Lew Rockwell: Well, good morning, this is the Lew Rockwell Show, and what an honor it is to have as our guest today, Dr. Ron Paul. How does one introduce Ron Paul, the greatest champion of liberty, of sound money, of Austrian Economics, of the ideas of freedom, the constitution, real American history, international peace. A man who’s educated literally millions of young people through his campaigns and his writings, most recently his books, “End the Fed”, and “Liberty Defined”.
Ron, I might start with that. You know, you’re always asked by people, “Why is it that you’re so attractive to young people, why are young people so attracted to you? There’s another point to this: first of all, in my whole lifetime, I’ve never seen a phenomenon like this, but there are people who point out that often times, when there’s a revolutionary movement for good, that young people who are not yet brutalized and beaten down by the system, who got the idealism and the optimism to think that changes can be made, things can be better, look to a great mentor, look to a wise leader, look to somebody they can trust and believe in, and it brings about great social change. Is it possible that’s happening here?
Ron Paul: Let’s hope so, and, you know, I’ve been very encouraged because I have observed, as you have mentioned, that over the years, if you look at the revolutions … I mean, when you look at Tiananmen Square, they weren’t the elderly that came out there that had been brutalized, as you say, by the Communist System, it was the young people. And I think also, whether it’s China, Russia or the United States, people are getting information differently today. So I think we live in very, very special times. And, of course, I’m very encouraged by it, but I think it’s a natural tendency that’s not yet been beaten out of these young people. And I talk about just growing up, when you’re raising a 2 year old, they’re rather independent minded, but they have to be taught to conform. And a certain amount is necessary, getting the right balance is a big thing. By the time we’re in college and others, I felt like I had been misled so many times and didn’t like it. But, also, when people are teenagers, they’re independent minded and, once again, they’re taught that they must conform. So I see this as very exciting. But I had a question, believe it or not, for the mainstream media and I complemented the interviewer because he said, “Dr. Paul, I’ve noticed everybody knows about the young people being attracted to your ideas. Lately I’ve noticed the audience becoming older, an older generation”. And I said, “Well, I’m glad you noticed, because I think the remnant is coming alive, too; people who had given up. And now they see the young people are excited, so I think we’re bringing in several generations together and a true revolution has to do that.”
Lew Rockwell: It gives everybody heart, no question, and, of course, it also gives heartburn for the other side. I noticed today at the CPAC, the sort of Neoconservative Political Action Committee meeting in Washington every year is changing their voting system from a paper ballot to electronic voting, as they say, because they think it will make it much more difficult for you to win their straw poll. It just struck me as an interesting thing, obviously electronic voting has many opportunities for bad people, much more so than the old-fashioned paper ballot.
Ron Paul: Yea, I don’t know exactly what’s going on there, but we chose not to direct all the young people to come this particular year. A bunch of them will still come, I understand Rand is going to speak there. But the energy that we usually put into it hasn’t been put there, I’m not speaking there. I hope we still get some support. But the tone was different and my schedule was different and it wasn’t a strong protest that I didn’t go to, it just happened to be that the amount of energy we put into that in the last couple of years, was different. So it remains to be seen how it turns out, but certainly we have not encouraged involvement as we have in the past, and who knows what will come out of it this weekend. I do know that there aren’t very many there that will be criticizing the militarism that goes on in the Middle East and getting ready to march into Syria and the last obstacle to going into Iran and that kind of stuff. It should scare everybody, and yet, so far it hasn’t.
Lew Rockwell: I was so interested when the Pew Foundation put out a release – I guess this was a couple of few months ago -about talking to young voters. And one of the questions was, “Why are you interested in Ron Paul?” and they discovered that the key issue that was interesting young people who were supporting you was this question of war and peace. The Pew people were surprised, and maybe unpleasantly surprised, I don’t know, it’s sort of an establishment foundation. This question of war and peace: Hillary Clinton is threatening to march into Syria to overthrow the last secular Arab regime and put so-called Islamic extremist that they’re always telling us to worry about otherwise, into power and, of course, as you say, to go after Iran.
Ron Paul: Yea, at the meetings and rallies that we hold, there’s a growing number of veterans now, because some have been in for 3, 4, 5, 6 years or getting out and they’re more willing to speak out, so I see more. And the fund raising coming from the military has been greater than ever, from even 4 years ago or even a year ago, even exceeding the commander-in-chief, he’s not getting strong support. But I think this revelation and willingness of Colonel Daniel Davis to speak out is going to be significant. I don’t know how much trouble he’s going to get into, but he’s a very credible person, and his revelation about how everybody was misleading, and the people go over there. And I’ve never figured it out, when the members of Congress go over there, whether they know they’re being duped or they want to be duped or they just want to go over there and they’re showing around saying, “Oh, look at all this success” finally you get somebody who’s very credible, so I’m hoping that he gets a lot of exposure because of his credibility.
Lew Rockwell: Professor Jack Douglas, a retired sociologist from the University of California, at San Diego, pointed out the other day that you really can’t trust any of the generals, the generals are entirely political positions, they’re appointed by the president or one of the presidents, and they’re all politicians. But the Lieutenant Colonels and the Colonels are sort of the highest rank you can get to and still be an honest man. And so it was quite something to see this guy also published in an arms forces journal. So it indicates there is dissent within the military about all the crazy stuff that’s going on.
Ron Paul: Boy, I’ll tell you. And I think what it’s going to do is allow others to speak out, too. And this might be a significant change in events because even this whole thing about getting out of Iraq and I don’t know. LewRockwell.com to put that map up of those 45 bases surrounding Iran, and they’re always worried about Iran attacking the United States; the absurdity of it all. That one picture shows so clearly what’s really happening. And I do talk a lot about the military, I don’t belittle the military, I don’t belittle the responsibility of the federal government for national defense. But, I say we have everything conceivable to defend ourselves, our problem isn’t adequately defending ourselves, our problem is restraining our involvement in places where we shouldn’t be involved.
Lew Rockwell: Are they going to bomb Iran?
Ron Paul: Well, I look at the financial markets, and they’re pretty smart. Right now the financial markets, although oil has been up in the last couple of days, has been around $100 for a long time. I think if the smart people knew the bombs are about to fall, I think the oil prices would be a lot higher. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen, I just don’t think it’s ready. Matter of fact, the other night I had gone on with Wolf Blitzer, and if I’m not mistaken, I caught him agreeing when I was saying “Even in Israel there’s a debate going on and sometimes there’s more debate in Israel than there is in the United States”. And I think he more or less acknowledged and he said, “I guess you’re right, I guess there is a debate going on in Israel”. So I don’t think it’s sealed yet, but it seems like the noise comes from over here, from those people who are in special positions in the media and those neo-cons who have such a loud voice. I think we have a more biased viewpoint than what some of the Israelis have. Even the head of the Mossad said, “This is not an existential threat to Israel for them to get a single bomb”, and only common sense would tell that. But nobody has even proven that they’re on the verge of it, maybe they’re looking at the technology, but so far they haven’t been proven one time to have broken the non-proliferation treaty, they have not been charged with that.
Lew Rockwell: As you pointed out, we seem to be hearing the exact same propaganda as in the run up to the Iraq war, they just substitute Iran for Iraq and recycle all the old propaganda.
Ron Paul: Yea, and I have some sincere people that I meet on the campaign trial, they’ll say, “I love what you’re doing on cutting the spending, but I don’t know about this foreign policy”. But as soon as I take a little bit of time and explain to them that the plan to go into Iraq was laid, and I gave a speech in 1998 warning against the war against Iraq when they decided there had to be regime change. So it had nothing to do with 9/11, still, people think it had something to do with 9/11. It would be sad if still the majority of American people believe this. I do one thing, there was a poll out in Afghanistan and you may know the exact number, but I think it was like 80% of the people don’t even know what 9/11 was all about, they never even heard of that word, they don’t even know what happened on 9/11 and they had no understanding of why we’re over there, so they’re more confused than ever because of it.
Lew Rockwell: Ron, instead of being at CPAC, you’re showing the good judgment to be campaigning at Maine. It’s exciting what’s happening in Maine, isn’t it?
Ron Paul: Yea, it sure is, and there were a couple of things that happened over the last 4 years in running this particular campaign. Where you think where your support is, might not be as strong as you expect. And then, there will be support in areas where you’re quite surprised about. For instance, Seattle, Washington, we have a lot of support out there, and Maine, too. I wouldn’t have predicted, but even 4 years ago we had a good reception, this year we’ve been up there in the last few weeks and we’ll be there, of course, tomorrow and the next day. The reception has been fantastic and maybe, Lew, we should talk about, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation”
Lew Rockwell: Yea, right.
Ron Paul: I hope we do well there, because they’re going to help lead the charge about liberty.
Lew Rockwell: And it’s interesting, even though Maine has always been seen as a liberal Republican state, when I was a boy and involved in the Republican Party, it was always interesting to me that one of the aspects about Maine Republicanism was that they tended not to be quite so militaristic as some other states, so maybe that continues to this day.
Ron Paul: Yea, that would be great, even though the North East was supposed to have been considered more militaristic, I think with the exception of Maine. But the anti-war people were more in the mid west and Wisconsin. We have a lot of support there. But fortunately for the message that we have, you can find people in every state, it’s very well spread out because I think the message is such a powerful message. We’re making progress, but we still have a lot of work to do. But it’s interesting that you can labor in the vineyards for a long time, but all of a sudden there seems to be an explosion of interest. And one of the things I think is happening, is actually the need for something, because even those people who are on the receiving end of government checks, are starting to realize that the treasury is getting empty, so what’s going on here. And maybe we have to change our way and people are getting tired of the wars. And also, in addition to this attack on civil liberties, there’s this whole thing about the military arresting American citizens without trial and keeping them in indefinite imprisonment. And nothing is heard on the national media on this. But I’ll tell you what, I was so surprised, and pleasantly so, during the campaign when I would just bring up the National Defense Authorization Act, and they immediately started booing because they knew about it. And I asked, “How do you know this stuff? I know you didn’t get it on the evening news”. So people are aware of this and this question they throw out to me, whether it’s civil liberties or foreign policy. They say, “Ron, you have these good fiscal ideas, but you just have to change your foreign policy”. And I said, “What? That’s where most of my support is coming from: personal liberty and a changed foreign policy, so why in the world would I want to change that? Besides, who would give up the right idea for the wrong idea?”
Lew Rockwell: Well, you certainly have shown everybody the presidency is a runaway institution, the whole executive branch is. Really, if we were to describe what the presidents claimed powers are in terms of starting wars on his own, in terms of, as you say, assassinating Americans and imprisoning them indefinitely and secretly and torturing people and so forth, that would seem much more like a dictatorship than the majesty that was set up by the founding fathers.
Ron Paul: Yea, and I frequently use the word, “King”. We were not supposed to be elected to be the king, and yet, it seems like that’s what some of these other candidates want to be. They assume that their responsibility is to be the king, and too many people want to be taken care of. But my simple explanation is that I don’t have the authority, I wouldn’t have the authority, I don’t have the desire and it wouldn’t work; and that is, to run the world, to tell you how to run your life or to tell people how to spend their money. I mean, the president is supposed to be there to protect those things, not to tell people how to live.
Lew Rockwell: Right. If we were to make a list of the achievements of your campaigns, no show would be able to handle that. But I do just want to just mention one: what about the fact that you single handedly, in your congressional career, and especially in these few political campaigns, have made the Federal Reserve a powerful popular issue, an issue that nobody could get people interested in, I know that I failed to get anybody interested in the Fed. You’ve made this an issue to the extent that the Fed is afraid of you, Bernanke is afraid of what you’re doing, and they don’t like themselves being discussed this way, they don’t like being criticized for all their bailouts of Europe and the big banks and so forth. Isn’t that by itself just and extra ordinary thing? This is so rare, that the money issue is back, full blown.
Ron Paul: And I see that more of an academic issue than a political issue, but the two come together, because it is the academic issue of challenging the status quo of the monetary system and Keynesian economics(the explanation of the business cycle). And this is where the young people are really responding. The other day, I was asked to comment on Bernanke’s challenge that, “Yes, we should cut, but don’t do it too fast, be very, very cautious”. And they asked me about that, and I said, “Yea, why would you resort to looking at him? What did he say when the NASDAQ bubble was forming, what did he say in 2006 when the housing bubble was there and he was taking over? I don’t know whether he as credibility, and you’re using him as an expert”, I hope that wasn’t too nasty.
Lew Rockwell: No, that was great, I saw that interview. But the fact that you get young people talking about this, talking about the war issue, talking about civil liberties, not only in this country, I hear from people all over the world that you’re tremendously popular with the young people in everyplace from Brazil to Turkey to England to Spain to Latin American and to Asia. This is a worldwide intellectual revolution, peaceful revolution that you’re leading.
Ron Paul: Well, let’s hope it’s more than just me, there’s been a lot of work done by a lot of people. And I think that the time is right for these ideas because not only is the country and the world bankrupt, but the philosophy is bankrupt and something has to give. In the last century, we saw the total destruction and discrediting of ruthless communism, and that’s past us. But even then, I was happy to see that, but I was afraid we would usher in an age where interventionism and inflationism would grab hold, and they’ve been in charge ever since. And Mises predicted this, he said this is a non-viable system, too. He was pretty pessimistic when he said, “We’ll probably go to more of a fascism”, but let’s hope we can influence the future by saying, “Yes, this is coming to an end, but we don’t have to end up with fascism, we could end up with something you better if we build on what we’ve had in the past and I always disliked it when they said, “Oh, you guys just want to go back to the old age, go back and live like 200 years ago”. But actually these ideas are very, very new, so we have build on them and renew our interest, and that’s why I’m so excited about what the young people are doing and thinking about these days.
Lew Rockwell: Well, Dr. Ron Paul, thanks for taking the time to come on the show, and we’re all rooting for you.
Ron Paul: Thanks a lot, Lew.
Lew Rockwell: Bye, bye. Well, thanks so much for listening to the Lew Rockwell Show today, take a look at all the podcast, they’ve been hundreds of them, there’s a link on the upper right hand corner of the LRC front page. Thank you.
This is a rush transcript. If you notice any errors please report them using the “Help improve this post” link at the bottom of this post.