Crowd: Bring them home! Bring them home!
Rand Paul: I give to you the guy that is my hero, the guy that is the greatest representative of the liberty movement in our time, my father, Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much, thank you everybody.
Crowd: Ron Paul! Ron Paul!
Ron Paul: That’s very nice, thank you very much. Is there anything left for me to say? This is wonderful, it’s wonderful to be among friends, with my family, and for a good reason: to promote the cause of liberty in a revolutionary spirit. Thank you very much for being here. I have to tell you, I was pretty worried during the early part of this week because I saw a couple of bad articles. It wasn’t the hurricane that I was worried about, but I saw that they said the revolution was over, there’s going to be no revolution. A major paper in Washington DC they said, “The revolution will not be happening”. Don’t they only wish? But it is so great to come together for something so important. A lot of people say that today is a very important day, and I think it is; to me it’s very important. And they say that this convention this week is very important, and indeed it is. And this election is very important. But let me tell you, there’s something even more important than all of that, and that is the cause that we’re leading and the cause of liberty and the attention that we’re getting right now. There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not I would get to speak at the convention and, of course, I had written that off. But, today, I was very excited, I got a call from the RNC and they said they changed their mind and they’re going to give me a whole hour and I can say anything I want, tomorrow night. Just kidding, just kidding.
First off, I really want to recognize our delegates, they’re hundreds, I don’t know how many, but thank you. It takes a lot of hard work, and you knew the rules better than they thought they knew the rules. But that didn’t stop them, they’ve learned how to bend rules, break rules and now they want to rewrite the rules. But then again, maybe they’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in Washington: they’ve been bending the rules and breaking the rules and rewriting the rules for too long, and that’s what we have to stop from happening. You know, people at the convention were worried about just how much trouble we would cause, and you’ve generally known what my advice is: just stopping something for the sake of stopping it doesn’t achieve a whole lot, so I’ve been a little bit cautious. But what they’ve found out is they’ve overstepped the bounds, there’s a big fight going on, and we’re involved in it. But everybody else in the bunch is joining us in saying, “You’ve gone too far, the Ron Paul people were right about overstepping the bounds”. You know, it’s just been great the experience I’ve had in these last 5 years, and it’s been a very important time, not only for me personally, but I think for the attention that we’re getting. Now, I’ve received a lot of complements about it and have given some credit about it. But I’ll tell you what, it takes you, it takes a lot of other people, there have been a lot of things going on for decades, and it’s coming about. It’s coming about, not only because I believe we’re right on the issues, but what is coming out right now is proof positive that their philosophy of government, whether it’s foreign policy, monetary policy or economic policy, is failing, and they need something different.
Crowd: President Paul! President Paul!
Ron Paul: I have often quoted Samuel Adams about an irate tireless minority and bring about changes in that way. But, ultimately, that minority is irate and tireless and they light the fires of liberty in the minds of men. Yes, that’s important, but ultimately, numbers do count, and even numbers do count when they don’t count all the votes as well, because we do have the numbers. But those who promote ideas, ultimately have to have an influence on the prevailing attitudes of the people, and that is what’s happening today. The people now are waking up and they’re realizing the failure of what we have and the reason that these ideas are coming about. Now, in this primary we had close to 2 million votes, they said, “2 million votes don’t swing an election, it’s no big deal”. But guess what, for every vote that we got in the primary, let me tell you just from my personal experience of travelling around the country and meeting people at airports and wherever, the support out there is much, much greater and they don’t feel comfortable coming to a Republican primary. So I would say the support there would be 2 or 3 times as much as the number of votes we got in the primaries. We have talked a lot about the excitement that the young people bring and the excitement we’ve had on the campuses. I asked somebody on the staff after the last campaign event, “How many campuses did I go to?” and let me tell you, if they had told me I was going to go to this number of campuses during the campaign, I probably would have said, “There’s no way we can do that”. We went to 33 college campuses and talked to close to a 150,000 enthusiastic young people. Were they the conservative college campuses, or were they the liberty college campuses? No, they were all the college campuses and they welcomed us.
When you think if there’s a party that says, “Oh, we have an open tent, we want new people to come in, we want to appeal to the young people”, don’t you think they would be begging and pleading that they come into the big tent? Well, we’ll get into the tent, believe me, because we will become the tent eventually. Once they know we are the future, they will know about this. But the young people certainly have the enthusiasm, and I think it’s the enthusiasm that really energizes a campaign. It energizes not only themselves and the college campuses, and I’ve always maintained there will not be a true revolution unless the college campuses are alive and well with those ideas. But there have been so many times that the young people, not only those of voting age, but sometimes 13 and 14 and 15 years old, bring their parents to the office and have them converted into believing and understanding about what liberty is all bank. Young people energize a lot of the other people, and give the energy to the remnant who are with us already. So this, to me, is exciting with the energy that we have, it seems to me that they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party. You know, most people in this room have probably read the book called 1984, it was required reading in high school for so many years. And I’ve figured it out, I can explain to you where the problem is. 1984 has been read by a lot, I would assume everybody in this room has read it as a dire warning of what could happen to a society if you’re not careful. I think a bunch of people read the book and thought it was a business plan and they ran for Congress. Because so many claim they’ve read it and they’ve claimed that they understand this and yet they do the very things that we have been fighting against and trying to stop. During the campaign, I got a lot of advice. Can you believe that, a lot of advice? Sometimes from strangers, sometimes from our enemies, sometimes from my family as well. But the advice came out from the very well-meaning individuals who were in the category of maybe mainstream Republican, and they would come up and say, “Ron, we really like you, we like what you’re doing, and we like what you’re saying. But if you would only change one thing, boy, you would really have a lot more success. You need to change your foreign policy”. And, of course, if I didn’t have this same policy that I do have, I don’t believe we would be here tonight. And this is something they obviously do not understand. Those who do understand it, fear it, because of the powerful special interests behind a foreign policy of intervention and the military-industrial complex. So its complex, but they strongly resent this. But, it was mentioned already today, I have mentioned it before, but I think it’s the best test of my support coming from, more so than anybody else, the military for our foreign policy.
The subject of monetary policy comes up frequently in Washington on our committee off and on for quite a few years, and the question has always been, “What are we going to do with the penny?”. They want to change it to steel, but they can’t even afford the steel. We’re off the gold, off the silver, off the copper standard, and now we’re on the zinc standard and we can’t even afford a zinc penny, so now they want to make them out of steel. But by the time you pay for the labor, it costs more than a penny to make a steel penny. So there was an article that came up the other day that said, “Can we save the penny?” And I got to thinking, “Well, they don’t understand monetary policy or they wouldn’t be talking that way. The bigger question that we will be forced to face is, can we save the dollar”. There was a bill passed not too long ago, and as you can guess, I voted against it. And that’s the Dodd-Frank bill, did you ever hear of that monster? In that bill, they gave more power to the Federal Reserve and they created a board of consumer financial protection bureau to protect all the consumers. So they were given the task here a couple of months ago that was designed to make things more efficient. This story will tell you why efficiency is not the answer to our problems, we don’t want more efficient government, we want to get the government out of the business that they’re not supposed to be doing. But this new consumer financial protection board was given the tasks for simplifying the applications for a mortgage loan, because it’s complex. And now they’re more complex because they had a bubble and they don’t know where the bubble came from because it was probably because they didn’t fill out enough forms. So they said, “What we need to do is simplify these forms”. So they went to work and, indeed, they came up with a solution. They provided a solution and it was 1,000 pages long on how to reduce two forms to 1 form. All these new regulations placed on everybody who applies for this bill and they think that will be the solution. But that isn’t the solution, the solution is to get the government out of our lives and off our back and out of our wallets.
Now, if we are serious, and we are serious, and when we have the clout, what we do is we don’t tinker around with a thousand pages to simplify things, what we do is we repeal Dodd-Frank, is what we do. There was a time when the Republicans were in charge and they passed Sarbanes-Oxley which costs businessmen a trillion dollars with new regulations. But that was when the conservatives were in charge. So when we’re getting rid of Dodd-Frank, we get rid of Sarbanes-Oxley as well. I am convinced that we’re living at a time when an era is ending, and this is significant, because you can be depressed at times when you look at what’s happening in Washington. You work hard, you come close to victories, you don’t have real victories and it goes on and on and you feel, “This is too overwhelming and Washington is responding too slowly”. But the end of an era provides an opportunity and I’ve been thinking recently about what era we’re talking about. And I would say, first off, in the last 100 years approximately. What about 1913, that was a beginning of an era, that was the beginning of a time when they said, “You know, with the income tax and a new foreign policy, we’re going to make the world safe for democracy and we’re going to have a war to end all wars and we’re going to have a Federal Reserve that’s going to get rid of the business cycle”, and on and on. We were going to introduce this wonderful era.
Well, guess what, that era is not with us anymore, it’s over and done with, we’re just looking at the last vestiges of a bad program started in 1913, we will eventually get rid of the Federal Reserve. Also, at approximately that same time, something else was started, and that was the oncoming domination of communism in 1917 with the Bolsheviks taking over. And communism was a panacea, it was all done with good intentions to take care of the people; all those wonderful promises. Well, communism lasted 74 years, it dissipated between 1989 and 1991, people don’t talk too much about communism anymore. At the same time, communism brought about – it’s hard to count when it gets up into the hundreds of millions – it is estimated that possibly 200 million people died by people who were able to put bad ideas out on the table, and look at the tragedy of what happened. That era is over and done with, we are not going to see the world go back to that type of a program again. One of the books that impressed me when I was doing medical school was Dr. Zhivago. And I remember one line in there when Laura was talking to Zhivago, and things were very, very bad during the revolution. And she says to Zhivago, “What a terrible time to be alive”, and she was absolutely right, she was anticipating just what was coming. But I think things are different now, I don’t think we should be as depressed. We have more knowledge now than ever before.
We also had the 1930s, the continuation of the progressive era, we had the Keynesian economic policies take over, the New Deal Policies take over, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini. And they contributed to another 25 million people dying: just the fascism of Europe. So the 1930s didn’t do as well either, and then, of course, when you have bad economic policy, when you get involved in a war to end all wars … it’s only a war to begin more wars, and you end up in another World War, we end up in World War II. And then after World War II we have this internationalism come in, we have the development of the United Nations and the IMF and the World Bank. But, of course, they were working towards a worldwide currency, so they set up this Bretton-Woods Agreement on money, which was a total farce. The good economist, the Austrian economist at that time said, “It can’t work, it won’t work” and, indeed, when it fell apart, it was a very, very impressive day for me. Because like tonight is a Sunday evening, it was on a Sunday evening of August 15th, 1971 that the Bretton-Woods monetary system collapsed. But that was predictable and that’s over with, and there are some, no doubt, who would like to go back to that. But it also gives us the wonderful opportunity to advance forward. In more recent history, we have had the advancement of these failed policies: The Project for a new American Century, you already know there are a bunch of Neo-Cons running that show. They actually opened up and office in 1997 and they closed their office in 2006, that doesn’t mean they’re gone and that doesn’t mean they’re not influencing most of the politicians in Washington. But, believe me, they’re losing steam. Right now, the wars that have been fought in these last 10 years, which have given us 4 trillion dollars worth of debt, are unpopular, we can’t afford them, the American people want us out and they want to bring the troops home.
Crowd: Bring them home! Bring them Home!
Ron Paul: Now, if they don’t listen to your shouts, and if they don’t listen to common sense, they’re going to listen to the facts of life, and the fact of life is we can’t afford it anymore. The Soviets didn’t leave because they had an enlightenment, they left because they were broke, and they so foolishly got bogged down in Afghanistan. So why don’t we wise up and just take care of ourselves and defend our country and not be the policeman of the world? These conditions have been developing for the past 100 years, and now we’re in the midst of a change, providing an opportunity for a revolution towards liberty. This has provided some very serious problems for us, it will not be smooth sailing. But there’s reason to be optimistic that we can have great achievements. But, to me, the three problems that we have to face are: No.1 that I see as the problem that if we solved it, it probably would solve most of the other ones, and that is the attack on personal liberty. If people truly understood what personal liberty means, that you have self ownership, that you have a natural God-given right to your life, and therefore, you have a right to your liberty. And if we defend all life and all liberty regardless of our judgment about how people are using that liberty, then we would have the natural sequence of saying, “If that is the case, you have a natural right to keep the fruits of your labor, and all of it”.
Personal liberty, when it returns, once again, you will be able to drink raw milk, you’ll be able to make rope out of hemp, you will be able to feel secure in your houses that the federal government will not be able to spy on you or bust into your house without a search warrant. You will be allowed, without a government permit to buy nutritional products when you please and what you please. No longer will government assume they have the responsibility of protecting you against yourself; nobody can do that. And the emphasis will no longer be on economic and personal security, the government will take care of us, but it will be emphasizing that the government is there to protect our liberty. You know, they can give us security – whether it’s economic security, which always failed, or whether it’s personal security – but if the government says, “We can provide you perfect security”, isn’t that what we do with animals that we breed to raise up and eat. This is what happens, they’re secure, you put them in cages and you put them in fields and you fatten them up and you take care of them and they have all the food they want and the best nutrition, until it’s time to butcher them. And this is the same. So what you want is liberty, you don’t let this false sense of security that governments cannot give you. Well, it is true that in a free society you can pick your nutritional products and you can make your own choices and you can drink raw milk. But in a free society, you’re also allowed to make even more controversial choices. You might even decide to drink alcohol, and you know, there’s a little bit of risk in alcohol. They tried that alcohol business one time, it didn’t work very well, too many politicians drank alcohol, so they finally repealed that. But yes, you would be allowed to make a decision on what things you smoke or drink or eat or whatever you do to your own body. Of course, the argument is what would happen to the world if they had freedom of choice to invite drugs and all these dangerous things. But why don’t you go back and look at early American history up to about 1938 to find out how many people were using these drugs in the 19th century. So, once again, it’s who gets to make these decisions. But the hardest thing for some people to accept, both liberals and conservatives, on this issue of tolerance of your freedom is, yes, we want you to have your freedom, we want you to make your own choices, and we’re not going to tell you that you can’t make bad choices. People say, “Well, doesn’t that mean you endorse it? What if people drink too much or smoke too much in making their own choices?” Well, there’s one rule, they have to assume the consequences of their actions, totally and completely.
But it is under the pretence of taking care of ourselves that we have this drug war. Our government agencies have been known to be involved in drug trades, government agents have been involved, the law enforcement agencies have been involved. And guess what, guess which industry would like to see marijuana never legalized, that’s the alcohol industry. How about the drug companies that sell all these tranquilizers, they don’t want marijuana legalized, either. So there’s a lot of special interests that would like to keep drugs illegal. But, the attack then is on our liberties, that is the important thing: we want our freedoms to make these decisions, even when the wrong decisions are made. And there are still some people that say, “If it’s legal, it means we endorse it”. No we don’t, we don’t endorse it. What about on religion, we’re pretty good on religious values, some people chose no religion, some people pick different ones; there are 10, 20, 50 different types of religions. But we generally protect them and say, “That’s your own choice, you can make your own choice, we are not judgmental about that”. And we’re pretty good, but what we’re getting sloppy on is about protecting your intellectual freedoms. Now that they want to regulate the internet and arrest people for saying things, this is where we’re going to have to be very careful, because when the state feels like they’re under attack, probably the first freedom they’ll get rid of is freedom of speech; ideas, spreading ideas. That is why our ideological revolution has to pursue and it has to pursue quickly before they take away our ability to communicate. But it’s the ideas that change the world, and that is why the first amendment is so crucially important.
And the second thing that we have a great deal to be concerned about is economics, we’re in an economic mess and it’s very, very bad. I am convinced that it’s worse than anything that we’ve faced, worse than the great depression, worse than when we’re in major wars, because the fundamentals, the foundation of our economic system, the understanding of property rights, the understanding of monetary policy, has so eroded, that the bubble that still exists is so huge and is so worldwide. So when we see hints of this breaking apart in Europe and think about what’s going to happen to the Euro and the European community and what’s going to happen to us? But generally, so far, our Federal Reserve and our treasury and our Congress has said, “Well, we better be in Europe because our banks are over there and we don’t want to let everybody fail, so we have to keep bailing them out”. And I would say that that eventually is going to bring the downfall of the dollar and the downfall of the economy, which means that there will be more excuses for them to crack the whip and crack down on our civil liberties. This is why understanding civil liberties and individual rights and tying it in to monetary policy and property rights is so crucial, because we cannot allow that to happen. The economic system today is based on debt; for too long, what we have done is we have bailed out every attempt from the market to correct the mistakes made especially since 1971. We’ve always jumped in and interfered. That is, we spent more money, printed more money, lowered the interest rates and there seemed to always be a response, even though the statistics now are showing how devastating this economy and the destruction of the currency is. The average American family is losing significantly, they know it, and it’s on the news this week. And that is a predictable event, Austrian economics teaches that if a government deliberately devalues and destroys the value of a currency, it will destroy the middle class and the wealth will gravitate to the wealthy. That is the reason monetary policy is important and the reason that ultimately we get rid of the Fed.
Crowd: End the Fed! End the Fed!
Ron Paul: Some people might ask, “Well, haven’t we had an accumulation of wealth in the last several decades?” Some people have gotten wealthier, but the average person hasn’t. The middle class is smaller, and it’s especially smaller in this last 5 years. So, you print money and even if they get the GDP to go up, it’s representative of the government spending more money on cruise missiles or something. And that doesn’t help you, it doesn’t help your income, it doesn’t help keep prices down, it doesn’t help you one bit. And it is so destructive, because when the trouble comes and the Fed says, “We are all-wise, we know what interest rates should be, we know what the cost of money should be, and, therefore, we’re going to make it free”. And guess who qualifies, the big banks, they get free money and they loan it back to the governments and they buy the bonds, finance the political system, and they make a lot of money. But what happens to the average person who decides they need to be frugal? Times are tough, spend less, save more, be prepared, take care of ourselves, act responsibility. Guess what, instead of getting a market rate of interest, which very well could be 5-8%, they get 1% or nothing. So it is so unfair and, once again, it is biased against the people. It protects the big banks, the big corporations and the politicians.
And the other area in which we have created a lot of problems for ourselves and we’re in the midst of a transition, is that of foreign affairs. We’re spread too far around the world, we’re in a 140 countries, we have 900 bases. They’re preparing right now to go into Syria, and it probably won’t be too long that we may well be in Iran. We don’t need another war, we need less war and we need to quit. One of the strongest things that we have to deal with, of course, is the foreign policy as a consequence of the tremendous fear about being attacked by terrorists. But terrorism is a serious subject to deal with, and if you understand the blow-back mechanism, of course, we think we can do a whole lot to reduce the threat of terrorism. But right now, the threat of any of us being killed by terrorists is about 1 in 25 million. The odds of getting killed by a car is one in 19,000, the odds of getting killed by lightening is 1 in about 5 million. But, guess what, if you’re in the military and you have to go over and get involved in a shooting battle to save the world for democracy and make the world safe for democracy and bring peace and tranquility to these countries, guess what? The estimates are, and there’s no precise number, but it’s somewhere between 2 and 20 per 100 people; like 2% to 20% that you will be killed by friendly fire. What a tragedy. And they think that we have to have a drone warfare constantly in every country.
Ron Paul: And if there’s anybody who dislikes what we suggest, we’ll send our drone missiles. And, guess what, that does not win friends, it does not help us in anyway whatsoever. It has been said that they were very pleased that we were over there, it was much easier killing us over there than coming over here where the Second Amendment is still alive and well. Now, while talking about foreign policy like this and emphasizing blowback, somebody rather rationally said the other day on the internet, “Oh yea, if those Paul people would have been in charge, Osama Bin Laden would still be alive”. But you know what I think the answer is? So would the 3,000 people from 9/11 be alive, and so would the 8,500 Americans who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan be alive as well. And also, those 44,000 military personnel who have come back severely injured would not be suffering those consequences and we wouldn’t have hundreds of thousands suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome as well as brain injuries. So I would say, if you take that and add in 4 trillion dollars, our side wins that argument by a long shot. If we had our way and we removed these dangers, of course, a president would not be able to assassinate anybody, especially never an American citizen. And then, of course, if we had our way, we would repeal the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act. This whole idea is that they’ve gone all the way back to 1215 and they’re messing around with the progress of liberty and repealing Habeas-Corpus by saying that you don’t have any right of due process and the military can arrest us and put us in private prisons and never get a trial. There’s something very un-American about that, let me tell you.
Now, when that bill was being debated in the Senate, there was provision in there – and actually it looked like it was going to get passed –that said that if we, as American citizens, were arrested and we were tried and found innocent in a jury trial, they still claimed that they could put us away forever and we could be held indefinitely in detention. But it didn’t get that bad, it’s still bad; but there was a senator, I can’t think of his name, I think he was from Kentucky, and he was able to stop that. Once he got it out on the table, they said, “Oh, we didn’t know that was in there”. Of course, that’s always possible because they don’t have the vaguest idea what they’re voting on most of the time, that is a problem. Wish there was a Read the Bills Act over there and of course I think that’s the proper thing to do, you ought to read the bill. But I have to admit, I haven’t read all those bills. If they’re a thousand pages long, my staff has good instructions. They say they have an easy job, they said that all they have to do is show me if it’s unconstitutional. So a lot of times they only have to read the first page. And if there was ever a time when I wasn’t well informed or I came quickly and thought I maybe haven’t thought this through completely, let me tell you, it’s always been safe to vote ‘No’. I think the important thing that we know in this room and a growing number of Americans are realizing, is that the worst thing we can do is remain silent. How many times have I been to the campuses, I brought the subject up about military arrests and the problems that we’re facing and assassination and torture and all these things. And I always asked, “How many times have you read it or heard about it on the evening news?” It’s almost like there’s a silence out there. But early on in the campaign I would bring it up and say, “Well, let me tell you a little bit about the NDAA”, and I would think I would have to fully explain it. But as soon as I said ‘NDAA’, the people in the audience were outraged about it. Which means we’re not silent, we know about it, but we have to get around the system, which will not report on it, because they’re part of the problem. They’re part of the military-industrial complex.
But another accusation that is made quite frequently at me and you is that we’re not patriotic. Well, we do know the military supports us. But all our views are supposed to be unpatriotic, they hide behind this patriotism. But I have been taught, and I have been convinced, that patriotism is that quality that permits us in a free society to criticize our own government when they’re wrong. This is why I have a soft-spot in my heart for whistle blowers. The whistle blower serves a very good function, but quite frequently what are they accused of? Treason. They say, “Why are they doing this, why are they releasing this information?” So, Bradley Manning, he’s in the military and there is probably some debate about exactly how and what to do, but let me tell you, Bradley Manning didn’t kill anybody, Bradley Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody. And what he has exposed, he is equivalent today to Daniel Ellsberg who told us the truth about Vietnam. And when Daniel Ellsberg was under the gun, the government wanted to crack down on the exposure on the New York Times. The New York Times printed the material that Ellsberg released, and that went to the Supreme Court. And Ellsberg did not go to prison, it was upheld, and New York Times did not suffer the consequence of this, either. So we’re at this point, but just think right now, I’m afraid that if we took a poll across the country asking, “Should we try Assange for treason?”
Ron Paul: But most Americans are going to say, “Oh yes, he’s a bad guy, he’s telling all these secrets”. But guess what, he’s an Australian Citizen. And you read it about it all the time: “Let’s try him for treason and bring him to the United States”. So we have so much power and clout, even Sweden is submitting to saying, “Well, if he gets here, we’ll draw up some false charge and we’ll send him over to the United States so he can have a fair trial”. Those are the problems that we need to worry about and be concerned about, but they’re also the kind of things that we can reverse, and that should be our goal: to change this, to know what a free society is all about, to know where we are and what we need to do. We don’t have to invent it, we’ve had a good taste of it, we don’t have to go back to a static period in the 19th century because there were a lot of problems then. Even the gold standard can be improved upon. So we want to advance the cause. I think the cause of individual liberty actually started in 1215, and it got a tremendous boost with our revolution and our constitution. But we don’t want to say we’re going back. The people who want tyranny, who want big government, that’s what is ancient and that is what we should worry about, they’re the ones who want to go back to the dark ages. So, how do we look at today, in 2012? Do we look at it like 1913 like we’re starting all over again and we’re bringing in a new system? Is it 1917 with the Sovietization and the Communization of the world? Is it the 1930s where we had so much fascism and Keynesianism and all the mess we had? Are we now going to have to live with the neo-cons or are we going to say, “We’re living in a new era, we’re going to start something different, completely different, than all of that.” In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel, “It Can’t Happen Here”, and that novel essentially was a warning because he believed it could happen here. It was an anti-fascist novel, because he was very concerned about Mussolini and the Nazis. And his whole argument was that it can’t happen here. But I would like to turn that around and say, “It can happen here”. What can happen here, though, not in the negative sense, is that it can happen that we can reverse this. If we don’t believe it can happen, it won’t have a prayer of a chance. We can turn it around if we put the work and effort into it. Some people will still be negative and they’ll say, “Yea, but how many times have you seen a revolution that really has turned out”. All through the 20th century so many revolutions and wars and wars to end all wars and all that, it never happened. And right now we still have neo-cons all over the place. You know, they aren’t all in one party, either, they’re in both of the parties and that’s why we have to reach out. But there have been times in our history of the world when there has been success. In 1850, the British passed a law, it was called “The Repeal the Corn Laws”, and it was an introduction into free market economics with repealing mercantilism and protectionism and it ushered in an age of the industrial revolution. And it was a difficult time, Peel, who was the representative, had this passed, he worked for many, many years and it was finally passed. And it was smoothly. There were a lot of special interests involved, but it worked smoothly and they transitioned from mercantilism into a much better system. In 1919 they decided in this country that we were going to take care of the American people to make sure your habits were wise and frugal. So they passed this prohibition of alcohol, and it was an absurdity, it didn’t work. But what happened by the early 1930s, by 1933 the people rose up and said, “This is ridiculous, prohibition is bad”, and they repealed prohibition. So some day we’re going to wake up and say the same thing about all drugs, and right now we’re getting a lot more support for this: repeal these drug wars, get rid of the crime associated with the drug wars.
In 1933, as Roosevelt took over, he ran believing his program in 1932 was a balanced budget and he had the most conservative platform because Hoover wasn’t doing such a good job. And he said he would defend the gold standard and balance the budget and cut spending. Well, that didn’t exactly happen, because the first thing he did was make it illegal for an American citizen to own gold. I mean, that really told you something about what was happening. But it was illegal to own gold all the way up until 1975. So in 1975, they asked why is gold illegal, and a law was passed and once again we moved back in the direction and the American people could own gold. It’s a very important issue; in a free society, don’t give up your right to own precious metals and don’t give up your right to own a weapon to defend yourself. But then we even made a little more progress because we had not minted any gold coins since the early 1930s. So in 1985, once again, as a consequence of the Gold Commission, one thing that they came out with was they would not go along with the views that I had on gold at the time, and they said, “Well, we’ll throw in something”, so why don’t we go back to minting gold coins again. Far from perfect, not a gold standard, but it was a big thing. It was a big deal for us to take something like minting, which is one of the few constitutional authorities that we have: to mint gold and silver coins. So that was restored in 1985, the point being that it isn’t inexplicable that we move in the wrong direction, we can start moving in the other direction. And, even I, if you would have asked me 5 years ago if we would get the attention of the nation and if we would get the attention of the establishment Republicans, even where they felt compelled to talk about it on the platform, I would say that I never dreamed that I would get the attention of probably 75% of the American people who say the Fed ought to be audited. So what is our big challenge? The big challenge is, can we restore the natural rights, God-given rights to our people so that we emphasize the fact that a return to liberty can solve so many of our problems. Economic policies means private property, contract rights, gold standard and to get the government out of this business of regulating, the market and property rights regulate quite well. Under those conditions, guess what happens in a free market, they say there’ll be no regulations. No, the regulation is, if you go bankrupt, you go bankrupt and you don’t get bailed out by the government.
So the really big question I think that we have to decide upon is, which way are we going to go. We see the end of an era, which way is it going to go. And I think the choice is one of two, I do not think that there’s going to be another Marxist coming along and restore the enthusiasm for Marxism, I don’t think that tomorrow we’re going to have the same thing as a Hitler or Mussolini. But I do think we have to worry about fascism, an expansion of what we already have, which is corporatism. The buddy system between big corporations and big banks with the government. And that is the reason that we have to be on the side of saying, “Yes, if you’re big and you made your money because you had special benefits and bailouts and protectionism from the government, that is wrong. But if you’re big because you sold a good product to us and we brought it and you got rich, you have a right to be rich for doing that. We do know that ideas do have consequences, and as I’ve said, an idea whose time is come, can’t be stopped. I really believe we’re here and they’re not going to be able to stop us. But we have to learn to know how to spot the fluff, the baloney and get rid of it and don’t listen to it. But you just can’t hit them over the head wi a 2×4, it seems like maybe that’s the best way to do it at times.
You know, some people claim that I don’t express my outrage enough, they say, “You should be more outraged, look at what they’re doing to you, how can you ever put up with that?” and they’ll say to me, “How did you ever put up with this in Congress for 30 years without yelling and screaming?” But have you ever thought about it, what if I became outraged at outraged at everything they did wrong, I would have been worn out in about 5 years for sure. But we do need to sort it out, we do need to know the good ideas from the bad ideas, we do need to persuade people. And politics plays a role in this and I feel very blessed that I was able to be a professional person and practice medicine, which my wife describes as something I loved, which was one of the reasons why I went back to my practice after being in Washington for 6, 7 years. But politics is something that is beneficial. And I consider there’s a lot of luck in politics in winning a seat, and I don’t think there’s any luck in taking your positions, I think that is a freedom of choice and you make those decisions. But, anyways, being in the right place at the right time has a lot to do with it. But I think everyone of us has a responsibility, because people in an audience like this know and understand the problem. You have more insight than essentially almost everybody in Washington, and I guess that’s no challenge. But the difficult task is, you have more responsibility. And a lot of people say, and even in the introductions today they talked about sacrificing. I don’t think for a minute I sacrificed anything, I do it out of self-interest, I do it because I think it’s good for me. I do it because I enjoy ideas, I enjoy sorting out right from wrong, the good ideas and the bad ideas, and there’s some fun in it. I always advice, if you’re in this business and you don’t try to have some fun, like I hope we do for the rest of the evening tonight, too. Let’s have some fun, otherwise you’re going to get worn out. But, once you come to the conclusion when you put this whole thing together, personal liberty, property rights, sound foreign policy, monetary policy, and then there’s an enlightenment that comes and a light goes on and you say, “Wow, this really comes together”. So, out of your own self-interest, you spread this message. But you first educate yourself, study and learn and learn how to give the answers. And you don’t have to worry about what your job’s going to be, if you know the answers and you speak out and you’re available, somebody will use you. You may be in politics, you may run for office, you may organize, who knows what it may be. But the obligation is there, you have an obligation to do your very best to change this, because it’s in your interest and your family’s interest, it’s in the interest of our country.
When we do this, we have to aim high, we have to be very idealistic, we have to use reason and we have to have passion. This will convert people rather than grabbing them by the collar and saying, “Don’t you understand what I’m saying, listen to me”. That won’t work, I’m telling you, it just doesn’t work. A soft answer sometimes is a lot better. Soft answers in Washington don’t seem to help too much, but when you’re persuading your friends, soft answers and discussions are a good way to convince people. This whole idea of describing it as one unit, that you don’t have economic freedom and personal liberty and they’re separate: no, it’s all one issue. And, also, if they get very confused and they say, “I don’t understand”, just tell them, “Freedom is popular, that’s the reason”. And the basic rule that drives this whole philosophy is the rejection of violence. You don’t kill other people, you don’t take their property, you tolerate other people. And just think about this for a minute, freedom should bring us together, it should never be divisive. Because in this room there might be a thousand different reasons why you want your freedom. You might want it for personal reasons, economic reasons, religious reasons, intellectual reasons, but if you all agree on liberty, you don’t have to worry about what the other guy is doing or how they dress or what they say or what they do. We all should come together to defend liberty. Giving up this initiation of force of violence is very important. We live with a lot of violence, state violence, police violence, individual violence, and we’re a very violent culture. And, this is my own theory, I think it comes from the fact that welfarism and socialism doesn’t generate a sense of self-esteem. Instead of generating an understanding and enjoyment of liberty, it generates this idea that somebody owes me something, and this is very negative. And I think self-esteem comes from production, when you feel good about yourself that you did something. Now, some people can produce computers or he could be a Steve Jobs, I couldn’t possibly be a Steve Jobs, but I bet his satisfaction came as much from producing things as it was from just getting another billion dollars. I just don’t think that’s it. It is self-esteem and confidence. But everybody’s self-esteem and confidence from producing comes differently. It might be from raising a family, it might be from doing your job well, and various other ways. But self-esteem to me seems to be so important, I am convinced that when people lose their self-esteem, they’re more likely to do violence to others because they don’t even have enough respect for themselves, so injuring others doesn’t matter. Maybe those who redistribute wealth suffer from that same problem, superficially, they want to redistribute wealth and take care of everybody, but they too might not have enough self-esteem to understand where wealth really comes from. My personal goal with my politics and my personal life is that a free society provides me an opportunity to seek virtue and excellence, and that should be a personal goal. And, in doing that, it’s better done in a free society. If the government takes over the rule of trying to make you a better person, an excellent person, and make you virtuous, it’s all over; that is the seeds of an authoritarian society. So instead of seeing this as a continuation of an era of the 20th century that gave us so much debt and destruction and undermined our liberties and conditions today that are so dangerous, let us think that we are now moving into a new era, a new era where we are going to concentrate on liberty and freedom and property rights and peace. I believe that is the cause that we should lead and I thank you very much for being part of it.