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Monday, December 13, 2010

Ron Paul's unlikely political ascension a validation of "extremist" libertarianism and a sign of things to come

Are Ron Paul's Views Becoming Mainstream?

(The New American) -- by Raven Clabough --

Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul has been dubbed “Dr. No” for his consistent record of voting against legislation that he has called unconstitutional, at times serving as the only “no” vote in the entire House of Representatives. Paul’s position on a variety of issues has even been unpopular in his own party, which he accuses of losing sight of true conservative values.

However, Dr. Paul’s recent appointment to the position of chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which oversees the Federal Reserve, is a clear indication that congressional Republicans are beginning to recognize his oft-ignored wisdom.

Throughout his political career, Paul's stances on issues have set him apart from the majority of Republicans — and Americans in general. When he applauded Wikileaks’ disclosure of vital, secretive documents, contending that they expose America’s “delusional foreign policy,” conservative blog RedState, which once valued Paul’s libertarian views, labeled him “Al Qaeda’s favorite member of Congress.” Likewise, Paul’s was the only “Nay” in the congressional vote to award Arnold Palmer the Congressional Gold Medal, asserting that it is unconstitutional to use taxpayer dollars to award any worthy American the Medal. Paul also unapologetically declared that it was American military intervention around the world that prompted the 9/11 attacks, pointing once again to the federal government’s violation of the Constitution in its foreign policy.

In other words, Paul is a stickler for following the Constitution to the letter.

Though for so long he has been ostracized for his views, the current state of the republic has Americans and Republican politicians in particular wondering if Paul could have been on to something all along — if perhaps the answer to our country’s problems can indeed be found in the Constitution.

Also noteworthy is the influx of Tea Party-elected officials who campaigned on the same premise that Paul has outlined throughout his political career: Congress should not participate in any action not explicitly outlined in the Constitution. Tea Party politicians are unafraid to point to Paul as the “intellectual godfather” of their movement.

It is perhaps for these reasons that Republicans have appointed Paul to a position from which he has been blocked in the past. The New York Times writes,

Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly recognize that Mr. Paul has a following — among his supporters from 2008 and within the Tea Party, which helped Republicans recapture the House majority by picking up Mr. Paul’s longstanding and highly vocal opposition to the federal debt.

The NYT adds, “Aides, supporters, and television interviewers now use words like ‘vindicated’ to describe him.”

Paul’s appointment to chairman of the monetary policy panel is particularly telling in light of his strong views regarding the Federal Reserve. After all, he did write a book entitled End the Fed, which asserts that, under the Constitution, the federal government should play no role in regulation of the economy. His book also indicates a desire to see a return to the gold standard.

Paul has been a leading advocate for launching a full audit of the Federal Reserve, a demand that has been unsuccessful in the past but managed to attract 320 co-sponsors in the House this year. In the position of chairman, Paul assures his supporters that he will renew his push for the audit.

Ron Paul’s assertions, previously viewed as “extremist,” are becoming more widely embraced.

The answer to America’s deficit woes, according to Paul, is Austrian economic theory, as opposed to the Keynesian model that progressive economists have advocated...MORE...LINK

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