In a public career that included three stints in Congress (1976-1977; 1979-1985; and 1997-present) and a run for president as the Libertarian Candidate (1988), no living elected official has done more to advance the ideals of limited government and a libertarian approach to federal government.
His longshot bids for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012 radically altered the national conversation on entitlements, fiscal and monetary policy, foreign policy, and crony capitalism, and his success with online fundraising and organization has set the example that others will be following for years to come. The groups he has created, including Young Americans for Liberty and Campaign for Liberty, will continue to grow in size and influence.
Paul used his final address in the House of Representatives to draw attention to growing violations of civil liberties, a chronic economic crisis brought on out-of-control government spending and debt, the ease with which the country goes to (undeclared) war, and the immoral willingness to use violence to achieve desired social ends.
As Paul biographer and Reason staffer Brian Doherty noted, Ron Paul is "a true American original. No politician talks like this, and I suspect it will be a long time before another does. Ideas like this will be much harder to find in the House of Representatives with Paul gone, and we will all be the poorer for it."
Go here for Reason's coverage of the congressman known as "Dr. No" for his refusal to sanction legislation the he felt was not authorized by the U.S. Constitution.
Produced by Zach Weissmueller, text by Nick Gillespie. About 50 minutes.
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