Recurring presidential candidate and retired Congressman Ron Paul visited Lisner Auditorium Monday night to discuss his libertarian views and the nature of Washington politics. Paul opened up the night declaring, “I hear this is a revolution going on in this country,” which received a vibrant response from the crowd, and set the stage for the rest of his speech.
The former Texas representative, 77, discussed a wide range of issues, offering his opinion on everything from the national debt to the so-called “War on Drugs.” Paul’s viewpoints focused around the tenets of what he labeled “individual freedom and personal responsibility,” which he believes drove the United States to wealth and success.
“I think we have a domestic war on liberty,” Paul said. “You have a right to the fruits of your labor, you ought to keep what you’ve earned.”
Paul also focused much of his time speaking about the Federal Reserve system, which he believes is largely responsible for America’s economic woes. Because of this, he sees the Federal Reserve System collapsing in the near future.
“The failure of the financial system started in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve,” Paul said. “It is a failing system of endless spending and endless borrowing.”
Paul implicitly criticized left-leaning politicians on several occasions, labeling government welfare programs as “failures.” However, Paul focused much of his criticism on the Republican Party, which he belonged to during his tenure in the House. He was especially angry over Republicans’ conduct during the recent confirmation hearing of Chuck Hagel, who he praised for being cautious and hesitant to intervene in foreign affairs. Senate Republicans, Paul claimed, “piled on Hagel” for appearing to be a “wimp.” Paul repudiated this label, calling Hagel “patriotic.”
The former congressman wrapped up the night by answering student questions. He received especially loud applause and laughter after he responded to a student’s question about adding an amendment regarding executive orders.
“I don’t think you need to amend the constitution,” Paul began. “What you need to do is get a president to read the constitution.”
The event, which drew a near-capacity crowd, was organized by the GW chapter of College Republicans. Students were able to acquire free tickets through the Lisner box office, and those not affiliated with the University were able to purchase them for $10.