As Ron Paul Leaves Congress, "Outside of Washington, I Am Very Optimistic"

The Hearst newspapers profile Ron Paul as his long political career ends. They lard it with a fair amount of completely point-missing stuff about "numbers of bills he passed" as a legislator and, in this author's estimation, ahem, grossly understate the importance of the mind-changing he's done as the most effective libertarian proselytizer of the past couple of decades (though it does mention it). I stand by my prediction that the only really important political story for America's future of the past 5 years, when looked at from the perspective of, say, two decades from now, will prove to be Ron Paul's rEVOLution.

 The story refers to his political campaigns as "low cost" without mentioning that his official (non-SuperPAC) 2012 haul was only slightly less than that of two of his more prominent competitors, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, combined.

The wrap up of the story is nice though, including the indomitable Paul's refusal to call his leaving Congress a political retirement:

Paul doesn’t apologize for shunning go-along, get-along politics.

“Tweaking a bill?” he asked rhetorically. “I never got much of a charge out of that, and that’s how Washington works.”

As he prepares to depart from Washington after three separate stints in Congress over the past 36 years, Paul is gloomy about the state of liberty in America.

“Leaving Washington, it’s in a lot worse shape than when I first came there,” he said, thinking back to his first special election victory in 1976. “Everything’s worse. Our liberties are less. We are in endless wars. The economy is in shambles. And the government is dysfunctional.”

Still, the Pennsylvania native sees hope for the nation in the tens of thousands of young people who have embraced his message of liberty and are slowly infiltrating the American political system.

“Outside of Washington, I am very optimistic,” he said.

After leaving office, Paul says he will divide his time between his home in Texas and his Campaign for Liberty, based in Alexandria, Va. He says he will continue “stirring up the grass roots” and will spend more time doing something he loves — “going to as many college campuses as possible.”....

Ron Paul says he’s not ready to vanish from the political scene, and he’s definitely not ready to speculate about whether another Paul will seek the presidency.

His response: “Who knows?”

Bonus Pauliana: The Houston Chronicle collates 50 of his best lines.

More than 50 great Paul lines can be found in my book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Campaign for Liberty is in Alexandria? I wonder if they are hiring...that would be a sweet commute.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That sounds like a lobby!

  • CE||

    If every Congressman failed to pass a single bill, we'd all be way better off.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yep.

    Instead we have people who think that Congress is completely ineffective because they have passed fewer bills in this Congress than in any since the 40s.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    For some reason, many conservatives and fellow libertarians love "gridlock," as I used to.

    The problem is, when our rights are being ground into dust, the legislatures at all levels work at lightspeed. Gridlock happens when they are supposed to be doing the correct thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm for gridlock to the extent that it prevents new expansions of government power. Unfortunately, we have a lot of undoing to do. But that's not happening with or without gridlock, at least not now.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    You misunderstood what I meant to say. Gridlock most never happens when it is a power/expenditure expansion.

    Recall 13th Amendment, 1866 (and 98 more years of) Civil Rights acts for glacial speed undoing of rights violations by government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ah, I see. Well, that's true enough. Generally, government does evil much better than it does good.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    True dat.

  • $park¥||

    Doherty wrote a book about Ron Paul?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    When did that happen?

  • A Serious Man||

    Shortly after Welch and Gillespie wrote their book.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Peer pressure.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    They wrote a book too?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    On the topic of the federal reserve, Dr. Ron Paul certainly is the most knowledgeable pediatrician ever elected to office.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Pediatrician? Wasn't he a OB/GYN?

  • ||

    Correct. And the junior Dr. Paul is an opthalmologist.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Time to write that Obstetrics fro Dummies book, Dr. Paul.

  • Blueman||

    "Obstetrics fro Dummies"

    That's racist.

  • A Serious Man||

    So that's one Paul out and we got Rand, Massie, and Amash now? So that's a net gain for liberty, yeah?

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Oh, Serious, your optimism is so charmingly naive.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Epi's faux-edgy cynicism aside, yes it is a small net gain. Boy do we have a long way to go.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    yes it is a small net gain

    Your welcome (said the guy from KY which sent 2 of the 3 names associated with liberty to DC).

  • ||

    FEh. You're a fool, Cyto. Your optimism, however admirable, is misplaced. The USA will become The United Kingdom of Europe soon enough, just with (thankfully) more guns.

    Also, in 2013, the phrase, "We have a long way to go!" should be retired forever. The destination is never concretely identified, and freedom is a not a place. Always bothered me about that particular slogan of the civil rights movement, "We have achieved much, but there's still a long ways to go!." The tax and spend types have a discrete number: 100%, which probably makes them even more dangerous.

  • tarran||

    Groovus, I'm curious. Your new compatriots experienced the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

    Have they shared any stories/observations that you think could be interesting or germane for the U.S?

    I ask, because I think we're 15-25 years from seeing the U.S. government mercifully suffering the same fate.

  • ||

    Yes, yes they do share them, and quite often. And it (the dissolution) had a very profound effect on them, and I see the same happening to the USA.

    When Ukraine declared independence, they quite frankly weren't prepared for it, and the famines were pretty terrible, which is why food and medical care is so subsidized. They remember pain and hunger vividly, and never want it again. They also remember the crushing oppression of being a Soviet bloc country, yet will put up with those lingering effects in exchange for the alleged "security" of state assistance.

    My neighbour is one of the top ten import/export and distributors for heating and air conditioning equipment and experienced the fall of the SU firsthand, and really hated it at the time. He had a wife, kids and parents to support because the pensions went "poof!", and freely admits if it wasn't for the "FREE" medical care, he probably never would have made it (his words) because he supported them totally on his own, taking any job he could. The idea of totally privatizing core services is not ever going to fly in Europe, and the same thing is happening in the USA.

    UKR is doubling down on social spending in the next couple of years, much the like the US. At the risk of sounding like a nihilist, I predict that 15-25 years will happen much sooner by virtue of our incredible debt, both at the state level (California) and the Federal level.

  • $park¥||

    That soon. I've been thinking about 40-50 years. I don't know if it will happen during my lifetime, but I've told my kids I wouldn't be surprised if it were during theirs.

  • ||

    However, it should also be noted that the PM, Azarov, told the IMF to stuff it WRT IMF loans, as they had too many strings attached and Parliament is admirably refusing to raise taxes on natty gas. UKR needs money, but isn't quite stupid enough to spend itself into oblivion, something the USA never quite learned, regardless of which TEAM is in charge.

    Probably the last thing of note is the argument for paying public servant well, since because pubsec employees (including doctors and nurses) are so poorly paid, makes the blatant corruption here (and they could actually teach Chi-Town a thing or two about corruption) so prevalent.

  • Drake||

    I'm not feeling very optimistic this New Year's Eve. Spending and taxes are both going up. Regulations and Obamacare are going to a bad business climate worse.

    I assume I will be paying high taxes and saving less next year. I'll be grateful if I'm still employed a year from now.

  • nicole||

    Jeez, Drake, I thought I was already a downer about this stuff.

  • ||

    The solution is to take a downer. Quaaludes for everyone!

    Dude I knew in high school had a "Captain Quaalude" t-shirt. God damn I want that t-shirt.

  • nicole||

    Done and done. Fuck a tshirt, though; it's not like anyone has quaaludes anymore. IT'S ALL A HORRIBLE TEASE.

  • ||

    Ahem...somebody may be able to help you there, Nicole....

  • $park¥||

    Her vibrator Dr Jiggles?

  • ||

    I'm with Nicole - I thought there was no such thing as Qauuludes anymore . . .

  • ||

    In the USA, no, Karl, it is not currently manufactured.

  • Mike M.||

    I stand by my prediction that the only really important political story for America's future of the past 5 years, when looked at from the perspective of, say, two decades from now, will prove to be Ron Paul's rEVOLution.

    Yeah, right. I wish I had your pair of rose-colored glasses, sir. I guess it's fine to have dreams though.

  • Walt G||

    “Outside of Washington, I am very optimistic."

    Inside of Washington, it's too dark to see.

  • Hyperion||

    He says he will continue “stirring up the grass roots” and will spend more time doing something he loves — “going to as many college campuses as possible.”....

    Exactly what I was hoping he would do. He can do more good outside of DC than inside, with the type of crowds he draws on campuses. Good move for Dr. Paul and for liberty.

    Status quo for us Ls inside the beltway.

    (Paul+Paul+Amash) - Paul + Massie = status quo. The number is still 3, folks, for anyone who is counting.

    That being said, we also lost a sometimes vote along with Ls, in DeMint. Not sure if we made up for that up in the last election... anyone?

  • Ted Levy||

    "Outside of Washington, I Am Very Optimistic" So a simple tactical nuc?

  • Hyperion||

    He might be thinking the same way I am, resistance from the states, and even full rebellion if it comes to that.

  • Skip||

    Did I ever tell you about the time Ron Paul went hunting? Well anyway, Ron Paul decides he's gonna hunt down all four members of the Banana Splits. He stalks and kills every one of them with a machete. They all beg for their lives, except Fleegle.

    To Ron Paul!

  • waaminn||

    Well now that makes a ll kinds of sense dude. Wow.

    www.ItsAnon.tk

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement