(This picture is actually from a previous Saturday not the one this article is about.)
We had a pleasant conversation during which he said that I was on the wrong side of the street. This seemed like a very strange thing for him to say since I was with the people advocating peace and that is my stance as my sign makes clear. He explained that I was standing with Democrats that have insulted the troops and hate America. When I said that I stand here representing only my own libertarian views this man went on to say that he too was a libertarian and also a Ron Paul supporter. Continuing he claimed that he stands with the other side not supporting the war but supporting the troops and the country. That is how most on his side of the street feel, he added, though he did admit that some were neocons (his word).
During the whole conversation I kept feeling that this man was terribly confused. One cannot support the troops without supporting their mission. One cannot stand for their mission, imperial wars, while standing for the republic of the Founders (as one does by supporting Ron Paul). Not to mention, I have to assume, that he thinks the Republicans are the good guys and the Democrats evil. (For the record, I think both parties are corrupt and evil.)
At this point it is worth looking at a picture of the pro war crowd:
(This picture is also from a previous Saturday not the one this article is about.)
In the picture we see many signs advocating victory also thanks to and support for the troops and their mission. None about liberty or bringing the troops home. There is a predominance of American flags too.
This brings to mind the warning by President John Quincy Adams from way back in 1821. On the 4th of July that year he gave a speech concerning the issue of whether or not the United States should support the Greeks in their bid for independence from the Turks. The she he refers to is the United States:
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own...The reason why the United States should not go abroad is made clear:
She well knows that, by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the color and usurp the standard of freedom.President Adams went on to explain why this is a problem:
The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlets upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster the murky radiance of dominion and power.After speaking to that man on Saturday and reflecting on the pictures from the previous demonstrations two parts of President Adam’s speech really stand out. The first is, "…wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the color and usurp the standard of freedom." This, sadly, is an apt description of the wars the United States is now fighting and how the government propagandizes about them.
The second is a part of the speech not shared above that very accurately describes the United States today, "She might become the dictatress of the world; she would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit." We will only find our spirit, the spirit of liberty, when we put fear aside, stop being an empire, and end the wars.
* The Fed is the Federal Reserve System, the American central bank.