Today, I am going to do something that I have never done: I am going
to devote virtually my entire column to posting another man’s words.
That man is the man who should be President of the United States:
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. The following is a written transcript
of a speech Dr. Paul gave on the floor of the US House of
Representatives back in 2007. Had Congressman Paul been elected
President in 2008, the country would be four years into the greatest
economic, political, and, yes, spiritual recovery in the history of
America. As it is, the US is on the brink of totalitarianism and
economic ruin. And you can mark it down, four years from now it
won’t matter to a tinker’s dam whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney
was elected President this November. Neither man has the remotest
understanding of America’s real problems nor the courage and
backbone to do anything about it if they did understand.
Read the following. This is a man who understands the Constitution.
This is a man who understands sound economic principles. This is a man
who understands liberty and freedom. This is a man who has the guts to
tell the truth. This is a man who has put his life and career on the
line for the principles of liberty for more than two decades. This is
a man who has returned every dollar that he has been paid as a US
congressman to the taxpayers. This is the man who should be President
of the United States.
[Ron Paul’s speech begins here] For some, patriotism is the last
refuge of a scoundrel. For others, it means dissent against a
government's abuse of the people's rights.
I have never met a politician in Washington or any American, for that
matter, who chose to be called unpatriotic. Nor have I met anyone who
did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops, wherever they
What I have heard all too frequently from various individuals are
sharp accusations that, because their political opponents disagree
with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were
unpatriotic, un-American evildoers deserving contempt.
(Story continues below...)
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The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to
resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the
definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state
The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of
self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country
to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that
patriotism means obedience to the state. Resistance need not be
violent, but the civil disobedience that might be required involves
confrontation with the state and invites possible imprisonment.
Peaceful, nonviolent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit
as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma
Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved great political
successes by practicing nonviolence, and yet they suffered physically
at the hands of the state. But whether the resistance against
government tyrants is nonviolent or physically violent, the effort to
overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.
True patriotism today has gotten a bad name, at least from the
government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional
methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary
system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor are
routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down
upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi
and Martin Luther King have been.
Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are
vilified as well, especially by conservatives. Unquestioned loyalty to
the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for
a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular
policy that endorses a war, once it is started, are always said to be
endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is
unpatriotic, and all dissent must stop. Yet, it is dissent from
government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of
It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best
support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous undeclared no-win
wars that are politically inspired. Sending troops off to war for
reasons that are not truly related to national security and, for that
matter, may even damage our security, is hardly a way to patriotically
support the troops.
Who are the true patriots, those who conform or those who protest
against wars without purpose? How can it be said that blind support
for a war, no matter how misdirected the policy, is the duty of a
Randolph Bourne said that, "War is the health of the state.'' With
war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful
state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the
market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a "war
psychology'' to justify the expansive role of the state. This includes
the role the Federal Government plays in our lives, as well as in our
Certainly, the neoconservative belief that we have a moral obligation
to spread American values worldwide through force justifies the
conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand
of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one,
that our liberties are undermined. The economy becomes overextended,
and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibited. Out of fear of being
labeled unpatriotic, most of the citizens become compliant and accept
the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in
order to remain safe.
This is a bad trade-off, in my estimation, especially when done in
the name of patriotism. Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders
is substituted for true patriotism; that is, a willingness to
challenge the state and defend the country, the people and the
culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition
comes that the leaders be not criticized.
Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the
state, any problem invites an answer by declaring war, even on social
and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various
government solutions, while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in
government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies
operate encourages big-government liberals and big-government
conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political
loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs.
The long-term cost in dollars spent and liberties lost is neglected
as immediate needs are emphasized. It is for this reason that we have
multiple perpetual wars going on simultaneously. Thus, the war on
drugs, the war against gun ownership, the war against poverty, the war
against illiteracy, the war against terrorism, as well as our foreign
military entanglements are endless.
All this effort promotes the growth of statism at the expense of
liberty. A government designed for a free society should do the
opposite, prevent the growth of statism and preserve liberty.
Once a war of any sort is declared, the message is sent out not to
object or you will be declared unpatriotic. Yet, we must not forget
that the true patriot is the one who protests in spite of the
consequences. Condemnation or ostracism or even imprisonment may
Nonviolent protesters of the Tax Code are frequently imprisoned,
whether they are protesting the code's unconstitutionality or the war
that the tax revenues are funding. Resisters to the military draft or
even to Selective Service registration are threatened and imprisoned
for challenging this threat to liberty.
Statism depends on the idea that the government owns us and citizens
must obey. Confiscating the fruits of our labor through the income tax
is crucial to the health of the state. The draft, or even the mere
existence of the Selective Service, emphasizes that we will march off
to war at the state's pleasure.
A free society rejects all notions of involuntary servitude, whether
by draft or the confiscation of the fruits of our labor through the
personal income tax. A more sophisticated and less well-known
technique for enhancing the state is the manipulation and transfer of
wealth through the fiat monetary system operated by the secretive
Protesters against this unconstitutional system of paper money are
considered unpatriotic criminals and at times are imprisoned for their
beliefs. The fact that, according to the Constitution, only gold and
silver are legal tender and paper money outlawed matters little. The
principle of patriotism is turned on its head. Whether it's with
regard to the defense of welfare spending at home, confiscatory income
tax, or an immoral monetary system or support for a war fought under
false pretense without a legal declaration, the defenders of liberty
and the Constitution are portrayed as unpatriotic, while those who
support these programs are seen as the patriots.
If there is a war going on, supporting the state's effort to win the
war is expected at all costs, no dissent. The real problem is that
those who love the state too often advocate policies that lead to
military action. At home, they are quite willing to produce a crisis
atmosphere and claim a war is needed to solve the problem. Under these
conditions, the people are more willing to bear the burden of paying
for the war and to carelessly sacrifice liberties, which they are told
The last 6 years have been quite beneficial to the health of the
state, which comes at the expense of personal liberty. Every enhanced
unconstitutional power of the state can only be achieved at the
expense of individual liberty. Even though in every war in which we
have been engaged civil liberties have suffered, some have been
restored after the war ended, but never completely. That has resulted
in a steady erosion of our liberties over the past 200 years. Our
government was originally designed to protect our liberties, but it
has now, instead, become the usurper of those liberties.
We currently live in the most difficult of times for guarding against
an expanding central government with a steady erosion of our freedoms.
We are continually being reminded that 9/11 has changed everything.
Unfortunately, the policy that needed most to be changed, that is,
our policy of foreign interventionism, has only been expanded. There
is no pretense any longer that a policy of humility in foreign
affairs, without being the world's policemen and engaging in nation
building, is worthy of consideration.
We now live in a post-9/11 America where our government is going to
make us safe no matter what it takes. We are expected to grin and bear
it and adjust to every loss of our liberties in the name of patriotism
Though the majority of Americans initially welcomed the declared
effort to make us safe, and we are willing to sacrifice for the cause,
more and more Americans are now becoming concerned about civil
liberties being needlessly and dangerously sacrificed.
The problem is that the Iraq war continues to drag on, and a real
danger of it spreading exists. There is no evidence that a truce will
soon be signed in Iraq or in the war on terror or the war on drugs.
Victory is not even definable. If Congress is incapable of declaring
an official war, it is impossible to know when it will end. We have
been fully forewarned that the world conflict in which we are now
engaged will last a long, long time.
The war mentality and the pervasive fear of an unidentified enemy
allows for a steady erosion of our liberties, and, with this, our
respect for self-reliance and confidence is lost. Just think of the
self-sacrifice and the humiliation we go through at the airport
screening process on a routine basis. Though there is no scientific
evidence of any likelihood of liquids and gels being mixed on an
airplane to make a bomb, billions of dollars are wasted throwing away
toothpaste and hair spray, and searching old women in wheelchairs.
Our enemies say boo, and we jump, we panic, and then we punish
ourselves. We are worse than a child being afraid of the dark. But in
a way, the fear of indefinable terrorism is based on our inability to
admit the truth about why there is a desire by a small number of angry
radical Islamists to kill Americans. It is certainly not because they
are jealous of our wealth and freedoms.
We fail to realize that the extremists, willing to sacrifice their
own lives to kill their enemies, do so out of a sense of weakness and
desperation over real and perceived attacks on their way of life,
their religion, their country, and their natural resources. Without
the conventional diplomatic or military means to retaliate against
these attacks, and an unwillingness of their own government to address
the issue, they resort to the desperation tactic of suicide terrorism.
Their anger toward their own governments, which they believe are
coconspirators with the American Government, is equal to or greater
than that directed toward us.
These errors in judgment in understanding the motive of the enemy and
the constant fear that is generated have brought us to this crisis
where our civil liberties and privacy are being steadily eroded in the
name of preserving national security.
We may be the economic and the military giant of the world, but the
effort to stop this war on our liberties here at home in the name of
patriotism is being lost.
The erosion of our personal liberties started long before 9/11, but
9/11 accelerated the process. There are many things that motivate
those who pursue this course, both well-intentioned and malevolent,
but it would not happen if the people remained vigilant, understood
the importance of individual rights, and were unpersuaded that a need
for security justifies the sacrifice for liberty, even if it is just
now and then.
The true patriot challenges the state when the state embarks on
enhancing its power at the expense of the individual. Without a better
understanding and a greater determination to rein in the state, the
rights of Americans that resulted from the revolutionary break from
the British and the writing of the Constitution will disappear.
The record since September 11th is dismal. Respect for liberty has
rapidly deteriorated. Many of the new laws passed after 9/11 had, in
fact, been proposed long before that attack. The political atmosphere
after that attack simply made it more possible to pass such
legislation. The fear generated by 9/11 became an opportunity for
those seeking to promote the power of the state domestically, just as
it served to falsely justify the long-planned invasion of Iraq.
The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with
the constant drumbeat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden,
who is now likely residing in Pakistan, our supposed ally, are
ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier
targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders
constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of
our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own
borders and support the inexorable move toward global government,
hardly a good plan for America.
The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after 9/11. Within
weeks, the PATRIOT Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Though
the final version was unavailable up to a few hours before the vote,
no Member had sufficient time to study it. Political fear of not doing
something, even something harmful, drove the Members of Congress to
not question the contents, and just voted for it. A little less
freedom for a little more perceived safety was considered a fair
trade-off, and the majority of Americans applauded.
The PATRIOT Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and
balances by giving the government the power to spy on law-abiding
citizens without judicial supervision. The several provisions that
undermine the liberties of all Americans include sneak-and-peek
searches, a broadened and more vague definition of domestic terrorism,
allowing the FBI access to library and bookstore records without
search warrants or probable cause, easier FBI initiation of wiretaps
and searches, as well as roving wiretaps, easier access to information
on American citizens' use of the Internet, and easier access to e-mail
and financial records of all American citizens.
The attack on privacy has not relented over the past 6 years. The
Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of
legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as
the powers unconstitutionally granted to the executive branch are used
and abused. This act grants excessive authority to use secretive
military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are
going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary
detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the
full discretion of the President and without the right of habeas
corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA. It also gives to the
President the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.
Since 9/11, Presidential signing statements designating portions of
legislation that the President does not intend to follow, though not
legal under the Constitution, have enormously multiplied.
Unconstitutional Executive Orders are numerous and mischievous and
need to be curtailed.
Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world have been
widely engaged in, though obviously extralegal.
A growing concern in the post-9/11 environment is the Federal
Government's list of potential terrorists based on secret evidence.
Mistakes are made, and sometimes it is virtually impossible to get
one's name removed even though the accused is totally innocent of any
A national ID card is now in the process of being implemented. It is
called the REAL ID card, and it is tied to our Social Security numbers
and our State driver's license. If REAL ID is not stopped, it will
become a national driver's license ID for all Americans. We will be
required to carry our papers.
Some of the least-noticed and least-discussed changes in the law were
the changes made to the Insurrection Act of 1807 and to posse
comitatus by the Defense Authorization Act of 2007. These changes pose
a threat to the survival of our Republic by giving the President the
power to declare martial law for as little reason as to restore public
order. The 1807 act severely restricted the President in his use of
the military within the United States borders, and the Posse Comitatus
Act of 1878 strengthened these restrictions with strict oversight by
Congress. The new law allows the President to circumvent the
restrictions of both laws. The Insurrection Act has now become the
"Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.'' This is hardly
a title that suggests that the authors cared about or understood the
nature of a constitutional Republic.
Now, martial law can be declared not just for insurrection, but also
for natural disasters, public health reasons, terrorist attacks or
incidents, or for the vague reason called "other conditions.'' The
President can call up the National Guard without congressional
approval or the Governors' approval, and even send these State Guard
troops into other States.
The American Republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our
country eventually devolving into a military dictatorship, and few
seem to care. These precedent-setting changes in the law are extremely
dangerous and will change American jurisprudence forever if not
revised. The beneficial results of our revolt against the King's
abuses are about to be eliminated, and few Members of Congress and few
Americans are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Complacency
and fear drive our legislation without any serious objection by our
elected leaders. Sadly, though, those few who do object to this
self-evident trend away from personal liberty and empire-building
overseas are portrayed as unpatriotic and uncaring.
Though welfare and socialism always fails, opponents of them are said
to lack compassion. Though opposition to totally unnecessary war
should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim
that patriots who oppose the war are not supporting the troops. The
cliché "Support the Troops'' is incessantly used as a substitute for
the unacceptable notion of supporting the policy, no matter how flawed
it may be.
Unsound policy can never help the troops. Keeping the troops out of
harm's way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the
only real way of protecting the troops. With this understanding, just
who can claim the title of "patriot''?
Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world
conflict for which we will be held responsible, or the liberties of
all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has
to be done. Time is short, but our course of action should be clear.
Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is
required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should
take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil
disobedience to bring about necessary changes.
But let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love
the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of
authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more
closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire
for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a
free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that
maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from
a society respectful of individual liberty. [Ron Paul’s speech ends
There it is. The speech Dr. Paul gave in 2007 seems even more
relevant today than it did then. Don’t you think?
You want to elect a real American statesman? You want to elect a man
who would preserve liberty and freedom in America? You want to elect a
man who would resist the devilish New World Order? You want to elect a
man who would reestablish sound economic principles? If so, you will
vote to elect Ron Paul as President of the United States. (And, no, no
one has paid me a penny to post his speech or make this endorsement.)
Forget all the smoke and mirrors and the dog and pony shows that you
see and hear from the other Presidential candidates. The issues that
Dr. Paul addressed in this speech are the issues that are going to
determine our country’s future. Again, this is the man who should be
President of the United States.