“[T]he message of freedom is important,” was one of the first things Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul said to me during my private interview with him on Sept. 27. Nicknamed by many as the “Modern Thomas Jefferson,” he has spent more than two decades in Congress doing his best to adhere to the limitations placed on the federal government by the Constitution. But the congressman quickly dismisses any credit for his positions, insisting that he’s just following the rules and the principles of the founders.
A licensed ob-gyn and former captain and flight surgeon in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, Dr. Paul is regarded as the most consistent voter in the House of Representatives. That sounds like it might be campaign nonsense, but many things stand out about Paul that lend credibility to the hype: He has never voted to raise taxes, for an unbalanced budget, to raise congressional pay and has never taken a government-paid junket.
Paul has voted against the Patriot Act, against the Iraq War, against federal regulation of the Internet, and against increasing the powers of the executive branch. Paul does not even participate in the congressional pension plan, and he returns a portion of his annual budget to the U.S. Treasury each year. Consistent in his private life too, he’s been married to wife Carol for 54 years.