America is a great nation. America’s greatness is no accident; its greatness is a direct result of its founding and transcendent principles. These principles have resulted in, as Stephen Moore and Julian Simon observe, “more material progress in the United States in the 20th century than there was in the entire world in all the previous centuries combined.”
With this prosperity has come complacency and widespread ignorance of what America’s founding principles are. These principles include the right to own one’s body, as well as the right to own physical property. Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder of The Little House on the Prairie books, wrote of these rights:
The revolutionary basis (of this country) is recognition of the fact that human rights are natural rights, born in every human being with his life, and inseparable from his life; not rights and freedoms that can be granted by any power on earth.
Government’s job then is not to grant us rights, but to uphold our inherent rights. Of all nations on earth, only America was founded with the principle that rights are inherent and not granted. When we understand this principle, we understand why James Madison wrote: “All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.” And, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined.”
In America today, few understand that transcendent idea. Almost all people seeking political office see government has having almost unlimited power to confiscate wealth from some citizens and some corporations for the benefit of other citizens and other corporations.
I don’t ordinarily like blogging about politics. Politics can be a divisive force precisely because there are so few statesmen seeking office. Elections then revolve around personalities and spin, rather than a reasoned dialogue over principles and issues. Yet, when someone says what he stands for in clear terms and with respect for others, there is the possibility of reasoned dialogue. Such dialogue helps all of us reflect on which principles we value and cherish.
This year is an unusual year because there is a statesman seeking office who speaks in such clear terms. That person is Ron Paul. Although it is unlikely that the country is ready for the kind of sea change that Paul represents, if Paul is able to go deep into the primary season, his candidacy will help bring forth many important issues for Americans to reflect on. A strong showing by Paul in the primary season helps insure that his ideas—and the dialogue they ignite—will continue to be heard this year and beyond.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I support Ron Paul:
- His consistent principled opposition to the war in Iraq. In foreign policy, he supports the vision of the founding fathers—commercial relationships with all, but no entangling foreign alliances.
- His consistent opposition to the war on drugs. This war has helped to erode personal liberty, has made war zones of inner cities, has filled our jails, has corrupted police all over the country, and has cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.
- His consistent opposition to Federal Reserve policy; that policy is threatening to send the U.S. economy into economic collapse. As an economist, I personally know that Paul has studied for decades the work of great economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek. Paul understands the consequences of decades of runaway deficits and inflationary monetary policy.
Today, I sincerely believe that there are several grim scenarios facing the United States. Again, we have lost our collective understanding of the founding principles that had helped make this country a beacon of liberty and of economic prosperity. Whether we are talking about an individual or a society, forgetting our principles has consequences. Because we have forgotten our principles, America is in serious danger of an economic collapse and more ruinous foreign wars. Yet that can change. Ron Paul is the only candidate who can help begin the dialogue that can ignite the process of America regaining its great, founding, and transcendent principles.