I first read the Tao Te Ching five years ago. I was at a different stage of my life and it didn't really have a very strong affect on me. I think I dug way too deep into it and I didn't understand its plainness. Today I read the Tao of Ron Paul and am reminded of the Tao, but this time I think I get it.
If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.
The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.
Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.
老子 Lao Tzu (~600 BCE)
It is amazing to me that something written 2500 years ago can apply so well to today. We cannot solve our problems with more government -- not now, and at no time in the past. There is precedent to this fact that spans all of history if we simply bother to look.
A vote for Ron Paul is a vote of confidence in ourselves; confidence that we can take care of ourselves without force. A vote for any of the other current presidential candidates is a vote of incompetance. To vote for anyone else is to believe that humans are flawed and cannot accomplish anything productive on their own - that we must mold their very lives so that they may not fail.
To any action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If our leaders subsidize all our needs and desires, we become lazy, less productive and we take away from the same source of wealth that our leaders drew upon in the first place. If we attempt to endlessly police the world, it will blowback in our faces. If we attempt to lower crime by prohibiting certain items, we will simply create more criminals at the cost of $600 per second.
There is a natural order to a peaceful and civil society. This is called the Tao. Government is not the Tao.