WASHINGTON – Honoring one of the most inspiring and principled political careers in contemporary American politics, culminating in an extraordinary “farewell address” upon his recent announced retirement from the House of Representatives, WND has named U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, as its "Man of the Decade."
In addition to his primary focus of keeping government within the confines of the Constitution, Paul's legacy will prominently feature his unwavering dedication to audit – and ultimately abolish – the Federal Reserve in a decades-long effort to restore America’s economy and monetary system to sound, constitutional principles.
He took no prisoners and abided by no political party dictates while trying to push America back to the ideas of its Founding Fathers regarding privacy, responsibility, limited government and freedom.
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Paul’s interest in politics developed in 1971, while he was still working as an OBGYN during the Nixon administration, when the United States went off the gold standard.
"It was overall the whole thing about free market economics, individual liberties and the foreign policy … it was my deep conviction that we were [going] in the wrong direction," he told WND.
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Paul’s rise into politics after these revelations was almost an accident.
"I started speaking out just as a candidate, without any expectation of going to Congress. And then I was surprised, the time must have been right, we got attention, and I did wind up in Congress," he said.
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Paul served in the House of Representatives in three different phases, first from 1976-1977, then from 1979-1985 where he ended his term in the House to run for the Senate. He then re-entered the House in 1997 until his recent retirement from politics at the age of 77.
Paul also uniquely was recognized for his first presidential bid in the 1988 presidential election on the Libertarian Party ticket, as well, of course, as his influential role as a GOP presidential candidate in both 2008 and 2012.
Perhaps, though, the most prestigious title Paul earned was "Dr. No," reflecting his stalwart commitment to the principles of liberty which he advocated by refusing to vote for legislation that went against the Constitution. He described this position on his website by stating that he "will never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution."
WND’s “Man of the Decade” award is designated for the man who has, over many years, done the most to represent goodness, perseverance, manliness and character. The recipient should be someone prominent enough to have had an impact on wider American and global opinion. Their successes and failures for the year are to be weighed and considered.
There were no runners-up considered in the category.
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In 1987, Paul resigned – for a time – from the Republican Party so he could run for the presidency under the Libertarian Party.
He wrote: "I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy."
More recently, back in the Republican Party, Paul's vehement offensive has been against the Federal Reserve System and what he calls the “warmongering” foreign policy of both the Democrat and Republican parties.
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His rise in influence, which helped to create the tea party movement, burst forth initially in 2008 with his presidential campaign bid, and surged again mightily in 2012, when he got 190 delegates at the GOP National Convention.
Though not having won a single state in 2008, in 2012 Paul bounced back and stunned the Republican establishment by carrying delegates from Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and Louisiana, placing him in third place.
Paul also upset the Republican establishment by scoring two stunning upsets at the Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll in 2010 and 2011.
Since his presidential bids, Paul has come to be characterized as the "intellectual godfather" of the tea party movement – a title he lightheartedly rejects, but which nonetheless has been perpetuated through his actions both inside and outside of Congress.
He was, during his long career, the “tip of the spear” in a growing global movement toward liberty, where other figures such as Dutch MP Geert Wilders, French MEP Marine Le Pen and UK MEP Nigel Farage have all paid tribute to his work and the principles he advocated in the United States, and carried them throughout the European continent.
He is also the author of six books, "The Case for Gold" (1982), "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" (2007), "The Revolution: A Manifesto" (2008), "Pillars of Prosperity" (2008), "End The Fed" (2009), and "Liberty Defined" (2011).
Despite not being able to secure the GOP nomination for president in 2008 and 2012, Paul was highly revered for his ability to draw crowds far larger than his competitors, including Barack Obama, especially among the college youth.
Though now leaving Congress, Paul's legacy will continue, many believe, through his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
"It was very nice and exciting. Both my wife and I were very pleased,” the senior Paul told WND. “We had five children. They all got involved in politics to some degree, but he obviously was the one that got much more involved. He had studied Austrian economics, so none of us was surprised that he was the one kid who got involved in running."
"I have to admit that I thought it was a big thing he was taking on, running for the Senate for the first time, but his timing was right, the tea party movement was there and he was able to pull it off."
So is Rand Paul the "heir" to the torch for liberty in Congress?
"I don't think in those terms. Obviously our views are going to be very similar, but … it is not going to be a very successful revolution if one person is going to carry it on."
Tea party and Federal Reserve
Regarding the tea party, Paul told WND, "In the early part of the tea party movement, it was much better than it became later on," lamenting that much of the spontaneity that was there in the early days has been lost.
Yet he said the tea party was "very beneficial" to the development of grassroots activism in the liberty movement, and added that it was "inevitable" there would be attempts by the GOP establishment to "hijack" the tea party movement.
Nonetheless, for the tea party movement to advance, he said, it needs to "do what they are currently doing and not try and have one person or one group speak for the tea party movement, and I think it should be individual and local by the states and little towns … but they have to maintain an anti-establishment attitude."
"I think that is where our problem is. The two parties are so much alike, we hear rhetoric that is different, but those of us who have looked at this for a while, we elect one party or the other, policies more or less stay the same."
He noted specifically that, when it comes to foreign policy, the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy, both parties are virtually identical.
Regarding the Fed, he said the campaign against the quasi-governmental organization that controls America’s monetary system will continue.
"Absolutely, I think it [the resistance] has only begun. Because I see young teenagers coming into my office and telling me that they are reading about [economist Murray] Rothbard, and I say ‘how old are you’ and they say ’14,’ and I say that ‘you are far ahead of where I was at your age.’"
He continued, "All central banks are under attack right now because of … the bankruptcy of the whole world."
The Federal Reserve System will end, Paul told WND, "when it destroys itself."
He then likened the coming collapse of the Fed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, because both systems "lived beyond [their] means."
Socialism is "not functional," said Paul, and the monetary system "is the same way."
"It would be great to get an audit,” he said, “because that would hurry up the collapse, because everybody would realize the benefits of the bailouts and where the money has been going."
The tipping point will come in "a major, major crisis in the bond market, the dollar market and the derivatives market," said Paul, who added, ominously, "it will be a gigantic" event.
The global markets will dump the dollar at some point, but that is unpredictable, he said, and "could go at any time." It will be preceded, he added, by an event that will "precipitate a rush out of the dollar."
Paul eerily concluded that this rush out of the dollar could occur "during this next four years … I would think that something big is going to happen."
Civil liberties, the NDAA, drones and false-flag attacks
In specific reference to the growing threat to civil liberties – through drone monitors, airport body image scanners, email monitoring and the like, Paul confirmed he shares some of the growing fears of millions of Americans that the nation is becoming a police state.
"I do think so. Essentially getting rid of posse comitatus and saying that the military can arrest citizens and hold them in secret prisons indefinitely," he said.
He also noted that Americans' ability to express themselves is becoming much more difficult as other rights fade away. The nation's citizens now face gross violations of the right to privacy, the right to a fair and speedy trial, the right to a trial by jury and loss of due process, he said.
"Executive orders," he added, warning of the imposition of a president's will irrespective of constitutionality, "are already there."
"They can declare emergencies. The fact that the president issued an executive order and killed [Anwar] al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, I mean those executive orders are there. And they can do almost anything they want."
Americans also are being subject to unprecedented government surveillance, he noted.
There are "umpteen thousand [drones] deployed that are spying on Americans, and it is only beginning.”
As a solution to the growing threat, Paul said, "What I hope and pray for is the technology to come along where there is a good defensive weapon on this – where we as citizens get worried about drones over our house that we might have electronic waves to disable these things."
Such would be a nonviolent defense against drones, he said.
"Of course, the ones that are causing the most damage to us as a country are the ones that are flying around the world. I think this is going to build up tremendous hatred toward us and when we get on the ropes all that pent-up frustration on us will come out and we will be under attack."
On liberty – his favorite subject – Paul expressed his fear of rising world government as a key agenda of the American elites.
"That is another trend I think is a very dangerous trend … [where] … there is less control by the people than ever before."
If a person truly believes in individual liberty, said Paul, one cannot believe in one-world government. He gave examples of how America goes to war under a U.N. banner or NATO resolution and noted that the IMF regulates American monetary policy and that these are all stepping stones towards world government.
Manipulating not just social issues or economic factors, but actual war events, he said, is part of what governments do.
"I think they have [used false-flag events] in the past and they are quite willing to use something that may have not been deliberate. I think Vietnam was a false flag that we later found out our vessels [in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident] were not attacked … and there is a lot of controversy over the Spanish-American War," he said.
"I think almost always governments lie to their people," he said
Regarding the current sentiment toward secession, since Obama’s re-election, Paul said: "I don't think in the real sense of the word [secession], I talk about de facto secession and nullification, if the federal government becomes totally inept because they can't pass out any more money, because the money has no value, that I think people might just ignore the government. I think it could be a good thing that way."
About decisions in Washington state and Colorado to legalize marijuana, he said, "I think nullification is getting a healthy discussion right now" in seeing how states are continuing to defy the federal government.
"One thing that people can do in states … is personal secession," he said.
Paul cited the developing mass movement of people from California to Texas, over economic and social conditions, and said citizens are moving from oppressive, economically poor states to liberty-loving rich ones. That, he said, is a way to promote the values of liberty.
And he said people soon will be wanting to leave the U.S., because of an oppressive economic atmosphere, but will face obstacles.
"[It] you want to leave even now, there are a lot of restrictions; they don't want you to pick up and take your money with you. They'll be cracking down on that," he said.
The veteran congressman said he doesn't expect to see another secession movement like what preceded the Civil War, but noted it should be possible.
"The Founders recognized it was an option," he said. "I think that this principle is a great principle with us."
When asked about the recent shootings in Oregon and Connecticut and how to formulate the best response, Paul said it's not complicated.
"Last year I introduced a bill to eliminate this concept of gun-free zones. If there is a gun-free zone, this is where all the killing occurs. I would start there, by not limiting the ability of people who are law-abiding citizens to have a gun and defend themselves. I would make sure they are able to. I think the Second Amendment has to be honored and protected. On that same day about 95 people were killed by automobiles, but you don't hear anybody getting up saying, 'Oh I think we should eliminate the automobile.’"
"I think it is sad that they politicize this,” he added, “[as though] we have too much freedom to defend ourselves."
He said while communities with strong firearm ownership don't have such problems, he expected the politicization of the tragedy to continue, on the part of those who follow Rahm Emanuel's famous statement, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
Regarding Obama's current push for new congressional gun control, Paul said his hope is that the Second Amendment will prevail.
"There is an unbelievable amount of support for the Second Amendment and … it is not going to be very easy to take our guns away," he said.
Though the picture remains bleak at present for the United States, Paul did say, when asked if America has passed the point of no return, "I don't think we're past that point. I think we're past the point economically [of] expecting Congress to solve their fiscal problems and monetary problems."
"We've already gone off the fiscal cliff," he said. "But that doesn't mean we can't come to our senses."
The people will have to decide their future, he said.
"I do believe there will be breakdown of law and order, the economic system will be fragile, and the question the American people are going to ask [is], are we going to just tolerate more, bigger government and more totalitarianism."
Citing his own popularity among the young, he said he holds a lot of hope that there will be a turnaround.
"I never set out to stir up trouble on the campuses, it just seemed to happen. It seemed like the more I went to the campuses, the larger crowds got. That to me was very encouraging, because we talk about revolution, but I am convinced that revolution is still occurring, when you excite a new generation to bring about the changes you want."
Among issues that will have to be changed are entitlements and welfare.
"They will only be convinced when they government can't provide," he said. "This is very important ... to see the failure of the transfer system."
"We should be a giant Switzerland," he said. "Where we have tremendous free markets, and civil liberties, prosperity and sound money and we will have a greater influence around the world than we do today. We should want people to emulate us, but do it in a voluntary way.
"We should be something new and different and it is available to us."
He said his foes won't find him suddenly vanishing, even if he's not holding an office.
"To me, the solution to all this mess that we have is to believe in and understand what personal liberty is all about. Our lives, and our liberties, come from our Creator – not our government – and the purpose of government should be to protect those liberties," he said.
"And the follow through on this is private property and sound economic policy, which is sound money. And also a basic moral principle is, you can't do anything to other people that you wouldn't want done to you. That means you want to protect your life and liberty, which means you cannot impose yourself on others, whether it's on a personal basis or an international basis. That to me is the most important thing to do."