson as his VP to give that movement the boost that he could this year with his popularity.  Funny thing, the more I hear from Romney I am swinging that way as well.  I just don't see anything 'changin' until something this major happens to shake it up.

LFRD 5pts

Yes--he is great.  God Were you being sarcastic?  Bod Dylan was and is a good writer and observor. Shouldn't be commenting, just thought I needed to.  I'll keep my comments to myself.   Thank you.

Mr. 'Merican
Mr. 'Merican 5pts

The consensus is that Ronald Reagand funded death squads and Middle Eastern terrorists. That he used xenophobia to marginalize the poor and put forth policies that dismantled the middle class. And he pretended to promote smaller government while all the while expanding government and running up deficits. Ron Paul is no Reagan; Romney just might be.

LFRD 5pts

The Times They Are A Chang'n.  Change is good, remember somebody else said that in 2008.......We just didn't like the medicine that is being changed for our sick country.

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis 5pts

Sounds good, but the 'sore loser laws' enacted by many states preclude a candidate from gaining ballot access after losing in a party convention. It appears that our only option to regain liberty in this country, is to follow the traditional route and actually nominate Ron Paul as the Republican candidate....Not such a far fetched aspiration, imo.

LFRD 5pts

Ron Paul doesn't need to be anybody besides Ron Paul. He floats his own boat with an American Crew.  He is an American People President. Romney is not Ronald Reagan, more like lite Obama.

RobertFallin 5pts

 You might notice that I "Like" your comment.  Personally, I think Reagan was a charming "snake oil" salesman, However, except for the "kill-a-commie" mantra, I don't see Reagan as a xenophobe.  However, all of his successors most certainly have been.

Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino 5pts

My point was that RP might enjoy a mandate like Reagan did.