Ron Paul: Why I Didn’t Run as an Independent


Interviewer: Ron Paul is packing up his Washington condo this week, preparing to sell it and move back to Texas for good. Paul is retiring from Congress, and last week he gave a farewell address from the House floor, repeating the small-government sermon he first shouted in obscurity, and then injected into the national debate. With his time in Washington DC coming to a close, I sat down with Paul for a kind of ‘exit interview’.

Question: You’ve been here on-and-off since 1976, what would you say the three most damaging special interests are in Washington?

Ron Paul: You know, I see so many, and they’re all the same.

Interviewer: I know, but you much have some that really bother you.

Ron Paul: I think the military-industrial complex is very bad.

Interviewer: That was No.1.

Ron Paul: I don’t know if they should be in order.

Interviewer: Okay, don’t give them in order.

Ron Paul: Another one would be the banking system: how the Federal Reserve works and how it helps big banks. The interest that I would like to see, and that I worked on, was to try to get those people who just want their freedom to take care of themselves, and that’s the one that’s the least influential. Up here, it’s the people who want stuff and who get the benefits by just lobbying for those things that they want.

Interviewer: Another thing you mentioned in your farewell speech is your belief that we need to build coalitions, not necessarily reach compromises. And I wonder if you think your beliefs could be a 51% coalition in your lifetime, or in what timeframe?

Ron Paul: I think if I talk to a crowd of people, no matter which crowd, and say, “Do you believe in the free enterprise system, that people should be able to work and have their earning?” they say, “Yea, I believe that”. And if I asked, “Do you believe that your privacy should be protected, that the government shouldn’t be in your bedroom, that they shouldn’t be spying on you?” people would agree. And, most of the time when I asked, “Do you think we should be the policeman of the world?” they say, “No”. But when it comes to the particulars, they don’t stick with it, and they say, “Yes, but go too far, you want too much freedom”.

Interviewer: Well, this is another thing you touched on in that speech, you said this idea of liberty is popular, has been popular, so why doesn’t it win. It’s kind of a question that you didn’t fully answer in that speech, why do you think it doesn’t win?

Ron Paul: Not a lot of people talk about it, and I did try to explain it in the speech, in that, the concern about freedom was lost because freedom creates so much prosperity, that people get complacent. Then they become materialistic, and all they can deal with is redistribution and they find that with the government, you can make more money by getting a contract from the government than by being a genius and being productive. You know, when I first came here in 1976, I think I was under the impression that if you talk about welfare, you’re talking about those people who won’t work and get food stamps. But I have a very different opinion now. That exists, and it’s not healthy, but that’s minor compared to the food stamps the wealthy get. The wealthy get the contracts and the special deals, and that’s where I think the biggest trouble is.

Interviewer: That’s a way of speaking that most Republicans don’t usually engage in. Your son, the senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, said recently that the Republican Party is in danger of becoming a dinosaur.

Ron Paul: Yea, but I think the whole government and the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are all dinosaurs.

Interviewer: What’s the future of the Republican Party, though?

Ron Paul: Well, the same as the Democratic Party. The principles are dinosaurs. The parties are going to linger because they’re locked in by law. You know, we’re not allowed to compete, the laws are biased against us from competing. And if you go third-party, you can’t get in the debates and you can’t get on ballots.

Interviewer: You talk about the grip of that two-party system, did you seriously consider running as an independent for President in 2012?

Ron Paul: No.

Interviewer: You didn’t consider it because it’s not practical?

Ron Paul: Not practical, absolutely not practical. Because this would have been a good year to have an alternative, and you can’t get much of a showing either on the Libertarian side or the Green side.

Interviewer: So then, how do we get out of this system, what do us see as the answer to this, or do we just keep bumping along with the way things are? You can’t believe that, that would make you too sad.

Ron Paul: No, you go to the campuses, you rally the young people, and you stir up a whole generation of people. Ideas do have consequences, and that’s where the good news is, because the campuses are alive and well with these views and they know the system is bankrupt. And there is this illusion that you can spend endlessly and print endlessly, and there will always be credit out there. And so far so good, but credit can end quickly, the dollar can crash quickly, and a new system will have to be developed.

Interviewer: One last thing, where do you pride yourself?

Ron Paul: Nothing in particular, other than the fact that the people say, “One thing we can say about you is that you are very consistent”, and they say this in a very nice way.

Interviewer: And you’ve changed the discussion in this country, you must be proud of that.

Ron Paul: Yea, that would be nice, time will tell. But what I always get a charge out of is when they’re so nice and they say, “This is good, you’re very consistent”, they must say to themselves, “But I’m always inconsistent”, and that’s wonderful. And they run the show, I never ran anything, I was just bubbling along here when it came to legislation. So the people who, in a way, admit they’re inconsistent, get to run the Legislative System.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate it.

Ron Paul: You’re welcome.


  • This may be a cynical view but I believe that the majority of the young voters who went for Obama just did it because of his last minute suck up to the LGBT community. Dare I say some of these kids don’t really care or even fully understand the situation, they just think that the somewhat rebellious tolerance of gay marriage is cool (“stick it to the old wrinkly republicans” kind of thing)… rather than realizing that in a free society it should simply be a given.

  • RP does not go far enough. He should talk about privatization of roads and infrastructure, all schools, all government provided health, privatizing the police force, privatizing much of what the courts do ,he should keep talking about climate change and how we need the free market NOT MORE government to fight climate change (yes its real ppl), he should talk about Murray Rothbard anarcho-capitalism a bit more..OH A HE SHOULD START BELIEVING IN EVOLUTION! BUT THANK YOU RP FOR EVERYTHING! 🙂

  • What a tragic irony Dr. Paul points out – that the largest special interest group is the masses of people who simply want liberty, and by our very nature we have the quietest voice in Washington. Think about it… The largest single group in the whole country and we have NO lobbying group. Our “representatives” are designed to represent everyone BUT us. They use our votes to reach office, and then hold out their palms to every lobbyist. And the blame comes full circle. Look in the mirror.

  • Sad, but true.

  • Bye bye Ron Paul, hello New World Order.

  • I can’t take you seriously: you watch conspiracy videos about Michael Jackson for a living.

  • I think one of the most interesting things coming out of the 2012 election is how voters 18-29 carried the day for Obama. Obama killed both McCain and Romney in this age group and he would have killed any other GOP candidate in this age group, except one.


    It tells you that young voters simply don’t believe the GOP message, but that message carried some weight when the guy delivering it truly believes it. And Ron Paul wants even smaller government than the GOP.

  • I wish I could buy Ron’s condo & turn it into a headquarters for liberty.

  • Luckily it did not became a law, but just to give you an idea how fucking stupid our politicians actually are. If you think US congressmen seem stupid think Sweden, where right is wrong. we have a total tax rate above 50% of bnp and the stupid socialists call this tax record low, we take in more immigrants 150 000 immigrants every year even tough we have rising unemployed and housing shortage, and that’s not all a person with no edu from somailia get more money in welfare than a working swede-.-

  • Hate comes from pain.

  • i fucking hate ron paul

  • 3:58 “This would have been a good year to have an alternative”

    I guess that means Ron Paul didn’t see Gary Johnson as an alternative? I know I didn’t.

  • So a half dozen isn’t 6, it’s just a half a dozen.
    Whatever you say Sparky.

  • Freedom mother fuckers!! The people will win America! We will no longer listen to your lies RON PAUL!!!

  • As sick as it sounds, the best thing that could happen for the U.S. is to have the dollar completely crash & become worthless. Perhaps then the Federal Reserve could be buried for good and replaced by a legitimate currency that isn’t indebted to a foreign banking cartel & their interest on loans. It would be nice to say backed by a gold standard like RP says but I fear all U.S. gold has been stolen and moved offshore. It would also render the wealthy hoarding tons of cash instantly penniless.

    • JiminNM

      I totally agree. Both Iraq and Libya were moving toward a gold based currency. Libya had enough gold to do it. Libya was uniting Africa, going to have a single gold based currency for all of Africa and sell Africa’s minerals and oil only for gold and not dollars. The bankers used the Corporation military to kill the leaders of Iraq and Libya because of the above. Our gold and any gold belonging to other countries that we can steal (9/11 Tower 7) goes to the bankers to pay the so-called interest on the fiat dollars. We are labor slaves and military slaves used to gather all the real wealth of the world for the bankers, etc. When you think about it, all Federal Land, all Federal buildings; in fact all government land and buildings and weapons actually belong to the people because that stuff was acquired with the people’s labor.

  • that interviewer is a jew

  • Ron Paul = Level 5 Leader

    Jim Collins, Good to Great.

    Also, his campaign for freedom follows the principles of the ‘flywheel’, the ‘hedgehog’ and the ‘stockdale paradox’.

  • Such a genuine, yet very humble man.

  • At least I can say, that in my generation, I saw Ron Paul run for president. He didn’t win the election, but at least there was a chance. He gave a lot of people things to think about.

  • He was the only Vet on the panel, and the only one who was correct on almost every prediction he ever made. The most reliable, consistent, educated and a realist to the core… America is still not ready for you Mr. Paul. History will show that we needed him but didn’t let reality into our lifes until it was too late…