Tuesday, 01 January 2013

Ron Paul to Congress: Honor Constitution on Every Issue in 2013

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Dr. No is about to go — home to Texas.

Before he does, however, the sometime presidential candidate and all-the-time defender of the Constitution, Ron Paul (R-Texas), has some parting words for his congressional colleagues.

On his official House of Representatives website, Paul published what he calls a “New Year’s Resolution for Congress.”

“As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider,” Paul writes.

First, Paul, the unrepentant and unwavering constitutionalist, encourages lawmakers carrying on in Congress to “consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.”

There is little debate as to the 12-term congressman’s libertarian bona fides. It is his refusal to vote in favor of any measure not authorized by the Constitution’s enumerated powers that earned the former obstetrician the nickname "Dr. No."

In the next paragraph, Paul mentions those “few and defined” powers, reminding congressmen of their oaths of office and the obligation they willingly undertake to adhere strictly to the founding document of the Republic:

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

Next, Paul moves on to what has become perhaps his most controversial and most compelling policy position: opposition to unconstitutional, undeclared foreign wars. Paul writes:

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

Beyond these words, Ron Paul has demonstrated the sincerity of his belief in the immorality and unconstitutionality of the ongoing drone war. In November, Paul and fellow war opponent Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) co-sponsored House Resolution 819. The measure would have forced the Obama administration to provide all documents setting out the legal justification for the death-by-drone program, including, according to the Houston Chronicle, “any memos from the Office of Legal Counsel.”

In a statement released by Representative Paul in June, he explained that the threat to our liberty posed by the president’s proliferation of the drone war was more imminent than the danger to our national security posed by alleged militants:

This dramatic increase in the use of drones and the lowered threshold for their use to kill foreigners has tremendous implications for our national security. At home, some claim the use of drones reduces risk to American service members. But this can be true only in the most shortsighted sense. Internationally the expanded use of drones is wildly unpopular and in fact creates more enemies than it eliminates.

The fatal phenomenon described by Dr. Paul is called “blowback.”

Blowback is defined as violent counter-attacks carried out as revenge for drone strikes that have killed thousands, many of whom were doing nothing more threatening than going to the market or attending a funeral.

Not surprisingly, the Paul-Kucinich resolution was rejected by voice vote at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.

Another plank in the solid Paul platform in the elimination of all foreign aid. Paul recommends to his former fellows:

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs — and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Proof of Paul’s statement is found in the odd arrangement created by American largesse in the Middle East.

Is seems strange that Congress would consistently coalesce behind Israel and its right to protect its sovereign borders, yet authorize millions in foreign aid to be sent annually to most of the nations that surround it.

For example, Egypt receives nearly $1.5 billion in aid annually from the United States. Jordan receives over $800 million in financial aid from the American treasury.

Gaza and the West Bank receive $575 million annually thanks to the forced generosity of the American taxpayer. Ironically, the enemy of our purported ally stands in the same U.S. welfare line as Israel herself.

Speaking of the way U.S. financial aid contributes to the perpetuation of violence in that perennially war-torn region, Ron Paul wrote in November:

It's our money and our weapons. But I think we encouraged it. Certainly, the president has said nothing to diminish it. As a matter of fact, he justifies it on moral grounds, saying, oh, they have a right to do this, without ever mentioning the tragedy of Gaza…. To me, I look at it like a concentration camp.

Dr. Paul’s parting prescription then moves on from the unconstitutional doling out of dollars to the unconstitutional  printing of them.

"Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start," Paul pleads.

Ron Paul’s fight to dismantle the Federal Reserve is so well-known that it hardly need be repeated, but he insisted that the Fed’s threat to our political and fiscal future was so great that “the argument needs to be repeated in every discussion of public policy.” In that spirit, I offer the following words from Paul’s 2011 book, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom:

I would like to see a dollar as good as gold. I would like to see the banking system operating as it would under free enterprise, meaning no central bank. I would like to see competitive currencies emerge on the market and be permitted to thrive. I’ve been pushing for these solutions for decades. The problem of the transition is not technical. It can happen. The problem is political. Paper money is a drug and Washington is addicted.

Love him or hate him, there is no debate that Ronald Earnest Paul is an icon, an inspiration, an enigma, and an example of consistency and courage for congressman and citizen alike. The closing paragraph of his New Year’s letter to lawmakers succinctly and accurately identifies the polestar followed by Paul every day of his exemplary congressional career:

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

Photo of Rep. Ron Paul: AP Images

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