Ron Paul has been a Congressman from Texas (1976, 1979-85, 1997-present) and a three-time candidate for President of the United States, as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and 2012. He has been called the “intellectual godfather of the Tea Party.”
Paul was honorary chairman of, and is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee that describes its goal as electing "liberty-minded, limited-government individuals."
The foundation of Paul's political philosophy is the belief that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”
Paul describes himself as a “leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He...never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”
He endorses eliminating most federal government agencies, terming them unnecessary bureaucracies. Paul is also a critic of American foreign and is known for his other libertarian-leaning views: anti-bailout, antiwar, anti-empire, and sometimes anti-Republican.
Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels, financing government operations primarily by excise taxes and non-protectionist tariffs.
An advocate for a return to a gold standard for U.S. currency, his website states, “We must follow the Biblical mandate of using honest weights and measures – not printing money out of thin air in almost complete secrecy and then handing it over to oppressive dictators.”
Of the 620 bills that Paul sponsored during over 22 years in Congress, only one was signed into law: it allowed for a federal customhouse to be sold to a local historic preservation society.
He opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, feeling it “gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society.”
During a presidential debate in 2011, Paul was asked if he thought a sick and uninsured person should just be left to die. “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks.”
He has also said that “[t]he prevailing attitude of the American people is that everyone has a right to medical care. This is an intellectual error that will lead us down a path toward destroying what is good in the current system.” He believes that insurance companies should not be required to offer coverage to people who are already sick.
Dr. Paul was an obstetrician/gynecologist from 1968-1996. After graduating from medical school, he served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He is the author of several books, including The Revolution: A Manifesto, End the Fed, Liberty Defined, Challenge to Liberty; The Case for Gold; and A Republic, If You Can Keep It.
“Order was only restored in LA when it came time for the blacks to collect their welfare checks. The ‘poor’ lined up at the Post Office to get their handouts (since there were no deliveries) — and then complained about slow service.”
(A Ron Paul newsletter, report on LA riots, June 1992 – Source)
“I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any wonder the AIDS epidemic started after they 'came out of the closet,' and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy?”
(A Ron Paul newsletter from 1990 – Source)
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.”
(July 3, 2004, Speech in Congress as the only Congressman to vote against the bill hailing the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act – Source)
“If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”
(1992 newsletter – Source)
“The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.”
(“The War on Religion”, LewRockwell.com, 30 December 2003 – Source)
“A mob of black demonstrators, led by the ‘Rev.’ Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City ‘to reclaim it for our people.’
“Hmmm. I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis?
“But Al, the Statue of Liberty? Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”
(Oct. 1990, Ron Paul Political Report – Source)
At a campaign stop in this small city of about 7,000, Paul told breast cancer survivor Danielle Lin that insurance companies should not be required to offer coverage to people who are already sick.
“It’s sort of like me living on the Gulf Coast, not buying insurance until I see the hurricane,” said Paul, whose Galveston-based district was devastated by a hurricane in 2008. “Insurance is supposed to measure risk.”
The response left Lin in tears. While her insurance covered her treatment, she said, several of her friends were not so fortunate.
“I watched three friends die because they didn't have insurance,” said Lin, a registered Democrat who is looking for a Republican candidate to support this time. “Nobody can afford private insurance, nobody can. And they're dead.”
(Dec. 11, 2011, Andy Sullivan, “Paul builds campaign on doomsday scenarios,” Reuters – Source)
“The prevailing attitude of the American people is that everyone has a right to medical care. This is an intellectual error that will lead us down a path toward destroying what is good in the current system.”
(Ron Paul, Liberty Defined – Source)
To be sure, in the relentless program of Republican debates this year, Paul—the Ayn Rand-loving, federal-government hating, practically (if not, as I earlier wrote, rabidly) isolationist Texas congressman—often seemed like the only candidate who was making any sense. That was not a measure of Paul’s reasonableness or appeal, however, but of the disarray of the rest of the field.
Nobody can question that he walks the walk as surely as he talks the talk. During a debate in September Wolf Blitzer asked him whether he thought a sick and uninsured person should just be left to die. “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks,” Paul said before being drowned out by applause.
(Dec. 15, 2011, Philip Gourevitch, “Here Comes Ron Paul,” The New Yorker – Source)
And the truth is that Paul’s vision reveals—with candor and specificity—what the G.O.P.’s rhetorical hostility to government would mean if it were rigorously put into practice. A minimal state, without welfare provisions for the unemployed. A quarter of a million federal workers—as a first installment—joining those unemployed. Foreign policy and national defense reduced to a few ballistic-missile submarines. The civil-rights legislation of the nineteen-sixties repealed as so much unwarranted government intrusion. As for the financial crisis, Paul would have countenanced no regulation that might have prevented it, no government stabilization of the financial system after it happened, and no special help for working people hurt by it. This is where the logic of government-shrinking leads.
For the Democrats, Paul presents a different problem. In politics, there’s the small set of issues that draw public attention and then there’s everything else—ninety-five per cent of what happens in Washington. When anti-government rhetoric meets big issues like war and economic disaster, it’s usually good for the Democrats, because they can make the argument for action without being hypocritical. On the small issues, though, the triumph of anti-government rhetoric has been a real impediment for President Obama. It gives the Republicans a justification to oppose, by rote, every appointment and every expenditure, which helps make their belief in public-sector inefficiency self-fulfilling but otherwise doesn’t do anybody much good.
(Jan. 19, 2012, Nicholas Lemann, “Enemy of the State,” The New Yorker – Source)
People don’t think of Paul as a top-tier Republican candidate partly because they think of him as a libertarian: anti-tax and anti-bailout, but also antiwar, anti-empire, and, sometimes, anti-Republican....
But in Paul’s view that kind of dispute—an argument about whether to attach conditions to a bill authorizing the federal government to pay an enormous debt that it has already incurred—only illustrates how far the Republicans are from the kind of radical bureaucratic abolition that he would like to see. Unlike many of his Republican colleagues in the House, Paul cares more about cutting spending than about cutting taxes, because he knows that tax cuts don’t necessarily make government smaller—sometimes they just make the deficit bigger.
(Feb. 27, 2012, Kelefa Sanneh, “The Party Crasher,” The New Yorker – Source)
[I]n the GOP primary race, Paul and his aides see a kind of victory that can’t be measured in delegates. They see a party that is very much coming around to Paul’s limited-government, get-rid-of-it approach to almost everything. In rival Rick Santorum’s rhetoric about freedom and the Constitution, which Romney has tried to match, they see Paul’s fingerprints. And they note that Gingrich’s recent comments that the Afghanistan mission “may not be doable” edge close to Paul’s stance of a complete withdrawal.
(April 1, 2012, Nia-Malika Henderson, “Why Ron Paul Draws Crowds But Fails to Catch On,” Washington Post –Source)