Ron Paul

Ron Paul's Farewell Speech to Congress: We Must Reject Coercion as a Tool to Mold Social and Economic Behavior

|

Rep. Ron Paul, who did not seek re-election to the House seat he won in 1996, gave part one of his farewell speech to Congress from the House floor this afternoon, aired live on C-SPAN. (Paul told me last week he was having a hard time getting the Speaker's office to grant him the time he wanted to give this talk and would likely have to split it in two; he seems to have gotten his full hour today.)

He wrote this speech out and read it, not his usual style. For my taste, the extemporizing Ron Paul of the campaign trail is a little more appealing, but this was still a good and important talk.

The talk was certainly not tightly structured; it hopped from idea to idea connected only by the theme, "things government does that are dangerous to liberty" and the vital importance of the people re-embracing the idea of liberty.

Paul used the talk mostly an opportunity to get out as many libertarian ideas and observations as he could squeeze into a half hour to what he hoped would be an attentive audience. What I write here covers at best half of the specifics he managed to rattle out quickly, and will likely not be much better organized than Paul was himself.

Paul says he is encouraged by what he sees as a renaissance of interest in the ideas of liberty among students and the young. He insists that while liberty does tend to make us rich, we need to understand why liberty is good even beyond mere materialist concerns–and that our apparent material prosperity lately is phony and based largely on debt and out-of-control fiat money that he predicts will lead to even greater economic crises ahead.

He laments that America departed from what he saw as a generally proper attitude toward government's role back in the progressive era, particularly with the income tax and Federal Reserve. He wonders why there aren't more politicians who defend both economic and civil liberties. 

Paul attacked a long string of what he sees as government abuses, including the National Defense Authorization Act, sanctions, opposition to true free trade, arresting users of medical pot or raw milk, and wonders why Germany wants its gold. He doesn't like how many federal crimes now exist and how insecure our electronic communications are to government snooping.

He attacks the TSA and mandatory sentences in drug prosecutions and the drug war in general, and wonders why you can't criticize AIPAC without committing political suicide. He's against using government to give away others' resources to special interests, and he's against Keynesian economics, and he's for habeus corpus.

Paul is against violence, even for humanitarian reasons. He says only those with criminal minds would want to walk into someone's house and tell them what they need to do, allegedly for their own good. He calls for "no government monopoly over initiating violence," one of the more anarchistic thoughts one has ever heard from the House floor.

Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired

"The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified," he says, will likely lead to more violence in the case of domestic unrest as the result of further economic troubles where people are fighting to keep what they think is theirs. He wonders why government authorities are able to sleep knowing the damage they are causing to others with their wars–and thinks as long as that philosophy of might makes right rules, it will tend to create a lack of morality in the people as well. He pretty much blames public immorality for the immorality of government later on in the talk, lamenting our general loss of understanding that violence to solve social problems is wrong.

He says the rich tend to benefit more from government's income redistribution schemes than the poor. He hat tips the homeschooling movement and the Internet as the likely sources for the spread of the ideas of liberty that America needs to survive the looming crisis.

Our five biggest crises, he says, are attacks on civil liberties; foreign policy blowback; the ease with which we go to war; a financial crisis from excessive debt; and (I think) giving extranational governing authorities too much say over our national decisions (an old populist Right theme that Paul pretty much dropped in his last campaign). 

In summation, Paul says, people should care for themselves, and give government authority merely to enforce contracts, settle disputes, and protect against foreign aggression. And politicians need to educate people that they need to be prepared to take up the burdens that government should never have taken up to begin with.

It's all about peace and tolerance, Paul says, and a truly moral people must reject the use of violence for social goals. (He calls back to the time he was booed in January at a South Carolina GOP debate for calling on the golden rule in our foreign affairs.) Envy and intolerance must go; love and free market economics have to rule. He calls on all of us to help spread the message of liberty–which usually accompanies wealth and prosperity–throughout the land.

Ron Paul: 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.

UPDATE: Transcript of the speech.

My book on Paul's career, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

NEXT: French Unions Call on Hollande to Rethink Policies

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.

  1. Libertarians believe that society is primarily about cooperation; statists believe that society is primarily about coercion.

    1. Violence for thee, thy stuff for me.

      1. Coercion: It’s what’s for dinner.

        1. Res told me on the other thread that ammunition is what’s for breakfast – so this fits right in.

    2. “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”

  2. Wait, what?

    What is the point of having this immense coercive apparatus if we never get to grind the little people to a fine paste in the gears of the all-powerful state?

    1. NEEDZ MOAR BOOTZ STAMPING FACES

      1. I read that as “boot stamping feces”.

        Which would be an excellent name for a rock band.

        NOW APPEARING AT THE RUSTY NAIL – “BOOT STAMPING FECES!!!”

        1. Yeah…we changed it later to “The Shit Kickers”!

  3. Envy and intolerance must go

    That’s just crazy talk!

  4. Luckily no one will listen. I’d hate to miss out on the ZA.

  5. He says the rich tend to benefit more from government’s income redistribution schemes than the poor.

    This is the major theme we need to harp on. Well, not me, because I don’t bother to talk to people who will make me want to crush them with my fists. But those of you who still try to reach leftist idiots need to harp on this one.

    1. Yes, you should save your energy for harping on why having a kitty fetish isn’t bestiality.

      “Sex with animals?!? There’s no time, man!”

      1. Have you ever tried to fuck a cat? It’s almost impossible unless you’re one of those monsters who gets them declawed. Stick to the kinds of bestiality you know, bucko.

        1. I’m willing to learn!

        2. I used a kitten as a dick-muff one winter.

          Had to wrap electrical tape around it to keep it from exploding.

          1. You might want to go get a shot for that, JJ.

          2. Why the fuck is there a danger of explosion there? No, seriously. What?

            1. Sheesh, now I have to mansplain this to you?

              The sheer size of my member would cause the kitten to explode, were I to find myself even the slightest bit aroused while wearing said kitten.

              1. The sheer size of my member would cause the kitten to explode

                That’s the part she’s not getting, Q-tip-cock.

                1. I can’t believe JJ would have the nerve to lie like this with me here to immediately contradict his statement based on personal experience.

                  This doesn’t jeopardize tonight, right, JJ?

                  1. You’re trying a little too hard (hehe I said “hard”) to tie this in to the other sub-thread further down.

                    Alright, here’s how we settle it.

                    Warty gets to referree, and you and I fight over Nicole and Dagny. The loser takes the one he didn’t want anyway (as he will assuredly claim afterwards).

                    In exchange for officiating (and none of that bullshit Seahawks touchdown maybe-not officiating), Warty gets Kristen.

                    1. Fuck you, I already had Kristen. I want Edward/Lefiti/Morris. TONIGHT. YOU.

                    2. I want Edward/Lefiti/Morris.

                      That can be arranged, but you also have to take Joe. Deal?

                    3. I’ll hollow him out and use him as a drink holder. Deal.

                2. Sadly, the part I wasn’t getting was the part where the kitten wasn’t just nicely snuggling in his lap instead of being omg I can’t even say it. I’ll up my game, guys.

                  1. Well, once the kitten gets used to it, it is sort of snuggling in my lap, after a fashion.

          3. Now this is what you get for the well-monocled chap who has everything. We need a Typical Libertarian gift guide for the Festivus season.

            1. The real problem with Libertarian Festivus is that we already spend all year airing grievances. Are we supposed to stop for the holiday instead?

              1. The holiday season should involve fantastically kinky, weird, borderline gross hypersexual antics. We have a libertine image to live up to. GET UNDRESSED. EPI’S IN THE RED CORNER.

                Unless you’re in LA and it’s Meatless Monday. No penises allowed.

                1. Yes, this is clearly the only acceptable way to celebrate. Sug, can you quickly make the lyrics to 12 Days of Christmas a wee bit more 120 Days of Sodom-ish? Thanks dear.

                  1. On the twelfth day of Fuckmas, my true love gave to me…

                    12 Baiters Batin’
                    11 Pipers Laying
                    10 Lords-a-Fapping
                    9 Ladies Flicking
                    8 Maids-a-Milking [yeah they are]
                    7 Breasts-a-Swaying
                    6 Police-a-Rimming
                    5 Cock Rings
                    4 Burning Rashes
                    3 French Hinds
                    2 Fisting Gloves

                    …And a Rapesquatch in a Rape Tree.

                    1. Excellent. The holidays are special times indeed. Friends, family, fisting by the fire.

                2. The holiday season should involve fantastically kinky, weird, borderline gross hypersexual antics. We have a libertine image to live up to. GET UNDRESSED. EPI’S IN THE RED CORNER.

                  It’s like some terrible game of twister where it’s all boys and Warty rapes you when you lose.

                  1. “It’s like some terrible game of twister where it’s all boys and Warty rapes you when you lose.”

                    1. Ack, should have been,

                      “…when you lose complete the game in any rank order.”

                  2. Terrible?!?

                  3. Right Foot Brown!

                    1. “Right foot fist brown!”

              2. Maybe if you stopped airing your grievance all over the place, nicole, you’d have a few more friends.

    2. Look at OWS. Well, a lot of.. ok, most of those folks are insane, clinically. But the few rational ones of them that might have the right ideas, they are all directing it at the wrong source.

      Why? Because they need someone to force their beliefs or solutions onto everyone else. Who can do that? The guys with the force, the government.

      This is the error of their ways. I am not sure it can be corrected. They want someone else to right all of the wrongs and injustices for them. And they need a ‘strong man’ to do it. They now have their strong man, and no matter how much he ignores them, well, he is still theirs, and that makes them feel special.

      They apparently never pause for one moment to think that they themselves can be the solution.

      I don’t know, I have about given up on them also. There is still a part of me that wants to keep trying, but that part is pretty worn down and tired.

    3. Is it? If it appeals to rich-hate then maybe, but I don’t believe leftists actually care what happens to actual poor people. If they did they wouldn’t go apoplectic when things like charter schools are brought up. I think leftists want, in roughly equal measure, to feel a certain way about themselves, and to take “the rich” down a peg or two, regardless of whether that actually benefits anyone.

      1. You’re right, of course, which is why I don’t talk to them. I don’t want to go to prison for crushing them with my fists.

        “Why don’t you, like, go live in Somalia??”
        WARTY SMASH

        1. I still think some kind of fistcrush-for-hire is an underserved market.

          1. “Don Domingo, he-a tell me you no wanna pay him his-a moneys.”

      2. If they did they wouldn’t go apoplectic when things like charter schools are brought up.

        You don’t understand! Charters mean people profiting off education! Profit! Ew! That’s how people get rich! Getting rich off education? That’s immoral!

  6. Yaaaaaay Ron Paul! Sorry I bought the “Paul and his ‘bots are just freaks” conventional wisdom for far too long. Once I actually looked into his politics – hey! He’s OK!

    He’s one of the few people in federal gummint whose ideas I respect, and whom I don’t fear to make and enforce laws. Plus – give hives to the MSM and others. Bonus.

    Vaya con Dios, Dr. Paul – may you live a long and happy retirement.

    1. Love the Paul, hate the Paultards.

    2. Ron Paul has his share of questionable ideas, but unlike most politicians is definitely worthy of respect.

      1. Simply having *any* ideas is a praiseworthy attribute among today’s crop of politicians. Which is why I like Dennis Kucinich more than, say, John Boehner.

  7. When will reason be posting a link to the actual video?

  8. But those of you who still try to reach leftist idiots need to harp on this one.

    Not me.

    I

    am

    fucking

    over

    it.

  9. We’re gonna miss that guy.

  10. “The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified,”

    This is where he loses me. It’s fine that someone is such a pacifist that they wouldn’t even defend themselves if personally attacked. But they shouldn’t try to extend their philosophy to law and order and national defense which are about trade-offs. Ex: Kidnapping someone is immoral, but we jail criminals to prevent them from committing more crimes and to dissuade others from doing the same thing.

    Ron Paul probably wouldn’t have even allowed the military to kill Bin Laden, because the violence isn’t morally justified omg!

    1. OMG, that like, totally, went over your head.

    2. Lisa,

      You really should substitute reality for your fantasies about Ron Paul:

      1) He proposed a bill granting the president the power to issue letters of Marque Reprisal against Al Queda. I doubt Bin Laden would have lasted two years on the run had that bill been accepted.

      2) He voted against censuring Israel for its bombing attack on the Iraqi reactor producing bomb fuel.

      The guy has a far more nuanced and wise approach to military matters than his detractors credit.

      1. The guy has a far more nuanced and wise approach to military matters than lisa seems to be able to comprehend. This is the same person who, 24 hours ago, was saying “OHMYGOD, you can’t criticize the drug war unless you believe in the drug war!!!!”

        1. This is the same person who, 24 hours ago, was saying

          You are talking about Lisa right? Because that’s as far away from my beliefs on the War on (Some) Drug( Using Minoritie)s

      2. The problem is Bin laden was never convicted of much less charged with any crime. According to our system Obama murdered and innocent man.

    3. Fuck off, dipshit. Non-interventionism is not pacifism.

      And Paul wanted a Letter of Marque and Reprisal against Bin Laden from the beginning.

      1. Besides it looks like a general comment on the morality of government violence not foreign policy in particular.

        1. That’s what I thought. I think Lisa misinterpretated it.

      2. That’s how they got Han Solo!

      3. As applied by Ron Paul, yes it is. Functionally. Ignore Iran’s belligerence. Decry killing bin Laden; hysteria over blowback. This is quasi-pacifism.

        Inb4 letters of Marque yeah I’m sure there’d never be any civilian casualties in that attack. Or unhappiness at America’s outsourced ‘meddling’. Not that I’m against it, but it’s used as problem-be-gone.

        1. Uh, no. Not attacking someone unless they ACTUALLY ATTACK YOU isn’t “functional” or “quasi” pacifism. You’re just a demented war-monger. And saying that our actions have consequences we may not like is “hysteria”, but assuming anyone who talks bad about us needs to be attacked isn’t? You’re such a nut.

    4. Does the word “initiate” mean anything to you?

    5. It’s morally justified because it’s the government? That’s where you lose me.

      Violence is justified in self-defense, and we subsidize government-run defense of our citizenry (i.e. law enforcement and the military). That’s not the same thing as violence being justified BECAUSE it’s the government. It’s only defense against coercion where violence is justified, regardless of whether it’s the citizenry or government bodies. The idea that because it’s the government, it is just, is backwards and precisely what he’s railing against.

      1. That’s all government force is supposed to be–the individual right to self-defense combined. It should be no more than the right we each have.

        Instead, we have this magical government-can-use-more-force system that would be completely illegal if used for the same reasons by individuals or any group of individuals not in government.

        1. It’s called “Fuck you, that’s why.”

          1. Indeed, but it’s no more legitimate, even if they round us all up and force us into commentation camps.

    6. Huh? Who’s the pacifist who wouldn’t defend himself? Most libertarians are all for a vigorous and armed self-defense. Even anarchists like me don’t have a problem with government agents arresting criminals, as long as they are tried in public court before punishing them.

      The straw men in your argument are pretty shaky, even for straw men.

      1. Even anarchists like me don’t have a problem with government agents arresting criminals

        Does not compute.

        1. Well, I suppose as long as they are doing something that a private person would be justified in doing…

        2. I rather suspect that anarchists oppose the existence of government agents, regardless of what they’re doing.

          1. And they would banish them by what means? It misses the problem, which is not that the agent exists and uses force, but that he is allowed to use force to fund himself. Because if you deny the latter, he finally has a motivation for behaving honorably. But we can’t have that until people in general refuse to sanction the extortionist system. Not much comfort to be found in that now, but give it a few more centuries.

      2. That depends on your definition of criminal.

    7. Re: Lisa,

      This is where he loses me. It’s fine that someone is such a pacifist that they wouldn’t even defend themselves if personally attacked.

      Who harbors such personal philosophy, other than Jesus?

      But they shouldn’t try to extend their philosophy to law and order and national defense which are about trade-offs.

      Law is about “tradeoffs”? First time I’ve ever seen such argument.

      Ex: Kidnapping someone is immoral, but we jail criminals to prevent them from committing more crimes

      No, we jail criminals so prison guards can have a job and a pension they can look forward to. Other than that, I have no idea how giving someone free room and board is supposed to dissuade anybody (unless you mean that in jail you get to meet Bubba “The Impaler” or other unsavory character like that.) Restitution to the victim or the victim’s family should be punishment enough.

      Ron Paul probably wouldn’t have even allowed the military to kill Bin Laden, because the violence isn’t morally justified omg!

      He voted for military action to capture or kill Bin Laden. You seem to have been born after 2002.

  11. Oh, and BTW. Ron Paul is a great man, really. I have a great amount of respect for the guy. Call me a Paulbot if you want, but I am in the liberty movement to stay, RP, or no RP. But I still really admire the courage that he had to single handedly try to take on the leviathan in DC. There are a few others now, but he was flying solo for a while. He is IMHO the father of the modern Libertarian movement.

    1. We’ll look back on this moment, and say, this was our Indepedence Day!

      1. Quoting a Roland Emmerich movie? You’re dead to me, JJ! DEAD!

        Are we still on for tonight? I still have some of those poppers.

        1. As long as you don’t bring any of that ridiculous coke.

          1. Of course, philistine, instead I’ll bring you some of the MDMA you seem to crave. Which, by the way, is an amphetamine derivative.

            1. Where is this den of initquity where you two are holed up doing god knows what unspeakable things?

              You must be reported to the authoritah now, for the children!

              1. Eugene, Oregon. Yeah, it’s sort of anticlimactic.

                1. Go Ducks! And tell the BCS that leaving margin of victory out of a computer formula for ranking sports teams is idiotic.

                  1. Go Ducks! And tell the BCS that leaving margin of victory out of a computer formula for ranking sports teams is idiotic.

                    I think a K-State/Oregan final would be excellent.

                2. Hey, I have had some of my most excellent narco-sexual experiences in Oregon. It’s okay Epi. We understand.

                3. Can you smoke a doob in pooblique?

                  Is everyone celebrating with cheech and chong size(one ounce or under, of course) joints in the streets yet?

                  OHHHH, wait, you guys voted your prop down. Sorry… Back to the coke!

                4. Eugene, Oregon.

                  No shit. I was born at Sacred Heart. Caught my first trout in the McKenzie. Small world.

              2. iniquity, grrrrr

          2. What if the cocaine powder was sanctified by placement into and slow ritualistic removal from Adriana Lima’s navel as she lay on the sushi table naked and covered in sleek, shiny sunflower oil?

            1. Her face doesn’t do it for me.

              1. http://s12.postimage.org/3y3cpi5iz/2047.jpg

                Replace Adriana Lima with her in my scenario. Better?

                1. Done and done (dusts off hands).

                  (belatedly realizes you can’t “dust off” ejaculate, runs crying to the bathroom to the bemusement of coworkers).

                  1. Protip for Jim: keep some of these handy for next time.

                    1. Ew, those are moist. That’s just going to spread it around.

                      You clearly don’t have much experience with male masturbation clean-up.

                      And to think, I used to think you were cool.

                    2. I’m telling you, JJ. They are the best cleanup product ever. They are made to remove oil-based, waterproof shit. And gently!

                      Also, I’m totally insulted. I KNOW OF WHAT I SPEAK.

                    3. Now, who exactly do you know who ejaculates oil based substances?

                    4. There’s totally lipids in that shit.

                      I don’t know why makeup remover is such a surprise here, people. I mean, I know the crunchy, dried-up tshirt on the floor is a time-honored tradition…but I got sick of tossing those in the hamper.

                    5. I never let it get to the “dried up crunchy” phase. That stuff has to go immediately, or the dogs start taking too keen an interest in it.

                    6. This discussion is why no one takes libertarians seriously

                    7. Anthony Daniels?

                    8. ^^ in response to Zeb

                    9. Damn, Jimbo. Just fuck a banana peel and then throw it away like a normal person.

              2. Wait, what, JJ?!?

                1. Jimbo’s gay. Don’t make fun of him, he’s sensitive about it. Poor lil’ guy.

                  1. I stopped being sensitive about it a long, long time ago.

                    I can’t even keep my poo in anymore. It just falls out of me as I’m walking along. I keep a pet rabbit on a leash at work that I take with me everywhere, on which to blame my leavings.

                    1. I wonder when I will stop laughing at this? Not any time soon, god I can barely type I’m laughing so hard

    2. Ye, my sentiments are much the same.

  12. What does everyone think about the state of Congress, Libertarian wise, since Ron is gone?

    I think we are about the same with the addition of Massie. So in effect, he is the new RP. I don’t think we lost any seats? I am talking both houses. Cause ya know, we have so few seats that not combining for more effect is a little depressing.

    1. They’ve gone from having one libertarian voice to ignore to having no libertarian voices to ignore.

      1. Come on sarc, I am being serious.

        We have Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie. All of those guys are Libertarian without doubt. Is there anyone else we would even try to call Libertarian?

        1. I am being serious.

          So am I. Three out of five hundred and thirty five. Big whoop.

          So what if there are a few libertarian minded people in there. What will they accomplish? What legislation or regulation will they repeal? What agencies will they eliminate?

          That’s right.

          Useful as tits on a bull.

          1. One libertarian leaning Senator has a lot of power to stop bad legislation, especially if we get back to a 50-50 split. Unfortunately the GOP runs too many bozos.

            1. Don’t respond. Some of the posters here just love their misery.

          2. I see it as a win, because if RP did not leave, we would have four now. That is 3 more than just a few years ago.

            You have to start somewhere.

            I don’t think any of us thought that we would just wake up one day and find that Libertarians had taken over congress and started repealing shit wholesale.

            It did take the proglodytes 100+ years to fuck shit up this bad, afterall.

          3. Hey! It’s better than no tits at all!

    2. Amash is still there. There were a couple other guys (Bentivolio in Michigan, Yoho in Florida) who are also pretty libertarian (anti-Patriot Act and NDAA, for a less interventionist foreign policy, seem solid on fiscal issues, the Fed, etc) elected. And a couple of Ron Pauls libertarianish allies like Walter Jones got reelected. In the Senate, there’s Rand, and I’d say Jeff Flake probably becomes the second most libertarian senator when he’s sworn in

      1. I was thinking Flake maybe… I haven’t checked out the other guys you are talking about yet. I think one other person that might vote with Ls some of the time, is DeMint, maybe, though he is definitely not one of us.

        A couple of people were talking about Ted Cruz, didn’t Ron Paul endorse him? I haven’t checked him out yet either, but what little I did, he didn’t seem like a Libertarian.

        1. Cruz and Mike Lee are kind of libertarianish. Pretty good on civil liberties, not as bad as the rest of the party on foreign policy, and pretty good on fiscal and economic issues, even though they’re not as consistently libertarian as the Pauls or Amash.

        2. DeMint is improving steadily. He’s like a Reason Padawan.

          1. The naive is strong with this one.

            1. It’s called “naivety”. Might just want to catch up with the 21st Century, or at least the late 17th century.

  13. Fast forward to 2hrs 7mns http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro…..ession5365

    1. Notice he’s listed as (D-TX) there.

  14. The only thing I won’t miss about Ron Paul is the Lew Rockwell lunatics’ worship of him.

    1. Cancel my subscription!

    2. Lew Rockwell rocks. I love when he calls Walmart heroic just to tweak the lefties.

    3. Re: Warty,

      The only thing I won’t miss about Ron Paul is the Lew Rockwell lunatics’ worship of him.

      For Warty, honest admiration = “worship.”

    4. Can you give specifics on what you don’t like about Rockwell? It seems like a status-symbol around here to hate him and his site, like how lefties use to prove their street cred by dissing Palin

  15. Ron Paul is a true American hero.

    The media blackout and mocking of his past two presidential campaigns was a national disgrace. If any other candidate had consistently drawn large and enthusiastic crowds like Ron Paul did, it would have been reported as an unprecedented show of grassroots support (which it was), instead of a curiosity or a nuisance.

  16. I think the best part about this thread is that they banned Edward/Lefiti/Morris/Max and it must be eating him up inside to not be able to post more of his oral sex fantasies about Ron Paul.

    1. Just think of the furious masturbation that has been prevented by a simple banning. Gallons of it, probably.

    2. I don’t think they banned him. I think Edward was a sockpuppet run by a pro-Democrat regular. A regular who was full of rage who sought to express the hatred while maintaining his formal mask of being an enlightened, educated man bringing the light to the libertarian savages who was above the name calling that the people he defeated in debates inevitably resorted to.

      The frequency of his sockpuppeting followed inversely the rises and falls of his career.

      And this regular is still amongst us torn between satisfying his need to rage bitterly and his desire to be known as an enlightened man.

      1. Just trust me on this one.

    3. Re: SugarFree,

      I think the best part about this thread is that they banned Edward/Lefiti/Morris/Max

      What? They ran over the pet yorkie?

      Why am I the last to know everything in this house?!?

  17. Freaking Romney and his criminal enablers in the Repug party should be forced to read this. And to think, they didn’t even let Paul talk at the convention…because of what, exactly?

    1. Congress critters should have to read bills before voting on them also, but they don’t.

      The GOP, unfortunately IMO, are going to listen to the same SoCon and NeoCon relics that they have been listening to.

  18. Brian, just read your book on Ron Paul over the weekend. Good stuff, buddy, thank you for writing it. Brought back a lot of good memories from 2008, doing grassroots volunteer work for the campaign. And since you recommended it several times in the book, I also watched the For Liberty documentary; also wanted to say thanks for that recommendation, all the nostalgia got me choked up a couple of times, lots of stuff I had forgotten, it really was a high point in my life to be involved, haven’t experienced anything like that 2008 campaign before or since, and likely never will again.

  19. I saw and heard the whole speech. It was inspired. It was 45 minutes long, yet a great and concise summary of his philosophy, his warnings to his fellow men regaring the direction the country is headed and the solutions required to bring back liberty. He admonishes his colleagues in Congress for not having the courage to tackle the problems that the country is facing, for being too callous about debt and too meek about limiting the power of the executive.

    It was so well written and compelling, it should be required reading at bus stops and Starbucks, which is where most people get their politics anyway.

  20. I already miss him. I really wish he was staying and don’t understand why he isn’t. We will be poorer for his absence.

    1. Well, as weird as it is to imagine, maybe he was actually there out of a sense of civic duty rather than an addiction to power and importance. In which case, at some point you’ve done your time and want to retire while you can still enjoy life a little.

  21. Ron Paul: 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.

    I hope it is not the end of an era and, instead, the passing of the torch to a new generation of liberty-lovers. But alas, I am still affraid his farewell means the first step further beyond the point of no return for the U.S. and the final chapter in the experiment that was started back in 1789.

  22. The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles.

    This is, obviously, nothing new. The mere fact that this man is able and there to say it, in Congress, is remarkable. Mostly, because it is the truth.

    By the way, the Huff-N-Puffpo is angry at Paul for daring to say the “s” word.

    1. LOL at the commenters trying to say how the founders’ secession was actually just a “revolution.” The more honest ones just condemn the founders

    2. I love that they’re claiming secession is unconstitutional because the federal government (ie, supreme court) said so.

  23. I was thinking this morning that “reject coercion” would make a pretty good libertarian bumper sticker.

    1. That would kick ass!

  24. Watching from the sidelines in Canada, wishing we had a politician anywhere near the intellectual calibre of Ron Paul.

  25. I’ve recently come to the understanding that what each side defines liberty in a different way. Conservatives focus on negative liberty. Negative liberty is freedom from interference by other people. Liberals focus on positive liberty. Positive liberty is having the power and resources to fulfill one’s own potential. That’s why liberals never get it when you say “I just want to be left alone”.

    1. I don’t think that’s a particularly clear way of putting it. I think it becomes more accurate if you use right, where a negative right is a right from something, and a positive one, a right to something. So one would have a negative right from coercion, oppression, etc, and a positive right to food, healthcare, etc.

      Note that while a negative right is realized by means of behavior (generally, forgoing the initiation of force), a positive one, more clearly referred to as a privilege, depends upon the existence of a material object or service. And if those things do not exist? It cannot preclude the possibility of violating a negative right, in the interest of bringing them into existence.

      Which is to say that, ultimately, the two are perfectly incompatible.

      1. Google “negative liberty”. It’s a real philosophical term.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.