“Speak up, speak often and don’t worry about those that at this point cannot understand as they can never un-hear what we tell them.” – Ron Paul
Ron Paul was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1935, growing up in the area before spending the majority of his adult life in Texas. Paul identifies as a physician, author, and politician. Paul has spent the majority of his political life supporting the Republicans, with whom he was twice a presidential candidate in addition to being a 1988 Presidential Nominee of the Libertarian Party.
Ron Paul did not initially plan a career in politics after graduating from Gettysburg College with a B.S. in Science and graduating with a Doctor of Medicine from Duke University’s School of Medicine in 1961. After completing his internship and residency, he served as a flight doctor for six years before moving to Texas with his wife Carolyn to open his private practice in obstetrics and gynecology. He practiced until the mid-1970 when his political career began.
His interest in politics began after studying some economics during University. Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom got him reading more material and eventually meeting economists from around the world. He entered politics after President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” in 1971, which had seen the USD and price of gold closely matched.
His first stint in Congress was from 1976-77 after winning a runoff for a vacant seat. He lost the election to Robert Gammage in 1978 but was re-elected in 1979, and served until 1985 before retiring from the House to run for US Senate. Paul returned to Congress again after winning a tricky campaign in 1996 and remained until 2013, minus the year he sat out pursuing a presidential nomination in 2012.
Throughout his 22 years in Congress, Paul has sponsored or co-sponsored over 600 pieces of legislation but has only ever passed one: the sale of a federal customhouse. With a strong economic background, he has never been pleased with the fiscal policy implemented at the White House. He managed to amend various pieces of legislation preventing funding for certain areas, none of which has caused major disagreements in mainstream media. He is known to vote against nearly all bills supporting an increase in Government spending and has stated he would never raise income taxes if he had a choice.
Ron Paul isn’t afraid to side against those within his party and recently won over thousands of poker players around the country by calling out Sheldon Adelson, citing cronyism. Cronyism is opposed by the majority of Americans and is based around politicians writing legislation to help their business interests.
Ron Paul made his stance clear on his weekly column at RonPaulInstitute.org. In 2014, he called out the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), which would have banned online gaming as pure cronyism. The law was possibly going to be ‘snuck’ through in one of the lame duck sessions, along with 600+ pages of legislation as a ‘favor’ to Adelson. Despite being so public about his pro-online gambling stance, Paul does not gamble at all.
Paul believes banning online gaming will take another piece of freedom away from American citizens by forcing them to go to Brick & Mortar casinos. While he acknowledges the reasons people would want the ban to go through, he believes it should be up to each individual to make the decision. He was also worried about criminals creating a black market if the legislation was passed. He has said, “Criminalizing online casinos will not eliminate the demand for online casinos. Instead, the passage of this legislation will likely guarantee that the online gambling market is controlled by criminals. Thus, it is those who support outlawing online gambling who may be aiding criminals and terrorists.”
Another sponsor of the RAWA was Rep. Jason Chaffe. Chaffe wants an internet sales tax to be enforced, believing that it would help small businesses. An article Paul wrote in The Salt Lake Tribune put a hole in this line of thinking and provided insight into what to look for when legislation is being pushed through. In regards to the Internet Sales Tax, several big-box retailers are backing regulations. They can throw their support behind the law as it will have a larger effect on small business operators, potentially forcing hundreds of thousands out of business. Finding out who is supporting various pieces of legislation is now a prime consideration for Americans when deciding on whether or not they agree with it.
Recently, Paul got out of the political game to focus on the implementation of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. In September of 2015, he came back to Washington to discuss what he believes to be the country’s next financial crisis. Paul believes that the United States is on the verge of a currency crisis that has not been seen in more than 50 years. He is quoted as saying, “The way you live, work, travel, retire, and invest in America…everything is going to change. Some of it in ways most people do not expect. This period is going to be particularly tough on seniors and anyone relying on a fixed income, or money from the government. . .Trouble is coming – please make sure you, your family, and anyone you care about are prepared.”
Paul’s argument rests on the cost of printing money. A zinc penny costs more than a penny to mint, running about 2 cents per minting. A nickel costs about 10 cents to mint. In his opinion, this is why the US Mint lost about $100,000,000 last year, and as he puts it, “…is why money is losing its value and our monetary system as we know it will cease to exist”.
Away from the Congress stands, Ron Paul has authored six books in addition to regularly publishing newsletters and articles in magazines and newspapers. Paul had an unfortunate turn of events come up in recent years regarding the newsletters he sent to subscribers while he ran Ron Paul & Associates. The newsletters were meant to be business-financial in nature and talked mainly about the gold standard and monetary matters. Because there was no byline, people were under the impression that Paul wrote all of the pieces himself.
This is why he came under fire when the pieces were found to contain racist and homophobic remarks. Some of the letters criticized Martin Luther King Jr, and there were some very controversial things said about the gay community. Paul defended the content during the 1996 election but claimed in 2001 that he didn’t write those particular commentaries. In 2011, Paul took moral responsibility for the articles, due to the fact they were written under his name and they were published under his watchful eye. His two highest-selling books were The Revolution: A Manifesto published in 2008 and End the Fed, published in 2009.
At 80 years of age, Paul still has a very sharp mind and will continue to look into the real reason people are behaving the way they do. He wants to ensure Americans are allowed the freedom to make their own choices in day-to-day life. As he has said, “Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.”