In about two months, Ron Paul, representative from Texas, will be retiring as he has declined to seek any further terms in office. He recently gave a “goodbye” speech in the House, and we are all a bit poorer for Ron Paul retiring as few are left to champion the cause of liberty and libertarianism in D.C.
Ron Paul retiring to our detriment
During the run-up to the presidential race, it was announced that Ron Paul, a long-time member of the House of Representatives, would decline to seek another term of office as a member of the House, instead focusing on his bid for the Republican nomination.
Instead, it was given to Mitt Romney and we all saw how that turned out – and who could blame the voters? He was out of touch with everyone that wasn’t white, male and super-rich. Admittedly, Obama isn’t in touch with the basic principles of accounting, like not spending more than one takes in.
Granted, Paul is pushing 80 and he deserves to spend some time enjoying himself. However, Ron Paul retiring is a detriment to the nation.
Congressman Paul was basically the Barry Goldwater of the modern era, pushing for less governmental intrusion. Typically, when Republicans say that want less government, what they mean is that they want less regulation of large corporate entities, but they definitely want to make all manner of personal behavior illegal.
One would normally never think a GOP Congressman would say government has no business telling anyone who they can or can’t marry or that the “War on Drugs” should be put to a stop. It is likewise unheard of for any member of Congress to advocate wars should only be declared by Congress like the Constitution mandates instead of by Presidential fiat, or that American military presence worldwide is as counterproductive as it is needlessly costly, or that the PATRIOT Act should be repealed.
Ron Paul, however, has been saying these things for a long time, much to the consternation of both sides of the aisle. He has always kept to the Libertarian ideal that the use of force, for any reason other than self-defense, is never justified. Fiercely devoted to the Constitution, he gained the nickname “Dr.No” for voting against any measure not strictly constitutionally authorized. He’s also a tireless critic of the Federal Reserve, it’s lack of transparency and policies leading to rampant inflation. With Ron Paul retiring, there aren’t many left that don’t tow the party line, on either side of the aisle.
Goodbye speech was a thing of beauty
Ahead of Ron Paul retiring, he gave a sort of “goodbye” speech on the House floor. It’s available on YouTube and it’s posted to a number of sites, such as the Washington Post. It’s pretty long, clocking in over 48 minutes, but well worth a look.
In recent years, he enjoyed a large following among younger people. The Huffington Post reported in January of this year that he was far ahead of the other candidates in state primaries, beating Mitt Romney by 20 percent in the New Hampshire primary among under-30 voters. He also received 46 percent of the youth vote in the Iowa caucus, the most of any other Republican candidate. Perhaps there’s some hope for the future, if younger people are catching on to the idea that we need to spread freedom, rather than increasing the scope of government.