Keep Your Core: On Not Letting Politics Change Who You Are


Alinsky offered advice to young radicals: cut your hair, put on a suit, and destroy the system from the inside.

However, I have some additional advice: keep to your core. Your exterior can be as flexible as need be for your purposes, but never ever let fighting the power actually change your essential nature. Whatever role you decide to play, whatever appearance you may don, don’t ever forget who you really are. Remember what makes you laugh, remember your favorite controversial bands, remember to express what you really feel- even if nobody else sees it but you.

Rep. Ron Paul, when addressing young people, consistently reminds us that we can all contribute to the liberty movement in our own way. We do not all need to be young libertarian/conservative non-profit professionals. The movement needs plenty of those, but we will need just as many artists, musicians, business owners, IT experts, film-makers, and storytellers.

Four years ago I changed my major from studio art to political science. When I, the apprentice, proudly told Ron Paul this, the Master, at Jekyll Island in February of 2009 he was dismayed. There I stood presenting him with a charcoal portrait of him that he could never hope to replicate and I had changed my major to political science. In hindsight, I should have listened to him and pursued an artistic career in illustration or graphic design and minored in political science.

It’s not too late to pursue those goals, but my point is that I did not need a major in political science in order to cofound and lead my YAL Chapter, I did not need it to organize End the Fed rallies, and I did not need it to play my roles as Mid Atlantic Regional Director and TN State Chair. All of this I could have done while pursuing a path more aligned with who I really am.

What I am communicating here is that we each need to be aware of our natural and developed talents and how best to apply these talents to furthering the cause of liberty. Imagine if Jordan Page, Tantiana Moroz, or Rebel Inc. had decided to be architects or doctors. They wouldn’t be making use of their musical talents, and in spite of what ever else they did to promote freedom I wonder if they would be happy.

What if Dr. Ron Paul had gone to law school instead of med school? Do you see where I’m going with this? 

This is not a diatribe against political science. There is not independent value in being a doctor, political scientist, artist, or musician. What matters is whether you are in step with your true nature and following your dream.

So ask yourself this: what are my talents and abilities? Where do I want to go with my life? What is my essential nature? When you know the answers to these questions, then you will know how to best benefit the cause of liberty.

Fighting the power doesn’t have to mean sacrificing yourself at the altar of politics. Don’t just follow your heart or your intellect, keep to your core and never lose sight of it.

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