Former congressman Dr. Ron Paul joins Connor and Brittany today to talk about liberty for the next generation, his time in Congress, and what we can all do to spread the freedom philosophy.
- Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum
- Albert Jay Nock, The Remnant
- Ron Paul gets booed during South Carolina debate in 2012
Here is the transcript of our conversation:
Connor: Hi Brittany.
Brittany: Hi Connor.
Connor: So you and I are probably grinning pretty big right now. We’re very excited to have a special guest with us today. We’ve talked about him before, because our Tuttle Twins, readers who pay close attention know that he’s kind of one of them, featured characters or an inspiration for one of the characters in The Tuttle Twins and The Golden Rule. We’re very excited to welcome Dr. Ron Paul to the show Dr. Paul, thanks for being here and joining us
Dr. Paul: Very good, Brittany and Connor. I’m glad to be with you today.
Brittany: We are so, so glad to have you
Connor: The, world is kind of crazy right now. And so we thought it’d be great to have you on a lot of people look up to you and wanted to, kind of get your thoughts. Maybe let me start with, this question. You’ve been through a lot, obviously over the decades, you’ve seen a lot, the government has ebbed and flowed with new programs and measures and policies. How do you feel about the state of the world today? Do you see it as kind of cyclical that, you know, it’s kind of bad and then it’ll go down? Do you see it as just kind of constantly increasing as you from your perch observe what’s happening? What, thoughts go through Dr. Paul’s head?
Dr. Paul: Well, I, think that’s a big question and people are trying to figure it out because it implies where we come from, where are we today and where might we be going. And I think we’re in bad shape. I think we have a lot of problems to solve. I see it so often in terms of what happens when governments or individuals make mistakes, individuals and families and different people, businesses, and people can make mistakes. They might borrow too much money and spend too much money. And if they borrow too much money and if somebody gives it to ’em for low-interest rates, they might do dumb things. Well, we, as a country have been living that way. We’ve been living beyond our means. We live on borrowed money. Most people understand what it means that if you’re living on borrowed money, it’s not really earned money, but you can feel rich or look rich and it looks like a fake. And I think that’s what we’re facing. Hmm. I think that’s not brand new. That’s been around for centuries, but I think the bubble, the number of people who have done this, and the size of the comp not only our country, but the world’s so-called bubble is probably bigger than ever. So the problem is very, very serious, but the ideas that caused it and what we have to do, it’s well known. And I think there’s reason to believe that we can solve these problems if we get more people to understand what the problems are.
Brittany: So that’s, a great point. And I wanted to ask, so for our listeners who are a little bit younger, you know, maybe eight to 12 years old, how do we get them excited? How do we get younger kids interested? Because they’re the ones that are gonna have to take over for us, you know, and make sure that Liberty stays on. So what can we do, how can we get them excited?
Dr. Paul: Well, you know if they’ve been exposed to some of the mistakes being made here in the last six months, it might get their attention because they certainly got the attention. Some of my grandkids because, you know, they had to leave school and they got involved and didn’t get to do their sports. And there were a lot of restrictions we’re a church-going family. They haven’t really been able to go to church. And why, why, why? And that’s an opening to what the problems are. And of course, if they just watch the television, they think, oh, they’re telling us, this is the reason that this is happening, but they need to hear the truth. So I think this is an opening for us to talk to young people because right now it’s especially important for them to understand, because if you think about the records that are coming out now and the assessments of people who have been under the gun of a lockdown and they can’t do things and stay at home and, hear things where, oh, if you do this, you’re gonna die from an infection. And oh, so it’s a big job for parents right now to try to explain to him, to reassure ’em and, not, not try to get the fear out of ’em because there’s recent. And there’s been kids that get upset about this because they don’t understand it. That’s why I think the work that Conner you’re doing is very helpful because those young kids can read this and sort of explain these issues. So it’s understanding of the issues. If you don’t understand it and just think that this is just falling from the sky and the devil’s going to get us the world’s gonna get an end. That’s pretty bad. And right now there are predictions that young people are susceptible to this. So we do have a job on our hands and all parents, all people who care about the younger generation has to do whatever they can to explain, what is happening.
Connor: I, think that that’s very spot on with our efforts with this podcast in particular, also The Tuttle Twins more broadly, we, named this podcast the way the world works, right? Because learning about economics, learning about politics, we’re trying to understand human behavior, and human action, as Ludwig von Mises called it. Or, listeners will probably know that was the book on that we based our most recent Tuttle Twins book off of The Tuttle Twins in The Messed Up Market. And it’s funny, Dr. Paul, over the years, probably one of the more common questions that we get about The Tuttle Twins books is what age range are they for? And my running joke has always been, oh, they’re for kids aged like five to 11 and then Congressman because they need to learn this information as well. You look at some of the people in Congress right now. I’m sure you saw it with your colleagues as well. The level of economic understanding is just horribly low. So I know your story about why you first decided to run for Congress, had something to do with economics. Can you share what brought you into Congress in the first place?
Dr. Paul: Yeah, it was a very practical matter because I had been introduced to free enterprise and free markets. And that was in the 1960s as I was going through college and medical school. It was sort of a hobby on my part to read about a different explanation because I had been taught some things that just didn’t make sense. And then they made some predictions in the 1960s that what they were doing is they got rid of the gold standard and the gold standard is a moral issue. And I think young kids can understand this. I’ve always claimed that I can take any 12-year-old kid or younger and explain to them why monopoly money’s different than a gold coin and why it’s a moral issue. So this is something that came about in 1971 because the predictions made by the people I respected to explain the economy as I see it finally came down, and we went bankrupt. We had promised the world that our dollar would be as good as gold. So it was a contract. And they tried to trust us. And yet in 1933, the first thing Roosevelt did was he took the gold from the American people in 1971, Nixon took the gold from all the foreigners who were supposed to be able to turn their dollars in and see the gold. And this seemed like made, a lot of sense. So it is this issue that got my interest up, but now, we’ve been drifting along with this bankruptcy and why it’s so important for young people to realize this is debt always is paid for one way or the other. If a family or a company just borrows money and spends too much, eventually the banker comes and says, Hey, I’m not gonna loan you any more money,
Dr. Paul: You have to go through bankruptcy countries have to do that now also, but right now, of course, we, and many everybody else in the world when they run, when they are going bankrupt, they just print more money. And that is the source of so many problems that we have today. You can’t get out of this problem by just printing more money and running up debt, because eventually the rules are the economic laws of nature say that you will have bankruptcy. And that’s what we’re witnessing now is our country is bankrupt, morally and financially. And we should understand that or we can’t solve our problems.
Brittany: I think one thing our listeners know a lot about is the federal reserve. In fact, Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island is, you know, one of the most popular books and, I think they’re all pretty aware of how dangerous that can be, but we also wanted to ask, so you’re in, you were in Congress for a very long time. A lot of people are told that one person cannot make a difference now, Conor, and I know that’s not true because we’re both sitting here right here today because of you, so I’d like to know what, do you think about that. Do you think one person can make a difference with as crazy as the world is today?
Dr. Paul: It depends on what the goals are. I was one person. I think I went into Congress with a different attitude. And if you measure me and my opponents measured by, well, how many bills did you get passed? And what did you do this? You never had one single bill passed. Of course, we had a lot of attention given to the federal reserve. So if you measure it in the conventional way one person is off by himself, he’s a total failure. But if the goal is not so much political power, but the goal is to change people’s minds and to change people’s attitudes. That’s a different story. I always had a personal desire and I always wanted to be quiet, determined effortto change people’s minds. And that to me was different. And I figured I’ll do it for my self-esteem my feeling about myself that I wouldn’t do it because I really didn’t expect to win, to go to Congress.I didn’t expect to really accomplish very much, and I didn’t accomplish very much in a conventional way, but I wanted to have influence where people would say, look, he talked about why we don’t need these wars. He talked about why, and we should have honest money why we should balance our budget and why we should have a moral government. And I never figured I don’t know if anybody was listening or not. I didn’t see any changes but then, later on, you know when I ran for president questions would ask and be asked and they’d say, yeah, I understand what you’re talking about. Robert, what, do you do? What should I do? They’d ask me and I’d be sort of facetious. I’d say, well, do whatever you want to do. And Connor must have been listening cause he went and did something and I wouldn’t have had the ability to tell him to do or how to do what he’s done.That’s what I think is fantastic. Everybody has a role. I felt my responsibility was to expose the problems and deliver them to a point where young people, elderly people, people who have been brainwashed and everything else understand it, and they want to do something about it because then you have a moral responsibility. I always made the argument that if you come to the conclusion and you’re on the side of Liberty and moral, just justification for government, then you have a moral obligation to do your share. So that means that yes, you should, you should participate and everybody should do it because you will be in a minority. You know, it sounds great Connor, you’re being very successful, but we have millions and millions of people out there and the crowds and the, you know, the mainstream people, they always follow leaders. And that’s what is necessary and leaders who will lead to its correct ideas.And that is why I’m being such a supporter Connor of your operation, because you’re talking about ideas and morality, and that is what we need. But in Congress, you don’t run into many people. And one thing that an idea that I endorsed early on was you, you can’t Badger people, you can’t grab another Congress, say, why are you doing that? And then the yell, stream and lecture ’em I know I just sort of avoided that totally and completely. I was always taught that if your ideas are worth anything people will come, they’ll come and seek you out. And I said, well, I can’t expect much of that to happen, but low and behold, it did happen more than I ever expected. But I had a few congressmen who would see me voting all by myself.They would come over and sit down beside me and was, and they were very honest and said, why do you do this? And it won an explanation, but most of ’em were locked in on bad economic policies and no understanding of why we shouldn’t be in debt and why we shouldn’t be fighting these wars. And they just marched along because that’s what they learned in school. So it’s not like they’re all bad people in Congress. It’s that they’ve all been exposed, you know, too bad ideas in government schools. And that is why it’s so important to discover. And I, it took me a while to discover that there was something because we didn’t have too many organizations back in the fifties and the sixties, you had to go search and you didn’t have the internet and you didn’t have hardly any professors. But now this is why I lean toward optimism because there are a lot more people now looking and, and seeking things, even though we’re facing the biggest crisis ever. But I say the crisis should be used as a tool to find out if people are interested and why we are on our side of this argument, why we believe this is true, they will look to it because that’s when the answer will come. If we can point out some economic truths, you know, like paper, money is bad. And that’s part of the federal reserve system. And that honest money, which is a biblical issue, honest waste and measures it’s so, sound if that is an answer why we should be able to win that argument. I always wondered why haven’t conservatives and libertarians done a lot better job, because I believe that our answers are so, fantastic. And they’re not hard to understand. And I say, well, they’re getting a free lunch everything’s for free.
Connor: Hard to say no to that.
Dr. Paul: Somebody, right, now, we’re not rich enough anymore. So that’s why they have to look to us for some answers.
Connor: Dr. Paul, I wanna ask you brought up kind of being, anti-war in a lot of your messages in Congress, especially after 911. But even before we’re about, non-intervention not getting involved in other people’s business. Of course, you were kind of the featured character and the tell twins and the golden rule talking about the non-aggression principle, the golden rule. I wanna ask you, I don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to ask you this, but one of the most depressing things of, your presidential campaigns that I experienced was watching the debate in South Carolina when you were on stage and you made the argument about the golden rule, applying, not just to individuals and how we treat our literal neighbor, but also to nations countries, governments, and how we treat other people. We will link the show notes page for today. So head to tuttletwins.com/podcast, we will link to that debate for those who haven’t seen it just by way of summary, and then Dr. Paul, I’d love to get kind of your reminiscing in your thoughts about that experience here you are in South Carolina, very, I would say evangelical heavy or dominant audience, Republican audience. It’s the Republican debate. You make the case, the biblical case for the golden rule. Applying it, how would we like it if China, you said, came and invaded our country, we wouldn’t like it. So why should we do it to other countries? And you were round soundly booed by the audience for making the case of the golden rule, as it applies to foreign policies share with us, if you would, what that ex for you, a very moral religious man making that argument and seeing that type of response. What, was your feeling when that happened or in the years, since, as you’ve had time to reflect on it?
Dr. Paul: Well, it was disappointing, but not totally surprising because I thought that was one of the shortcomings of some people who believe that they have sound Christian principles that they follow. And I think they come up short because they, will fall into the trap of saying that if I don’t support my government, then I’m unpatriotic and I have to be patriotic and I have to support these principles. But I think that was discouraging cuz it happened more than once. The South Carolina thing is what was remembered the most, but this shows where we are, but it also brings out people some people never even thought of it, you know, and then they changed their mind. But I, think that generally speaking and it’s terrible to make generalization, there are a lot of conservatives especially, and if, they may be evangelical as they may not be, they think that’s the proper position, but I cannot read that coming from Jesus. I mean, Jesus is the prince of peace, so this was astounding to me, but they rationalize it and they’re influenced by other things. And they’re influenced by maybe a line in the Bible someplace where we’re supposed to go out and do these things. But I just didn’t accept that. So I guess what really shocked me more than anything, not that that happened, but that spite of the booing that you still bring it up, how many, 10 years ago, you know, it’s been a while ago,
Brittany: Been a while.
Dr. Paul: Yeah. somebody paid a little bit of attention and that’s the neat thing about talking the same way to everybody and telling the same story because in time people will want to hear the truth but its sort of appeals to the remnant. I think, there’s always a remnant out there. You don’t ever expect everything spiritually or politically speaking about Liberty will be killed. It, won’t be sometimes you know, trials and tribulations like we’re facing today may elicit more enthusiasm, you know, for the people, the remnant, and the remnant will grow and become a dominant theme. And that’s what I think our job is, try to influence people in the direction that we think is right.
Brittany: I know what Albert, is it, Albert J Nock? I think wrote about the remnant. That’s always been one of my, favorite pieces of work for him. It’s beautiful. But I also wanted to ask you, whether you’ve been a big champion of homeschooling or, or even just school, freedom, education, and freedom in general. I wanted to ask you how you see that going, especially now with COVID, as everyone’s kind of been forced to homeschool, if maybe this has been kind of a positive aspect in that realm, but you know, what are your thoughts on homeschooling? Where is it going? Is it growing
Dr. Paul: Well since I’m not an endorser of government schools? You know, I like private schools. I like church schools. I like homeschooling. I think you know, we know about the separation of church and state. I think we should have a separation of the church, education and state. Matter of fact, lately, I wanna separate medicine from the state when I look at some of the things going on with, the virus and all the dumb things about the lockdown. So no, the government should have a lot less power and I think that’s how they spread this message. And now I think that’s why we’re in this position. And that’s why I have my own little homeschooling program. The Ron Paul curriculum, and it’s devised not to be narrow, I don’t promote any narrow religious viewpoint. I present the case for Liberty, you know looking at history and looking at sound economics and then trying to preserve an economy or, you know, a society where homeschooling is perfectly legal. And if somebody wants to have a homeschooling program that may be very biased in a direction of a religious belief. I mean, you could have Catholic homeschooling and Protestant homeschooling or, whatever you wanted. But what I wanna do is keep it free, keep it so you can get there because homeschooling has been under attack. And right now, if it gets it’s growing like leaps and bounds to fill them, the vacuum out there. But I think that means you better be aware that that’s when the government comes in and say no more. Matter of fact, some of the proposals right now from the far left are that yes, we’re gonna do that, but they don’t even wanna, they wanna abolish charter schools. We don’t even want any competition and that’s still, you know, just an improvement on the average government school SoI, think we have to be pleased with the way it’s going, and I think people should work for private schooling of some sort, but also be on the alert for the government coming in and cracking down because psychologically, and, also you know, philosophically we are a challenge. We are the real threat to the authoritarians. And that is, that is something that, that they can’t stand. I saw something on the internet today that there was a proposal, I think it was Illinois he was a state rep. He says we’re, we should close down all history courses. We should burn all the history books and we’ll replace them with something else. And when we, and we’ll work on that and decide what you’re going to get, but right now, no history that you can learn in, the school. Well, you know, if they go, if the government schools did quit, that it wouldn’t be at the end, but you know, what’s coming is they want to, you know, destroy history and, burned books. This is terrible.
Connor: As you already know, I’m sure Dr. Paul, you know, it’s, the government schools are unlikely to teach things contrary to the government’s point of view. And so even when they have taught history you know, for example, the Federalist papers are widely read in high school, but what about the anti-federalists papers and the counter-narrative, just as one example, it’s super interesting to see how narrow it becomes. You mentioned Ron Paul’s curriculum. We will also link to that on the show notes page. It’s just Ron Paul curriculum.com, but that’s a big word. And so if you wanna just click through and head to the show notes page, I wanna ask a related question. You brought up your presidential campaigns, plural, and what was very interesting to me and you commented on it many times was the fact that so many young people here you are, you were kind of, you know older in years than a lot of your supporters. And yet you had a lot of these young people following. So our audience here obviously is on the younger side what do you attribute to that trend or, that happenstance where a lot of these young people were very interested in the message that you were sharing?
Dr. Paul: First thing is I think young people have minds that aren’t so clouded and they’re still more open-minded. I think young people are more attracted to consistency. It seems like they’re always looking for consistency, even if it’s outside of politics or whatever they want consistency from their parents. They’re not as judgemental of knowing exactly what but kids that are being raised in a family, that’s totally inconsistent on discipline and rules and regulation. Very, very hard to, raise kids that way. So I think they liked the idea that there was a discipline that I was consistent and a lot of people so often would say, Ron, You know, and there would be Democrats and independents and all these, right? I don’t agree with all your stuff, but I know where you stand and you’re consistent. And I like what you’re saying, and they will become supporters because they’re starved for it. And young people I think are open to that. They want guidance and right now just think of how confused so many kids would be about what’s going on with coronavirus and what if they wake up and find out that the lockdown wasn’t necessary. Wow, they’re gonna say, why did that happen? You know, they’re gonna be very interested in trying to figure out, and right now, skepticism about what we’ve done in the last six months is growing because it was a failure. It wasn’t the right thing to do at the right time. So I think I think young people sort that out a little bit easier by, the time they get outta college and then run for Congress, they are so biased by bad economic policies. And they, have been, and I was making fun of the person that wants to burn those history books, but there are some there that don’t deserve much attention, same way with all the economic textbooks you know, and Socialism and Marxism on all these things. You don’t gain anything by saying, we’re gonna prohibit it, or we’re gonna burn books, but to counteract it with the right thinking and the right principles and the morality that we ought to be following,
Brittany: You know, Dr. Paul, I know Connor, and I personally view you as you know, our hero, and you’ve made a lasting impact on both of our lives. But I was curious what you think is your one greatest legacy that you are, that, you know, that you’ll, you’ve left behind for this earth. What is the thing that you are most proud of during your career?
Dr. Paul: Well, you know, people ask that question in varied ways and I don’t, it’s not, when I, oh, okay. I’ll tell you this ABC, I got rid of the federal reserve or something. Like, I don’t have that because I think it’s a question that I’m not going to answer somebody else is gonna have to answer it, you know, because you know, I might be might not be objective enough, but I have been pleased, you know, with some things and I have been pleased. And actually a matter of fact, you brought up the subject of young people, liking what I was saying. Was pretty much by that. And that means I was able to take some issues that happened that were a bit complicated, and peace and monetary policy and make it so young people if they liked it that meant they understood it. And so I, felt that I was given some ability to take some of these complicated issues and turn them into something more clear-cut. And but what I’ve actually ever accomplished and done somebody else’s can play that game.
Connor: Dr. Paul, what message final message would you share with the kids who are listening to this podcast?
Dr. Paul: Well, the one thing that I think that we need, and if anybody wants to participate in trying to change the world for a better place, they have to be curious, about how the world works and what is right and wrong and what is good economics and what is a good foreign policy and what is it based on what is the role of government, but curious enough to ask the questions and then seek the truth, because none of us has a monopoly on the truth, but one of the basic things that people should ask, and I think this would open up the door for all these questions is what should the role of government be? And that’s what has been you know, around for thousands of years, what should, should the government be big authoritarian or voluntary or whatever? What should the role of government be? Fortunately, our founders designed a system where the role of government should be there to protect Liberty. And yet we have drifted a long way from that. And we have to ask that question again. And then we have to find a generation that you’re helping to build to what is the role of government and what should it be in a free society. We would solve a lot of our problems if they would come up and say, what we need to do is preserve the cause of Liberty and promote the principles of non-aggression. And believe me, the world would be a better place to live,
Brittany: Beautifully said, and I know Connor and I are both so glad to have you on today. It has been an honor and a pleasure as always. So Dr. Paul, thank you so much for being here and for speaking with us,
Dr. Paul: Great to be with you, Brittany and Connor.
Brittany: Well, that was so exciting. I hope our listeners enjoyed that as much as I know Connor and I did honestly I’m on cloud nine right now. How do you feel Connor?
No, he’s, definitely someone to look up to and admire. What I think I most appreciate about Dr. Paul is, something he said is the consistency of his message. You know, he’s someone that didn’t change when different political parties were in power or over time or whatever. He quickly learned the truth at a younger age and stuck to it, even when it was unpopular, even when he was booed on a big stage on television. So check out that show notes page. You can see some of the material will link to the Ron Paul curriculum as well. Maybe even some of his books on Amazon would be worth checking out with your family. If you wanna learn more from Dr. Paul’s words and some of the truths that he has learned and shared along the way. So head to tuttletwins.comslash podcast, make sure you subscribe and share with your friends and Brittany until next time we’ll talk to you later.
Brittany: Talk to you later.