Today at LRC, the headline article is by Tom DiLorenzo, entitled “Why Neocons Are Freaking Out Over Lincoln.” It is a worthwhile read; yet one sentence really caught my attention. This one sentence reminded me of the kind praise I have for Mr. Russert. From DiLorenzo:
The neocons are still punch drunk, in other words, from how the Ron Paul phenomenon, during the congressman’s two attempts at securing the Republican Party presidential nomination, captured the imaginations of millions of young people and continues to do so.
Many will remember Ron Paul’s visit to “Meet the Press” during his presidential run in 2007. This was just after the two large money bombs, but before any primaries were held.
Russert’s purpose in this interview was the “gotcha,” throwing out statements and questions that were unquestioned in the mainstream – the various myths that prop up the American religion. Russert’s task was obvious from his method – make it clear to so-called serious voters that Ron Paul is a flake.
Most memorable was the exchange regarding Lincoln:
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."
REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist.
MR. RUSSERT: We'd still have slavery.
REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
I am certain that after the interview, Russert got one big bro hug from his fellow gatekeepers. They felt certain they had buried the man. There is no doubt that every effort was taken to do just this, both in 2008 and 2012. However, instead of burying Dr. Paul, I suggest that what Russert and his cohorts did was to make him eternal.
The video of this interview was viewed hundreds of thousands of times. My guess is that 1% of these views were by Oligarchic, Loudmouth, Despicable Friends and Acquaintances of Russert, Tim (OLD FARTS). The remaining 99% of these views were by young people and others who either supported or at least were open to Ron Paul and his message.
What do you think that 99% did? Probably many of them first said to themselves “the Lincoln that Ron Paul describes isn’t the one that I know. I wasn’t taught this in school.” After some reflection, and considering that many of the odd things Ron Paul said certainly held truth when examined, they then thought, “Maybe I will look into this.”
So they did. They found books by DiLorenzo: “The Real Lincoln” and “Lincoln Unmasked.” After reading these, they concluded that maybe Ron was onto something, and the Old Farts were lying to them. “If they are lying about Lincoln, what else are they lying about?”
For many, this interview with Russert likely caused a desire to explore other deceptions and myths behind the American religion. More from DiLorenzo’s article at LRC:
In his essay on "The Nature of the State" Murray Rothbard pointed out that all states, no matter how tyrannical they may be, rely crucially on inculcating in the minds of the public the alleged grandiosity of the state and the alleged failures of private enterprise and the civil society.
Such propaganda is essential to statism, said Rothbard, because it is essentially an economical way to get the public to acquiesce in being enslaved by the state.
The neocons are becoming unglued and freaked out because they no longer control the culture of ideas among "conservatives"…
I can thank Russert because he certainly helped to contribute to this loss of faith. Had he not tried his “gotcha” approach with Ron Paul, it is likely that many of the 99% would have never looked into the Lincoln myth, and thus might not have found reason to begin to question the myriad of other myths.
The myths, as Rothbard suggests, provide economical leverage for those who would control us. Russert, so caught up in the mainstream, had no idea what he helped to unleash – and leverage, after all, works both ways.
A prerequisite for the final collapse of the Soviet Union was the widespread disbelief in all the lies, myths and superstitions about socialism that the people of the Soviet empire had been brainwashed into accepting.
I am sure the interview was uncomfortable for Dr. Paul, despite the man being more courageous than all other members of political office combined. Yet, just like the Rudy Giuliani moment, in the most uncomfortable of situations, Dr. Paul likely prompted many people to say to themselves “I will look into that.”
I still look back fondly on that Tim Russert moment. He certainly helped to bring on the destruction of one of the most valuable myths supporting the American religion.