Ron Paul is a medical doctor. He served in the military as a flight surgeon for the National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Currently, he is a Republican Congressman representing the state of Texas. Politically, he can be described as a conservative, constitutionalist and libertarian. As a matter of fact, he ran for president in 1988 as a libertarian candidate, while still holding his Republican status.
Admittedly, some of his views are extreme and contrary to the Republican mainstream of thinking. But he does make sense defending the original intent of the constitution:
As a conservative, he voted against expansion, colonization and the occupation in Iraq. He is the only presidential candidate who voted against Bush’s Iraq War resolution in 2002. He was opposed to the Patriot Act, which used the pretense of homeland security to destroy our fundamental rights of personal privacy, eliminated the need for habeas corpus, and allowed us to torture so-called prisoners of war in violation of the Geneva convention.
However, he did support using force in Afghanistan against the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11, citing the fact that the terrorists were in Afghanistan, not Iraq.
He was opposed to the federal governments “war on drugs” campaign. The United States, along with other countries, wanted to eliminate or reduce the illegal drug manufacturing trade. His arguments against the campaign was that it was cost prohibitive and wouldn’t work. Let’s see if he was right.
The government reported the drug control cost for 2005 was about $12 billion. But in separate reports: the cost of incarcerating offenders was $30 billion, $9 billion was spent on police protection and $11 billion went to individual states for federal correction agencies. Yes, Ron Paul was right. For the 40 or 50 billions of dollars we spend on the “drug war” each year, we still have a higher percentage rate of illegal drug users than we did when we started.
Paul, the constitutionalist, has been a longtime activist opposed to the federal income tax. He claims the politicians are wasting our money with unnecessary government spending. And he is absolutely right about that.
He’s in favor of abolishing the federal reserve, claiming our financial crises originates with the federal reserve banks. He says the reserve prints too much worthless paper money that devaluates the dollar and leaves Americans with less of what he calls “hard money” - which is real money. On that issue he is right. Case in point, the recent mortgage crisis caused by greedy and unscrupulous banks.
Ron Paul preaches the mantra of our founding fathers concerning unscrupulous banks and the federal reserve. As an example: He supports quotes from Thomas Jefferson’s warning about usury bankers. “If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of currency...the banks and corporations will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless.” Which has happened today because of banks loaning money on property using sub-prime loans to bait hard working American families into debt.
Jefferson insisted that “the issuing power of money should be taken from banks and restored to congress and the people to whom it belongs.” He believed “banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies.”
Wearing the hat of a libertarian, Paul wants the United States to withdraw from the United Nations. And because of this view, some have labeled him an isolationist. But is he an isolationist and does he have a good argument for withdrawal?
In 2007, the United Nations passed a $4.2 billion budget for two years operating expenses. Almost 25 percent is paid by the American taxpayers. But what do we get for that 25 percent? On one side, we can funnel payoff-money, otherwise known as foreign aid, to foreign leaders without the approval of the American people. In return we get support for our war resolutions.
On the other side, we sometimes have world leaders dictating to us what we can and can’t do. This creates foreign entanglements and threatens our sovereignty. Even George Washington warned us of “foreign entanglements” in his farewell address.
So, Ron Paul can properly be labeled a conservative, libertarian and a constitutionalist. But so can our founding fathers John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.
In this modern day of politics, Ron Paul has something else in common with Adams, Washington and Jefferson. Because of his views he will never be elected president and if they ran for public office today, neither would they.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.