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Remarks Following the Maine Caucuses

February 11, 2012

Thank you. [cheers and applause]

PAUL: Thank you. Just remember, the revolution is only beginning! [cheers and applause]

We have a ways to go! I do want to recognize the staff and all of you, all the volunteers and all the work's been done has been fantastic. Thank you very much. It encourages me because it's an important issue! Thank you. [cheers and applause]

But you know, I have one slightly discouraging announcement. I wish all the caucuses had met today...[cheers and applause]... because I was disappointed. There was one caucus that I think we would have done very, very well. But we won -- we lost by, I guess, almost 200 votes, 190 votes. It's almost like we could call it a tie. But anyway -- the votes will be counted. All the caucuses will meet.

But I do want to make a prediction. If I were a betting man, and I do not have $10,000 to bet...[laughter]

If I were a betting man, I would bet that we will control the Maine caucus when we go to Tampa! [cheers and applause]

It would have been great to win outright the straw vote, but it'll even be greater to win the delegate vote! [cheers and applause]

And that's going to happen. The momentum is going to continue. We're not going away. We're going to be in all these places where we're going to pick up, continue to pick up the delegates, for one good reason. We have the message that America needs at this particular time. [cheers and applause]

And the wonderful thing is the message is not complex. Everybody understands it. And the message is liberty. That is the message. That means we want our freedom. We want each and every individual to have their freedom, not because they belong to a group, not because they belong to one state or another. It's because we are individuals, that we are born with our freedom and we have a natural right to our liberties.

It's a God-given right. And it follows that if you have a right to your life, you have a right to your liberty to run your life as you choose in both a social and an economic means -- if that is the case, the goal that we have is to for all of us to be able to keep the fruits of our labor. [cheers and applause]

Now, this is not a brand-new concept. It's an American concept. We tried it. It was working very well. And unfortunately, many, many decades ago, we started slipping away and took it for granted. We turned into a society that thought only that you redistributed wealth both by force and coercion and lobbying, and we forgot about what brought about prosperity and production. And it's only free people that can do that, the understand of property rights, the understanding of contract rights.

And one important issue. For prosperity to thrive, you have to have an honest monetary system. [cheers and applause]

CROWD: End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!

PAUL: And if we don't do it, they'll do it to themselves because it's non-viable and they cannot persist because the funny money system, the fiat system, the paper money system makes no sense whatsoever! And it's coming to an end. [cheers and applause]

It always bothered me that we who believe in liberty never did a very good job in selling it, especially when we were free and when we were prosperous and consuming our wealth. But we shouldn't ever lose this because it is now that we have to grab the moral high ground. For too long, those who wanted to take your wealth and give it to somebody else or get involved in any of your social life, and tell you how to live, and also to get involved in other countries that we shouldn't be involved -- that's coming to an end. The country is bankrupt, and the most important thing the American people do right now is admit the truth. We cannot deny the truth, and the truth is that we can't continue this way. We have to either go in a desperately wrong direction, as we have been, or we have to stop the nonsense, look to our traditions, and not go backwards and act as we did 200 years ago, but pick up on that because freedom was never perfect.

Freedom has been developed over many, many centuries. It's sad to me when I see some of the fundamentals that have been recognized at the time of the Magna Carta in 1512 -- I mean, 1215, that all of a sudden, we're in this country now undermining some of those basic principles!

So we have a desperate struggle now to reassert ourselves and say liberty is what we want. We know what it's all about. We've had it, and we've gotten careless and it's drifted away.

So now the country is waking up. The country is waking up for financial reasons. Everybody knows we're bankrupt. I mean, the social programs can't be financed. The world is involved in this. It's a dollar fiat standard that engulfs the world.

You think we're in this together by ourselves? No. Just look at Europe, the mess they have. They're rioting over in Greece because they say they have to cut a little bit.

So what the plan? Bernanke's over there planning to bail them out with our dollars! [boos]

The debt, when it gets this big, should it be liquidated? It shouldn't be dumped on the people, and that is what we have been doing for these last three or four years, and it needs to stop! [cheers and applause]

But we need to ask, really, a very basic question. What should the role of government be? That's the question the founders of the country and those who led the revolution asked, What should the role of government -- they didn't like the role the king had. The fortunate part about our revolution was one of the very, very rare times that a revolution, an overthrow of a government, actually delivered more freedom to the people than they had before the revolution.

Look at the revolutions going on around the world today that we're very much involved in, unfortunately. They're ending up even with less. As bad as their governments were, just think of what's happening today.

So we had more liberty, not less liberty, and we need to build on that and understand how important it is. But the role of government should be no more complicated than guaranteeing you the right to your life and the right to your liberty.

What does that mean? It means the government should be out of the economy. Well, they say there's no regulations? Yes, you have the regulations of property rights. You have the regulations of market, the regulations of contracts, the regulations of sound money, the regulations of bankruptcy, the regulations of don't bail out anybody that -- you know, that comes to the government for bail-outs! Those are regulations that are truly free market-oriented.

But it also means that the government ought to be out of our social lives and the way we run our lives. For too long we've taken liberty and chopped it into two pieces. Oh, social liberty and personal liberty and religious liberty? Some people defend that. And others have economic liberty. It's one and the same because it's individual liberty. And we have the right to our life and the right to our [inaudible]! [cheers and applause]

But if our goal is peace and prosperity, of course, we have to have the property rights. We have to have the sound money. We have to have limited government and restraint. But we also have to have a different foreign policy. We have a foreign policy that is deeply flawed. It is the foreign policy that always brings great nations down, and nations that overextend themselves.

Even in our history, our recent history, what brought the Soviets down? When the Soviets came -- you know, I was drafted in the '60s. They had 30,000 nuclear missiles. And we didn't have to fight them, thank goodness, but they collapsed because of their deeply flawed economic policy and their foreign policy of overextending themselves. And we're doing the very same thing!

People would like us to think -- so often in the debates, they say, Tonight, we're going to talk about foreign policy. The other night, we're going to be talking about economic policy. How can you talk about economic policy without dealing with all the spending overseas? That is why we need our troops to come home! [cheers and applause]

We need a policy which is constitutional. The Founders gave us good guidelines. They said shouldn't go to war unless you declare it. We have a responsibility for a strong national defense, but today our presidents don't come to the Congress and to the people and say, Declare the war, or not declare the war. They just go to war. Sometimes they consult. Sometimes they don't even consult with the Congress.

But they're always overly willing to consult with NATO and take their marching orders from the U.N.! That's wrong! [boos]

So therefore, a foreign policy of non-intervention, minding our own business, stay out of policing the world and stay out of nation building -- that is the road to peace and prosperity. That is what we have to go for.

Under the circumstances that we live today, where we allow our government to grow so big -- governments cannot grow unless they undermine personal liberty. Every time government writes another rule or regulations, no matter how it comes about, it undermines our personal liberty.

But it does it in an even more sinister way because when people get frightened either about foreign policy issues or they get frightened about economic issues, they think, I'm frightened, the government is supposed to take care of me and I'm entitled to it, so I have a right to this. And they're so willing to give up their freedoms! And we were warned so clearly that you can't be safer by giving up your liberties! We never should have to give up our liberties in order to pretend that we might be a little safer!

CROWD: Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!

[remarks continued but no additional transcript was available]

Ron Paul, Remarks Following the Maine Caucuses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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