Jan Mickelson: Congressman Ron Paul is here in the studio with us, taking calls from listeners. I’ve been serving you stuff to you strong side, now you’re going to hear from the other side of the aisle here, Congressman Paul. And let’s hear from Walter. Good morning, Walter.
Walter: Good morning, Mr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good morning.
Walter: It’s a pleasure to speak to both of you. I was talking about foreign policy, can I drop three questions on you, and I’ll hang up and let you guys decide how many you want to answer. I’m pretty well versed and I really love everything Congressman Paul has to say about the economy. I’m at an age where I realize I can’t just trust government to figure everything out, so as I’m trying to think through these issues, I don’t have a good solution for a foreign policy. And as much as I’d like to just have all the boys come home, I’m curious about how Mr. Paul would like to address our situation in the world today, and our military, in a responsible way. My other two questions are kind of … since Congressman Paul is a historian of note, I’m kind of curious; is there a predecessor of ours that has been a successful world power and kind of gotten drunk and fat on itself and then recovered, because it sounds like you’re trying to go back to an era. Can that happen? And my last question is, I really like the idea of constitutional law, but even our founders seemed to think it only works for a moral or religious people. Can our government still work if we don’t have that kind of people?
Jan Mickelson: Great questions all, thank you, Walter, I appreciate it. First off, with foreign policy, you would describe it, I think, as non-interventionalism.
Ron Paul: Yes, and this is what the founders expect us to do, there’s no authority for us to have anything other than a national defense, and no authority to be the policeman of the world, they advised us to stay out of entangling alliances. So, therefore, we wouldn’t be in the UN or NATO and we wouldn’t be occupying countries and we would not be fighting wars that were undeclared. Only the Congress could declare the wars, because they didn’t want the king, which became the executive branch, to make those efforts. Besides, we’re broke, we can’t afford it and this, to me, is a good place to cut and bring out troops home, get those troops spending their money here at home, cut back on all the expense. And why should we be subsidizing Japan and South Korea and Germany? We pay for their defense, and that doesn’t help us. So it’s a non-interventionist foreign policy, a lot of people want to suggest, “Oh, that means you’re an isolationist”. Not at all, because I believe in trade and I think we should be as open as possible to people and try to be friends. The founders advised to trade with people and be friends with those who want to be, and I think we’d all be better off. I think that the next question he asked – I’d like to have an hour to answer all these questions.
Jan Mickelson: Absolutely. Has a welfare state and an empire – and we are both, an empire and a welfare state- has there ever been one that has had a successful dismantling and downsizing; and willingly on their own steam, reformed back to a republic?
Ron Paul: To some degree, the British Empire actually did reasonably well. They lost their empire, especially after World War II, and we took it over. So they don’t have a British Empire, but they’s still a ‘British Empire’ and an ‘England’ so to speak, so it exists. But no, when you see countries and empires like the Roman Empire, I don’t think there’s going to be a Soviet Empire in the near future. So no, they basically don’t recover. But that shouldn’t be seen as a loss. Let’s say we lose our empire, but we have our United States and we become a giant country with a free trade zone, and we’re a giant Switzerland or something or a giant Hong Kong. I think it would be delightful that if we were at peace and have prosperity and we would influence the world by persuasion rather than with arms and force.
Jan Mickelson: But you’re a no-nuke tree-hugging peace-nick though, right?
Ron Paul: Well, I’d love to be a peace-nick in the sense that I want peace, there’s no doubt [about that]. But I’m not in the sense that you shouldn’t have a national defense. I think this is true. I think we can do a lot better if we just took the constitution seriously and didn’t go to war without a declaration.
Jan Mickelson: Well, your biggest critic on these issues would be, of course, Senator Rick Santorum, who you’ve tangled with several times in debates. And he would suggest you have an insufficient fear of radical Islam.
Ron Paul: Yea, that’s what he says, but maybe he has an irrational fear where he’s willing to go to war carelessly. It sounds me, my interpretation is, he’s willing other go to war against Iran. That’s what we need right now, we’re basically in 6 wars right now, he wants to start a 7th one. We’re broke and I want to dismantle the empire and, of course, the big argument is, exactly why do they want to kill us? And it isn’t because we’re free and prosperous, that is not the case, or they would be attacking a lot easier targets. They’d go after Switzerland or Sweden or Norway or somebody, they’re free and prosperous, too. So that isn’t reason. The other question he asked was about the constitutional law, and I believe it was Adams that said that, “You know, this won’t work unless you have a moral people”. And I really think that is the basic problem we have in this country. Although I work in politics and I work in economics, I guess if you deal only with the morality of the people and the understanding of basic ethics and morality, maybe it has to come from our religious leaders or something. But I do not think we are a moral people, and I think we’re too anxious to use violence to solve our problems. I don’t happen to like abortion, I think abortion is very bad and you lose all respect for life. And I think the changes in the 1960s that I witnessed, it occurred because the people justified the law and they had less respect for life, and then the law changed. So I think that makes the point that he’s making. If the people’s morality changes, the law follows up. It isn’t the laws that change and make us do bad things, it’s when we want to change the law and say, “Well, these things are all okay, we don’t have to have a declaration of war, we can go to war anytime” and we ignore it, that means the people have permitted it. The founders didn’t like what the King did and they resented and had a revolution. Today, we are so willing to give up our freedoms and the prerogatives of the Congress and the people just say, “Well, if somebody feeds me, if I get my food stamps, if I get my bailout, I’m okay”. And they don’t look at it from a moral viewpoint.
Jan Mickelson: You’re from Texas, you’re from the home-stomping-grounds of Rick Perry, and one of the very first things people asked him when he came to Iowa his advocation of a vaccine for 14 year old kids who were exposed to the HPV virus. Michele Bachmann has had some mileage against that. You’re both, a physician and you’re from Texas. How do you process, first off, the history of what the Governor tried to do down there, and then what it means about his view of government; and whether or not that vaccine was tested enough and was useful enough to be imposed at that level?
Ron Paul: I think this is an example in which you could deal with both, the attitude of how government should be run, as well as the wisdom of doing something like mandating HPV inoculation …
Jan Mickelson: … through an executive order.
Ron Paul: Right. And I mentioned that in the debates, that it was a very bad thing to do, but the fact that it was an executive order, compounds our problem. At least the people in Texas rose up and they got their legislature to repeal this. But I even admitted that I was surprised that our Governor had that much power, because they talk about our Governor not being that powerful. But although I’m a physician and I endorse the principle of inoculations, they’re very, very important, I think our kids now get about 12 different things. And I read a recent article on HPV inoculations, and there are a lot of questions being raised up about exactly how the studies were done and how long it lasted. And they have no idea what the long term consequence will be, and what the benefits are. And, in one way, it might make some people complacent and say, “Oh, I got that shot, it’s going to take care of any possibility of getting cancer of the cervix”. And yet, as a gynecologist and from scientific research, the best thing that ever happened to prevent the disease of cancer of the cervix, are doing PAP smears. And over the years, I treated a lot of people with HPV diseases, but in all the years I’ve worked in OBGYN, I only saw one case of cancer of the cervix. So I think there’s a lot of scare tactics associated with that.
Jan Mickelson: Some people have gone as far as suggesting this was an example of crony-capitalism and the political relationship between Merck and the political class.
Ron Paul: It sure raises a lot of questions. That’s why letting people and parents make decisions, whether it’s medical or educational, I would like to see these decisions made by parents for all our educational needs. Yet, we’re always differing to the federal government to make these decisions, or our state governments, and I think that’s wrong.
Jan Mickelson: We’ll continue in the last segment with Congressman Ron Paul, and he’s covered a lot of ground already. We’ll get you back involved in the conversation at 284-1040, or 800-469-4295 in a moment.
Ron Paul: Those are from town?
Jan Mickelson: They’ve come here on a publicity tour, they’re trying to get people interested. You might know one of them. I’m so terrible with remembering names. One of the fellows ran for … you’ve got Jett Bell.
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