I was in Jacksonville last Friday for an event called “Ron Paul on the River.” The Republican presidential candidate was supposed to speak at a luncheon after appearing at another area event in the morning, but had to cancel at the last minute due to votes on Libya in the House scheduled on short notice. While it was disappointing that the congressman would not appear, the keynote speaker that appeared in his place was well worth the trip.
Doug Wead is a self-confessed former member of the Establishment. In addition to being a best-selling author and world-renowned speaker, Wead has worked as a special advisor to President George H.W. Bush and on the campaign of George W. Bush. According to Wikipedia, Time magazine called Wead “an insider in the Bush family orbit.”
A good portion of Wead’s speech in Jacksonville focused on issues on which he had formerly disagreed with Paul. At one point, he made the startling statement, “but now I agree with him on everything.” He encouraged Paul supporters to persevere through the difficulties of supporting an anti-Establishment candidate and to remember that “logic and the truth are on your side.”
It is not fashionable to admit that you agree with anyone “on everything.” To make that admission is to invite accusations of belonging to a personality cult whose members blindly follow their leader no matter what position he takes. Indeed, this criticism is leveled at Paul’s grassroots supporters, who are called “Paulites” by detractors, implying that they have a pseudo-religious devotion to Paul rather than informed positions on the issues.
In modern America political thinking, where only the results of political action are considered rather than the rights of the parties involved, it is not considered reasonable to agree with anyone 100% of the time. For someone like Wead, whose living depends upon his credibility as an expert on those things he writes and speaks about, there is a certain amount of risk in making this statement. Yet he did it in Jacksonville without hesitation, emphasizing the words “on everything” to ensure that no one missed the point.