Ron Paul: It is real nice to be here and I’m very pleased with what you’re doing, especially what Jeff Frazee has put together. Because I really believe this will make a difference and this is something that I have a lot of excitement about. Because if you know, and many of you know what happened in the campaign, you’ve been to some of the rallies, you know about it that it’s your age group that paid attention.
And I think that’s pretty important. And it doesn’t seem to stop. The official campaign for presidency stopped, but the campaign for liberty has not stopped at all. As a matter of fact, the momentum is building. I get people in my office of your age group; between 15 and 25. That’s the group that are very turned off with the Republican Party. The Republican Party members come in and ask, “How do you energize the young people?” and I suggest to them “Maybe you should believe in liberty.”
But they do come to the office and what is impressive now in the last few weeks has been that I’m seeing a lot of young people… you know time goes by so quickly, I said, “You got interested during the Presidential campaign.”
No… it’s been since then in the past 6 months or so, and of course, the official campaign ended over a year ago. So they weren’t even watching things back then. But still they’re hearing about it, they’re hearing about groups like that, they’re hearing about your enthusiasm, they’re still going to the internet and you know there are still some Youtube videos on the internet.
And they get hold of these things and I get the biggest kick out of the young people coming in and they are dragging their parents in. In the old days it used to be the parents dragged their fifteen and sixteen year old in and tell them “well, you got to meet your Congressman, you got to be involved in civics and know how the Congress works.” It’s different. This group is different, and that is very, very important, because if we’re going to change it around it is going to be you that makes the difference.
A lot of people wonder why our group is a lot different. One person that recognized this in public before a hearing and said “your group is so much different” was Hillary Clinton. In the midst of that hearing she said, “I’m going to break the rules and tell you, boy you have an energetic crowd.” Well, I honestly say it is not me, because I’ve read in the paper too many times, “[Ron Paul] has no charisma whatsoever, so therefore, why are they listening to him?” It’s the message. The message is so great that that is what people pay attention to.
There is another very special reason why people in the presidential campaign and the people in this campaign, whether it’s the Campaign for Liberty or YAL, and that is that you are a special category and you belong to it. And you don’t have any choice anymore.
I mean, once you get hooked you’re done. I was a little more cautious. I didn’t pay any attention in high school, and I had some kids in this week… I couldn’t believe they were reading Austrian economics and one guy had Human Action and he was 17 years old. Boy, I wasn’t even paying any attention [at that age]. But the difference is the reason of the enthusiasm is that revolutionary movements always have to be philosophic. There are times when the violent authoritarian comes in and he takes over, but essentially the world changes by ideas.
They ask me frequently, “Who is the one individual that caused this economic crisis?” and they wanted me to say Greenspan or Bush or something like that. I say, “One person: Keynes.”
And the one statement to be remembered about philosophical change is, I don’t think you’re quite old enough to remember this, but I heard them say it: “We’re all Keynesians now”. And I remember when that was. That was August 15th in 1971, and it was a very important moment in our monetary history and in my history as well, because it got me very interested in politics.
But movements and major changes in history occur by a small number of people. Some people say 3%, some people say 5%. It’s never 51% of the people who pop up and say “Oh, we’re all Keynesians now.” It was the people, the 3% or 4% or 5% who were the intellectuals in our university about to destroy our country teaching Keynesian economics and throwing out our constitution, hard money and free markets.
And that 3% were very, very successful. And what I’m witnessing now is that that 3%, people that were in the presidential campaign, Campaign for Liberty or YAL, were part of that 3%. That’s why it appeared that our campaign was the biggest campaign around, which Hillary already acknowledge. It was because of the enthusiasm, the true belief, the message, and it was something worth working for, something worth standing out on the street for.
Those of you who finally discover this and say, “This is important, I want to be part of it’ I’m serious about it” – your life can never be the same again. Because what happens is in the moral sense you have a greater obligation. You will know that the masses will never join. They don’t.
They may follow once you convince them it’s in their best interest to follow along. People do respond to what is in their best interest. But for so long they have been convinced that it’s in their best interest to be militarized forever and ever because of the cold war with the Soviets. To be taken care of; to receive medical care the government has to take of you. To have a good education you have to have the Department of Education, and no child left behind. And it’s always in their best interests that they endorse these ideas.
But what you’re inheriting now is a failed system. And the difference is I assumed it was failed 30 to 40 years ago and I argued all along, but what you have now is the evidence of failure. You know, it was like a light bulb in 1971. I thought “This is crazy, what are they doing? This will be ruinous.”
But you know what happened the day after Nixon made this announcement on August 15? On August 16th after everything he said including getting off the gold standard and putting on a 10% tariff on everything that came into this country, the stock market went up the highest it ever went up in one day and the Chamber of Commerce endorsed everything Nixon was doing.
And I thought, “Holy man, we are in worse shape than I ever dreamed”. But the system held together for a long time; there was a lot of wealth, a lot of productivity, a lot of trust. We had the military power, we had the economic power, we were not a debtor nation, we were loaning to others and there was a lot of trust in our system.
That’s all gone. We are a debtor nation, we still have the military might, but it’s all based on the trust in the dollar which it doesn’t deserve. And if you will witness the day when the world will lose trust in the dollar. And it might not be too far off, because there is no foundation to the dollar.
There had been one, but now we live in very, very dangerous times because the financial structure that was built on the dollar standard has collapsed. And now we have this economic crisis going on which is going to get worse. The foreign policy is destined to get worse. Inevitably in major elections most of the time the people sense when they like the tone of somebody who said ‘We should have less war, not more war, especially when the war doesn’t make any sense’. So Obama became the so-called peace candidate. Just like George Bush said that policing the world and nation-building wasn’t good. So here we are.
But what has happened? Nothing. I mean they’re falling right along, they’re expanding the war. The finances have totally deteriorated, but there is still trust in the dollar. But what you’re going to witness is a loss of the trust in the dollar and then those that were indebted to it will be in the driver’s seat and they’re in the driver’s seat more than ever.
We have our troops all around the world. We send them over there protecting our industries and protecting our oil in the Middle East. At the same time what are the Chinese doing? They’re making business deals with the Iranians. You know, they have become the capitalists and we have become the socialists.
I don’t think you need to hear anymore about the problems. What you need to hear about is the ominous burden placed on your shoulders, because you will not be able to walk away from this. Most of in here are going to be destined to bear some burden and do a lot of good things. Even if you just do one-on-one and convert people.
But the number one responsibility you have is to perfect your philosophy, understand it, know what free markets are. The most important political message is to be able to talk about freedom and make sure that the people you’re talking to, and that means all the other people, understand that their best interest will be served by living in a free society.
Because if we don’t have the moral high ground, the big government people do because they’re always stealing from a one group and giving to another, saying “I’ll take care of you, I’m going to give you free this and free that.” But now if people want to know the answer, only freedom can feed the people, only freedom can provide prosperity.
And we’re going to get poorer and poorer, we’re going to have more crises. Our empire will have to end, and you will witness the day when we as a country will make a decision: what should the role of the government be? And very simply, it was well-intended by the founders and the role of the government ought to be to protect liberty, and liberty works, liberty will take care of us, it will provide the prosperity, honest contracts, honest money. And that decision will have to be made.
If we fail, if you fail if you don’t do your work and the numbers don’t grow, believe me, the momentum is to continue to depend on the government and give the government more power. We can’t let that happen. And they could do this for a long time. Even though the country may get poorer and poorer they’ll keep scaring the people. They scare you about 9-11, they scare you about Saddam Hussein, they scare you about the financial crisis. “We need more and more governments,” it’s endless.
Today a bill was passed pretty much overwhelming which is going to regulate almost everything that the food producers do. I mean, it is going to be really, really bureaucratic on food. Food prices will have to go up, there’s going to be shortage of the food, it’s so bad. Just like in medicine. Just think of what they’re doing to medicine. None of these things work.
So we need to study and understand the free market to be able to defend this position and what your job is going to be unpredictable. I would never come here and say “Look, what I need is for everyone of you to work for the goal of being in Congress.” Believe me, don’t set that as your goal.
I hope you have a great time this weekend. Remember one of my rules when you get together and you work with these very serious problems and you don’t know what will come tomorrow, you got to have fun doing it. And you can have fun because at least you come together with like-minded ideas. You don’t need to invite all the socialists and give them equal time. You don’t need that. You need to get together and plan your strategy and be very positive and upbeat.
There is a starvation out there for the ideas, but there is also a starvation for people to lead the way. You’re capable of doing this and I suspect within a year or two or three this organization is going to be very, very big. You’ll be getting out of school and hopefully you’ll be in positions of influence.
That doesn’t mean you’ll be in politics. You might be. You might be supporting candidates, you might be in groups that are just teaching groups, you might be a teacher. Who knows? But if you know your subject and you have true belief, believe me, [somebody] will make good use of you. There is no doubt about that.
You cannot spread the message of liberty with compulsion and force and saying “You do it my way.” I’ve waited many, many years by quietly trying to do what I thought was right in the Congress. And they laughed for a long, long time. And it turned out that at the beginning they used to ask questions about this weird thing about me voting by myself, voting against gold medals for Mother Theresa and they asked me “Why do you do that?” and on and on.
But you know what, it turned out that sticking to my guns became a litmus test that was measured. Now, without this idea that I think I can go down and shake them and say “Do it this way. You got to believe this way. What’s the matter with you?” I don’t believe it works. But now, finally, they do come and ask questions.
Sometimes they’re very simple. They come and ask, “I just lost 75% of my portfolio, what do you think I ought to do?” Very practical. But I think our philosophy answers those question as well as the others. The foreign policy is wonderful, but the idea of personal liberties… this is something I know most of us are working within the Republican Party and I think that’s the party I belong to.
But it doesn’t really matter. You know the whole thing is that you got to believe in what you’re doing and it will change, it will change the world. Because the opportunity is there. Make the change, keep fighting and enjoy yourselves.
Thank you very much.