Ron Paul

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(Wikipedia) - Ron Paul This is the latest accepted revision, accepted on 12 October 2014. Ron Paul Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas''s 14th district Preceded by Succeeded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas''s 22nd district Preceded by Succeeded by Preceded by Succeeded by Personal details Born Political party Spouse(s) Children Alma mater Profession Religion Signature Website Military service Service/branch Years of service Rank
In office January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2013
Greg Laughlin
Randy Weber
In office January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1985
Robert Gammage
Tom DeLay
In office April 3, 1976 – January 3, 1977
Robert Casey
Robert Gammage
Ronald Ernest Paul (1935-08-20) August 20, 1935 (age 79) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Republican Party (1956–1988, 1988–present) Libertarian Party (1988)
Carol Wells (m. 1957–present)
Ronnie Lori Rand Robert Joy
Gettysburg College (B.S.) Duke University School of Medicine (M.D.)
Physician Author Politician
Southern Baptist
United States Air Force Texas Air National Guard
1963–1965 1965–1968
This article is part of a series about Ron Paul
  • 2012 presidential campaign
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  • 1988 presidential campaign
  • Political positions
  • Electoral history
  • List of legislation sponsored by Ron Paul
  • Ron Paul newsletters
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Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American physician, author, and former Republican congressman, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election.

Paul served as the U.S. Representative for Texas'' 14th and 22nd congressional districts. He represented the 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and from 1979 to 1985, and then represented the 14th congressional district, which included Galveston, from 1997 to 2013. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012. Paul is a critic of the federal government''s fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve, the tax policy, the military–industrial complex, and the War on Drugs. Paul was the first chairman of the conservative PAC Citizens for a Sound Economy and has been characterized as the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party movement.

A native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pennsylvania, Paul is a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968. He worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist from the 1960s to the 1980s. He became the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a child in the Senate when his son, Rand Paul, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.

Paul is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns. Paul has written many books on Austrian economics and classical liberal philosophy, beginning with The Case for Gold (1982) and including A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), End the Fed (2009) and Liberty Defined (2011).

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would forgo seeking another term in Congress in order to focus on his presidential bid. On May 14, 2012, Paul announced that he would not be competing in any other presidential primaries but that he would still compete for delegates in states where the primary elections have already been held. At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Paul received 190 delegate votes. In January 2013, Paul retired from Congress but still remains active on college campuses, giving speeches promoting his libertarian vision.

  • 1 Early life, education, and medical career
  • 2 Early congressional career (1976–1985)
  • 3 Libertarian Party and ventures
    • 3.1 1985–1997
    • 3.2 1988 presidential campaign
  • 4 Later congressional career (1997–2013)
    • 4.1 Elections
    • 4.2 Tenure
    • 4.3 Committee assignments
  • 5 2008 presidential campaign
    • 5.1 2008 Republican primary campaign
    • 5.2 Refusal to endorse the Republican nominee
  • 6 2012 presidential campaign
    • 6.1 2012 Republican primary campaign
    • 6.2 Republican National convention
    • 6.3 Refusal to endorse the Republican nominee
  • 7 Political party identification
  • 8 Political positions
  • 9 Newsletters controversy
  • 10 Post-congressional career
    • 10.1 Ron Paul Channel
  • 11 Personal life
  • 12 Publications relating to Ron Paul
    • 12.1 Books
    • 12.2 Films
  • 13 Bibliography
  • 14 Other contributions
  • 15 References
  • 16 External links

Early life, education, and medical career

Ronald Ernest Paul was born on August 20, 1935, in Pittsburgh, the son of Howard Caspar Paul, who ran a small dairy company, and Margaret Paul (née Dumont). His paternal grandfather emigrated from Germany, and his paternal grandmother, a devout Christian, was a first-generation German American.

As a junior at suburban Dormont High School, he was the 220-yard dash state champion. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.S. degree in Biology in 1957.

Paul earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Duke University''s School of Medicine in 1961, and completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Paul and his wife then relocated to Texas, where he began a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology.

Early congressional career (1976–1985)

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek''s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics.

When President Richard Nixon "closed the gold window" by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar''s loose association with gold on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.


In 1974, incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him for the 22nd district. President Gerald Ford later appointed Casey to direct the Federal Maritime Commission, and Paul won an April 1976 special election to the vacant office after a runoff. Paul lost the next regular election to Democrat Robert Gammage by fewer than 300 votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch, and was reelected in 1980 and 1982. Gammage underestimated Paul''s popularity among local mothers: "I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he''d delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner."


Paul served in Congress three different periods: first from 1976 to 1977, after he won a special election, then from 1979 to 1985, and finally from 1997 to 2013.

In his early years, Paul served on the House Banking Committee, where he blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation and spoke against the banking mismanagement that resulted in the savings and loan crisis. Paul argued for a return to the gold standard maintained by the US from 1873–1933, and with Senator Jesse Helms convinced the Congress to study the issue. He spoke against the reinstatement of registration for the military draft in 1980, in opposition to President Jimmy Carter and the majority of his fellow Republican members of Congress.

During his first term, Paul founded the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE), a non-profit think tank dedicated to promoting principles of limited government and free-market economics. In 1984, Paul became the first chairman of the Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a conservative political group founded by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." CSE founded the Tea Party movement in 2002, but it did not catch on. In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy being renamed as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity. The two organizations would become key players in the Tea Party movement from 2009 onward.

Paul proposed term-limit legislation multiple times, while himself serving four terms in the House of Representatives. In 1984, he decided to retire from the House in order to run for the U.S. Senate, complaining in his House farewell address that "Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare.... It''s difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic." Paul lost the Republican primary to Phil Gramm, who had switched parties the previous year from Democrat to Republican. Another candidate of the senatorial primary was Henry Grover, a conservative former state legislator who had lost the 1972 gubernatorial general election to the Democrat Dolph Briscoe, Jr.

On Paul''s departure from the House, his seat was assumed by former state representative Tom DeLay, who would later become House Majority Leader.

Libertarian Party and ventures 1985–1997

Following the loss of the 1984 senate race, Paul returned to his obstetrics practice and took part in a number of other business ventures. Along with his former congressional chief of staff, Lew Rockwell, Paul founded a for-profit enterprise, Ron Paul & Associates, Inc. (RP&A) in 1984, with Paul serving as president, Rockwell as vice president, Paul''s wife Carol as secretary, and daughter Lori Pyeatt as treasurer. The company published a variety of political and investment-oriented newsletters, including Ron Paul Freedom Report and Ron Paul Survival Report, and by 1993 was generating revenues in excess of $900,000.

Paul also co-owned a mail-order coin dealership, Ron Paul Coins, for twelve years with Burt Blumert, who continued to operate the dealership after Paul resumed office in 1996. Paul spoke multiple times at the American Numismatic Association''s 1988 convention. He worked with his Foundation for Rational Economics and Education on such projects as establishing the National Endowment for Liberty, producing the At Issue public policy series that was broadcast on the Discovery Channel and CNBC, and continuing publication of newsletters.

1988 presidential campaign Main article: Ron Paul presidential campaign, 1988

Paul resigned from the Republican Party in 1987 and launched a bid for the presidency running on the Libertarian Party ticket. His candidacy was seen as problematic because of the party''s long support for freedom of choice on abortions. Native American activist Russell Means emphasized that he was pro-choice on the abortion issue. In a forum held prior to the nomination, Means dismissed the greater funds raised by Paul''s campaign, commenting that Means was receiving "10 times more press" than the former Congressman and was therefore "100 times more effective".

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul was on the ballot in 46 States, scoring third in the popular vote with 432,179 votes (0.5%). Paul was kept off the ballot in Missouri, due to what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch termed a "technicality," and received votes there only when written in, just as he did in North Carolina.

According to Paul, his presidential campaign was about more than obtaining office; he sought to promote his libertarian ideas, often to school and university groups regardless of vote eligibility. He said, "We''re just as interested in the future generation as this election. These kids will vote eventually, and maybe, just maybe, they''ll go home and talk to their parents."

Paul considered campaigning for President during 1992, but instead chose to endorse Pat Buchanan that year, and served as an adviser to Buchanan''s Republican presidential primary campaign against incumbent President George H. W. Bush.

Later congressional career (1997–2013)An earlier congressional portrait of PaulElections For more details on this topic, see Texas''s 14th congressional district.1996 campaign

During 1996, Paul was re-elected to Congress after a difficult campaign. The Republican National Committee endorsed incumbent Greg Laughlin in the primary; Paul won with assistance from baseball pitcher, constituent, and friend Nolan Ryan, tax activist and publisher Steve Forbes and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan (both of whom had had presidential campaigns that year). Paul narrowly defeated Democratic attorney Charles "Lefty" Morris in the fall election, despite Morris'' criticism over controversial statements in several newsletters that Paul published.


In 1998 and 2000, Paul defeated Loy Sneary, a Democratic Bay City, Texas, rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge. In the 2008 Republican primary, he defeated Friendswood city councilman Chris Peden, with over 70 percent of the vote and ran unopposed in the general election. In the 2010 Republican primary, Paul defeated three opponents with 80 percent of the vote.

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would not seek re-election to the House in order to pursue the 2012 presidential election.

TenureLegislationMain article: List of legislation sponsored by Ron Paul

Of the 620 bills that Paul had sponsored through December 2011, over a period of more than 22 years in Congress, only one had been signed into law – a lifetime success rate of less than 0.3%. The sole measure authored by Paul that was ultimately enacted allowed for a federal customhouse to be sold to a local historic preservation society (H.R. 2121 in 2009).

By amending other legislation, he has helped prohibit funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification, International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation with any U.N. global tax, and surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.


Paul was honorary chairman of, and is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee that describes its goal as electing "liberty-minded, limited-government individuals". He is an initiating member of the Congressional Rural Caucus, which deals with agricultural and rural issues, and the 140-member Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.

Committee assignments

Paul served on the following committee and subcommittees.

  • Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade
  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

With the election of the 112th Congress, and a resulting GOP majority in the House, Paul became the chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology starting in January 2011.

Paul''s congressional career ended on January 3, 2013 with the swearing in of the 113th Congress.

2008 presidential campaignPaul being interviewed the day of the New Hampshire primary in ManchesterMain article: Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2008 See also: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2008 2008 Republican primary campaign

Paul formally declared his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on March 12, 2007, on C-SPAN. Few major politicians endorsed him, and his campaign was largely ignored by traditional media. However, he attracted an intensely loyal grassroots following, in large part energized by "iconoclastic white men" interacting through internet social media. In May 2007, shortly after the first televised primary debates, the blogs search engine site listed Paul''s name as the term most frequently searched for; and Paul''s campaign claimed that Paul had more YouTube channel subscribers than Barack Obama or any other candidate for president. For a candidate who had had relatively low national name recognition prior to entering the race, Paul did surprisingly well in fundraising, taking in more money than any other Republican candidate in the fourth quarter of 2007, as the primary season headed into the Iowa caucuses.

Despite benefiting from large numbers of campaign contributions from individual donors, and the efforts of tech-savvy supporters determined to keep his name a frequent topic of discussion on the internet, over the course of the campaign Paul was unable to translate the enthusiasm of his core supporters into large enough numbers of actual primary votes to unseat his rivals.

Paul came in 5th place in both the January 4 Iowa caucuses (10% of votes cast) and the January 8 New Hampshire primary (8%). With the exception of the Nevada caucuses January 19, where he came in 2nd (14%) behind Romney (51%), he did little better through the rest of January: Michigan 4th (6%), South Carolina 5th (4%), Florida 5th (3%). On SuperTuesday, February 5, he placed 4th in almost every state, generally taking in a mere 3–6% of the votes although he did better in the northern states of North Dakota (21%, 3rd place) and Montana (25%, 2nd place).

By March, front-runner John McCain had secured enough pledged delegates to guarantee that he would win the nomination, and Romney and Huckabee had both formally withdrawn from the race. Paul, who had won no state primaries, knew that it was now mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination, as he had captured only 20 – 40 pledged delegates compared to more than 1,191 for McCain, yet he refused to concede the race and said that it was unlikely that he would ultimately endorse McCain. Over the next few weeks, Paul''s supporters clashed with establishment Republicans at several county and state party conventions over state party rules, the party platforms, and selection of delegates for the national convention. In one of the more dramatic moments, Nevada''s state party leaders, outmaneuvered by Paul supporters at the state nominating convention, resorted to the highly unusual measure of prematurely and abruptly shutting down the convention before selecting national delegates, with a plan to reconvene at a later date.

On June 12, 2008, Paul finally withdrew his bid for the Republican nomination. He later said that one of the reasons he did not run in the general election as a third-party candidate, after losing the primaries, was that, as a concession to gain ballot access in certain states, he had signed legally binding agreements to not run a third-party campaign if he lost the primary. Some of the $4 million remaining campaign contributions was invested into the new political action and advocacy group called Ron Paul''s Campaign for Liberty.

Refusal to endorse the Republican nominee

At a September 10, 2008, press conference, Paul announced his general support of four third-party candidates: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party); Bob Barr (Libertarian Party); Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party); and Ralph Nader (independent). He said that each of them had pledged to adhere to a policy of balancing budgets, bringing the troops home, defending privacy and personal liberties, and investigating the Federal Reserve. Paul also said that under no circumstances would he be endorsing either of the two main parties'' candidates (McCain – Republican Party, or Obama – Democratic Party) because there were no real differences between them, and because neither of them, if elected, would seek to make the fundamental changes in governance that were necessary. He urged instead that, rather than contribute to the “charade” that the two-party election system had become, the voters support the third-party candidates as a protest vote, to force change in the election process. Later that same day, Paul gave a televised interview with Nader saying much the same again.

Two weeks later, "shocked and disappointed" that Bob Barr (the Libertarian nominee) had pulled out of attending the press conference at the last minute and had admonished Paul for remaining neutral and failing to say which specific candidate Paul would vote for in the general election, Paul released a statement saying that he had decided to endorse Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate, for president.

Paul withdrew from active campaigning in the last weeks of the primary election period. He received 42,426 votes, or 0.03% of the total cast, in the general election.

2012 presidential campaign Main article: Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012

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