"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
-Thomas Jefferson (ronpaul.house.gov).
Congressman Ron Paul, Republican presidential hopeful from Texas makes his vision for America clear and succinct; small government and a hands-off approach to social reform is what he promises. His political leanings are clearly aligned with Thomas Jefferson's. One needent look hard to find similarities in ideologies, “(Jefferson) strongly supported a federal government with great constraining powers, believing in the rights of the people. His principles advocated a strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, calling for state and local governments to protect the rights and property of its citizens. Jeffersonians recognize private and common property, the protection of such is vitally important to them as they were to Jefferson. He wanted small government, and wanted the national government to be a reflection of the state and local governments thus he felt that if the state and local governments could establish small republics and govern therein with its local citizens then the federal government would be constantly kept in check” (jeffersonians.com). With such strong opinions freely voiced, it's no wonder he's considered a long-shot for the presidency, but he has a strong following with deep pockets, and since he's hitting the campaign earlier this presidential election he may surprise his detractors this time.
This will be his third attempt at the presidency, although some say his first, as a Libertarian in 1988, was more about spreading his message of smaller government than actually pursuing the Oval Office. His second attempt, in 2008, got off to a late start but he certainly created a stir with his ability to raise serious campaign funds when he raised 6 million dollars online in one day (Smith). Campaign money isn't the only thing Paul seems be gathering, the anti-government movement is in full swing as political activists calling themselves the “Tea Party” rally behind the call for smaller government.
Not only is Paul popular with the Tea Party and the Jeffersonians, but his reputation in Congress, and his message of “Straight Shooting” has an appeal to politician-weary voters. “He tends to pay little attention to standard political conventions. He is fiercely antiwar at a time when Republicans have typically expressed staunch support for the military efforts overseas. He calls for deep and painful sacrifices by important political constituencies” (Shear).
Americans say they want to reduce their tax bill, but where as a nation do we make those cuts and more importantly, are we willing to live with those cuts? Ron Paul is willing to lead America toward a leaner, more efficient government, but are American's really ready for change?
The Ron Paul FREEDOM PRINCIPLES
- Rights belong to individuals, not groups.
- Property should be owned by people, not government.
- All voluntary associations should be permissible -- economic and social.
- The government's monetary role is to maintain the integrity of the monetary unit, not participate in fraud.
- Government exists to protect liberty, not to redistribute wealth or to grant special privileges.
- The lives and actions of people are their own responsibility, not the government's.
Congressman Ron Paul, 14th District of Texas. 24 May 2011.
<http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1009&Itemid=50>.The Jeffersonians. 24 May 2011. <http://www.thejeffersonians.com/index.html>.
Smith, Robert. 17 Dec 2007. NPR. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17332414>.
Shear, Michael D. “As Ron Paul Weighs Presidential Run, His Issues Are Already Being Debated.” New York Times. 24 May 2011. 26 April 2011 <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/us/politics/27paul.html >.