With neither TelePrompTer nor notes, Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) addressed a standing-room throng of very young, very vociferous voters who see his candidacy as the only hope for restoring our Republic to its constitutional foundations.
When asked by this reporter why they came out to see Ron Paul, two high school students responded with a typical teenage matter-of-fact (“duh!”) tone: “‘Cause he’s the only one who cares about the Constitution.”
After finally calming the crowd, Dr. Paul introduced his wife and granddaughter before launching into a stump speech that bore plain witness to the truthfulness of my youthful interviewees’ assessment of the presidential candidate.
First, Paul proclaimed that he is the conservative choice among the four Republicans running for President. “You can’t grant to the title of conservative to those who keep voting to spend money,” he explained.
There was little doubt that the theme of the night would be that the root of all the problems plaguing our nation is the eradication of individual liberty as protected by the Constitution.
Dr. Paul’s early remarks were all focused on the economy and his promise to “cut the federal budget by $1 trillion in the first year.”
Paul explains that “The easiest place to start the cutting would be overseas spending” as there is no constitutional authority to spend money on foreign aid.
The first example of several budget boondoggles cataloged by Dr. Paul was the expenditure of billions of dollars on undeclared and unconstitutional foreign wars. “No war can legally be fought unless it is declared by Congress,” Paul stated. He continued the theme by countering those who claim that his proposal to cut defense spending will weaken the military and thus our national defense.
“Spending money on the military is not the same as spending money on defense,” insisted the Air Force veteran. As both Paul and his supporters have asserted (contrary to the claims of his detractors and the other candidates), the military is harmed in myriad ways when American plays the role of global police force, rather than keeping the men and women of the armed forces at home, ready to defend our country as the Constitution provides.
“Our military wants to defend the country, not go to war,” Paul said.
From this, the frequent sponsor of bills to audit the Federal Reserve moved on to familiar territory — exposing the fraudulent monetary policies promulgated by the central bank that perpetuates the boom/bust cycle that precipitated the current global economic crisis.
“Nowhere in the Constitution is there authorization for the creation of a central bank,” Paul asserted in a strong voice. At this, the audience broke out a chant of “End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!” Dr. Paul allowed the chant to die down before spiking the ball, explaining that the principal reason gas prices are so high is that “[Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke keeps printing money.”
The next five minutes were spent by the candidate laying out the whys and hows of the role played by the Fed in forcing the nation into the fiscal straits we’re navigating. “Bankers are able to manipulate the money supply,” explained Paul, because we’ve forgotten that the Constitution allows only for “gold and silver as legal tender.” The Founding Fathers suffered the effects of post-war inflation (inspiring the historic phrase "not worth a continental") and thus appreciated the danger of endowing the federal government with the power to print paper money.
Apart from the struggle with financial finagling on the part of the Fed, Ron Paul unloaded on the destructive tax code and the Internal Revenue Service that enforces it. “I would get rid of everyone’s favorite federal agency — the IRS,” Paul joked. “Income tax assumes that the government owns 100% of your money and and that they have the right to allow you to keep a certain percentage according to their rules,” he added.
Sensing he was speaking the crowd’s language, he widened the scope, positing, “In a free society, the people own the property, not the government” and that the people are much more able to decide the most effective way to spend their resources.
The federal government wouldn’t be so obsessed with spending money if they didn’t have so many departments to keep running, proffered Dr. Paul. To that end, he recommended eliminating five federal agencies as a good first step toward reducing the bureaucratic behemoth that straddles the Potomac. The first five departments to face the constitutional guillotine would be: Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Commerce, and Interior. Jettisoning this handful of federal departments alone would reduce the federal budget by about $179 billion.
Apart from trimming the treasury, Paul’s plan would divest the bureaucracy of the regulating power that has taken from the legislative branch its exclusive constitutional endowment of the lawmaking authority.
To dismantle the ever-expanding executive branch bureaucracy, Paul reckoned there might be the need for a peaceful revolution — a revolution that leads to the restoration of constitutional principles. This sort of revolution “is not in the heart of the GOP establishment,” mused Dr. Paul.
He informed the audience that were he elected to be the next occupant of the White House, he would be true to the oath of office of the President, particularly with regard to the obligation it imposes to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” from all enemies — foreign and domestic.
As for the foreign enemies, Paul warned that the greatest danger to the sovereignty of our Republic is the surrender of that sovereignty to global organizations such as the United Nations. Reminding those in attendance of his perennial effort to get the United States out of the United Nations, Paul predicted that if we do not stop this trend toward globalism, we will be left with less sovereignty and “more world government.”
“If we need help, in America we’ll turn to our neighbors and the church, not the federal government or the UN,” Paul declared.
Finally, Paul fed the frenzy by announcing his determination to repeal “tyrannical laws like the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “No one would have voted for the Patriot Act if they would have called it the 'Repeal the Fourth Amendment Act,' ” which is what it amounts to, Paul stated.
Regarding the elimination of Due Process that forms the central part of the NDAA and the address delivered by Attorney General Holder on Monday outlining the supposed legal authority relied upon by the Obama administration for the killing of American citizens abroad upon suspicion of posing a terroristic threat, Paul declared his allegiance to the Constitution, saying that even controversial people deserve trials. “Otherwise,” he continued, “what’s going to happen when they arrest one of us?”
Paul closed his speech by calling upon the “irate minority” that was present to get out and vote and “light the brushfires of liberty.”
At the conclusion of his public remarks, Dr. Paul granted an interview to this reporter who asked him a variety of questions, especially focused on his campaign and his plans to combat the voter fraud that is allegedly thwarting his attempt to accumulate delegates.
When asked whether such despicable and potentially illegal activity concerned him, Paul responded that he is “always frustrated” by these reports. Citing proof of such behavior in Nevada in 2008, Paul said that although he is devoted full time to “delivering [his] message and energizing the people,” his staff would be tasked with investigating these rumors and would “do their best” to eliminate the problem.
“You can have the message, raise the money, you can have the energy, and you can deliver the votes, but if you have any shenanigans behind the scenes it can still come up bad for you,” the GOP contender lamented. He claimed to have no evidence that such fraud has been perpetrated thus far in the 2012 primaries.
He did add that were he to receive evidence of “blatant fraud” he would pursue legal remedies to right such a wrong.
The event was held at the Civic Auditorium in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ron Paul finished third, a mere 29 votes behind Rick Santorum and over 19,000 behind the winner, Mitt Romney.
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks at a campaign event at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, Monday, March 5, 2012, in Sandpoint, Idaho: AP Images