Below is the speech I gave tonight. I thought it went quite well. I got all positive comments and no negative ones. I saw light bulbs go on when I pointed out that it's not right to support Israel with other people's money. The leader of the group came up to me afterward and said she'd have to reexamine her position.
The guys from our group thought I was pretty hard-hitting, buy my wife knew better. She thought I was tame. Being a right-wing Christian, I have a pretty good idea how they're thinking and figured I had a good way to reach them, knowing what reached me.
I’m Teno Groppi from the Fox Valley Ron Paul/Campaign for Liberty Meetup group. I’ve been active in alternative politics for almost 30 years, having been the original 6th district rep. for the Constitution Party, a JBS chapter leader, and currently on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Gun Owners, WI’s only no-compromise gun rights organization. I also run a creation science ministry called Genesis Evidence Ministry.
It’s appropriate to speak on behalf of Ron Paul at a Tea Party event, since Dr. Paul is known as the “Godfather of the Tea Party”. The Tea Party movement sprang out of one of Rep. Paul’s internet fund-raisers, where they raised $6 million to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The movement caught on among people who wanted to oppose intrusive gov’t from the left and phony RINO neocons on the right. Although now some Tea Party factions treat Rep. Paul like the proverbial red-headed step-child. I’m here to get him back in is rightful place. I commend you for being willing to hear us out and having the courage to seek the truth.
4 years ago last Thursday, my wife and I celebrated our 1st anniversary by attending a Ron Paul rally in Chicago where I met Dr. Paul and got him to autograph my campaign poster. Now we are celebrating our 5th anniversary speaking on behalf of Dr. Paul at a Tea Party event.
Ron Paul is a 12 term congressman from Texas, first elected in 1976. He has a 35 year record of consistency like no other politician. He has never voted for a tax increase or for an unbalanced budget. Never voted to spend tax money in violation of the constitution. Never voted to cede our independence to any int’l group. Never voted to infringe on any constitutional right. He doesn’t just talk a good game, like most politicians. By trade he is a medical doctor. He served 5 years in Vietnam as a flight surgeon and has delivered 4,000 babies as an OB-GYN. He was a principle author of the scientific treatise showing abortion has never been necessary to save the life of the mother. He’s been married to Carol for 54 years and they have 5 successful children.
Rep. Paul is known primarily for standing for two simple things - FREEDOM and the CONSTITUTION. And, to be honest, I don’t believe any of the other candidates truly support F&C. When we boil it down to these basic elements, I don’t see why every American doesn’t support Ron Paul. I think the reason is, many people, particularly conservatives, Republicans, and Christians, have skewed ideas about what F&C consist of, and many don’t understand Dr. Paul’s position on these things. So I will be addressing the objections from those kind of people - since I’m one of them. I will cover some things briefly and perhaps can answer more specific questions later.
First is FREEDOM. Freedom, by definition, means we sometimes have to allow others to believe, say, and do things we don’t like or support. Otherwise, it’s not freedom. If we say people can be free so long as they believe and act like we do, or we want them to, that’s not freedom, that’s oppression - even if our way is right. If we have to err on one side or the other, too much freedom for people is far better than not enough.
For instance, like Dr. Paul, I am a Christian who believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave to pay for our sins, and that the ONLY thing that can make us qualified for heaven is the blood of Christ. Our church isn’t sufficient (even though I’m Baptist, like Dr. Paul), our good works aren’t good enough, no sacrament is sufficient. And I believe people ought to live by the precepts of the Bible, specifically the New Testament. BUT, I can’t go around and hold people at gunpoint and force them to believe and act like I think they should. It would be antithetical to Christianity anyway, because salvation is a matter of the heart. Forcing someone to make a profession on the outside doesn’t give them a possession on the inside. Forcing someone to live morally doesn’t make them moral.
Of course we have to draw the lines somewhere. We can’t let people kill, rape, steal, assault, or defraud others. I think this is where many conservatives, Republicans, and Christians don’t get Dr. Paul’s position on liberty. He doesn’t defend or advocate all the vices people accuse him of tolerating. He does not personally approve of homosexual marriage. He wants the gov’t out of marriage altogether, like it used to be before we had all these problems.
He is not in favor of drug abuse. He wants the gov’t out of it altogether, like it used to be before we had all these problems. Dr. Paul, does not support drug abuse whether it’s the abuse of illegal drugs or legal ones, like the Ritalin the gov’t wants to pop all our kids on, or the poisons they allow into our food and water. BTW, I just read last week that the #1 cause of death in America is legal, prescription drugs. So why do we want the gov’t to tell us what things are harmful and what aren’t? What makes the gov’t expert on everything from drugs, to money, to cars, to housing, to food, to science, to medicine? Oppressive gov’t is far more dangerous than any drug. Any gov’t big enough to ban a weed is powerful enough to ban or regulate fast food, red meat, vitamins, organic fruits & veggies, raw milk, or pure water - and our gov’t has tried to control every one of those things, sometimes successfully. Rep. Paul does not support gambling, prostitution, pornography, or any of the other things. What he does support is FREEDOM. Individual freedom and individual responsibility.
People have the right to live their own lives their own way, so long as they don’t infringe upon anyone else. From a Christian perspective, they’ll give account to God. But all sins are not crimes. The rule of thumb is if there is no victim, there’s no crime. We have little reason to be bothered so long as they don’t try to foist their choices upon us. We can have free exchange of ideas and try to convince others that ours are right, but neither side should be able to force the other side to comply. America was the most free, prosperous, and moral when the federal gov't had the least power.
Even with the bugaboo issue of homosexuality, something I strongly and publicly oppose, scripturally, there must be at least two agreeing eye-witnesses before an accusation can be made. I don’t know anybody who is volunteering for homosexual peeping-Tom duty to try and catch them in the act. For one, that would be a violation of the 4th Amendment guarantee of security in one’s possessions. And I’d have more concerns about someone who would volunteer for homosexual peeping-Tom duty than the homosexuals themselves. It only becomes an issue when someone wants to force their way onto others.
The other issue is the CONSTITUTION. People seem to think the federal gov’t is supposed to be the final authority, but it’s not. The constitution was created by the States to oversee 15-20 particular things - and NO more. It specifically says any power not directly given to the fedgov by the constitution belongs to the State level or local. Similarly, as suicidal as it is, we belong to the United Nations. They are supposed to deal in a few specific areas. They are not supposed to have authority in us over everything. If you support the federal gov't ruling over the state & local, you would have to support the UN ruling over the US to be consistent. Most of us would repudiate the UN ruling the US, and we should repudiate the fedgov ruling over states and localities.
Every political office holder takes an oath to uphold the cons. Dr. Paul is one of the very few who actually adheres to that oath. All these things like drugs and marriage and whatnot are simply not items given for the federal gov't to deal with one way or the other. If we give them more power, even in good things, they’ll gladly take it. Then in 5-10 years it will backfire on us. Dr. Paul wants such items left under state control, as they should be constitutionally. If you want those things handled by the fedgov you are the one in conflict with our constitution. You are unwittingly supporting a more oppressive, intrusive gov’t rather than a limited one.
The constitution doesn't give the fedgov the authority to prosecute most crimes, like murder, theft, or assault. Just like he is accused of being pro-drug, pro-gambling, or pro-prostitution because he supports those things being dealt with at the state level, Dr. Paul is accused by some pro-lifers of being pro-abortion because he wants abortion dealt with at the state level. Well, if you or a loved one gets molested, do you call congress? Or do you call your local police and prosecute in your local courts? Does it mean you are pro-rape because you support dealing with it at the local level instead of the federal? Of course not. Neither does it mean Dr. Paul favors these things because he wants them dealt with at the state or local level - as they should be.
The other issues Dr. Paul takes a lot of heat on from conservatives, Republicans, and Christians is his foreign policy, particularly the war on terror and supporting Israel. Once again though, Dr. Paul’s position is the constitutional one. The Founders were non-interventionists. That is not being isolationist. We can have plenty of interaction with other nations that don’t include meddling or war. The constitution does not provide for our gov’t to give our tax dollars to foreign nations, friend or foe.
Very simply put, our militarism is costing about $1.25 trillion a year. Even if the wars were just, and we did right, and won every one of them (how would we know if we ever did win any of them?) - they are bankrupting us and if we continue these perpetual wars we will lose the country. That’s what Osama said was his goal in attacking us - to provoke us to go over there so they can kill us easier and break us financially, like they did to the USSR - and it’s working, again. The only thing men learn from history is that men don’t learn anything from history. We watched them do it to the Soviet Union, and we’re letting them do the same thing to us.
This idea that they attacked us because of our freedoms is nonsense. Through our anti-terror legislation we have given up many of our freedoms. The Patriot Act itself opposes 8 of the 10 Amends in the Bill of Rights. So I guess to keep those nasty terrorists from getting our freedoms, we’re going to give our freedoms up to our own gov’t. Yeah, that’ll teach ‘em. We don’t have to go to war every time we don’t like something. I’m surprised to see how bloodthirsty Christians have become. War should only be commenced as a last resort.
Our govts meddling has led to most of our problems with other countries. We have installed or funded most of our own enemies, beginning with the USSR and Red China in the aftermath of WWII and continuing with installing the Shah in Iran and Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the more recent past. Then, when we no longer need them, we depose them and put new puppets in their place. We have supported the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. Then they became bad guys and we fought them. But now we are supporting al Qaeda again in Libya to get rid of Khadafy, although it turns out we sent some of the bank bailout money to Khadafy. Is it any wonder they don’t trust us? Iraq used to have more religious freedom than most countries in the Middle East, as well as the right to bear arms. Since we liberated them, they no longer have the RTBA and they are a totally Islamic gov’t, a faction of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Libya’s new constitution installs Sharia.
Of course there are legitimate reasons to go to war. That’s usually when our gov’t won’t - like when our people are taken hostage or our ships are hauled in because someone sets arbitrary sea boundaries ten times longer than the rest of the world recognizes. But war should always be entered with a constitutional declaration of congress to insure the people whose sons and daughters will be dying in the war, support the cause. We haven’t had one of those since WWII, and we haven’t really won a war since WWII. Maybe there’s a connection? And for those who worry about how difficult a declaration would be, it took less than 24 hours after Pearl Harbor, and that was long before the days of cellphones and the internet.
In fact, Rep. Paul was the one who offered both, a dec of war and a bill of marque & reprisal to go after the perpetrators of 9-11. Congress voted both down because apparently they had ulterior motives for the war on terror.
If someone wanted to actually attack us, now would be the best time. We’re spread so thin over the world with 800 bases in 130 countries, that we couldn’t defend ourselves. Just last month Vermont had to beg for helicopters from other states to deal with the hurricane because ALL theirs were in the Middle East. If terrorists wanted to wreak havoc, now would be the best time, while everybody are sitting ducks in line at the airports awaiting their sexual molestation at the hands of the TSA.
We could cut 1/2 trillion or more from our empire-building, use the money for such things as cutting taxes to spur economic growth, funding the social progs until alternatives could be available, bringing our troops home to protect our borders, make America safer, and spend their money in America. The candidates all say they want to cut spending and the welfare state, but Dr. Paul, who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Monetary Policy, is the only one to have a plan of where the money will come from. The other candidates would either throw people out on the street, or have to raise our taxes to support those on social programs.
Some want to tax the rich, but in reality, there is no such thing as a tax on the rich, or a corporate tax. ALL taxes are a cost of business and are ultimately paid for by either the consumer (you and I) in higher prices, or the worker (you and I) in lower wages or fewer jobs. Raising the taxes of the company I work for doesn’t help anybody, least of all me. They will either have to charge more for their product, depressing the economy, or spend less on producing it, which is our jobs and wages. The problem in America isn’t that people are taxed too little, it’s that gov’t spends way too much and mostly on unconstitutional things. Supporting the constitution provides for limited gov’t and keeps us from massive debt.
As for Israel, a Christian has the right to support Israel if he wants to. What he doesn’t have the right to do is support them with other people’s money. That’s called stealing. That’s the same thing we criticize socialists for. Here is where social conservatives become conservative socialists. And throwing money at someone is not always a help to them.
Dr. Paul wants to eliminate all foreign aid on the grounds that it is not allowed by the constitution. Again, he’s right and those who oppose him on this are in opposition to our constitution. This would benefit Israel because we give their enemies three times as much foreign aid as we give them. It would also benefit Israel by getting them off the dole as an international welfare state. Even Benjamin Netanyahu himself has said Israel would be better off without the aid, and the strings that come attached. We have shackled Israel more than we’ve helped them. We haven’t allowed them to sign peace treaties with countries we didn't want them to have peace with and we’ve prevented them from retaliating when they’ve been attacked. The best thing we could do for Israel, and the American taxpayer, is to get out of the Middle East.
Every one of the other candidates supports the warfare state that will destroy America. They all support the anti-terror legislation that has done virtually nothing to battle terrorism but has taken freedoms away from American citizens. Every other candidate has supported violating our constitution, from “Multiple Choice Mitt” who has been on both sides of every issue, to Former head of the KC Federal Reserve Herman Cain, to former Tax Collection thug for the IRS, Michele Bachmann, Patriot Act promoter who has taken over $450,000 from us taxpayers to fund her own private family businesses, to Rick Perry and his NAFTA highway, corporate kickbacks, support of the TARP bailout, and giving our tax dollars away to educate illegal aliens.
Thus, I do not apologize for my campaign button which says, “Ron Paul 2012, anyone else is just more of the same”. I don’t know if America can be saved. It may be too late. We are in such deep financial problems we might not be able to get ourselves solvent. We have too many people with their hand out that are more than happy to let the gov’t be their nanny and American taxpayers be their bankroller. We are in hoc to our worst enemy, Communist China. But if we are to be saved as a free country, Ron Paul is the only option. The rest are all going in the same basic direction towards the cliff. Some are going at 100 mph, others are only going 70, but Dr. Paul is the only one who wants to apply the breaks, stop the car, and turn around, and go the other direction.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to speak on behalf of the greatest congressman in at least 200 years, Rep. Ron Paul.