"Traditional values" and creeping totalitarianism
Ron Paul states in one of his position papers:
"A poor, dependent and divided population is much easier to rule than a nation of self-confident individuals who can make a living on their own and who share the traditions and values that this country was founded upon."
There is a number of reasons why this is a red herring.
First of all, the liberty that Mr. Paul is claiming the people to have does not, nor has it ever, come from "tradition" or "traditional values." These existed in Europe and Middle East long before they existed in America, and these societies were disaster zones for the bulk of the time that these "traditions" existed in them. America owes its liberty and its greatness to innovation and ingenuity - things that come from looking toward the future rather than toward the past. And"traditional values" do not, nor do they ever, constitute the reason for either America's liberties or for America's greatness.
Secondly, the real values that are at the root of America and its system of governance have nothing to do with "tradition." Rather they come from the European Enlightenment philosophy, conceived by European intellectuals such as Locke and Voltaire and put into place by aristocratic intellectuals such as Jefferson and Franklin. A document signed by American government in 1790 stated that American system of governance was in no way based upon Christian religion; and a vast amount of the work of America's founders was to prevent America from turning out the way that did European societies that embraced these "traditional values" at the time.
Now here's the kicker. America's government is official, accountable, checked and balanced. Other entities - such as churches, communities, and everything that is known as "society" or "tradition" - are not. This means that entities such as the preceding - and that means in reality those who claim to speak for these entities - have nothing to keep them from becoming totalitarian. The checks and balances apply to the government; they do not apply to entities such as these. And what we see among those who claim to be speaking for "society" or for "traditional values"; those who claim these "values" and "traditions" to be the basis of American society; or those who claim that they are protecting "tradition"; is a totalitarian power grab. In all such cases, we see unelected, unofficial, unchecked and unbalanced entities - real or fabricated - being given greater power than are official, checked and balanced government power organs. And the result is a creeping totalitarianism on the part of those entities and their self-appointed spokespeople.
The question at this point becomes, which entities deserve to have greater pull: entities that are official, accountable, checked and balanced, or entities that are none of the preceding? Who should have more pull: An elected leader or a conman who claims that he represents "society" or "tradition"? However much rhetoric is directed to portray the Obama administration as being "communist" or "totalitarian," it is nowhere close to being any of these things. If Obama had been any of what he is accused of, then his accusers would all be in labor camps. Whereas there are many on the Right who advocate overtly totalitarian tactics, such as imprisoning and killing their liberal opposition. And many in fact take pride in doing that and worse in the communities in which they have pull.
Whenever a politician, an evangelist or a radio talk show host therefore speaks for such things as "society" or "tradition", what he does in reality is practice a totalitarian power grab. He claims to speak for an entity that is unofficial, unelected, unchecked and unbalanced and asserts that it is on his side. And the result is a very real totalitarian threat - a threat that comes not from "the liberal government," but from the said conman.
America is not at a risk of developing a governmental totalitarianism coming from the Left. It is at a risk of developing creeping totalitarianism in the name of "tradition,""society" or "traditional values" - from entities and individuals who are unofficial, unelected, unaccountable, unbalanced and unchecked. Under the cover of fighting for freedom is being sneaked in a very vicious form of de facto totalitarianism. And it is this that poses true danger to life and liberty in America.