Ron Paul -- The Modern Cincinnatus
Times of great crisis in history are usually the crucible from which nations form new leaders and new visions. Such leaders seem to just suddenly appear often out of nowhere to alter the national path pursued, to cleanse the old ways, and stake out a saner, more just means of living and governing.
Is it God, destiny, fate that are somehow at work to bring about a saving metamorphosis in which some visionary soul rises to the occasion to stir the passions of the people and bring about a righting of the ship? Whatever the force may be, our country is in dire need of its power today.
If such a force is at work in history, I pray that it is exerting some heady pressure upon the one politician in Washington who has never been a politician. That man is Congressman Ron Paul from the 14th District in Texas who has always been a throwback to the original "citizen statesman" that the Founders promoted as the ideal type of leader for the Republic they had formed.
It is said that the Founders modeled their "citizen statesman" after the example of Cincinnatus of Rome. In the early days of the Roman Republic around 450 BC, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was a private farmer who left his plough to lead his countrymen in battle against enemy invaders, then returned to his pastoral life, only to be called again later to lead the Republic as Consul in a time of political crisis. Cincinnatus has, thus, been handed down over the centuries as a prime example of the citizen statesman who does not seek office and political power as a lifetime career, but gives service to his country by his leadership when called.
Well, we have a modern day Cincinnatus right now among us. Off and on over the past three decades, he has been serving the Republic that the Founding Fathers gave us, rather than the unlimited Democracy into which the socialists have transformed us. He bills himself as the "Taxpayers Best Friend," and he backs it up with a myriad of brave cost cutting measures. This Texan has the cattle to go with his hat: He is a physician, a scholar, a statesman, a leader of impeccable integrity and right reason. In a world that no longer values the guiding benevolence of the Constitution, Ron Paul makes it his revered compass as he was commissioned by the Founders to do. In a Washington dominated by unctuous Machiavellians who build their lives upon Faustian bargains and ruthless careerism, Ron Paul stands like a majestic oak of clarity and sanity in defense of the American ideal. His watchword is "steadfast adherence to principle." Compromise if need be on the means of implementation. But never on the principle itself. Never on the Constitution. Never on the rights of man.
Listen to what Congressman Paul had to say a few years ago upon being called back from private life to Washington: "The Feds want us to be hamsters on a treadmill -- working hard, all day long, to pay high taxes, but otherwise entirely docile and controlled. The huge, expensive, and out-of-control leviathan that we call the Federal Government wants to run every single aspect of our lives. I'm in Congress to cut the government: its taxes, its bureaucrats, its spending, and every single unconstitutional action it takes."
The beautiful thing about this non-politician is that he does not pay lip service like all the rest of the humbugs that gather on the Potomac every two years to strut and preen with our tax dollars. This man has the mettle to back up his campaign rhetoric with action. This man fulfills his promises. Imagine that in this day and age -- a politician who does precisely what he says he will do! When big government advocates smear him as a "right-wing extremist," Paul calmly replies, "Isn't that what George III called Thomas Jefferson?" You can almost hear an ingenuous Jimmy Stewart talking to reporters on the Capitol steps in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Frank Capra would have loved this guy.
Background and Accomplishments
Dr. Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attended Gettysburg College and Duke University School of Medicine, served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960's, and first went to Washington as a Congressman in 1976. He served from then until 1984 when he voluntarily gave up his seat to return to private life and his medical practice. While in Washington, he was quick to stake out a reputation as our nation's premier defender of the Constitution. From the start, he championed sound monetary policy that pushed for a return to a gold standard. He served on the House Banking committee and steadfastly opposed the Federal Reserve and its relentless inflation of the money supply. Truly a man ahead of his time, this wise contrarian could see that President Nixon had given the Fed an ominous tool with which to wreck the economy when he closed the gold window in 1971.
In addition to his stalwart efforts to defend sound money, Congressman Paul voted time and again to reduce and/or abolish income taxes, regulatory nonsense, and the encroachment of mushrooming federal bureaucracies.
In 1982, Dr. Paul co-authored with Lewis Lehrman The Case For Gold, which was a monetary history of money and banking in America. Magisterial in its scope, the book brilliantly lays out the reasons why a commodity money such as gold is mandatory if freedom and economic stability are to be our goals.
In 1988, while back in the private sector, Dr. Paul led the Libertarian Party as their presidential candidate to help promote the cause of returning America to her roots of limited constitutional govenment and a free-market. Along the way, he has authored several other books such as Challenge to Liberty and A Republic If You Can Keep It. Scholarly, resolute, and ever probing for the truth, Dr. Paul has garnered numerous awards from the National Taxpayers' Union, Citizens Against Waste, and Young Americans for Freedom, etc.
In 1996 with his children now grown, Dr. Paul and his wife Carol decided that the Republic could best be served by returning to Washington again. A time of crisis was looming that called for his wisened voice of reason on money, taxes, and freedom. He successfully won the seat from the 14th Congressional district of Texas. In the seven years since then, he has reasserted himself as America's foremost patriot-constitutionalist and advocate of a return to the Founders' vision of limited government.
Since 1997, he has written a weekly news column called "Texas Straight Talk" that articulates hard hitting viewpoints on the salient political issues of our time. See his website [ www.house.gov/paul ]. He has personally sponsored over 40 legislative bills designed to reduce government, strengthen the bulwarks of freedom, and restore sound monetary policy to the country. Some of his notable legislative bills are:
1) H.J. RES. 15: To abolish personal income, estate, and gift taxes.
2) H.R. 220: To ban the Federal Government from use of National ID numbers for citizens.
3) H.R. 1146: To end membership of the United States in the United Nations.
4) H.R. 1547: To restore first amendment protections of religion and religious speech.
He has voted repeatedly for term limits. He has pushed for a repeal of the withholding tax function of the Federal Government. He has sought to get the U.S. to leave the phony World Trade Organization. He was one of only 67 who voted against the USA Patriot Act. He doggedly assails the Orwellian Greenspan upon his every visit to Capitol Hill. And about four years ago, he organized 20 of his colleagues in Congress into The Liberty Committee to fight the authoritarians on all fronts -- legislative, educational, and activist. See [ www.thelibertycommittee.org ]
The "Neo-Conned" Speech
On July 10, 2003, Dr. Paul gave perhaps the most important speech of his political life to the House of Representatives. "The modern-day, limited-government movement has been co-opted," he stated in his opening. "The conservatives have failed in their effort to shrink the size of government. There has not been, nor will there soon be, a conservative revolution in Washington. Political party control of the federal government has changed, but the inexorable growth in the size and scope of government has continued unabated."
Following this opening salvo, Paul then proceeds to put forth a blistering expose of the political-intellectual movement called "neoconservatism," its sinister goals, its former socialist members, and how it has taken over Washington politics along with Big Media to further the desecration of the Constitution and the vision of a free and ordered Republic.
We have come to our present deteriorated state of affairs, he asserts, "because ideas...have consequences. Bad ideas have bad consequences, and even the best of intentions have unintended consequences..."
"Since 9-11, protection of privacy, whether medical, personal or financial, has vanished. Free speech and the fourth Amendment have been under constant attack. Higher welfare expenditures are endorsed by the leadership of both parties. Policing the world and nation-building issues are...now standard operating procedures..."
"None of this happened by accident or coincidence. Precise philosophic ideas prompted certain individuals to gain influence to implement these plans. The neoconservatives -- a name they gave themselves -- diligently worked their way into positions of power and influence...They were not and are not conservatives dedicated to limited, constitutional government."
The neoconservatives are collectivist wolves in the sheep's clothing of freedom. They are the new age Orwellians -- clever, ruthless, scholarly, and horrifyingly authoritarian. A long list of prominent pundits and power brokers such as Michael Ledeen, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Max Boot, Bill Bennett, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and numerous others make up their movement. Their goal is to further centralize our government in Washington and to achieve what they call "benevolent world hegemony." This is euphemistic code for achieving imperialistic control over as many regions of the world as possible, through whatever means are necessary (including preemptive war).
"Neoconservatism is not the philosophy of free markets and a wise foreign policy," states Paul. "Instead, it represents big-government welfare at home and a program of using our military might to spread their version of American values throughout the world."
In this gutsy, provocative speech, Dr. Ron Paul has established himself as the ultimate standard bearer for genuine political-philosophical reform in America. He carves out clearly the difference between his limited government conservatism and the big government conservatism of George Bush and the neocons. "Preserving the state is their goal," he asserts, "even if the personal liberty of all individuals has to be suspended or canceled."
Dr. Paul ends his compelling oration with the following: "Spending, borrowing and printing money cannot be the road to prosperity....It's never worked anytime throughout history. A point is always reached where government planning, spending and inflation run out of steam. Instead of these old tools reviving an economy...they eventually become the problem. Both sides of the political spectrum must one day realize that limitless government intrusion in the economy, in our personal lives, and in the affairs of other nations cannot serve the best interests of America. This is not a conservative problem, nor is it a liberal problem -- it's a government intrusion problem that comes from both groups."
What Needs to be Done
Scintillating words from a bold contrarian in a corrupt and conformist world. I would say that here is the man we need to truly challenge the Demopublicans, to gather all the disparate third parties under one umbrella and lead the cause of restoring the Republic. Here is the man our country needs for President! Here is our modern Cincinnatus!
Let this then be an open plea to Congressman Ron Paul. The past 27 years of your life have resulted in a profound and immensely accomplished career of service to the noblest ideals of Western civilization. Yet as great as they have been, they are but prologue to your real destiny. I believe the force that I spoke of earlier in this article, that works through history, has been preparing you for the final denouement of your real destiny. And that is to lead a great enduring crusade to reinstill the principles of the Founding Fathers into the public forum. It will be a dramatic first step toward the salvation of the Republic in these first tumultuous decades of the 21st century.
This first dramatic step is for you to launch a viable third party challenge to the tyrannical Demopublican establishment. No man is better suited for this endeavor than you. But it cannot be a conventional third party challenge as we have seen over the years from the likes of the Libertarian Party, the Independence Party, and the Reform Party. It must be a radical new kind of Third Party that will have impact. I have written about the strategy of just such a challenge in an article titled, "Gold Money and Equal Tax Rates."
In the 1850's, the political history of America was dramatically altered when the Republican Party came into being to bring about the demise of the old Whig Party. The times we live in today dictate the necessity of an equivalent political shift. The question is, can such a shift be brought about through a third party movement, or is the conventional wisdom correct in claiming that third parties are ineffectual endeavors that no longer have meaning to the modern world of politics?
The answer to this can best be stated with a quote from the 19th century novelist Victor Hugo: "Greater than the tread of armies is an idea whose time has come." The idea of a third party challenge will always be ineffectual until those precise periods of history when its "time has come." When the ruling political forces have become so corrupted and so out of touch that a dramatic new allignment of policy needs to be enacted, then is when the third party approach (previously an exercise in futility) suddenly becomes a powerful effective tool. This becomes especially so in times of great crisis. It should be quite apparent that we as a nation are about to enter a severe crisis period, and it should also be apparent that the present ruling forces (the Demopublicans) have become inexcuseably corrupted.
No third party challenge will succeed, however, if it follows the conventional path. My essay, "Gold Money and Equal Tax Rates," outlines a RADICAL NEW STRATEGY for the third party approach that eliminates the two damaging errors that all contemporary third parties make, errors that doom them to defeat.
Dr. Paul, I urge you to read what I have written in the above referrenced article and seriously consider adopting its strategy in the upcoming years. America today is in peril as you well know. Cincinnatus helped to save the Roman Republic in his day. You are his modern likeness. Only you can unify the divergent factions in the freedom movement to make it a cohesive power strong enough to actually have an impact. We Americans who have been your loyal supporters over the years urge you to rise to this occasion. The Republic will surely perish without a heroic effort from all of us.
The stirring words of the patriot William Wallace come always to my mind in times like these: "What will you do for freedom? Will you fight?" Such was his trumpet call to rally his followers for battle with the dreaded English juggernaut seven centuries ago. Back and forth in front of his troops, Wallace rode on his prancing horse exhorting a reluctant army of Scottish rebels until they rose up to drive the English from their land. "What will you do for freedom? Will you fight," he repeatedly asked? Your life's work, Dr. Paul, has been in essence the posing of those two questions to all Americans. I write to you today, to tell you we are ready for the fight. And we need you and your prancing horse to lead the way.