Ron Paul: I guess the revolution has arrived in Virginia, and I am delighted that I was here. It’s very appropriate that the state of Virginia be involved in our revolution that’s going on. Of course, our revolution is the American Revolution. We had a pretty good start in this country a few years back, but we drifted away and for many years now, for nearly a hundred years, I think there’s been a lot of forgetting of what the original intent of the constitution was, they have forgotten what a true republic is all about. That is our goal, to restore the American republic to the American people. You know, they keep asking about winning particular states in this campaign, but guess what, we’re still winning a lot of delegates, and that’s what counts. And, every once in a while, they include my name in the polling, and that is always helpful. And just recently there was a pretty good poll out, just yesterday and the day before, and it says that we do the best against Obama. Now, winning the primary, of course, is very, very important, but, winning the general election also is very, very important, and it is our message that appeals to the independents, the democrats, and to the Republican base. Because, very simply, it’s the message of liberty, and the message of liberty is what we are all about. That means, we have individual liberty, we’re allowed to lead our lives as we so chose. But if we have a natural right to our life and our liberties, as Jefferson argued and we agree with, shouldn’t we have the natural right to keep the fruits of our labor. Now, there’re are a couple of ways in which they undermine and take the fruits of our labor from us. One is direct taxation and, of course, the founders didn’t like that, they didn’t give us an income tax. So that’s why we have to start thinking about 1913 again, that’s why we need to repeal the 16th Amendment for sure.
To have big government, they taxed, and they had to have the income tax, and then they had to have the borrowing. Unfortunately, Jefferson lost that argument and the federal government was able to borrow. But there’s a limit on borrowing, if they keep borrowing and Congress spends too much money, interest rates go up, and they have to quit. But they had this little gimmick, it was also introduced in 1913, and that is, if there’s a limit on taxing because the people will object, and there’s a limit to borrowing or interest rates go up, they said, “We’ll they’ll have this new gimmick. What they’re going to do is just print the money when we need it”.
Crowd: End the Fed! End the Fed!
Ron Paul: Okay. What can I do? And, of course, if you want big government, that’s what you have, you have high taxes and you have the borrowing. But then eventually they have to print the money. And the founders knew this, they understand it and they were cautious about it and they warned us against it, and they understood it clearly because they had runaway inflation with the continental dollar. That is why they put in the constitution that only gold and silver could be legal tender, there is no authority to print money, and there is no authority to have a Federal Reserve System and a central bank. Now, the Fed’s been around for 99 years, and guess what, they’ve lost 99% of the value of our dollar from 1913, that’s a pretty bad record. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret, the chairman of the Federal Reserve will go before the banking committee tomorrow, and I just might show up and ask him, “Why did you destroy our money?” And I can assure you that we probably won’t get a straight answer. But, obviously, the monetary issue is a very, very big issue, governments can’t grow without it, and it’s been growing endlessly. Because when government grows, liberty is undermined. And since that time, since the progressive era, we have undermined our liberties, whether it’s through the encroachment of the entitlement system. The entitlement system was set up for those poor who were going to fall through the cracks. But I think the best demonstration of the failure of that, was the housing bubble. During the housing bubble that was created by the Federal Reserve and the affirmative action type programs by the Congress, guess what, who made a lot of money during this time? The banks and the brokers and the Fannie Maes and the Freddy Macs, they made all the money. Then they got into the gambling of derivatives and they got into big trouble, and lo-and-behold, the predictable crunch came and the predictable bursting of the bubble came. And when it came, they yelled and screamed and they said, “We’re too big to fail, we’re too big to fail, you have to bail us out or there’s going to be a depression coming”. So guess what, the Fed and the Congress bailed them out. But guess what, those very people that these programs were designed for (to give everybody a house), they lost their jobs and they lost their houses and it’s not resolved yet because the entitlement system tends to help the wealthy much more so than the poor. The poor are deceived into believing that the government can produce wealth forever and redistribute it. But I’ll tell you what, there’s a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, that occurs just with the destruction of the currency, the middle class gets wiped out and the wealthy get wealthier. And this is what has happened. Wealth is okay if people make money honestly and they don’t make it by ripping us off and getting advantages from the go.
If they give us a good product and we vote confidence in them, and they make money, that is a lot different than if they’re in the military-industrial complex or in the banking system and they get the money first and they get the contracts and they get the bailouts, that’s not fair and it’s not fair to dump the wasteful products and all the debt on the American people. That debt, obviously, should be liquidated. But the fact that printed money can encourage wasteful spending, is certainly true with overseas spending. Just look at the waste. The wars that have been going on for the past 10 years have added 4 trillion dollars to our national debt, and what have we gotten from it? We are less safe and we’re broke. So the very simple solution to over extension overseas is to follow the advice of the founders, follow the constitution, have a strong national defense, defend this country but get out of the business of policing the world and get out of the business of nation building.
Crowd: Bring them home! Bring them home!
Ron Paul: You know all my lines. Which means, we bring our troops home to solve that problem, the sooner the better and fortunately, our defense would be stronger. People say we have to do this because we’re an exceptional nation. We did have an exceptional nation at one time, we had an exceptional constitution, we were exceptionally wealthy, we were exceptional with our freedoms. But this idea that we’re so exceptional that we can use force and intimidation and bombs and spread our so-called goodness … it eliminates all our goodness if we believe that we have the authority that we can go overseas and tell people how to live; it doesn’t work. Now, a very simple solution to both, the entitlement system and the warmongering that goes on, is to only send people to Washington who you honestly believe really did read the constitution, and that they understood it, and that they will obey it. That’s the kind of people we need. So how many wars would we have been fighting since World War II? Zero, none have been declared, they were unnecessary, too many lives were lost, too many dollars were spent, to many veterans are suffering now without getting medical care. It doesn’t solve our problems. If I thought we were going to be safer and it was necessary, yes, we should do it. But it doesn’t work that way. So what we need is a new foreign policy based on non-intervention, minding our own business, obeying the constitution and taking advice of the founders. It’s much better to talk to people than initiate war against them. You know, the previous administration and this administration keep saying, “Take nothing off the table when it comes to dealing with our enemies”. Well, what about, why should we take off negotiations, why not diplomacy, should we take that off? I remember very, very well after being drafted in 1962 during the Cuban crisis. The Cuban crisis was dissipated rather rapidly, precisely because John Kennedy called up Khrushchev and said, “We have a problem”. And Khrushchev said, “Well, we have a problem over here, you have missiles over in Turkey”. So they made a deal, we took the missiles out of Turkey, he took the missiles out of Cuba, and we didn’t have to fight a nuclear war. Why can’t we talk to people who don’t have weapons of mass destruction?
And now, of course, they’re talking about attacking another country, Iran, and there’s no evidence they even have a weapon. Our CIA hasn’t even proved to us or told us that they are building one, and yet the war drums are beating and beating. So we have to be heard about this, this country does not need another war at all. But the other thing that happens under these conditions where government grows too much, violates our civil liberties … and we do know about the TSA, I think a certain senator brought that subject up. Our liberties are undermined under the conditions. Too often, even in earlier wars, violations have occurred. But they’re being violated more now than ever and we’re really not in a war like World War II, it’s undeclared, but it’s used as an excuse because we’re in perpetual war against terrorism. Terrorism is a crime and it should be dealt with, but to say that we are in a war against terrorism wherever they are, that means we’re against the whole world. And then literally, because we have a lot of bombs and missiles and we send our drone missiles anyplace in the world we please. That is not the way to win friends, I’ll tell you that, that’s the way to build up enemies. But, the undermining of our liberties should be one of our greatest concerns. When you think of the PATRIOT Act, the PATRIOT Act was passed shortly after 9/11, and I’m convinced if it had been called what it really is, “The Repeal the 4th Amendment Act”, it wouldn’t have passed. So, next year, when we go ahead and get rid of the PATRIOT Act, we won’t call it “Repeal the PATRIOT Act”, we’re going to call it, “Restore the 4th Amendment Act in this country.” There’s no doubt the founders, with their experience under the King, meant the 4th Amendment was to be very important, we were to have our privacy; protect our papers and our privacy. But today, there is none, whether it’s at the airports or the internet or our telephone or our records or whatever. They don’t even need search warrants anymore. And the way they come busting into our house under the excuse that somebody might be using an illegal drug. They’re busting into our houses, the SWAT teams come in, they don’t have proper search warrants, and lo-and-behold, can you believe it, they frequently go into the wrong houses, and they shoot and kill innocent people. It’s way out of control.
Of course, the president, just a year ago announced that it is a position that he now holds, that because he’s the commander-in-chief, and he explains that anything that is not prohibited by the constitution, he can do. I think he got that really mixed up. A President only has the authority to do the things that he is explicitly authorized to do by the constitution. And I can guarantee you, if I’m to be elected President, I will never go to a war and pursue a war without proper direction from the Congress and a declaration coming from the people. I will not do it.
Crowd: President Paul! President Paul!
Ron Paul: Now, for the President to prove his point about assassination, he’s carried out 3 of them just to prove that he does have the authority. But nothing says that we can’t reverse it. If this republic is to survive, those kinds of laws have to be reversed (the PATRIOT Act and the authority to assassinate, and also, the national defense Authorization Act). Anybody heard of that? This is an interesting subject because no matter where I go, the crowds know about it and they’re concerned about it, yet, I am convinced you didn’t hear about it on the evening news. And you’re concerned about it, and yet, in 22 debates, were we ever asked about our position on national defense Authorization Act? No. But this atrocious piece of legislation says that the military can arrest an American citizen without charges, without a trial, without an attorney, put him in a prison indefinitely. Believe it or not, there was one provision in there that was even worse than that, there was one provision in the bill that almost got passed, and it said that, if you are arrested in a proper manner and you are tried, you go to court and you have a trial and you have a jury and you’re found innocent, they claim that they would have the right to keep that person indefinitely in a secret prison. Now, that provision was removed, fortunately. I can’t remember his name, but it was a Senator from Kentucky that got that removed.
Crowd: Rand Paul! Rand Paul!
Ron Paul: You know, the problems are big, the economic problems are big; we’ve spent too much, we have a debt crisis, we have a monetary crisis that’s worldwide. The world expects us to bail them out, we’re deeply over regulated and we over tax, we fight too many wars, it’s just on and on. But you know what, the solutions aren’t all that complicated. We got into this mess because we have not been strict adherers to the constitution. If we only send people who will adhere to the constitution, we can correct these problems in a short period of time, and that’s what we ought to do. But our message should be loud and clear, because it’s such a wonderful message. We’ve had this wonderful experiment of liberty, it produced the largest and the richest middle class ever. Now we’re getting poorer and smaller, we are now the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world. And the trends are the same way, because Keynesian economist preach and teach that when you’re in trouble, you’re supposed to spend more money. Now, can you imagine if individuals did that? If they’re maxed out on their credit card and they can’t pay their mortgages and they’re living beyond their means and they have two cars? No, you have to cut back, you have to work hard and pay your debt down, that’s what you have to do. But the answer comes really by understanding what personal liberty is all about. We have a natural right to our lives and our liberty. And liberty should bring us all together, it’s not so much that we would use our liberties in the same way.
Crowd Member: We love you, Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Now I’m going to forget my speech, what am I going to do? But liberty should bring us together, not because we would use our liberty or our money the same way, but precisely because we won’t. But when the government does it, when the government tells us what our lifestyles will be, what we are going to read or what religion we’ll have, it would be a disaster. And this notion that government can protect us against ourselves is a fiction, the governments can’t do that, and they only take away more liberty once they embark on that position. But liberty, for this reason, should bring people together of all walks of life; religious, social, everything. And it’s not because we allow people to do things that we might not approve of, people might spend their money, they might be wasteful, they might have a private lifestyle we disapprove of. But the whole thing is, everybody should join in the cause of liberty and let people be responsible for themselves. We were warned at the time of the founding of this country that if we were not a moral people who were willing to accept that responsibility, it was not going to work. And we drifted too long, we had so much prosperity, we concentrated on the wealth and we became consumers. And, too often, what we did was we generated the lobbyist going to Washington to ditty up the loot that they take from the people. And, as long as that happens, the society is immoral and it doesn’t work. So it has to come from the people, the type of government we have is a reflection of the people. So as this movement grows, as the number of people grow, and it is [growing]. Just think of how many young people have joined this revolution. But also, it’s great to see the young people leading the charge, but we also see others at different age groups. The ones that have been frustrated, the ones who have been independents, the ones that have dropped out. And even the frustrated Democrats have come over and said, “You know, this understanding of liberty is good”, and I think that is the reason this message [spreads]. When this revolution is successful, it will not be a Republican monopoly at all, it will be bipartisan, it will be endorsed by all the American people.
So I want to close by thanking you for coming, thanking you for your excitement, thanking you for giving me my energy. I thank you. And, we all have a responsibility, individual responsibility. You make up your mind about what you need to do, everybody has a different job, but the most important thing is to understand what this is all about and why liberty is the answer to the mess that we’re in today.
Thank you very much for coming, 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.