Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
Ten-term congressman Ron Paul is seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for president in the 2008 election. And although he always runs for congress as a Republican, his political stance is Libertarian. In fact, he sought the presidency, running on the Libertarian ticket in 1988.
Ronald Ernest Paul was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 20, 1935, to Howard and Margaret Paul. His father was the son of a German immigrant, and his mother owned a dairy farm, where the young Paul worked during his childhood; he also worked in a drugstore and delivered newspapers.
In 1953, Paul completed high school at Dormont High in Dormont, PA. He then began college at Gettysburg College completing a B.A. degree in 1957. He entered Duke University School of Medicine and graduated in 1961 with a Doctor of Medicine degree. He served as an intern at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, 1961-1962. He completed in residency in 1968 at the University of Pittsburgh in obstetrics and gynecology.
Paul is a staunch believer in limited government. While he was a medical doctor, he refused to accept Medicare and Medicaid payments. He would lower his fees or even do the work free, in order to avoid taking government money. Paul refuses to sign up for the government pension, which he would be entitled to as a congressman.
Paul entered politics during the Nixon administration when Nixon took the money standard off the gold standard. Paul saw this as politicizing money and was appalled by it. He ran unsuccessfully for congress to the 22nd District of Texas in 1974. In 1978, he defeated Democrat Robert Gammage. Then he continued to win terms in 1980 and 1982.
Paul ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1984 against Phil Gramm. When Paul returned to medical practice in 1985, Tom DeLay was elected to Paul’s congressional seat.
A Failed Presidential Run
Even though Paul had no prior affiliation with the Libertarian Party, the party nominated him to run for president in 1988; he placed third in the popular vote, receiving over 400,000 votes. Although he had supported Ronald Reagan, he opposed the huge deficits accrued during the Reagan administration.
Libertarians love Paul, because he believes in low-taxes, small government, and non-intervention in foreign policy. Paul has always voted “no” on any government spending bills, including aid to Katrina victims.
Paul opposes welfare, gun-control, foreign intervention, the illegalization of drugs, and he still opposes the current money standard. His political stance mirrors the Libertarian stance with the exception of abortion. As an obstetrician who has delivered thousands of babies, he opposes abortion on moral grounds.
Republican Party Nomination
Paul opposes the current American involvement with the struggle in Iraq. During a televized debate, Paul asserted that the 9/11 attacks were the result of “ten years of bombing Iraq.” To which fellow debater, Rudy Giuliani vehemently responded, demanding that Paul rescind that remark.
But Paul garnered some support for his statement. His approach to foreign policy represents a striking divergence from his party’s stance but generates support from Libertarians. And although Paul was deemed winner of that debate by his supporters, he has not been able to present much of a challenge to the frontrunners.
To read a number of Paul’s essays that clearly spell out his stance, please visit Congressman Ron Paul: Archives.
Paul refuses to participate in "immoral" pension system