by Scott Horton LewRockwell.com January 3, 2008
I want this man, Dr. Ron Paul, to be the president of the United States.
Believe me, Iâ€™m not the type to go from one so-called leader to another pinning all my hopes on their greatness like some Deaniac. I donâ€™t like politicians. I didnâ€™t like Ann Richards. I donâ€™t like Bush Jr. I didnâ€™t like Ronald Reagan, I donâ€™t like Bushâ€™s dad and I donâ€™t like Bill Clinton. I donâ€™t like Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich, Nancy what’s-her-name, John D. Rockefeller IV or bitch-ass Harry Reid. I canâ€™t stand any of the presidential candidates. Politicians are scum. All of them. Nothing but a band of highway robbers, the lot of â€™em. Liars! Warmongers! Jailers! Bastards! Two wings of one bird of prey! Not a dimeâ€™s worth of difference!
Except Ron Paul.
For more than 10 years I have had one and only one reason to have hope for the possibility that the course our government is on could be turned around short of ruin; one congressman out of 535 who represented me. One politician I could refer to and say, â€œgo read his â€˜A Republic, If You Can Keep It,â€™ and youâ€™ll see what I mean,â€ and know that there was a damn good chance whoever-it-was really would understand by the time they were done.
Not only is he right about 95% percent of the time, Ron Paul is a kind, decent and principled individual and individualist. Read his position on natural rights here, for example.
Congressman Paul ought to have his own Ph.D. in Austrian economics, the school of peace, little-to-no government and free trade. Heâ€™s a medical doctor, not a lawyer. The lobbyists donâ€™t even bother to knock on his office door since they know heâ€™ll smile and nod and then vote â€œnoâ€ on their project anyway. He refused government welfare for his kids to go to college, he delivered babies for free or on a sliding-scale type of payment plan rather than accept Medicare and Medicaid, he is refusing his congressional pension and he returns a substantial portion of his office budget back to the treasury at the end of every term (or fiscal year or however they do it). Heâ€™s never voted himself a pay raise (not even through the modern technicality of â€œautomaticâ€ cost-of-living increases), and has never â€“ never â€“ voted to raise taxes.
They call him â€œDr. Noâ€ because 95% of what the national government does is unconstitutional and he votes according to his oath â€“ which often leaves him all by himself. A committed non-interventionist, he predicted the fall of the USSR if the U.S. would only stop propping them up. He opposed the first Iraq war in 1990/91 and the second Iraq war since 1998. When first coming back to Congress in 1997, he spoke against the overseas bases being used to stage the endless attacks on Iraq which provided the motive for those responsible for the attacks of September 11th.
Paul has opposed every Federal gun control bill that has ever come his way, along with the PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Transportation Security Administration Act, the Homeland Security Act and just about anything else you could think of.
A fierce defender of Americaâ€™s independence â€“ and that of every other country â€“ Paul opposes NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, IMF, World Bank, UN and NATO. Heâ€™s against central banking â€“ recognizing it as the cause of, not solution to, the business cycle and a destroyer of savings. He proposes to let Americans circulate their own gold-backed currencies, repealing the taxes and restrictions which now forbid it. He wants to use his bully pulpit to encourage the Congress and the several states to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, abolish the personal income tax and to end, once and for all, the depredations of the sinister IRS.
When they ask him about his heroes, he answers Gandhi and MLK. They resisted the state non-violently, and thatâ€™s important, Paul says.
Rep. Ron Paul M.D. is, as far as I can tell, the greatest congressman in American History â€“ the last of the Jeffersonians â€“ and that doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s flawless. Heâ€™s just a regular, humble old guy. Thatâ€™s part of why I like him so much. He sometimes stumbles around and starts his sentences over again the same way I do when Iâ€™m trying to explain something right. A lot of times he speaks in a sort of shorthand that just leaves it to the audience to try to figure out what the hell he means. Heâ€™s not like one of those Mitt Romney/Rick Perryâ€“type polyurethane politicians. In fact, lately Iâ€™ve seen him do a pretty funny politician impression in a couple of interviews.
Sometimes, if rarely, I disagree with how he votes in the House and there have been a few mistakes in his campaign, including, as has been pointed out â€“ with some undo hysteria, it seems to me â€“ some pretty lousy TV spots, particularly the one about one of the issues I most strongly disagree with him on: immigration.
Well, good. Itâ€™s nice to have something to criticize the man about for a change.
(As far as the smears about Dr. Paul being some sort of mean bigoted type, I think it is quite obvious with a moment on YouTube that it simply cannot be true; that he just doesnâ€™t have the temperament to be a hater. The angriest Iâ€™ve seen him in all these clips has come out in statements like â€œâ€¦and you jolly-well better realize it,â€ â€œâ€¦that can sometimes be pretty annoying,â€ and â€œI mean, what the devil?â€ Sorry, the champion of individual liberty for all is not a meanie, a racist or oppressor. Iâ€™m afraid the smear artists will have to stick to arguing against his policies, which can be quite difficult, I know.)
Ron Paul is no knight on a white horse, but a just regular man running for Napoleonâ€™s job â€“ as it already exists â€“ in order to turn it back into the presidency as described in Article II of the Constitution. This mission of Paulâ€™s, running for President and against the presidency, is something that any defender of liberty must value in this current age of executive kidnapping, â€œghost prisons,â€ torture, aggressive war, widespread wiretapping, trillion-dollar military budgets, the â€œunitary executiveâ€ doctrine, signing statements and the doctrine of the â€œplenaryâ€ powers of the commander in chief of the armed forces in undeclared wartime.
Face it, America has gotten this entire postâ€“Cold War/Beginning of the 21st Century thing off to a real bad start. The peace dividend is blown, the population of most of the world now puts our government in the same category as the old Soviet empire or worse, the budget is blown, the dollar is worth less all the time and our liberties are under more threat from the government than theyâ€™ve been in a long time.
The candidacy of Ron Paul is the best hope to get America back on track. This is particularly true in regards to our governmentâ€™s relationship with other states in the world, protection of individual rights here at home and in terms of preserving our republican form of government; the checks and balances and separations of power defined in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights (restrictions) which are meant to protect us from the kind of tyranny overthrown by the generation of 1776.
These are principles which, at this point, federalists and antifederalists, liberals, conservatives, right-wingers, leftists, communists, rednecks, boys and girls, employers and employees, country and rock-n-roll and individuals of all ethnic backgrounds, religions and descriptions in America ought to be able to agree on. They are the principles that make this America in the first place.
The message of individual liberty unites us. Isn’t it cool how that works?
To the Right: Paul wants to get at the actual threat. What he opposes is all this empire building, foreign “aid” and the backing of other peopleâ€™s dictators. The former chief of the CIAâ€™s bin Laden Unit says Paulâ€™s policy is the best for solving the Osama problem. Quite a few others agree. See here and here. What other problem do you have? Paul represents what you claim to believe in â€“ at least he agrees with you about what government ought to stop doing to people, if not all the things you want government to do to people. Seems like a reasonable compromise to me. And none of the other GOP candidates even come close.
To the Left: Many of you object that Ron Paul wants to set the corporations free along with the rest of us, which to you seems a terrible mistake. Hereâ€™s what youâ€™re missing: The entire project that is the national government of the United States is to take money from us working folks and give it to the people who are already rich. I know this is hard to accept after a lifetime of beltway “libertarians” complaining in your ear about the transfer payments the other way around, but no, really.
Itâ€™s the bazillionaires who benefit the most from big government. It is their escape from the risks of the market. You want those greedy corporate bastards to have to shape up or go out of business donâ€™t you? You have to set them free â€“ to face the wrath of the sharp competitor and the fed-up consumer. No more welfare for Lockheed. No more welfare for Archer-Daniels Midland. No more welfare for Halliburton. No more welfare for Goldman-Sachs or Citigroup. No more welfare for Wal-Mart. No more welfare for Exxon. No subsidies. No bailouts. Get it? This is Austrian economics. Please donâ€™t mix â€˜em up with the right-socialist/demand-side-for-the-rich Chicago monetarist school.
Also, no matter what they may have told you, Ron is running to rein in the empire and reinstate the Bill of Rights, not to abolish the welfare state for social security and Medicare recipients. In fact, he offers the only real plan to shore those programs up, bring the military home from overseas, save the dollar and guarantee that for the people who have been made to pay in their whole lives, they not only get their checks, but they get them in dollars whose value is not being inflated away day by day.
Ron Paul is the only credible candidate who means to end the Iraq and Afghan occupations and bring our military home from their 750+ overseas bases. Isnâ€™t that what you want?
To the anarchists: I personally would very much like to see major portions of Article 1, Section 8 removed, followed by a return to the Articles of Confederation, secession and eventually a private property, individual libertyâ€“based anarchy in the world, but there should be no doubt that reinstating the Constitution as the law of the land would be a great step toward that wonderful no-government future. A Paul presidency is not likely to justify or legitimize the state, but instead will prove just how little we need it. And whatâ€™s the alternative, wait for the empire to crash all around us?
So far, the Ron Paul campaign for the presidency has gone far, far better than I could have imagined when I first heard he was running. It turns out that just because he is one of a kind in terms of politicians, it didnâ€™t mean there werenâ€™t millions of us who believe in the same things â€“ enough of us to compete with the financial totals of the War Party players. Many on board this Revolution have been little l libertarians all their lives and just needed someone to explain it to them out loud. If Paul gets the nomination, I think heâ€™ll have no trouble beating Obama or Clinton in the fall and as president will be able to refuse to do a great many things. It would be cause for beer drinking, barbecues, fireworks and celebrations across the land.
If he doesnâ€™t, then whether he goes back to the House, makes an independent run, both or however it shakes out, no one really knows. But America, as local Meetup organizer Paul Davis pointed out in his speech at the Austin, Texas Tea Party of 2007, has already been changed forever by this movement of regular Americans stepping up to restore the rule of law to this country, to prevent any further descent of our society into this brave old world of mercantilism, perpetual war, and the expansion of executive power into every aspect of our lives â€“ and even to make some major reversals before the worst consequences of empire come due. Itâ€™s the fruition of the classical liberal revival so many libertarians have worked so hard to build over the years. Perhaps it is even the beginning of a permanent new realignment in America. Peace and Freedom are a big deal again.
Already the other congressmen are asking Paul how to get people to like them (and give them money) too. The message is loud and clear: start with following the example of Ron Paulâ€™s dedication to liberty.
Maybe Garet Garrett was wrong. Maybe itâ€™s not too late to restore the republic.