Ron Paul’s Farewell

Today, Ron Paul gave his farewell address. The speech itself was long, rambly, unpracticed, and disjointed, but, in spite of the presentation’s shortcomings, his message rang clear: the liberty movement is the answer to the United States’ financial woes, and the liberty movement is here to stay, even as its founder was retiring.

Ironically, as Ron Paul was saying farewell to Congress, Obama gave a statement about sending support to the Syrian umbrella group opposing Assad, raising taxes to address the “fiscal cliff,” and remaining firm against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. This was appropriate to Ron Paul’s opening statement:

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

But here’s the thing, discouraged as many may be, Ron Paul has done more for the liberty movement with his career than any group of libertarian politicians, activists, and philosophers combined. Without Paul, any host of recent libertarian organizations (YAL, SFL, Campaign For Liberty, etc) would not have the people to further the message of liberty. Ron Paul, give yourself some credit.

Toward the end of his speech, Paul was quick to subscribe a five point breakdown of the greatest dangers to a free society. He stated,

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.

He then offers a solution:

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity… The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried.

Hear hear, Ron Paul.

It’s time to focus not just on the economy, but on what the country could be if the government and America’s people listen to Paul’s prescriptions for better governance. The American people—and all of history’s non-bourgeois—have tried subjecting themselves to a government that has never been for them or by them. It is time to try, as Ron Paul so aptly put it, to try a “system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.”

When I was 18, Ron Paul played an enormous role in my transition to libertarianism from the left; someone in passing showed me a chart of all the civil liberties Paul stood for. I know that I am not the only one that he helped bring into the movement. Feel free to share your stories below.