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Remarks in Fargo, North Dakota Following the "Super Tuesday" Primaries and Caucuses

March 06, 2012

PAUL: Thank you, thank you! Thank you! And here's my wife!

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Yeah! Ron Paul!

PAUL: Thank you, thank you. What a delight! Thank you very much for that very nice reception. Is everybody going to vote tonight?

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Yeah!

PAUL: Are we gonna win?

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Yeah!

PAUL: We always win, right?

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: The cause of liberty is on a roll, let me tell ya that. This country is ready and raring, and tonight, we're going to send a very loud message to the rest of the country, and as I've said so many times, the American people are way ahead of Washington. Washington is sound asleep, we're on the right track. so make sure they hear our message all the way in D.C.!

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: And that message, that message is not complex.

Most people in this country realize that we're having problems. Like, we spend too much money now and then, and we borrow too much money now and then. Government grows, and leaps--by leaps and bounds...

But one of the things they have done, over these last hundred years, that has been very detrimental, especially in the last forty years, is that they want government to grow endlessly. We don't have the money, they run out of borrowing power--guess what they do? You would have never guessed. They start printing money!

AUDIENCE: [chanting] End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!

PAUL: And of course that leads to more problems. And now the world's facing a debt crisis. And the debt crisis is a consequence, a natural consequence of--the predictable consequence of the monetary system that we have.

So we embarked, a hundred years ago, with the Central Bank, which Thomas Jefferson tried so desperately to prevent. So they haven't done a very good job. They took a dollar of 19--the dollar of 1913, now it's worth one penny. So I would say, it's time to celebrate next year, the, uh, the one hundredth anniversary of the Federal Reserve, by repealing the Federal Reserve Act!

AUDIENCE: [chanting] End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!

PAUL: But a lot has happened in the last four years. These problems have been going on for a long time.

It'd be nice if we could blame one person or one administration, but it's been going on a long time, so--so many young people here, I think you're realizing you're getting a bad rap for what you're inheriting.

You'd like a much better deal. And the deal--the better deal can be found in less government and only sending people to Washington who have actually read the Constitution and will obey the Constitution and take their oath of office seriously...

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: Which would be--which would do so many wonderful things for us. Take, for instance, if you're tired of the wars--I hope you're sick and tired of the wars that we're involved in...

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Yes!

PAUL: What if we had the return to the Constitution. The founders made sure in the document in the Constitution that the wars would only occur not by the executive branch, but only by the people, through their representatives in Congress.

That's the way all wars should be declared. If necessary, they should be declared, won, and get them over with, and come home. That's the way it was supposed to be done.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But since--since World War II, we have gone to war without a declaration. And for that reason, we essentially have not won one of those wars. It has added a lot of tragedy.

Just in these past 10 years, these wars that we're fighting in the Middle East, over 8,500 Americans have died, 44,000 have come back with serious injuries--and amputations and all kinds of problems--hundreds of thousands looking for help because of post- traumatic stress syndrome.

At the same time, economically it's been very damaging. It has added four trillion dollars to our national debt. That is what you're inheriting. This is the reason why it is so important, if you're talking about peace and prosperity, you have to change the Constitution and have a lot less war and make a lot more sincere effort to promote the cause of peace.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But this has been going on for a long time, and both administrations have been doing this, and this is the reason that the message of liberty actually brings people together, because individuals see that the parties aren't doing a very good job.

You elect one party to cut the spending; they raise the debt and the spending, as well. Another party is supposed to do the job; they go in and nothing changes.

So if you look at the candidates today, there is very little difference, except for one.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: The rest--the rest of the candidates support the status quo. Foreign policies never change. Monetary policy doesn't change. There's no challenge to the Federal Reserve system. And most of all, there's no--no desire to protect personal liberty, personal privacy, protect us from the intrusiveness of the federal government, to protect your right to use--to use the Internet.

These are the kinds of things that are so important to so many people. And, unfortunately, that is not offered. I believe it is the offering up of a program that--that emphasizes personal liberty, the Constitution, sound monetary policy, and a sensible foreign policy is the reason the momentum is building and the reason why we're getting such a great reception here in North Dakota.

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Yeah, Ron Paul! Yeah!

PAUL: We're in the midst of a financial crisis, the financial crisis, the biggest one in the history of the world. There was a time when we were a creditor nation. We had our ups and downs, but we were a creditor nation, and we had a lot of productivity, we had a lot of wealth, and we had borrowing power.

Today, we are a debtor nation. We are the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world, our productivity is going down drastically, we create no significant new jobs.

At the same time, there is never a lack of a desire for more spending. So what we should be proposing, and what I propose, is in the first year, to cut the budget, in real terms, by one trillion dollars.

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: The proposal by others is to cut the proposed increases. The proposed increases, called baseline budgeting, they assume that the budget will go up by 10 plus trillion dollars in the next 10 years.

So if they talk about cutting one trillion dollars, they're talking about cutting one trillion dollars, they're talking about cutting 100 billion dollars a year of proposed increases, which means there's zero cuts!

What I'm talking about are real cuts. Actually cutting. But you can't do this unless you change policy. If you expect to have the entitlement system, have welfare benefits from cradle to grave, free housing, free food and free medical care, and free education, you can't do it. If you expect to continue to be the policeman of the world, and to advocate preemptive war and going into [a] country and occupying countries, if you want that kind of foreign policy, you cannot do it.

And you know what'll happen if we don't change policy? We are going to end up in a financial crash. There is going to be a dollar crisis, and we are all gonna suffer the consequences.

So it is in our best interest, not only of the younger generation but everybody--we're not passing this on to the next generation. We passed it on to this current generation, that is why it's so vital that we get a handle on things, understand what liberty is all about, what the Constitution means, and why limited government and personal liberty and property rights is the road to peace and prosperity.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: It has--it has been said that no army can stop an idea whose time has come. And the idea of returning this country to the principles of liberty, that alive and well, alive and well and growing by leaps and bounds, and that is why this country is changing significantly. The message is loud and clear, and growing exponentially, and I am optimistic, to believe that we can turn this around, but we have to cut the spending.

Now, a lot of people say, you're going to cut this, this and this. And I actually have a transitional program. I wanna cut a trillion dollars, but I wanna have priorities. I wanna really start with the overseas spending. The overseas spending, and the welfare, and the occupation--we oughta all be able to agree, that--spend the money here at home if you have to, but not overseas!

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: So therefore, you know, I want to protect certain budget problems--budget programs. For instance, we made promises to the elderly, they're dependent now, Medicare, Social Security and child healthcare. And actually, my plan will actually protect those individuals.

What about protecting the infrastructure, protecting those states and parts of the country that need money for, you know, ports and inter-coastal canals, and flood projects?

Would I vote for that, and would I advocate it by adding more debt and borrowing it, no I would not. But let me tell you how we could do it. We could do it by cutting spending overseas to such an extent [that] you actually cut the deficit and put the money that you want to, for some programs, back here at home. Not to raise taxes and not to raise the def--ah, the debt, and actually to lower the debt, and don't increase the spending.

We can do that by working our way out. For instance, there--a few years ago, they built an embassy in Baghdad.

AUDIENCE: [booing]

PAUL: An embassy we didn't need. And it was close to a billion dollars. But that was only the beginning. This year, the appropriation for that embassy was nearly five billion dollars to operate it! Well, let's say...

AUDIENCE: [booing]

PAUL: Let's say we need a project here at home. Why can't we cut that five billion dollars out, forget about that embassy in Baghdad--that's only gonna lead to trouble--take it and cut it in half, take 2.5 billion dollars off the deficit, and spend it the 2.5 billion dollars here, back at home, on projects that we need.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But there is no doubt that you can't have economic reform, economic growth, unless you look at the monetary policy. Financial bubbles are caused for a reason, and they come from excessive credit, artificially low interest rates, excessive spending, by the Federal Reserve system. So if we want sound economic policy, we have to address that subject.

But you know, if we--if we do all these things, we still have another major problem. And that is the ultimate responsibility of the government, the real purpose of the Constitution, the real purpose of what a republic is--should be about.

It isn't to have welfare from cradle to grave, it isn't for us to be the policemen of the world, but the limited government, the government that we should have in a constitutional republic should be designed to protect our liberties, and nothing else. That should be the responsibility of the government.

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Ron Paul!

PAUL: And this, of course, includes a strong national defense. But not an offense. It should be a defense, we should defend our country as necessary. If we go to war, if the wars have to be fought, they should be fought--one, get 'em over with, get our troops back home as quickly as possible.

AUDIENCE: [cheering] Ron Paul! Ron Paul!

PAUL: But there has been, there has been a steady erosion of personal liberties in this country, and that is what we have been so careless about. But that's been going on for a long time. That's what's been especially bad in the last ten years or so.

9/11 helped create this. That was a terrible, terrible day, but I think that the assessment was wrong. Because the assessment was that it had something to do with Iraq. And so therefore they used 9/11 as an excuse to go to Iraq, invade Iraq, fight a war there, as well as [in] Afghanistan. And that--that was not the cause. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq, and they had no weapons of mass destruction.

And that attitude has continued to this very day, because there are a bunch of people up in Washington, and the other candidates, think that we can't wait 'till we go into Syria and Iran. That makes no sense. We can't afford it. It won't help it, and it won't give us more defense.

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: But we have been careless about the protection of our civil liberties. For instance, and this is right after 9/11, they passed a bill which was absolutely misnamed. They called it the Patriot Act, it should have been the Unpatriotic Act.

AUDIENCE: [booing]

PAUL: No, and if the bill had been properly called the Repeal of the Fourth Amendment Act, it would have never been passed!

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But it is the Patriot Act. It allows our government agents to invade our premises and our houses and invade our Internet, our emails, and whatever they want to look at without a proper search warrant. Something the founders explicitly fought a revolution on and put in the Fourth Amendment, the right of privacy.

Today we have it turned upside-down. We don't have privacy, but we have too much secrecy of government. We need much more openness of government, and much more protection of our privacy, as in the Constitution.

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: As frustrating as it might get at times, we do have victories. We've had one here recently, in the last month or so, because there was a bill floating around, Stop Online Piracy Act. And this was an effort for the federal government to take over and control the Internet.

But a lot of people like you got word of it and sent a message. And Washington, even though it had majority votes in both the House and the Senate, once they heard from the people, they withdrew those bills, they took 'em off, and they are no longer pushing through the Congress. But--so the people have to be heard!

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: And besides, how are we gonna spread our message without the Internet?

AUDIENCE: [laughter and cheering]

PAUL: But also, since that time we've had other things that are discouraging as far as undermining personal liberties. The president announced a year ago that it was a, uh, that it was legal for him, as president and the commander-in-chief, that he would now be allowed to assassinate American citizens without a trial or without charges.

AUDIENCE: [booing]

PAUL: And to prove that point, he's now done it on three occasions. So that is--that is a--the law, according to the president. And when they ask him about this, they say, where does it say in the Constitution that you can assassinate an American citizen, he said, well, I can do anything I want except those things that are explicitly denied to me in the Constitution!

I think he has that twisted around a bit.

AUDIENCE: Yeah! Yeah!

PAUL: The president only has the authority to do the things he has the explicit authority to do! And the rest he's not allowed to do!

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: Which means, a president--I promise to be that type of president. I will not legislate by executive orders, I'll use the executive orders to repeal all those executive orders that are unconstitutional.

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: But it's not, it's not only the president that is undermining our personal liberties. The Congress laid it on a platter here, just in December. They passed the National Defense Authorization Act

AUDIENCE: [booing]

PAUL: And here's a bill that--many of you already know about it, it means that the president now has the authority to use the military to arrest an American citizen anytime he so chooses, if he wants to. No charges, no trial, no attorney, held in a secret prison indefinitely! That is not what America is all about. That bill needs to be repealed.

But we can solve our problems by, just by finding the people who will read the Constitution a little better, obey the Constitution and emphasize personal liberty. Liberty will bring people together.

There will--today, we're all very divisive, because all they're doing is fighting over power. Who's going to control the money, and which fashion is gonna show--they all support the same foreign policy, the same monetary policy, the same welfare system, the deficits, the whole mess. And they fight over the control and the power and who's gonna get the benefits.

But liberty, true liberty, brings us together. Because people get to use their liberty the way they see fit. It's your life, you should do with--what your life what you want. People shouldn't tell you how to run your life, as long as you don't hurt other people.

If we carried that, if we carried that thought, if we carried that thought through, that means that if our life and our liberties come from our creator, we oughta have the natural right to keep the fruits of our labors, also.

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But if we see people as individuals and not in groups--groups should never be punished because they belong to a group, a group should not have any benefits because they belong to a group. But all of us should come together, no matter how diverse we are, because, just because, there'll be a difference in how we use our liberty, how we want to spend our money, what our social values are, what church we go to.

So we should all come together in the defense of liberty, and then we should be left alone, and the government should butt out of our lives, and off our back and out of our world!

AUDIENCE: [applause and cheering]

PAUL: And this is where--and this is where we have the good news. This message is coming out loud and clear, and people are joining us--especially, I'm so delighted to see, our young people, because they are energized by this--but there are many now that aren't so young, but young in spirit. And they know this, too. And they know that the status quo isn't working, that the financial system, the Keynesian economic theory isn't working.

We have to do something better, and we've had a taste of this. We had the best example of a free society ever, We had the largest and the richest middle-class ever, and we are now, unfortunately, letting it slip away.

So we have to recapture this. This is emphasizing personal liberty, the Constitution, sound money, property rights, Second Amendment rights, also, of course, a sensible foreign policy of national defense. That is the only alternative to what we have today. If you seek, as I do, peace and prosperity, it can be found by restoring the great values of this country. And if we do that, I tell ya what, the whole world will benefit.

So often today, they believe that we are--so many want to promote our presence around the world because they say that we are an exceptional nation. We are, and we have been, but you can't push your exceptionalism on other countries by force. You can't go invade and bomb people and say, we're exceptional, you've got to live the way we do!

AUDIENCE: [applause]

PAUL: But, but if we set a standard of individual liberty and prosperity and peace, the rest of the world will notice, and then they will want to emulate us. It's much easier to promote our cause through peaceful means than it is through war, and this is what we have. This is what we have to offer. We don't have to go backwards. We go back, pick up some pieces and move forward, we refine the understanding of liberty like it's never been understood before.

And it's only been tested a short period of time, in this country. And a lot of times, they'll accuse us of wanting to go backwards. But let me tell you: those who accuse us of wanting to go backwards are going backwards toward tyranny, and we don't need to go in that direction!

AUDIENCE: [cheering]

PAUL: So I don't think it's difficult to define the problems. I think the answers can be found, and this is what we're all about today.

And today, especially because of an election, I want to make sure that everybody tonight goes out and votes, and makes--and make a statement for this cause, because if we truly want to promote the cause of liberty, and restore its greatness, we can find it very easily in the cause of liberty.

And I wanna thank you for joining me tonight, and joining us in this effort to restore liberty to this great country. Thank you very much.

Ron Paul, Remarks in Fargo, North Dakota Following the "Super Tuesday" Primaries and Caucuses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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