A Principled Politician, by John Stossel


I don’t like politicians. I don’t trust people who are so desperate to rule other people’s lives.

But Rep. Ron Paul is different. He wants the government Leave us alone.

He promoted the benefits of limited government and free markets long before I even thought of it.

I first interviewed Paul in 2007. ABC News didn’t air it. They only played it online. Now everything is online. I like it better that way.

This week I released a new longer video with Paul.

Paul ran for president three times, losing first as a Libertarian and then twice as a Republican. The second time around, he won 10% of the primary vote.

I thought then that Americans were finally beginning to appreciate libertarianism. The New York Times Magazine even asked, “Has the ‘libertarian moment’ finally arrived?”

It was the kiss of death.

Libertarian candidates now get fewer votes than Paul did in 2012.

“Have you made any progress? I ask him.

Paul says his goal was to get people thinking about freedom. He succeeded, at least a little.

Paul first became politically active in 1971 when President Richard Nixon removed the US dollar from the gold standard.

Money touches every aspect of freedom,” Paul says. “If you’re inclined to think we’re in too many wars, well, there wouldn’t be any – if they couldn’t just print money for it.”

Now the Federal Reserve is simply printing more money. When Paul first went to Congress, he says, “nobody cared about the Federal Reserve.”

His presidential campaigns brought attention to the Fed and the freedom movement, especially among young people. In fact, Paul has come in first place among young people in nearly every Republican primary.

But now Senator Bernie Sanders is most popular among young people. I remind Paul, “young people today say they prefer socialism to capitalism”.

Paul replies: “There are more socialist professors.

Although Paul was always anti-war, after 9/11 he joined the majority of Congress and voted to send troops to Afghanistan. He wanted to find and punish those responsible for the attack and get out right away.

“It didn’t mean that (America) had the power to occupy and try to transform Afghanistan,” Paul said. Yet that is what American politicians have tried to do.

At a Republican presidential debate in 2007, the audience booed Paul when he suggested the United States had been attacked because “We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years…what if someone did it to us?”

Candidate Rudy Giuliani was applauded as he replied, “That’s really an extraordinary statement…I don’t think I’ve heard that before. And I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations about 9/11.”

Really? Giuliani hadn’t heard this explanation before?

Then he didn’t pay attention. Osama bin Laden has long complained about Western occupation of the Middle East. “Expel them in defeat and humiliation from the holy places of Islam,” he wrote.

Assigning American soldiers to another country is certainly a serious provocation. I would be crazy if Chinese soldiers were patrolling my street.

Giuliani won the debate applause, but 15 months later, no delegate. Paul won 21 delegates.

But today, American politicians still want to control the world. The United States has 750 bases in 80 countries. Paul calls the military-industrial complex “the deadliest PAC”.

Last month, President Joe Biden sent 3,000 troops to Eastern Europe saying, “As long as (Putin) acts aggressively, we’re going to make sure we can reassure our NATO allies and the Eastern Europe that we are here”.

“That’s garbage,” Paul replies. “By what right are we going there? There is no national security. We had troops in Saudi Arabia for national security and look what it brought…it has nothing to do with the helps Americans except those who could get a better salary.”

I push back. “President Biden would say, ‘We have to go there just to deter Russia. If we don’t, we invite them to invade other countries.'”

We shouldn’t let the government scare us into going to war, Paul said. “Fear is the tool of totalitarians.” Paul’s anti-war arguments changed public opinion. Today, we could be fighting in Ukraine if it weren’t for Ron Paul and his warnings about the risk of America controlling the world.

John Stossel is the creator of Stossel TV and the author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media”. For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

Photo credit: oohhsnapp on Pixabay

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