Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Audio and Transcript - Congressman Ron Paul of Texas joined Mike on the show today to discuss his thoughts on war, specifically the situation in Libya and what Iran having nuclear weapons means to us. He also talks about his early days in Congress... who did he look up to, if anyone, or was he just defending the Constitution? What is he going to do after his tenure in Congress is over? All of these questions, and much more, are answered in today's audio and transcript...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let us go to the Dude Maker Hotline and speak to the one and only Congressman Ron Paul from the great state of Texas. Congressman Paul,
always a pleasure to talk to you, my friend. How are you?
Congressman Ron Paul: Thank you, Mike. Good to be with you. Doing well.
Mike: I’d like to play a brief audio clip that happened last night during the O’Reilly show. It’s O’Reilly and Colonel Ralph Peters talking about what to do in Iran. I’d like to play that for you and then we’ll start the discussion, okay?
Congressman Paul: Okay.
[start audio clip]
Bill O’Reilly: But isn’t the only other alternative war, a military strike? There doesn’t seem to be anything else that he’s not doing, although I do have one thing in the back of my mind but I’m going to hold it back. Go.
Colonel Ralph Peters: Well, look. Nobody wants war in the Persian Gulf, but it looks increasingly like it’s going to happen because we have been so weak.
O’Reilly: Would you say this is the time now to make it happen?
Colonel Peters: No. it is a time to be forceful. Bill, let me make one thing very clear. There are no good alternatives in the Persian Gulf, but the worst possible alternative is an Iran with nuclear weapons, not only because of the threat to Israel, but because of the threat to the oil reserves.
O’Reilly: So you’re saying that war is better than allowing Iran to have a nuke? War is better?
Colonel Peters: I think a well-executed war, thoroughly planned and determined would be better for the world than Iran with nuclear . . .
[end audio clip]
Mike: Congressman Paul, a well-executed war in Iran better for the world?
Congressman Paul: Sounds like aggression to me. Sounds like somebody wants to start a war. That’s very, very dangerous talk. They say one thing you cannot do is accept the idea of containment. Of course, the Soviets had 30,000 of these nukes and they were contained and they went bankrupt and they no longer became an enemy. They talk about no options are taken off the table, which means that we can use a nuclear warhead against them. At the same time, diplomacy is off the table. They are fanatically obsessed with a weapon that doesn’t exist, and there’s no evidence to show that if they did have a weapon that the world would be less safe. There was fear at one time if the Indians and Pakistanis had nuclear weapons they would be launching them at each other, but it’s sort of a containment. This whole idea is just crazy. Also, our CIA and the United Nations say that they are nowhere close to having it. Since the early 1990’s, the Israelis have claimed that they’re only a couple years away from having that nuke. It’s been going on for 20 years. It’s hysteria. It’s warmongering. It’s dangerous. There’s just no reason in the world this country and the world can’t consider another option other than to start a war to prevent a war.
Mike: Let’s just go across the gulf here to Libya. You saw the events that transpired with our ambassador there. It seems to me, Congressman Paul, that had the President not unilaterally acted outside of his constitution powers, it wouldn’t have been necessary to put Ambassador Stevens into harm’s way as he was. On some level, it seems to me also that the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense share some of the blame. How would you comment on that?
Congressman Paul: I think it’s this on-again-off-again foreign policy, whether it’s Egypt or Iraq or Libya. We hated the Libyans; we bomb Libya. Then we become friends with them and we trade with them. Then we decide we have to get rid of Gadhafi because the people are stirring and they’re stirring against us as much as anything. We support the dissidents and they’re a bunch of people. We don’t even know who they are. The al-Qaeda is involved, so we put them supposedly in power, then they turn against us. It’s just that intervention is so bad, makes no sense whatsoever. Even though it might make sense to the neocons and what they’re doing and how they have to control every government, they don’t have that much control. They eventually lose control. Even though we had control of Egypt for all those 40 years and spent those billions of dollars, it eventually backfired on us. The money goes down the drain. That dictator leaves and we have chaos there. The same thing is going to happen in Syria. This mess that we have in Libya is of our own making. You know that even though it was done under NATO, NATO is us. Without us there with the bombs and the support and the CIA, it would have never happened.
Mike: Congressman Ron Paul, let me just ask you really quickly here, the tide has changed. If you read public opinion polls, the people are now with you. They are turning against intervention and the never-ending military warfare state. Why hasn’t Congress, or why hasn’t, as my friend Andy McCarthy calls Republicans the stupid party, why haven’t they picked up on this?
Congressman Paul: They’re slow learners. I’ve worked on the assumption, and this keeps me from getting too frustrated. People say, “Why don’t you get frustrated?” I work on the assumption that Congress is at least 15 to 20 years behind the times. A lot of us in the Austrian School and the Libertarian movement, we’ve talked about monetary policy for decades but now everybody is talking about it. Now it’s politically popular, even if they don’t believe it, to say, “Maybe it is a good idea to audit the Fed.” They’re very, very slow learners. I think part of it is intellectual and part of it is they don’t want to hear the truth. Yes, the neocons are the ones who know the truth and don’t want to hear the truth. Others are just very, very slow learners, but ultimately the people’s voice is very powerful. Whether it’s on monetary or foreign policy, eventually -- just think of the tragedy of the 1960’s, how long it took the people to suffer and the deaths to occur until finally maybe this Vietnam War isn’t so hot anyway so we’re going to quit. After so much tragedy -- of course, my argument has been if we know this is coming, why don’t we change policy rather than waiting so long, which means Congress is not reflecting the people, and it’s rather aggravating.
Mike: You mentioned monetary policy, which used to be the mainstay of American politics. Any election in the nineteenth century was all about monetary policy and how to deal with gold and gold standard and what have you. Today we seem to be having discussions about quantitative easing. We just learned that quantitative easing part three is under way. My question to you is, what effect, in the short term, do you think it will have, and in the long term, what will this do to the average American’s pocketbook?
Congressman Paul: Well, it destroys the American economy and it’ll destroy the value of the dollar. When they announced QE3, the immediate reaction was the stocks went up and they’re still up. It does have an effect on the market. I think that’s very intentional. On the same day they announced it, gold rebounded I think it was around $40 or $50 in several hours and the dollar went down sharply. That is the signal of what will happen. I remember 1971 when they announced no linkage to gold. The immediate response the next day was the markets loved it and the Chamber of Commerce endorsed it. We had more taxes and wage and price control, but it led to a very bad decade. It’s led to a very bad last 40 years. Quantitative easing has a temporary effect that’s sometimes positive. There are also warning signs. The warning signs are that it can’t solve our problems, it’s going to make our problems worse, and it’s going to destroy the dollar. All these programs that so many people want to preserve, whether it’s the military state or the welfare state, it’s not going to work. I think we’re getting their attention, but I don’t think they’re going to wise up in time. I expect that we’ll have a much, much more significant financial crisis, more so than we had in ’08, and that’s when we’ll be forced into doing it. I think that’s what people ought to prepare for.
Mike: One of the questions I’ve always wanted to ask you was, when you got into Congress in the 1970’s, was there a legislator that you were admirable of, that you patterned your “I’m devoted to the Constitution and take my oath seriously” or was it just the oath that you took?
Congressman Paul: I think it was the oath. There were a couple that way, but it was sort of in different areas. I used to like Robert Taft because he was trying to bring more sense. He didn’t want to get in NATO and these things. There were a few from the old right. I think it was just my natural instinct, which I think everybody has, which is why don’t people just leave me alone? I think that’s a natural instinct of a two-year-old and a 16-year-old, and it’s a true philosophy that should be pursued. Usually we get it knocked out of us. I think that’s the way I was. I was that way and had it knocked out of me with college and all the propaganda, but then I came across confirmation in the Austrian School of Economics that you didn’t have to do all this. It was that conviction that the direction of the economy would lead to a disaster. As time went on, I was much more able to connect this with the disaster of the foreign policy, too, the spending, inflating, the military-industrial complex and all these things. It comes together. I know you understand it, the uniqueness of this whole philosophy. It makes so much sense. This is why I’m always so pleased when a 16-year-old or a 21-year-old comes along and says, “How come people don’t listen? It’s just common sense what you’re talking about.” That’s where we should be encouraged. You know so many young people are looking at what we’ve been talking about.
Mike: Your son is promoting a balanced budget amendment. There are some of us working out here that aren’t in the Congress or the Senate that wish to see an Article V Amendment Convention called to draft that amendment. Would you be in support of that idea?
Congressman Paul: With mixed blessings on it. The convention can only be successful if the people have changed their minds and really want to do something. If the consensus is they’re just going to argue over how to spend money and how to save a currency without reforming the currency -- the budget is probably secondary to the attitude of what government ought to do. If we don’t change our attitude that we should have a welfare state and police the world, all the reforms proposed, whether it’s budgetary or tax codes, won’t do much good. We have to eventually remove the appetite or acceptance that government can solve these problems before any of those things happen. I think some other things have to go along with it. I think it’s a shame that Jefferson didn’t win that argument at the beginning and prevent the federal government from borrowing money. I think we’d have all been better off if that had passed.
Mike: Congressman Ron Paul, we’ve got to wrap it up. One final question, you leave the House in December. You have millions of fans out there listening. Any idea what you might be doing January 2013?
Congressman Paul: I know one thing, that I’ll be busy. I’m anxiously looking forward to new things. I’ll have a little bit more freedom in the fact that you restrain, as a member of Congress, on traveling and various things. I will be very much involved in what I call campaigning for liberty, and that’s also the name of an organization we have, Campaign for Liberty. I’ll be involved in there, but I’ll probably travel as much as ever if not more, and promoting the same things I’ve talked about. I have other options offered. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do, but I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can contribute something.
Mike: It was really good to see you last Friday, my friend. God bless. We’ll talk soon.
Congressman Paul: Thank you very much, Mike.
Mike: You’re very welcome. Congressman Ron Paul there on the Dude Maker Hotline.
End Mike Church Show Transcript