Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Monday criticized the GOP and the DNC for throwing lavish conventions at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and knocked both parties for constantly referring to the U.S. as a democracy.
“Last week marked the conclusion of the grand taxpayer funded spectacles known as the national party conventions,” Rep. Paul’s statement reads.
“It is perhaps very telling that while $18 million in tax dollars was granted to each party for these lavish ordeals, an additional $50 million each was needed for security in anticipation of the inevitable protests at each event,” it adds.
However, as Rep. Paul notes, the fact that both conventions cost approximately $136 million is nothing when compared to the amount of debt the U.S. government has accumulated through reckless spending.
“Parties should fund their own parties, not the taxpayer,” the statement continues. “At these conventions, leaders determined, or pretended to determine, who they wished to govern the nation for the next four years amidst inevitable, endless exaltations of democracy.”
And it’s that “exaltations of democracy” that has Rep. Paul annoyed.
“[W]e are not a democracy. In fact, the founding fathers found the concept of democracy very dangerous,” the statement reads.
“Democracy is majority rule at the expense of the minority. Our system has certain democratic elements, but the founders never mentioned democracy in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence,” it adds.
Indeed, as the Texas congressman’s statement reminds us, the first amendment itself — technically speaking — isn’t “democratic.”
“[T]he First Amendment protects free speech. It doesn’t — or shouldn’t — matter if that speech is abhorrent to 51% or even 99% of the people. Speech is not subject to majority approval. Under our republican form of government, the individual, the smallest of minorities, is protected from the mob,” according to the statement.
Rep. Paul’s statement continues:
Sadly, the constitution and its protections are respected less and less as we have quietly allowed our constitutional republic to devolve into a militarist, corporatist social democracy. Laws are broken, quietly changed and ignored when inconvenient to those in power, while others in positions to check and balance do nothing. The protections the founders put in place are more and more just an illusion.
This is why increasing importance is placed on the beliefs and views of the president. The very narrow limitations on government power are clearly laid out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Nowhere is there any reference to being able to force Americans to buy health insurance or face a tax/penalty, for example … Because we are a constitutional republic, the mere popularity of a policy should not matter. If it is in clear violation of the limits of government and the people still want it, a Constitutional amendment is the only appropriate way to proceed. However, rather than going through this arduous process, the Constitution was in effect, ignored and the insurance mandate was allowed anyway.
This demonstrates how there is now a great deal of unhindered flexibility in the Oval Office to impose personal views and preferences on the country, so long as 51% of the people can be convinced to vote a certain way. The other 49% on the other hand have much to be angry about and protest under this system.
Very angry, indeed.
“We should not tolerate the fact that we have become a nation ruled by men, their whims and the mood of the day, and not laws,” Rep. Paul adds. “It cannot be emphasized enough that we are a republic, not a democracy and, as such, we should insist that the framework of the Constitution be respected and boundaries set by law are not crossed by our leaders.”
“These legal limitations on government assure that other men do not impose their will over the individual, rather, the individual is able to govern himself. When government is restrained, liberty thrives,” it concludes.
With Rep. Paul’s words in mind, and as Election Day draws closer, ask yourself this question: Out of the two men running for the highest office in the nation, who is most likely to expand/restrain the role government plays in the life of the U.S. citizen?
UPDATE — Apparently, I need to clarify this (I thought it would be understood): Out of the two men running for the highest office in the nation with a realistic and reasonable chance of winning, who is most likely to expand/restrain the role government plays in the life of the U.S. citizen?
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Front page photo source courtesy the AP. This story has been updated.