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22 May 2007
2007 Ron Paul 55:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, for some, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. For others, it means dissent against a governments abuse of the peoples rights.
2007 Ron Paul 55:2
I have never met a politician in Washington or any American, for that matter, who chose to be called unpatriotic. Nor have I met anyone who did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops, wherever they may be.
2007 Ron Paul 55:3
What I have heard all too frequently from the various individuals are sharp accusations that, because their political opponents disagree with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were unpatriotic,
2007 Ron Paul 55:4
The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power.
2007 Ron Paul 55:5
The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of
2007 Ron Paul 55:6
Peaceful, nonviolent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved great political successes by practicing nonviolence, and yet they suffered physically at the hands of the state. But whether the resistance against government tyrants is nonviolent or physically violent, the effort to overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.
2007 Ron Paul 55:7
True patriotism today has gotten a bad name, at least from the government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor are routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi and Martin Luther King have been.
2007 Ron Paul 55:8
Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are vilified as well, especially by conservatives. Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war, once it is started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic, and all dissent must stop. Yet, it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.
2007 Ron Paul 55:9
It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangers undeclared
2007 Ron Paul 55:10
Who are the true patriots, those who conform or those who protest against wars without purpose? How can it be said that blind support for a war, no matter how misdirected the policy, is the duty of a patriot?
2007 Ron Paul 55:11
Randolph Bourne said that, War is the health of the state. With war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a war psychology to justify the expansive role of the state. This includes the role the Federal Government plays in our lives, as well as in our economic transactions.
2007 Ron Paul 55:12
Certainly, the neoconservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide through force justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined. The economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibited. Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most of the citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe.
2007 Ron Paul 55:13
This is a bad
2007 Ron Paul 55:14
Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the state, any problem invites an answer by declaring war, even on social and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various government solutions, while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies operate encourages big government liberals and big government conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs.
2007 Ron Paul 55:15
2007 Ron Paul 55:16
All this effort promotes the growth of statism at the expense of liberty. A government designed for a free society should do the opposite, prevent the growth of statism and preserve liberty.
2007 Ron Paul 55:17
Once a war of any sort is declared, the message is sent out not to object or you will be declared unpatriotic. Yet, we must not forget that the true patriot is the one who protests in spite of the consequences. Condemnation or ostracism or even imprisonment may result.
2007 Ron Paul 55:18
Nonviolent protesters of the Tax Code are frequently imprisoned, whether they are protesting the codes unconstitutionality or the war that the tax revenues are funding. Resisters to the military draft or even to Selective Service registration are threatened and imprisoned for challenging this threat to liberty.
2007 Ron Paul 55:19
Statism depends on the idea that the government owns us and citizens must obey. Confiscating the fruits of our labor through the income tax is crucial to the health of the state. The draft, or even the mere existence of the Selective Service, emphasizes that we will march off to war at the states pleasure.
2007 Ron Paul 55:20
A free society rejects all notions of involuntary servitude, whether by draft or the confiscation of the fruits of our labor through the personal income tax. A more sophisticated and less
2007 Ron Paul 55:21
Protesters against this unconstitutional system of paper money are considered unpatriotic criminals and at times are imprisoned for their beliefs. The fact that, according to the Constitution, only gold and silver are legal tender and paper money outlawed matters little. The principle of patriotism is turned on its head. Whether its with regard to the defense of welfare spending at home, confiscatory income tax, or an immoral monetary system or support for a war fought under false pretense without a legal declaration, the defenders of liberty and the Constitution are portrayed as unpatriotic, while those who support these programs are seen as the patriots.
2007 Ron Paul 55:22
If there is a war going on, supporting the states effort to win the war is expected at all costs, no dissent. The real problem is that those who love the state too often advocate policies that lead to military action. At home, they are quite willing to produce a crisis atmosphere and claim a war is needed to solve the problem. Under these conditions, the people are more willing to bear the burden of paying for the war and to carelessly sacrifice liberties which they are told is necessary.
2007 Ron Paul 55:23
The last 6 years have been quite beneficial to the health of the state, which comes at the expense of personal liberty. Every enhanced unconstitutional power of the state can only be achieved at the expense of individual liberty. Even though in every war in which we have been engaged civil liberties have suffered, some have been restored after the war ended, but never completely. That has resulted in a steady erosion of our liberties over the past 200 years. Our government was originally designed to protect our liberties, but it has now, instead, become the usurper of those liberties.
2007 Ron Paul 55:24
We currently live in the most difficult of times for guarding against an expanding central government with a steady erosion of our freedoms. We are continually being reminded that
2007 Ron Paul 55:25
Unfortunately, the policy that needed most to be changed, that is our policy of foreign interventionism, has only been expanded. There is no pretense any longer that a policy of humility in foreign affairs, without being the worlds policemen and engaging in nation building, is worthy of consideration.
2007 Ron Paul 55:26
We now live in a
2007 Ron Paul 55:27
Though the majority of Americans initially welcomed the declared effort to make us safe, and we are willing to sacrifice for the cause, more and more Americans are now becoming concerned about civil liberties being needlessly and dangerously sacrificed.
2007 Ron Paul 55:28
The problem is that the Iraq war continues to drag on, and a real danger of it spreading exists. There is no evidence that a truce will soon be signed in Iraq or in the war on terror or the war on drugs. Victory is not even definable. If Congress is incapable of declaring an official war, it is impossible to know when it will end. We have been fully forewarned that the world conflict in which we are now engaged will last a long, long time.
2007 Ron Paul 55:29
The war mentality and the pervasive fear of an unidentified enemy allows for a steady erosion of our liberties, and, with this, our respect for
2007 Ron Paul 55:30
Our enemies say, boo, and we jump, we panic, and then we punish ourselves. We are worse than a child being afraid of the dark. But in a way, the fear of indefinable terrorism is based on our inability to admit the truth about why there is a desire by a small number of angry radical Islamists to kill Americans. It is certainly not because they are jealous of our wealth and freedoms.
2007 Ron Paul 55:31
We fail to realize that the extremists, willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill their enemies, do so out of a sense of weakness and desperation over real and perceived attacks on their way of life, their religion, their country, and their natural resources. Without the conventional diplomatic or military means to retaliate against these attacks, and an unwillingness of their own government to address the issue, they resort to the desperation tactic of suicide terrorism. Their anger toward their own governments, which they believe are coconspirators with the American Government, is equal to or greater than that directed toward us.
2007 Ron Paul 55:32
These errors in judgment in understanding the motive of the enemy and the constant fear that is generated have brought us to this crisis where our civil liberties and privacy are being steadily eroded in the name of preserving national security.
2007 Ron Paul 55:33
We may be the economic and the military giant of the world, but the effort to stop this war on our liberties here at home in the name of patriotism is being lost.
2007 Ron Paul 55:34
The erosion of our personal liberties started long before
2007 Ron Paul 55:35
The true patriot challenges the state when the state embarks on enhancing its power at the expense of the individual. Without a better understanding and a greater determination to rein in the state, the rights of Americans that resulted from the revolutionary break from the British and the writing of the Constitution will disappear.
2007 Ron Paul 55:36
The record since September 11th is dismal. Respect for liberty has rapidly deteriorated. Many of the new laws passed after
2007 Ron Paul 55:37
The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with the constant drumbeat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who is now likely residing in Pakistan, our supposed ally, are ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own borders and support the inexorable move toward global government, hardly a good plan for America.
2007 Ron Paul 55:38
The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after
2007 Ron Paul 55:39
The PATRIOT Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and balances by giving the government the power to spy on
2007 Ron Paul 55:40
The attack on privacy has not relented over the past 6 years. The Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as the powers unconstitutionally granted to the executive branch are used and abused. This act grants excessive authority to use secretive military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the full discretion of the President and without the right of habeas corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA. It also gives to the President the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.
2007 Ron Paul 55:41
2007 Ron Paul 55:42
Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world have been widely engaged in, though obviously extralegal.
2007 Ron Paul 55:43
A growing concern in the
2007 Ron Paul 55:44
A national ID card is now in the process of being implemented. It is called the REAL ID card, and it is tied to our Social Security numbers and our State drivers license. If REAL ID is not stopped, it will become a national drivers license ID for all Americans. We will be required to carry our papers.
2007 Ron Paul 55:45
Some of the least noticed and least discussed changes in the law were the changes made to the Insurrection Act of 1807 and to posse comitatus by the Defense Authorization Act of 2007. These changes pose a threat to the survival of our Republic by giving the President the power to declare martial law for as little reason as to restore public order. The 1807 act severely restricted the President in his use of the military within the United States borders, and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 strengthened these restrictions with strict oversight by Congress. The new law allows the President to circumvent the restrictions of both laws. The Insurrection Act has now become the Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act. This is hardly a title that suggests that the authors cared about or understood the nature of a constitutional Republic.
2007 Ron Paul 55:46
Now, martial law can be declared not just for insurrection, but also for natural disasters, public health reasons, terrorist attacks or incidents, or for the vague reason called other conditions. The President can call up the National Guard without congressional approval or the Governors approval, and even send these State Guard troops into other States.
2007 Ron Paul 55:47
The American Republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our country eventually devolving into a military dictatorship, and few seem to care. These
2007 Ron Paul 55:48
Though welfare and socialism always fails, opponents of them are said to lack compassion. Though opposition to totally unnecessary war should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim that patriots who oppose the war are not supporting the troops. The cliche Support the Troops is incessantly used as a substitute for the unacceptable notion of supporting the policy, no matter how flawed it may be.
2007 Ron Paul 55:49
Unsound policy can never help the troops. Keeping the troops out of harms way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the only real way of protecting the troops. With this understanding, just who can claim the title of patriot?
2007 Ron Paul 55:50
Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world conflict for which we will be held responsible, or the liberties of all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has to be done. Time is short, but our course of action should be clear. Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes.
2007 Ron Paul 55:51
But let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the