The Great Ron Paul
Many people wish they could have met a great figure in history. What would it be like to talk to Newton, to Tesla, to Shakespeare? Those of us lucky enough to know Dr. Ron Paul don’t have to speculate. We know one of the truly great figures in American history, the best Congressman we have ever had. I have known him for decades, and I’d like to tell you something about him as a person and about his achievements.
I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. People today sometimes compare Ron Paul with Bernie Sanders. The comparison of Bernie to Ron goes like this: both launched insurgent, anti-establishment presidential campaigns while in their 70s, shook up their respective party establishments, and attracted large youth followings. But Bernie is no Ron.
Just on the surface: Bernie is a grump and difficult to work with; Ron is a kindhearted gentleman who always showed his appreciation for the people in his office.
More importantly, Ron urged his followers to read and learn. Countless high school and college students began reading dense and difficult treatises in economics and political philosophy because Ron encouraged them to. Ron’s followers, meanwhile, were curious enough to dig beneath the surface. Is the state really a benign institution that can costlessly provide us whatever we might demand? Or might there be moral, economic, and political factors standing in the way of these utopian dreams?
It’s not hard to cultivate a raving band of people demanding other people’s things, as Bernie Sanders does. Such appeals arouse the basest aspects of our nature, and will always attract a crowd. It’s very hard, on the other hand, to build up an army of young people intellectually curious enough to read serious books and consider ideas that go beyond the conventional wisdom they learned in school about government and market. It’s hard to build up a movement of people whose moral sense is developed enough to recognize that barking demands and enforcing them with the state’s gun is the behavior of a thug, not a civilized person. And it’s hard to persuade people of the counter-intuitive idea that society runs better and individuals are more prosperous when no one is “in charge” at all.
Yet Ron accomplished all these things.
As the person who reached more people with the message of liberty than anyone in our time, Ron has also taught us how that message can and must be spread. I want to talk about some of these lessons.
First and foremost, Ron is a critic of the warfare state. The subject of war cannot, and should not, be avoided.
Ron is not a pacifist – an ancient charge against those who oppose constant war. He believes in the right to self-defense, but he does not believe in the initiation of violence, whether by private criminals or the state. The state has recently taken more than a million lives in its imperialist anti-Muslim wars. Ron Paul has opposed them with all his heart and soul. He is a man of peace and the golden rule, in his private life and his policy.
The war in Iraq, which was still a live issue when Ron first ran for the Republican nomination, had been sold to the public on the basis of lies that were transparent and insulting even by the US government’s standards. The devastation – in terms of deaths, maimings, displacement, and sheer destruction – appalled every decent human being.
Yes, the Department of Education is an outrage, but it is nothing next to the horrifying images of what happened to the men, women, and children of Iraq. If he wasn’t going to denounce such a clear moral evil, Ron thought, what was the point of being in public life at all?
Still, this is the issue strategists would have had him avoid. Just talk about the budget, talk about the greatness of America, talk about whatever everyone else was talking about, and you’ll be fine. And, they neglected to add, forgotten.
But had Ron shied away from this issue, there would have been no Ron Paul Revolution. It was his courageous refusal to back down f
Article from LewRockwell