Dr. No Visits Seattle, Friday September 14, 2007
By Chris Templeton
Boneyard notified me of Congressman Ron Paul's (R-TX) Seattle visit late last week, and luckily I was able to sneak out of work and go to the Seattle University Law School for his speech regarding the US Constitution. Upon arriving, I was impressed to see a crowd of 600+ and the lights and cameras surrounding the podium. After my initial scan of the conference room, I heard someone standing against the wall cry, "I still can't believe there is a politician in America who thinks like I do!" Well my friend, emphasis on the "a".
And Ron Paul makes this blatantly clear. After his introduction as Dr. No, Ron Paul declared that in Washington, if you want to follow the only oath required before entering office, to obey the US Constitution, then unfortunately that usually means you vote a lot of No's. Well as his wife tells him, "No starts with a 'K' " – and I suspect she's right.
Ron Paul sped through each topic and gets right to the point. To begin, many today argue that the US Constitution should be interpreted broadly to change with the times, but Ron Paul does not agree. He explained that this document was the first and most important document in the history of any society to restrain government, and not to restrain the people. This caused a raucous applause. He continued that the greatest threats to Americans are not foreign, but domestic. As the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee would argue, government in the United States was never intended to cause a nanny state, to fund a large bureaucracy, or to give certain groups more freedom than others, but this is exactly what has happened he says. The founding fathers knew full well what the power of government can do, and therefore inserted the 9 th and 10th amendments to curb its growth. He continued by noting that American citizens love to argue in favor of their civil rights, but says how their property and economic rights are just as important and that "this puzzle needs to be reconnected." This also led to a large amount of shouting and applause.
For someone who has pictures of Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek on his office wall and has authored books on the subject, I expected a point or two about reverting back to the gold standard from our current 'fiat' money system, and I got it. I won't go into what he said since the average American/Seattle Law School student has zero knowledge on the subject (and the crowd reaction showed), but I thought it interesting considering my economics background. Besides, a politician who can comment on it in the first place? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, as Bad Religion once sang….
The remainder of his speech was very much in perspective on the magnitude of his campaign. Ron Paul is very popular with the technically savvy; recent college graduates, and of course, the economics/business-educated crowd, but that's about it. He summed up his speech declaring that America will not change until a real economic crisis happens and that his goal is to spread the ideas of liberty and freedom, to educate people about true free-markets – not the business handout/protectionist type – and help change philosophical ideas now so future generations will have the knowledge to fix it.
My only real disappointment of his speech was that he didn't mention anything regarding healthcare. This is certainly more relevant than the gold standard in today's media circus, and for someone who is an O-B-G-Y-N, I was relishing the chance to see him trash nationalizing healthcare in both an economic sense and an ethical sense. As Ron Paul said in response to a separate question from the audience, "once handouts are given to the needy, the more people that become needy, and the less everyone gets." But Ron Paul's current fame is driven by his stance against the war (he is the only Republican candidate to vote against the invasion of Iraq) and so he spent a large part of his time discrediting the government's ability to continue waging war without the support of both congress and the people. Holler!
Contrary to what you might have seen , I should mention that Ron Paul is hilarious. He has some humorous followers as well. T-shirt slogans I saw that made my day: "Who is Ron Paul?" "Ron Paul is the shit" "Who is this man? And why is he trying to save my country?" "Legalize the Constitution and Marijuana" and "Don't vote for sloppy seconds" (including a picture of HRC). Click here to see Part 1 of the speech.
About the Author:
Chris Templeton is a financial analyst for Peter W. Wong Associates, a commercial real estate mortgage company. He met Bryan in 6th grade at Meeker Middle School, despite the fact he was wearing a Dallas Cowboys Starter jacket at the time.
Alma Mater: Santa Clara University '04 (Economics and History)
Hometown: The Tac, Washington
Career Highs: Second Place, 2nd Annual Wasteland Beirut Tournament, April 2005.