EXCLUSIVE: Ron Paul’s revolution continues (interview)
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 ― Since leaving the House of Representatives, former 12-term representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul has not slowed down. He has released a new educational curriculum for homeschoolers, opened a new Institute that focuses exclusively on foreign policy, and continues to speak across the country at college campuses to students eager to hear his philosophy of liberty.
Kevin Kelly: Discuss your homeschooling curriculum and undertakings. Why is homeschooling important to you?
Ron Paul: I have always supported the right of individuals to “opt-out” of the government education system. Our public education system is failing, and homeschooling is one of many options for parents to have more control over their children’s education. My homeschool curriculum emphasizes individual liberty and responsibility, ideas that are often lost in traditional public schools.
Kelly: You recently announced the opening of a new Institute that deals exclusively with foreign policy. Why have you decided to undertake a project like that?
Paul: Foreign policy has always been an important issue for me. Our military is stretched too thin around the globe, and our constant interference in the affairs of other countries actually makes us less safe. I have always advocated the same foreign policy that our founders did: non-interventionism. We must promote free trade with other nations but not get involved in their internal affairs. The Institute will help me actively promote this type of restrained foreign policy, which I believe growing numbers of Americans are looking for from their leaders after years of war.
Kelly: I’d like to discuss some issues that specifically deal with foreign policy. Following the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez there has been some discussion on future Venezuelan/America relations. What was your reaction to the death of Chavez, what are your thoughts on the new government led by Maduro, and what is your reaction to the suggestion that America is still trying to destabilize Venezuela?
Paul: A humble, non-interventionist foreign policy defends the United States and doesn’t get involved in the internal affairs of other nations. My prescription for Venezuela follows these guidelines: I believe we should stay out of it and mind our own business.
Kelly: What are your thoughts on the new claims made by the Obama Administration that the Syrian government has chemical weapons?
Paul: Politicians in Washington are advocating arming the Syrian rebels, yet we don’t even know who these individuals are! There is evidence the Syrian rebels are associated with al-Qaeda. They could end up being worse than Assad and causing more destruction for their own people. Getting involved will likely turn out badly; plus, we simply don’t have the money.
Kelly: President Obama claimed once again that he will attempt to close Guantanamo Bay. What was your reaction to his comments and what are your thoughts on the ongoing hunger strikes?
Paul: I have always thought that Guantanamo Bay was a bad idea. President Obama ran on closing it, but has yet to do so. Now he says again that he is going to close it. Personally, I will believe it when I see it. We should not be keeping anyone indefinitely locked up without charges and without a trial. If they are accused of terrorism, then they should be charged and tried.
Kelly: Why do you believe that whenever anyone attempts to explain why our overseas interventions have the potential to trigger future blowback against the United States they’re personally attacked?
Paul: Blowback is a very real phenomenon that even our CIA admits exists. It happens when the United States’ involvement in the affairs of other countries generates an adverse reaction against the U.S. by the people of that country. Iran provides one example. In the 1950s, we overthrew their leader and replaced him with a dictator who was terrible to the people. The reaction came in 1979 with the taking of our hostages. Those who support these types of interventions do not want to believe they cause people in other countries to resent us, because they know that if the American people understood blowback, they would be less supportive of our interventionist foreign policy. However, I believe that more and more Americans are realizing that an interventionist foreign policy breeds hostility. As these wars drag on, they’re coming to see that we can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman.
Kelly: Shifting to civil liberties, what were your thoughts concerning the revelation that the Boston bombing suspect was denied his Miranda rights after he was arrested?
Paul: It sets a dangerous precedent anytime a suspect, especially an American citizen on U.S. soil, is not immediately read his Miranda Rights.
Kelly: You’ve publically spoken out against the detention of Army Private Bradley Manning who leaked thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks. What are your thoughts on his continuing imprisonment, and what do you believe will be the future of Julian Assange and Wikileaks?
Paul: I am greatly concerned about Private Manning’s long imprisonment. The government argues that his actions created a national security threat, but refuse to let the American people know any details of the case.
Kelly: Finally, with so much uncertainty in the world, what advice would you give to the young people of this nation/generation?
Paul: My visits to college campuses give me the most hope for the future of the country. I am often overwhelmed by the number of young people who are passionate about liberty, and I encourage them to get involved and stay involved. Even if it is just at the local or county level, there are always opportunities to promote liberty in your community.