Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul demonstrated how the perennial concept of liberty would be applied to modern America under his presidency — socially, economically and internationally — in a presentation at the Union Theater on Friday.
Paul visited the University to kick off the national Youth for Ron Paul movement.
A line of hundreds of Paul supporters waited outside for the presentation, and as soon as the auditorium filled to capacity, the crowd cheered until Paul took the stage to advocate restoring liberty to the country.
The best way to achieve prosperity is through true freedom, he said.
"I believe we have been an exceptional country," Paul said, and he added the nation could be exceptional again.
The "exceptional" aspects of the nation have been mitigated by the federal government, he explained.
Using food as an example, Paul said the federal government is regulating everything the American people consume.
"Why shouldn't you be able to make up your own mind?" he asked the audience.
Paul reserved extra criticism for politicians in Washington, D.C., and their interpretation of the Constitution.
"The parts they don't like, they totally ignore," he said, adding that those are "also the parts they don't understand."
Paul applied the idea of freedom to all facets of American life, namely economics.
"We need a new system of economics, absolutely," he said. "Freedom is economic liberty and personal liberty."
Upon mentioning economics, the audience began to chant, "End the Fed," one of Paul's slogans against the Federal Reserve.
Paul's conception of liberty and its place in American government also extends overseas.
"Ten years in Afghanistan is enough," he declared. "We should defend our country when we're under attack."
Not only does America's foreign engagement defy liberty, it defies the country's budget as well, Paul explained.
"As president, I would get out of those places and leave those people alone," Paul said.
Paul's discussion on what he called the nation's "domestic war" immediately evoked a response from the audience.
"The danger of the drug war is worse than the danger of the drugs," he chided to much applause.
Paul described the drug war as "prohibition all over again," and suggested politicians put the responsibility of drug awareness in the hands of the family and the individual.
Paul said he seeks to end the "interventionist plan" of economics and entitlements. While speaking of welfare programs and bailouts for banks and bankrupt nations, he said, "Eventually the burden comes back to the American taxpayer."
He also declared his support for the abolition of income taxes. Paul had to pause on numerous occasions to let the crowd quiet down.
"Now I know why my favorite place to campaign is college campuses," Paul laughed.
The energy of the crowd remained high throughout his speech, with some audience members even waving Ron Paul campaign signs.
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