For a 76-year-old Republican obstetrician from Texas, Ron Paul has an undeniable rock star quality. Earlier this week, he packed more than 1,000 screaming young fans into a hotel ballroom in Denver, Colo. His message of eliminating the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, hewing closely to the Constitution, reducing the size of the federal government, reducing American involvement abroad, and ending the drug war resonates with a lot of people.
“It sounds like the revolution got here before I did,” Paul said upon being introduced to thunderous applause. “I was hoping to get 30 or 40 people today, so I’m glad you showed.”
He noted that the crowd was mostly under the age of 30. “You have to admit freedom is a young idea and that is where the enthusiasm comes from,” he said. “There is a revolution going on in this country and it is a delightful one.”
Paul’s message, though, was primarily about reducing the size and role of the federal government. In fact, that was his only theme. In more than 30 minutes on stage, he did not advocate a single new government program, did not speak well of any existing programs, and did not promise his fans anything other than to get government off their backs.
Video of the entire speech is at the bottom of this article.
“When government grows, liberty is diminished. The role of government should be to defend liberty,” Paul said. “If we want to cut spending, we should start with the outrageous spending we’re doing overseas. No more wars without a congressional declaration. We need to stay out of the internal affairs of other nations and stop acting like we have the authority to go policing around the world.”
Paul said the government needs to do a better job of taking care of returning veterans, calling the suicide rate among veterans tragic and unconscionable.
“Another reason we should be leery of all these wars is that during war time people have traditionally been willing to give up some of their liberties. I’ve come to the conclusion that you never have to give up personal liberties for more security. … We all understand trauma of 9-11, but it was no excuse to give up our liberties. There was no excuse to pass the Patriot Act.”
“You won’t hear Ron Paul change his tune to suit his audience,” one member of the audience told The Colorado Independent. That sentiment explains part of his appeal. Whether speaking to a crowd of fans, speaking at a debate or being interviewed on TV, he stays on point.
Unsurprisingly, Paul told the crowd that if he’s elected, the Federal Reserve will be eliminated — that it isn’t a question of “if” but only a question of “when.”
“Complete paper money has been around about 40 years, and it has done a lot of damage but it is on its last legs, let me tell you,” Paul said. “We are operating on an unconstitutional system of money, and it has brought havoc, it has brought bubbles, it has brought us this recession/depression of the past four years, so we cannot solve our problems and get back on economic growth unless we address the subject of monetary policy and that is one thing the American people are paying a lot more attention to now. It is the first time in the 100 year history of the Federal Reserve that it is a major issue in a presidential campaign.
“They like to portray those of us who believe in honest money–which has been around about 6,000 years — as weird, but maybe just printing money is weird, maybe just printing paper and calling it money is weird,” continued, to wild applause.
For a Motley Fool interview with Paul on the subject of the Federal Reserve, click here.
Paul noted that Americans are somewhat divided on the issue of freedom, with some people pushing for economic freedom and others advocating personal and social freedom, but with the two groups seldom coming together. He concluded his Denver visit by saying that if he had to choose between freedom and wealth, he would choose freedom.
“But we don’t have to make that choice,” Paul said. “The freer the society the more prosperous it is.”