Ron Paul is longing for the good ol' days

// Colin Spensley

“Elect Ron Paul, end the Federal Reserve. Elect Ron Paul 2012!” screams the voice of a young man in a YouTube video entitled “Most Powerful Occupy Wall Street Speech”. Ron Paul's name is rampant on social media sites all over the Internet, but does anyone really know much about this socalled superhero of the Republican Party? With media focusing on the now-global Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the impending doom of the Republican Candidates election, Ron Paul is jumping on the bandwagon in order to boost his own public profile.

Ron Paul is a doctor and congressman from Texas whose isolationist ideals and pennypinching economic model has garnered him quite the reputation as “America's #1 defender of individual liberty,” as states his personal website. He’s cute, kind of like Mr. Rogers with a southern US flare. The media-hyped image of him is only preceded by everyone lack of understanding of who this man is and what he stands for.

Ron Paul's time in congress has gained him the nickname Dr. No due to his strict Constitutionalist convictions. The United States Constitution, on which most of the country’s rules are based, was originally enacted in 1787. Understandably, some amendments have been made to the original document. Some constitutionalists consider these amendments at fault for swaying the country from the Liberatarian ideals of its founders. Ron Paul is one of these constitutionalists and opposes Amendment 16, which allowed the United States Government to collect a federal income tax. Ending the Federal Reserve, the IRS and abolishing the income tax are three Constitutional amendments (originally implemented in 1913) that Ron Paul wants to reverse.

Ron Paul claims the 55 per cent of the US federal revenue that doesn’t come from income taxation is enough to sustain his version of America. “The idea seems radical, yet in truth, America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history prior to 1913,” Ron Paul wrote on his website in 2001. Despite a current federal budget a third larger than it was ten years ago, Ron Paul insists in his book End The Fed, it would be possible to run his country with no Income Tax. The heartwarming, patriotically-titled “Liberty Amendment” would see the American government greatly reduce its role in the free market economy. Ron Paul wants to end the right to abortion and secure American borders using “any means necessary.” Ron Paul claims that between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants are currently living in the United States and are “being rewarded for breaking the law.” Those rewards would include welfare, jobs, and security. He also seeks to abolish Birth Right Citizenship, which is granted to an illegal immigrant’s child born within the United States borders. On abortion, Ron Paul states, “I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade … Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.”

Ron Paul isn’t even up for Presidential election yet, but banners are everywhere. Another republican candidate, ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, has been called “the war in Iraq’s biggest cheerleader”. He also is an avid supporter of many of George W. Bush’s gut-wrenching policies, such as The Patriot Act and the use of waterboarding on prisoners of war. Compared to Giuliani, Ron Paul looks like the second coming of Christ for the Republican Party.

Ron Paul has run for the Republican Presidential Candidacy before. In 2008 he was nominated and had a somewhat successful campaign with strong grassroots support. He did, however, revoke his candidacy in June 2008, stating that the money being raised for his campaign could be used better elsewhere. And now, in 2012, he has risen again from the ashes; a Mr. Rogers phoenix.

// Colin Spensley, Writer
// Illustration by Kira Campbell

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