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Ron Paul: Thank you very much, thank you, thank you. Thank you for coming, and thank you for that very nice reception. I want to thank Jack for the introduction. Also, I want to thank Mark for all his hard work. It seems like I get to (?) quite often for Campaign for Liberty, but Mark has something to do with it; he has good organizational skills, and he has a lot of people to work with. Thank you very much for helping out.
This year I particularly wanted to make sure I’ve made this meeting because we had that little straw vote last week, and I wanted to make sure you knew about the results. You might not have heard about it, so I wanted to come and let you know how things came out. But someday, when this momentum continues, which it is, the crowds are getting bigger, the enthusiasm is getting louder, the country is coming our way. Pretty soon, we’re going to get some of those big interviews on Sunday morning, who knows. But it is great to be here, I’d like to talk about what I talk about all the time, and that’s liberty, but I want to address it in a certain way. Generally speaking, I am sure you have been challenged, as I have been for many years, and continue to be, and that is the accusation that we who have these particular beliefs that we believe sincerely in the constitution, they’re strange ideas, they’re out of the mainstream, there’s something odd about them. But I’d like to talk about what’s being going on in this country, because I think the odd balls have been in control of this country for way too long. The one issue I’ve talked about for a long time and which has motivated me even in the early years of being involved in politics, happened to do with Breton-Woods and the monetary system. But just think about it, how often now they say that this idea of commodity money and gold and the constitution, how silly it was. The other day I read something I found rather entertaining, I was by myself and I had to laugh a little bit, because the person that was writing this said, “Yes, Ron Paul has interesting ideas about monetary policy, but its pre-industrial”. And I got to thinking, does he realize where this country is moving? What has happened in the last 40 years, we’ve been de-industrialized by this runaway paper standard. It is only honest money that really promotes the industrialized world and money is very important in doing this. So, monetary policy is key, it’s key for those who believe in the entitlement system because you have to finance it, it’s key for those individuals that will finance wars overseas, and therefore, it is a very, very important issue. And when you think about what is happened over the last 100 years, essentially since we’ve had our Federal Reserve, we’ve lost – you know, I have to keep up, I have to check every morning exactly how much we’ve lost against gold – it’s about 98.5%, 99% of the value of the 1913 dollar we have lost. And then they want to say this is a good system of purposely devaluing the currency? I would say, after a 100 years, it’s time we re-evaluate it and we should come to the conclusion, and that is we don’t need a central bank and we need to get rid of the Federal Reserve System; is what we need.
So when they tell you that it’s a silly idea to think about gold, how could anything be sillier than taking pieces of paper and writing numbers on them, and have value? You know, I think grade school kids can be taught something about money that they don’t understand in Washington; it’s because they want it that way. They know it serves the special interest, they know it serves the interest of big government and it serves the interest of big corporations, the military-industrial complex, the financers, the bankers. They know they can make a lot of money getting hold of that money first, but they also know when they control the money, and they can control the ability to inflate at will, they also can bail themselves out when necessary. And that has to come to an end, we need to be a lot more concerned about our middle-class.
But it’s pretty bad when the Congress goes and inflates and has these stimulus programs; billion dollars here, billion dollars there, soon it’s up to a trillion dollars. It’s a lot of money, but it’ minor compared to what the Fed does. And the Fed actually believes they should be able to and be allowed to do it in secret. You know, if we don’t get rid of the Fed soon, we better, at least get to audit the Fed and find out exactly what they’ve been doing. But just think they’ve been pumping around 15 trillion dollars these last 4 years, a third of it went to the foreign banks, foreign central banks and foreign governments. I mean, this is such an outrage. When the people here this, they become outraged and more and more people are hearing it. The truth is, is I am very surprised, pleasantly so, that we are this far along on delivering this message. 4, 5 years ago before the last campaign, nobody knew how many people like you were out there that had already thought about it and knew about it, and here there were thousands and thousands. I believe today there are millions and millions of people who are now aware of what’s going on.
So here we take a monetary system, they argued the case that printing money is real and we should do it in secret and bail out all the special interest. At the same time, they mock the notion that we should follow the constitution. The constitution says only gold and silver can be legal tender, you cannot emit bills of credit which is paper money. And what do they do, how do they have to protect their system? By force, they use the force of government and the laws: the legal tender laws say you must settle all your contracts using only money, which is paper money. If you are so eager and so bold and think that you have the right, because of the constitution, that you have the right to use gold and silver coins – even those that were minted by our government and that still say “legal tender” and the constitution says they’re legal tender – they could be arrested and put in prison for this, charged with counterfeiting. To use American hard money is counterfeiting. The counterfeiting is over at the Federal Reserve.
So it’s absolute economic fact that by duplicating units of money with nothing behind the currency, but just to duplicate paper money, there is no additional wealth put into the economy; none. All it does is dilute wealth, redistribute wealth. It is very well known in the study of monetary history that when governments do this – and they’ve been doing it for centuries, this is not brand new – and when they do it, it inevitably wipes out the middle class. I mean, just think in recent history, Mexico’s gone through a re-monetization and runaway inflation; Germany did it; Zimbabwe’s done it; South American countries have done it. And it’s been done so many times and yet, inevitably, the only way to restore confidence is always to go back with real money and, of course, when you do and when we will do that, the people have to believe the individual’s doing it. Because if they announce tomorrow, “Okay, it looks bad, so we’re going to go to gold standard. We’ll make the dollar(?) 1/1500th of an ounce of gold and we will honor that. But we won’t change our foreign policy, we won’t change our spending habits, we won’t change our deficits”. Who would believe that? Nobody would believe that. We had one example in our history when we did that, and the people had a little bit more conviction about the country and what the government said, and that was after in the Civil War. They had a resumption act, it took 3 years, they quit printing greenbacks and they withdrew some, and we didn’t have a welfare state, we didn’t have an empire. After 3 years the price of gold went down dramatically from a couple of hundred dollars down to 20 dollars, and it was a non-event. But today it is so different. So to deal with the monetary issue, you have to deal with something else that is very important; and that is the role of government. And then the more important thing is to have people in government, from the presidency on down, individuals who you can trust and understand and who won’t lie to you.
As bad as it is in Washington from top down and as bad as it is that we are suffering from the consequences of decades of teaching by socialists and Keynesians and inflationist, it’s really as much the people at fault as anybody. Because we’re not in a challenge now. Even an audience like this who are sick and tired of it all, we know what has to be done, but we’re still probably numerically in the minority because more than half the people in the country have become dependent on the government, and therefore any attempt to do it will make people very angry and we’ve seen this already. We’ve seen this happen in the states that have tried to correct things. People get quite angry, they’re angry around the world, they’re very upset about what’s happening and they don’t quite understand because prices of food are going up. They don’t know that the world economic system and the monetary system is manipulated by us printing so much money. So they’re reacting to prices going up and therefore they act out and they’re capable of doing it in this country and they’ve already shown some anger around the country as well. But the people have an appetite for big government, that’s still what’s happened. We have a large number of people, I mean, I meet them on the stages when I have debates. They don’t think we have enough wars going on, they think we need more wars going on. But thank goodness we’re breaking through on that, the people are with us on that. When you get a former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, coming home and finally getting out of that business, saying, “Anybody who thinks we need another war needs their head examined”, and I agree.
But if we allow those who find special reasons for wanting to keep our presence around the world, so many bases in so many countries with no real effort to bring these troops home. There was an announcement today that we’re working now on an agreement with the Afghan government to be able to stay because they’re inviting us to stay until 2024. Sure, sure. And the odds of us leaving Iraq, what do you think the odds are of leaving Iraq? I think they’re slim to none, until we’re broke. Unless we get somebody in office that will change the foreign policy and bring the troops home.
You know, sometimes little items stand out bigger than the trillions of dollars; it’s hard to comprehend the trillions and the hundreds of billions. So there’s one thing that went on in Iraq that I think you can remember, and it makes them look silly. Why are doing this? And that is, they decided after we conquered Iraq – you know, they had all those nukes and everything over there, and we had to conquer them. But we conquered them and we started having the green zone, and we built and embassy in the green zone. And the embassy is as big as the Vatican, and just recently in the DOD budget they put authority, authorization, and funding for 17,000 people to be employed in the embassy in Iraq. And do you think they’re planning on coming home? I would say the suggestion be that if you’re going to save that 1 billion dollars, what we should do is save the billion, put half of it to the deficit reduction, and put it into some program here at home where we can help some people who have learned, unfortunately, to be so dependent on the government just to stay alive. I think that is the solution that if we stop that money spending overseas, help people out here at home, and take those 17,000 jobs and make sure they’re jobs here at home, not overseas.
The president shouldn’t go to war without the Congress’s approval and he should have a declaration of war, but the one thing the President can do, and I would do, is that I can end the wars that are undeclared and unconstitutional. The commander in chief is in charge of the military, he can direct the military. We can bring them home. And they say, “Well, you want to bring them home too fast, we don’t have enough time”. Well, when they want to send them over, they get them together and ship them off rather fast, why can’t we ship them home just as fast. It’s not just in the warzones of the Middle East, but it’s in the perpetual occupation of countries that we don’t need to be occupying, and that is South Korea and Japan and Germany and all these countries and the nearly 900 bases that we have. Close them down, bring them home, and very quickly. I mean, if we pursue this, you will organize a military someday, you don’t do that the first week. But get them home. And just think of how many people would be spending their wages here at home rather than in the German economy and the Japanese economy. Bring that back, that would bank like a stimulus.
The big issue in the campaign has been the economy and jobs. And the interviews have been pretty good and you get a chance to answer them, but you get 30 seconds or 60 seconds. They ask, “What are you going to do to turn the economy around?” And you got to answer in 30 seconds. They took 40 years to mess this up, and you’re supposed to answer in 60 seconds about how to correct it. But I can list a few things in 60 seconds that would help a whole lot: have sound money, get rid of the regulations, reduce the taxes, bring our troops home, change our foreign policy, and repeal the laws, and low and behold, that could be very, very helpful. But it does take a while to get a consensus and have this happen, but the most important thing you have to do to turn it around, is you have to get rid of the mistakes that have been made. Pricing in a free market is crucial. Misses, way back in 1912, said socialism can’t work because they don’t have a free market pricing structure, and it’s impossible to work; and he was right, and it failed. But in Keynesianism and what we have today, we fix the prices on one-half of it, we fixed the prices and altered the value of the dollar and fixed the interest rates, and it causes all the distortions. But you can’t get back to growth until you get rid of the distortions. So you have to liquidate debt and you have to get rid of the mal-investment. And politically, that’s difficult, people don’t want to do that because they’re frightened. When the crisis came in 2008, it was announced, “Well, if we don’t bail out the banks, everybody is going to suffer, there will be a depression”. So what did we do? We spent trillions and trillions of dollars bailing out the people who were making all this money, and guess what? The people got the depression and the people lost their homes. So that didn’t work, we still have the debt on the books. It was just shifted from the wealthy to the poor and the middle class because it’s on our books, on our monetary system and in our treasury. So that has to change.
What we should have been doing in 2008, which has been said by many Austrian economists, is when the crisis comes and somebody’s bankrupt, you have stricter regulations, not weaker regulations. And the strict regulations say, “You’ve messed up, you go bankrupt, and wipe that debt off the books. You don’t go to the people”. But in many ways we’ve lost confidence in freedom in general and we have lost confidence in an understanding of how free markets work, and we’ve been always taught into saying, “Well, there’s always going to be people that will need help, and therefore we have to help them or they’ll fall through the cracks”. Well, when you do it their way, the way the Keynesians have done it, the cracks get bigger and more people fall through them. And we always get charged with, “Well, if you don’t help those kind of people, then you don’t care, you have no humanitarian concerns”. But I’ve come to the conclusion that if we do have humanitarian concerns, which I have and I’m sure you do, the best way to take care of human needs, is to have a free society and free markets and sound money; that will take care of the maximum number of people.
They’re always charging us with this ‘not-caring’, but if you sacrificed a little bit of liberty, let’s say that you do say, “Well, we have to help those in need”. The reason I think that is wrong is because, first, it’s not morally right to steal from one group to give it to another, regardless of what their needs are. Economically it doesn’t work and it fails, it’s not constitutionally authorized. But when you help a little bit a few people, you’ve sacrificed a 100% of the principle, you’ve endorsed re-distribution of wealth, and it will be bound to grow. That’s sort of like saying, “The income tax is not so bad if it’s 1%, like it started out”. But 1% has endorsed the principle that the government says they own all your income and they’ll allow you to keep a certain percentage according to their dictates. That’s why the income tax is the worst type of tax on a free society. I think so much of what we’ve done in these last quite a few decades has been undermining this principle of our personal liberty. So many have not understand exactly where our liberties come from, they think it come from the government, that’s why they own our lives. One member of Congress sitting beside me when we were voting on something that was protecting the consumer and doing something, and I said, “Why do you have to do this, why do you feel compelled to vote for this?” He said, “Well, the people are too stupid to take care of themselves”. Those were the words he used, and that’s the attitude they have, and they believe that. But they don’t recognize it and we can’t argue that there will be no problems in a free society, it’s just that they would be minimized. And there would be a lot more wealth in the country, and there would be a lot more charity in the country and we wouldn’t need the government. As soon as you do the government, you just destroy the wealth and you destroy the free market and the whole thing on the whole property rights. But what we have done, though, is we have undermined across the board this whole idea of whose life it is. The government assumes it’s their money, the government’s money, and that it’s your life. The basic principle of the draft says that they can draft 18 year olds to go off for war. I know there’s no draft now, but young people still have to register just to remind everybody, “In case we need you, we’ll ship you off.” And the most outrageous suggestion I hear, and there’s a famous liberal economist today now talking about and arguing the case that wars end depressions and recessions. That is a criminal thought as well as it’s absolutely wrong. It was taught to so many of us in school: “Oh, the depression ended with the Second World War”. Yea, because they hauled off 16 million Americans and put them in uniforms, the unemployment rates went down, but they were getting shot at and killed. But the prosperity didn’t come, prosperity came well after World War II. It took 17 years to get rid of it. But this idea that when we get into trouble, if you have a war, that will stimulate the economy, it doesn’t. It just redirects the investment. There will be war profits; some workers and business people might make it, but if you build a bomber that goes over and gets blown up, that didn’t increase our standard of living in any way whatsoever. So this is a very dangerous thought, but it’s based on the fact that governments think they own us and control us.
They do that with the assumption of foreign policy that they can use our young and send them off to fight these wars of no purpose. They do it in economics, assuming that they have to regulate you to take care of you and tax you and assume that they own you. But what about in the other sense, the other sense that they are convinced that you can’t protect yourself? But giving up liberty in order to gain protection from the government is foolhardy and we should never have to give up any of our freedoms to provide security for ourselves. So, in a personal way, this attack has been systematic for many, many years, it’s been done with this ill-advised war on drugs. Just think of what they do in the name of regulating drugs. I thought we had a pretty good test of prohibition back in the 1920s and we had to repeal it. We’ve spent over a trillion dollars on the war on drugs, we haven’t got rid of the drugs, but we’ve gotten rid of our liberties. People have these SWAT teams going into the wrong houses and killing people. But it’s time we recognize it’s your life. Yes, if you want to do something dumb, you’re allowed to do it in a free society, but you can’t go and beg other people or require the government to take care of you if you do dumb things.
One thing that’s always been hard for me to understand is, our country is still pretty good in protecting religious freedom. I think there’s less tolerance than there used to be because there are some phobias around on this. But basically most Americans say, “Yes, you have a right of no religion or any religion”, and that seems to be fine. We protect intellectual freedoms as well pretty well. But when it comes to your own body and making your own decision about what food you eat, what you drink and what you smoke and what you do and your personal habits, all of a sudden there’s a bunch up there, liberals and conservatives, who say, “The people are too dumb to protect themselves, they’re always going to do harm to themselves, and we know what’s best for them and we will take care of them.” So that is insidious in the culture, and there’s this belief that you need some nanny-state to take care of us. But once again, it isn’t an argument that it’s a society. But the society that I don’t want is when the government controls us, whether it’s financial control or personal control or religious control or control by forcing us into these wars, that’s what we don’t need. We need to stand up and demand our freedoms.
Of course, nobody will forget where they were on 9/11, that’s 10 years ago, and those were difficult times, especially for those of us who were trying to explain exactly what 9/11 was all about. But immediately afterwards there was a fair amount of legislation that came up. The first bill that came to the floor to rectify these problems that existed, wasn’t to address foreign policy or exactly asking questions, “Why do people commit suicide terrorism, where did these people actually come from?” It certainly wasn’t Iraq. They didn’t ask that, they said, “What we need to do is pass the Patriot Act, which makes no sense. I talked to one member of Congress who voted on it, and I asked, “Why are you even voting for this, you haven’t even had a chance to read it and it has some terrible stuff in there”. He said, “How can I not vote for the Patriot Act under these circumstances. How could I go home and explain it”. I said, “Well, that’s what your job is. But almost every bill in Congress has a title to it which is exactly opposite of what it does. This is a perfect example because I think if it had been properly named, it would have been called ‘Repeal the Fourth Amendment Act’. And most likely they would have had a difficult time passing that piece of legislation. But how in the world can attacking your freedoms, initiating these attacks on our privacy, searches without search warrants all the way down, which more or less established what we have to go through at airports, why we are suspected terrorist without probable cause and we’re treated that way, why if you’re involved in the monetary issue you might well be charged as a terrorist and the term is just thrown around. And how in the world will passing the Patriot Act make us safer without an understanding of what’s going on in the world?
Ron Paul: And it’s an attack on our personal liberties. So it is liberty that is the cause, that is why we continue to campaign for liberty, that’s why this organization is so important. It’s to change people’s minds and to change the political situation in Washington. I am astounded at what’s happened since the last campaign and the last election period, with the Campaign for Liberty going around the country, I meet people that ran for office. I don’t think we’ve counted them all; the different offices they won and state legislatures around the country, even here in Florida some have run and won. But they’re numerous. That is where the encouragement comes from, because the ideas are alive and well. Yes, we have terrible problems; yes, they’ve undermined our liberties. But we still have some left, we’re still in this room, we still have the opportunity to elect different people in Washington. And right now we have a tremendous opportunity because the evidence is crystal clear that the views of the last century, almost, at least 70 years or 80 years on foreign policy and monetary policy; the evidence is in, they have failed, and our views are now appropriate to be put in place.
And we must remember that armies can’t stop an idea whose time has come, and I believe our ideas, our time has come. The country is waking up due to all the evidence that we see, the political landscape that’s changing. They’re desperately struggling for that one single candidate that will capture all of America, that can represent the status quo. But it doesn’t look like they’re finding one very easily, which opens up the door for us, I really believe that. But great strides have been made at the grassroots, the Tea Party Movement, and the changes going on. This has all been official, and there’s a good reason why the Tea Party Movement arose. And it isn’t so much that we know who’s in the Tea Party and exactly what the beliefs are, there’s no one Tea Party Movement. I think I remember when I really got started back in 2007 though. But there was a need and there was a necessity for a group of people to stand up and tell it the way it is and speak out against this two-party system that we have. We don’t have a two-party system, we have a single party system. Just think of how much doesn’t change, regardless of which party. Has medical care programs changed with Republicans versus Democrats, has monetary policy changed, has the entitlement system changed, does foreign policy change? No, they endorse the same ideas they’ve been taught by the same people. But what’s happening in the country now is this standing up and saying, “Yes, we can get their attention, but we don’t have the opportunity to do it in a third party”.
I am always annoyed by the fact that we know what one of the excuses has been for us to go overseas, which I just think it’s a real stretch of their imagination. We’re overseas to spread our goodness and spread democracy, at the point of a gun? So we’re going over killing a lot of people, a lot of our people are getting killed, and we’re spreading democracy in the world. At the same time, our democratic process – not democracy – but our democratic process where we can have different competing parties, is virtually impossible, it’s so difficult. I tried it once, I spent most of my money trying to get on ballots. And how many interviews you think I got, how many debates? It doesn’t happen. So this was the reason there was a need and there was a vacuum and something had to be done, and that’s when I think people finally got so incensed and they followed up with what was happening in 2007, and there’s been this spontaneous movement. Of course, I have to admit there have been a few that have come over to join and get some of the benefits from the Tea Party Movement as well, but nevertheless, I think it’s very, very healthy. But our job is to help define that movement, and how many people are upset, and I think that’s what Campaign for Liberty has been doing, and we will continue to do. Because we know and understand what liberty means and we know that it means personal liberty, we know it means a different foreign policy, and we know it means a different monetary policy, and certainly it means a different economic policy. We take the oath of office very seriously. But this is where the progress has been made.
And at the universities, young people, a lot of times represent any significant change, and if we had no young people, and the campuses were dead, and if they were totally uninterested in what we were doing, I would be very discouraged. And yet, today, this is the place where we get a lot of attention, this Young Americans for Liberty Organization is an outgrowth of the Campaign for Liberty and Jeff Frazee has done a magnificent job, and he’s literally getting hundreds and hundreds of organized individuals around on the campuses. I believe that’s very significant. And the people now have access to so much more information. I struggled when I decided in the 1950s, there was a lot I’m not getting and I don’t fully understand, I’m looking for information and I was trying to figure out the plain truth of these things, and it wasn’t that easy. I certainly didn’t learn it in college, but just the desire to find it motivated me to keep looking. There was no internet, you didn’t hear it on TV, you didn’t get it from the politicians, you don’t get it from the professors, so where do you get it from? You had to get it elsewhere, and it wasn’t books. And I give a lot of credit, back in those years, to how the Foundation for Economic Education helped me, because that was back in the day when there were so few people trying to keep it together. But that was part of a remnant; there’s always a remnant in society that holds things together, and they were part of the remnant. We still don’t know where and how big the remnant is, but I’ll tell you what, I get to meet a few in the remnant, and it’s a lot bigger than I ever dreamed it was.
So there were few of us and a few organizations, but now they have blossomed, they have blossomed and they have actually invaded the universities, the conventional universities, the professors that are getting in the colleges are associated with the Mises Institute and other free market organizations. This is magnificent what’s happening. And this, to me, makes the big difference. And then again the dissemination of information, whether it’s pure political information or educational information, it comes through the internet; it’s magnificent, it’s a real tool. So there’s reason to be very concerned, I am talking about and believe sincerely, although I do not claim to be a prognosticator and claim that I know when things would happen. I think good economic thinking tells you that pretty money, your dollar loses value and a few things like that. But I think things are going to be much worse next summer. I think the dollar is in a crisis, I think that’s what the price of gold is telling us. And it’s pervasive, it’s around the world, it’s the biggest bubble ever. All other countries use dollars in their reserves so this is not going to be one country, it’s not going to be just Greece, it’s not going to be just United States; everybody has to face up to this. And this is why people are rushing into something that they can fully trust, even putting money in the bank doesn’t help anymore, because they’re talking about charging you to put your money in the bank. There’s a lot of paper money and money floating around, beautiful nobody has any confidence. And this is a sign that something big is coming off. This week we saw that the consumer price index was going up at 0.5%, which means it’s going up 0.1%, it’s going up twice as fast as the government tells you. And housing sales this week are continuing once again to go down. But interestingly enough, if you look at the prices of houses in the last three months, they’ve been creeping up. That means that all things of real value, eventually there will be a need for those things and I think that is what’s happening. And we have this opportunity to use all these issues because the world is changing, the attitudes are changing, the understanding is changing, and there’s a lot of room to be very optimistic about our opportunities. But as bad as things are, it will not be easy. But we’re much better off than I say we were 5 or 10 years ago. Many of us were concerned at that time, but the evidence wasn’t in yet. But the evidence is in now, and they know that these problems are here so we’re being so much more better received because of this. But freedom is the answer, bringing people together. I feel so emphatically positive about the benefits of liberty and I don’t shy away ever from somebody saying, “Yes, I don’t care about people”, because it’s only the free society that cares about people, and that is what we have to convince people of.
And the magnificent thing about a free society is it’s not judgmental. Yes, on a personal basis you judge your own life, the life of your kids and your family, and you may be judgmental in the sense that you know what’s right and wrong. But it’s not judgmental in the sense that we want to write laws and decide how you should spend your money what you should eat and whether or not you can drink raw milk or not; we shouldn’t do that. But I’m convinced that it brings people together, I’m convinced that this philosophy brings together those who claim their progressives and those who consider themselves moderates and those who consider themselves conservatives and libertarians, because they all have bits and pieces of the freedom ideas and there’s no reason why we can’t work with people on those issues on which we agree. And this is a way that people feel less threatened, will come together, and I claim that I have worked as well with any other group in Washington as anybody, instead of being stereotyped and saying, “I’m a right wing conservative and I don’t talk to others on the progressive side”, because you get a lot of support from progressive who are sick and tired of Obama’s constant wars and his attack on civil liberties.
But in a history of freedom, it’s a rather young philosophy. Authoritarianism is how the world has lived for most of all history, and that is people wanting to run other people’s life and having dictators and czars and kings and all these authoritarians that want to tell us what to do. But we did have a good start, we didn’t have a perfect constitution, there were a lot of shortcomings there, but it was good compared to others, and it introduced us into an age where we recognized private properties, sound money, and contracts and self-reliance and not a welfare state and not a world empire. So we had this test and we became the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. We’re still very wealthy, but our problem is we destroyed our production, we got careless about understanding what liberty was all about, and now our prosperity is very, very fragile because we’ve destroyed the foundation and it’s not going to take a whole lot to push the whole house down because the foundation is gone. We need to restore the principles of liberty. When we became prosperous, people became infatuated with the materialism and thought, “Well, materialism is wonderful, it’s perpetual, and all we need is a government to help redistribute it”, and we forgot all about defending the principles that produced the wealth. But now we are being pushed, and if we think that we can do this by spending and deficits and printing money and not address the subject of repairing the foundation, we’re kidding ourselves. We have this opportunity, we have the people now coming with us, and right now the evidence is so clear that it is failing. Government is failing around the world; the only question is, what is it going other be replaced with? Are we going to go backwards and get dictatorial powers, or are we going to continue to process that we had a taste of and we have allowed to be slipping away from us? Can we restore that and get the people encouraged enough to say, “Let’s use the remaining freedoms we have to defend our liberties and promote this great country of ours once again”.
Thank you very much.