When libertarian icon and retiring Congressman Ron Paul gave his farewell address to Congress on Wednesday, everything from the Federal Reserve to TSA received its fair share of colorful chiding. Indeed, the term “psychopathic authoritarians” was even tossed around. But now Paul has his sights set on college campuses, telling the congressional newspaper The Hill he’s “excited about spending more time on college campuses … that’s where the action is.”
Recently Ron Paul (R-TX) spoke for the final time on the House floor, delivering a nearly hour-long farewell address. Paul, currently serving his twelfth term, did not seek re-election.
In his long political career, Paul has been a consistent critic of monetary policies put forth by the Federal Reserve Bank. In his speech, the retiring congressman labeled the Fed as one of the five “greatest dangers that the American people face today.”
Paul introduced bills to audit and curtail the Federal Reserve several times during his many years in the House of Representatives, but only recently have those ideas caught fire.
As he leaves Congress, Paul reminded his peers the Federal Reserve is part of “a financial political crisis (that includes) excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning by the Federal Reserve must be understood.”
Paul also mentioned many other planks of his personal platform. He denounced the “rampant hostility toward free trade supported by a large number in Washington,” reproved “wars … constant and pursued without Congressional declaration” and asked “why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?”
At times, Paul directly addressed colleagues in Congress, inquiring, “Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties? Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same? Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?”
At one point, Paul referred to those who “endorse government initiated force to change the world” as “psychopathic authoritarians.” He added that, “even when [their] desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal.”
“If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals, and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty,” Paul said.
Yet he seemed to be at least somewhat optimistic.
“The good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America,” he said. “Tens of thousands of teenagers and college-age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.”
Indeed, colleges and universities will be a major focus of Dr. Paul’s in the coming years as he departs from Congress. In an interview with The Hill, Paul suggested that he has no intention of waning in his fight against government excess and tyranny. Instead of operating in the political sphere, however, he will turn his attention to educating young people.
During his recent presidential bid, he drew sizable crowds at campuses nationwide.
“I’m excited about spending more time on college campuses, not less. College campuses will still be on my agenda. That’s where the action is,” he said.
He added, “The young people don’t like the debt they are inheriting, the violation of their civil liberties. They don’t like the war and it’s a fertile field. The people up here sort of ignore them.”
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Fix contributor Joseph Diedrich is a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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