After 23 years in office, over 36 years, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul delivered a powerful farewell to working within the system, to helping point out its failures, to keeping his word and integrity despite the pressures of major corporate influence and authoritarianism that plague so many aspects of our government.
Ron Paul's farewell was not unlike other testimony from the capitol, with unwavering hope for the American people and his peers in Washington to wake up to the dangers of endless war, excessive spending, market bubbles and big government.
From his farewell speech:
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
Ron Paul's farewell speech was a call to those fearing authoritarianism, those begging for liberty, to wake up. It was a call for an intellectual revolution, for us to look at ourselves first and battle against pessimism, against apathy. It was a call to discover the problems with fiat currency, the excess of the Federal Reserve, the reasons behind the bank bailouts. It was a call for self-reliance, to work hard to support yourself so you can support your family, your community, your country, your world.
That call is still behind heard today, at a time when we really need to listen. Many in this country and around the world are watching our government, our electorate, trying to make sense of what has happened with the recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
How far have we come in the four years since Ron Paul's farewell to Congress? Not far enough. What will come in the next four years? It's up to you.