When people ask me why I joined the libertarian movement, there is one person who stands out as the driving force behind my passion—Ron Paul. It was in 2009 when my college roommate shared a YouTube video of his speech that I had my first encounter with this remarkable man. At the age of nineteen, my optimism about politics had already faded, shattered by the broken promises of the "Hope and Change" campaign by the Obama Administration in 2008. The war crimes committed during the Bush era and the erosion of our civil liberties under the guise of the war on terrorism left me feeling deceived.
Like many young voters, I had believed that Obama would bring back my friends from high school who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, their return revealed disillusioned individuals, mere shells of their former selves, who had enlisted for a cause that left them disheartened. Unfortunately, the wars persisted despite Obama's promises of their end, and our civil liberties were still under threat, as evidenced by the continued existence and weaponization of the Patriot Act against American citizens who dared to criticize the current administration. Moreover, the great recession of 2008 decimated opportunities for young individuals like myself as the government bailed out their wealthy associates in the banking industry, leaving a burden on the American people. This initial experience with voting and politics left me deeply disappointed.
Then, I discovered Ron Paul—a beacon of hope advocating for limited government intervention, free markets, and the protection of individual rights and liberties. Attending one of his speeches was a privilege, and a particular quote from him resonated deeply within me: "Why I think my message rings with the young men and women of this country is the idea of liberty is a fairly new idea, only a couple hundred years old... really the idea of liberty is young itself. The founding fathers were young men when they decided to write the Declaration of Independence; they felt the need to be in the driver's seat of their lives and that no man shall infringe upon the inalienable right given to us by our creator, just as you feel now in the modern-day era. What the young people have to do is to know, understand, study, and feel comfortable with the alternative to what we have—a free society—grasping what the Founders attempted to give us and what we have lost."
A Man of Principles:
At the core of Ron Paul's political philosophy lies a commitment to principles that have guided his actions throughout his illustrious career. With a keen eye for economic liberty, individual sovereignty, and non-interventionism, Paul has consistently advocated for limited government and a return to the principles enshrined in the Constitution. His unwavering stance on issues such as the gold standard, non-aggression, and the eradication of the Federal Reserve has earned him a place as the godfather of modern libertarian thought.
The Ron Paul Revolution:
No exploration of Ron Paul's legacy would be comprehensive without delving into the remarkable phenomenon known as the Ron Paul Revolution. During the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Paul managed to unite a diverse coalition of supporters who shared a profound belief in the importance of individual liberty and a deep dissatisfaction with the encroachment of big government. The Revolution's impact was felt at every level, from the passionate dedication of grassroots volunteers to the strategic utilization of social media and the internet as a modern-day equivalent of the printing press used during the American Revolution to spread pamphlets and promote ideas. Through avenues such as social media posts, YouTube videos, emails, and memes, the Ron Paul Revolution triggered a profound shift in American politics, firmly establishing Paul as a symbol of hope for libertarian ideals. With each passing election cycle, it
becomes increasingly apparent that our ideas are resurfacing and gaining traction within mainstream American culture.
The Passing of the Liberty Torch:
While Ron Paul may have retired from active politics, his impact is far from forgotten. Several organizations have emerged to carry forward his libertarian principles. The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, founded by Paul and his son Rand Paul, continues to promote a non-interventionist foreign policy and advocate for a more peaceful world. Additionally, Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty is actively working to educate and mobilize the next generation of libertarians, ensuring that the fight for liberty endures.
The Mises Caucus has also played a crucial role in organizing the Libertarian Party on a national level, adding legitimacy to the movement. Moreover, in 2022, the torch was passed down to me when I was nominated as the lieutenant governor nominee for the Libertarian Party of Nevada. Despite lacking financial support, my old college roommate and I managed to create a website and secure two interviews on news channels. Through our dedicated efforts, we garnered 12,000 votes, which proved instrumental in keeping the LPNV party on the ballot.
I am determined to run again with unwavering passion, aiming to spread libertarian ideas among my fellow Nevadans. I firmly believe that our message of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government influence on our day-to-day lives will resonate with the people. We must empower the government solely to protect our rights and civil liberties, just as our founding fathers intended. The American government exists to serve its citizens and protect their interests, not the other way around.