Aaron Russo lost his fight early Friday morning, August 24, 2007 to cancer. He was 64 years old and surrounded by family at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Like most Americans, I first became aware of Aaron through his award winning movies in the 70s and 80s. But I really began to take notice of the man because of his scintillating interview in Liberty magazine in 1995 that advocated the formation of a new third political party – the Constitution Party – to challenge the monopolized rule of the Demopublicans in Washington. It was one of those expositions of thought and panache that grabs you, lets you know that here is a man to be reckoned with.
I was first introduced to Aaron by GATA head, Bill Murphy in Dallas, in 2003. And I worked briefly with him in his pursuit of the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in early 2004. Immediately I recognized the immense talent of the man and his potential for furthering the freedom movement in America. The production of his film, America: From Freedom To Fascism, is a classic that will live for a hundred years and beyond. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. His film is worth a thousand books.
Aaron had truly found his calling with AFTF. While he was a great speaker and campaigner (he scared the pants off the Republican establishment in his run for the governorship of Nevada in 1998), his real talent lay in proselytization of his fellow men’s minds through film. The campaign trail, with all its crudities, was not what he was meant to pursue, and it is to his credit that he realized it after 2004. Thankfully for us, he then embarked upon the real mission that he was meant for with his great creation of America: From Freedom to Fascism.
The Aaron Russo I knew was a tough, principled, fearless fighter willing to stare down the monstrous IRS and the Orwellian powers behind the Federal Reserve without blinking an eye. But then he was not about to let the Demopublican establishment get away with the usurpation of our rights and the wholesale destruction of everything America has stood for over 200 years. So it was no surprise to me when his blockbuster film was released with its confrontational style and “The Emperor is buck naked” message.
Russo could not compromise on such a resplendent flower as freedom. He could not, and would not, tone down the truth to appease the powerful. He could not and would not play the game that our contemptible pundits in Washington and on Wall Street play so disingenuously in order to gain the prominence they crave.
America’s only hope is for men of the mind to truly stand for freedom, to make of themselves Gibraltar-like representatives of its attributes no matter what level of rejection, calumny and injustice is heaped upon them by the political grafters of the establishment.
Aaron Russo “truly stood for freedom.” He refused to opt for popularity over principle in order to gain momentary celebrity. He spoke truth to power because he understood that freedom is not for the trepid. It is for the stalwart and the daring. He understood that if we, as a people, do not regain our love of freedom, the entire world will go back to its barbaric beginnings. He knew that we in America set the tone for the world. What kind of example we set will determine whether a new Dark Age settles over us in this upcoming century.
Aaron was one of our greatest patriots. He left us a powerful, wonderful, earthshaking legacy. His masterpiece of a film, America: From Freedom to Fascism, can light spectacular fires of reform throughout the country. If it can be widely circulated to American citizens in the upcoming years, Gargantua in Washington can be brought down. The tyrannical world government so ominously beckoning our leaders, can be averted. The Founders vision can be restored.