After spending more than two decades in Congress vigorously standing up for liberty, peace, sound money, free markets, and the U.S. Constitution, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a hero to constitutionalists and libertarians all over the world, offered a stark warning about the dark future facing the United States and the American people without dramatic changes. However, the message was not all gloom and doom. In fact, there was also a sense of hope evident in his historic farewell speech. (See video at end of article.)
Still, the immediate future will be turbulent and filled with peril, Rep. Paul warned, saying we live in a “dangerous period.” Economic implosion and widespread poverty resulting from central monetary planning, never-ending wars and widespread government intervention in the market will lead to a tragedy of epic proportions, he explained. Tyranny may reign as the final vestiges of individual liberty are stripped away.
“Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms, but few understand it is, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power,” Rep. Paul declared on the floor of the House of Representatives on November 14. “Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.”
Rep. Paul also outlined his philosophy, explaining that neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence or force against others, but that America is moving toward a time when both will claim the authority to do so. “If this cycle is not reversed, society will break down,” he warned, citing a transformation in people’s values and morality as the key to achieving peace, liberty, prosperity, and a better world.
Among the most serious impending dangers facing America, of course, is a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the subsequent implosion of the global economy — a threat that Rep. Paul has warned about for years and that has recently been acknowledged even by establishment analysts. While awareness of the problem is growing, economic ignorance is still running rampant, Rep. Paul said. As evidence, he pointed to the fact that discredited Keynesian economic theories justifying the welfare-warfare state continue to thrive despite the now-obvious failure of policies based on big-government Keynesian arguments.
“Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees,” the popular Texas congressman and the founder of what many supporters dub the “Ron Paul Revolution” warned in what will likely be his final speech before Congress. “If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties.”
Rep. Paul also slammed government bailouts for the wealthy as a symptom of the problems and an inherent wrong. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s so-called “quantitative easing” policies — essentially printing ever-larger sums of debt-based currency to benefit certain special interests while eroding the value of Americans’ savings and fomenting widespread malinvestment — will undoubtedly lead to a tragedy.
“There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option,” the former GOP presidential hopeful explained, adding that the failure to recognize the fact that America is bankrupt will lead toward a fiscal cliff far more dangerous than the one expected to hit in January. “The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.”
Rep. Paul, also a doctor, pointed to what he sees as the five greatest dangers currently facing America:
1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.
2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of 'blow-back' is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.
3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.
4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.
5. World government taking over local and U.S. sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
In addition to those immediate threats, Rep. Paul also cited a long list of examples of lawless government abuse and restrictions on liberty. Among the most serious: undeclared wars, welfare for rich and poor, over-regulation, over-taxation, an economy that is "grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system," exponential debt growth, the Patriot Act and the general erosion of Fourth Amendment rights, pre-emptive wars of aggression without serious opposition from the American people, growing hatred of Americans thanks to lawless drone murders worldwide, statutes purporting to authorize the indefinite detention of Americans by the military without charges or trial, hostility toward genuine free trade, use of punitive sanctions against countries that do not obey Washington's orders, bailouts, and the acceptance of central economic planning through monetary policy and government intervention.
“A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite,” Paul noted. “And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues — as the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.”
After that, Rep. Paul offered a long list of questions to illustrate how dire the plight of liberty in America has become today. Everything from the drug war and restrictions on raw milk to the TSA and its abuses were targeted. “Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a ‘kill list,’ including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?” he wondered. “Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?”
Rep. Paul pointed out that the U.S. Constitution establishes only four federal crimes, but today, experts do not even know how many supposed “federal crimes” exist — thousands. The proliferation of unconstitutional statues — especially what Paul called the “ill-advised drug war” — has resulted in over six million Americans currently under correctional suspension, more than the Soviet Union ever had; more than even Communist China.
“Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” Paul declared in a widely cited portion of his speech after saying the limits placed on the federal government would have been a good place to start to achieve liberty. “The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.”
Still, despite the admittedly dire warning about the future of America, the popular liberty-minded congressman did point out that there are reasons to be hopeful as well. The desire for freedom is growing — especially among the grassroots and the youth, he said.
“Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections,” he said. “We cannot expect a federal government-controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.”
Also promising is the rapid dissemination of truth and the ideals of liberty online. “The internet will provide the alternative to the government-media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda,” Rep. Paul said. “This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.”
But beyond that, the liberty-minded Republican said the most important change would be in the individual. “The number one responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow,” Paul said. “This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.”
Going forward, the American people will come to a crossroads and will be forced to make a decision. There are two basic options available as to the type of government that should exist, Paul said. The first model of government would exist only to protect the natural rights of individuals and be strictly limited in its authority. The second option, he said, is a government with the power to arbitrarily use force, a system that has caused worldwide suffering throughout the ages.
“Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option number two, even though the Founders attempted to give us option number one,” he said. “The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.”
Rep. Paul concluded that the “immoral use of force” is actually “the source” of man’s political problems. “If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom,” he said. “If this is the problem, all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.”
Photo of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at