Editor’s note: This is an article by guest writer, Angelica Malik, who is a graduate of UC San Diego. She explains her libertarian perspective and why Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, is appealing to many young people.
There is a feeling I get before a concert which I like to call the plateau of excitement. It is somewhere in between the lights going down and the drummer walking out, and it feels like being a child at a carnival winning an offensively large stuffed alligator.
This is the same feeling I had before I heard Ron Paul speak at a John Dennis Rally in San Francisco in September of 2010. As our group waited around for the rally to begin, my friend caught a glimpse of Dr. Paul standing by himself near some trees.
We made our way over to him, shook his hand, asked if we could have pictures with him (he graciously obliged) and whispered to each other, “I can’t believe that’s him!”
Slowly more and more people caught on and soon the Congressman was surrounded by a flash mob of admirers some dressed like punks, in ripped plaid pants, others wearing kakis and blazers with emblems. I watched a girl in her early twenties turn to her friend who was on the verge of tears. She said, “Wow, I’ve known you for years, and I’ve never seen you so excited.” I remember his response more than anything else that was said that day. He looked back at his friend and pleaded, “I can’t help it. That’s Ron Paul, he is the only one who actually cares about us.”
It has been over a year since that day in San Francisco when I saw Dr. Paul speak. He is now running in a very heated Republican primary race forpresident, but his message remains faithful to his cause and hasn’t been whittled down to the gimmicks and sound bites typical of most election cycles.
Young Americans are among Paul’s most ardent supporters. Many recent college graduates are feeling the effects of the economy first hand as they look for work and struggle to pay off loans. They see the optimism in Dr. Paul’s unbridled understanding of America’s woes.
Each time he openly speaks about America’s interventionist foreign policy and ending America’s costly wars, the hope grows among Paul supporters that a change may come. While the media ponders the implications of Rick Perry calling Social Security a “ponzi scheme”, Ron Paul and his supporters see that in fact it is far worse– no one is forced into a ponzi scheme and Paul’s “opt out” plan addresses both the concerns of those entering into the broken system and those who have been paying in for years and are expecting to see returns.
This is just one example of the nuanced and profoundly appropriate response Ron Paul gives on every issue.
The Tea Party movement should hold Ron Paul in a high regard, in many ways he embodies its highest value: liberty. When he speaks his motives are clear, he wishes to bring awareness to the delicacy and gravity of liberty, an ideal that was held high by the founding fathers, yet has been trampled on and trifled with in recent times.
Paul believes in only excising the power given to the government by the Constitution, which means as a Congressman, he votes “no” a lot. Whether it is the unconstitutional bombing of Libya by the Obama administration or the invasive Patriot Act signed into law by President Bush and extended under Obama.
Paul’s views are more in line with Benjamin Franklin than modern day politicians’ interest in expanding role of government.
Dr. Paul does not play party politics; he does not put the Republican Party before the people he represents. His view on every issue is a nuanced and highly logical deconstruction of what lies at its core. For example, on immigration, Dr. Paul believes it is the federal government’s responsibility to enforce the immigration law and secure the border, but he also stresses that the U.S. welfare entitlements incentivize immigration whether it be legal or otherwise. The welfare state is the reason why American citizenship must be “rationed” and the country can no longer have the open immigration policies of the Industrial age.
As an O.B.G.Y.N with years of experience in health care, Paul adamantly opposed Obamacare. He describes the problems’ with American health care as a result of government interference and inflation in the market. Paul argues the remedy of such a problem is moving the commodity of health care away from the hands of government.
Fiscal issues are where Paul is best able to rally his base. Young Americans who are left to pay the bill for a meal they never ordered roar like lions when he utters the two words: “The FED”. Dr. Paul wants to end this enigma that has a misnomer name which conceals an ominous truth Paul has spoken of for years.
The Federal Reserve artificially inflates interest rates and devalues American currency, yet goes largely unnoticed by Democrats and even Republicans. Paul has sponsored the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011 to audit the Federal Reserve to finally open up the curtains and let the light in on this secretive, independent, central bank.
Dr. Paul has addressed the growing debt in a way that does not seem to undercut the problem. He argues for making gold and silver legal tender, as said in the Constitution, which he believes would create a sound monetary policy for the United States.
His knowledge of Austrian economics and the value it places on human action over central government planning is comforting to those left in the dust just trying to make a living in an economy that is ravaged by the fallacies of Keynesian economics and its government sympathizers.
As bleak as the economic situation may seem, I believe things can still be turned around. Hope overcomes me every time I hear Ron Paul speak. As part of the generation who will be left to lift the anvil of debt, I dream for that shining city on the hill; like Reagan, I’m not ready to sit idle.
So, when asked who I’m voting for in 2012 I remember that young man in San Francisco and all the other people who believe in the ideal statesman, who deliberately works towards restoring America back to the Founders dream, I proudly say “Ron Paul” then add, “I can’t afford not to.”