Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul participated Thursday in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, the second he has given since 2009.
Here are the top 10 most interesting responses from the former Republican presidential candidate (in no particular order):
Question (via ianp): “What are your thoughts on Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general?”
My thoughts on Bitcoin and the other currencies is that they ought to be legal unless there is fraud involved. The government should not get involved in regulating private money if there is no fraud. I do not take a position on Bitcoin and other proposed currencies in a technical fashion, but I understand the political ramifications of them and I think that government should stay out of them and they should be perfectly legal, even though I don't endorse (technically) one over another.
9. Obama As President
Question (gerudo_pirate): “Dr. Paul, if you could reverse one decision Obama made in office, which would it be and why?
Taking his oath of office! No, I don't have any one because I believe he is just continuing a process that has been going on for a hundred years of government ever-growing. So there is no one thing that he has done other than (in a very general sense) continue the process. Continue the wars, continue the attack on our liberties - so it has to be a broad answer. Sometimes people would like me to say just one thing like "Obamacare" but it's not just one thing. It's the continuation of Big Government and the attacks on our personal liberties.
8. Ron Paul 2016?
Question (via ManWithoutModem): “Do you have any plans for running for Presidency of the United States of America in 2016?”
No I do not. I do not have any plans like that. I am going to pursue what I have been doing since the 1970s which is to promote the cause of liberty - the format and the technique will be different. But I have done the same thing for many years, but I have no plans to run for office at this time.
7. Net Neutrality
Question (via Goldmine44):
While you were a congressman, you voted against an amendment that would have solidified net neutrality into law. As you would expect, many people on this website would be in favor of such a measure, so can you explain why you ultimately decided to vote against this? I understand that you may not remember this particular vote, but I have heard you've been against net neutrality in the past, so I'm just curious as to why.
Well, it's a complex issue, but I saw that legislation as an intrusion and controlling the internet - and that's been my promise to do anything and everything to keep the government out of doing ANYTHING with the internet, and not giving any one group or any one person an advantage on the internet. But I will admit it was a complex issue.
6. Snowden and Manning
Question (via JasonGD1982):
My question is with Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning exposing government abuses, and subsequently being hunted - and prosecuted in Manning's case - what do you think needs to be done to protect whistle blowers?
Well they obviously ought to be protected and politicians pay lip service to that and pass laws to protect whistleblowers - but then they disobey the law, disobey the Constitution, and arrest people who actually reveal the truth. The only way that it can work is that the people themselves have to want the truth and tolerate the truth and understand that whistleblowers are trying to help us and not believe the propaganda of those who are trying to defend the Empire.
There's a saying that I use quite often - "Truth becomes Treason in an Empire of lies." It's a change in attitude where people don't want to live in an empire, or with a government that is abusing our rights or pretending to police the world and doing all these wonderful things. So we should do everything we can to protect the whistleblowers, but we need better people in government to achieve that.
Question (via The_Jakebob): “…what's your position on legalizing marijuana?”
My position on marijuana has not changed for a long time, but the position has always been that it should be legal and there should be no criminal penalties at all for the use of it. When people do things that may harm themselves, the government should not be involved, therefore I do not believe in any drug laws. If there is going to be any regulation at all, it should be at the state level. The federal government should not be engaging in a war against drugs.
Fortunately, the people are waking up and the states are rebelling, and I think that at some point in the near future there will not be much enforcement of the federal laws against marijuana.
4. End the Fed
Question (via rolldownthewindow):
Would you prefer to have the Federal Reserve powers returned to the United States Congress and have congress control the money supply and interest rate, or would you rather those powers be left to the free market and have private competing currencies?
The second. I would allow the market to do it. I would not trust Congress either. But the guidance can come from our Constitution, because it says we are not allowed to print money and only gold & silver can be legal tender and there is no authority for a central bank. But I like the idea of competing currencies, especially in a transition period, because it would be hard to take what we have today and suddenly have a gold standard without some problems.
3. God and Man
Question (via AlphaWolf101): “… can you give us an official response on your stance of separation of church and state?”
Yes. The church should never run the state. They should never be synonymous. And the state should never interfere with the church. The responsibility of the government should be to protect the right to free choice, whether it is religion, philosophy, or our personal habits.
2. The Tea Party, the Future of GOP, and...Anti-Semitism?
Question (via 316nuts):
The Tea Party had so much steam in 2010. Everyone was afraid of the Tea Party's political influence. Everything fell apart by 2012 and the GOP blew the Presidential election. What went wrong and what will you do to regain and maintain political relevance?
Separately, what is your response to the charges that you're speaking at an "anti-Semetic" conference?
Well I don't deal with the Tea Party (or the Republican party or any of that) per se, we must deal with the idealogy [sic] of the concept of liberty. The Tea Party was actually started during the Ron Paul presidential campaign in 2007 when there was a spontaneous moneybomb that was done on the anniversary of the original tea party. And it was strictly related to the issues and ideas I have just finished talking about. What happened after that was that a lot of people came onboard - including Republicans - who watered down some of the beliefs, and certainly changed the opinion of some on foreign policy so that the original Tea Party movement was taken over by the Republican Party, which I think was part of the problem.
You know, I read about that yesterday. I have not read the article that was written so I was pretty surprised about this. I recall when I received the invitation from my speaker's bureau about this group that was strongly anti-war and they wanted me to speak to a Conservative Catholic Group about non-interventionist foreign policy and I said "wow, that sounds right up my alley." The topic I was planning to talk on was "Peace, Prosperity and Tolerance."
The article that came out yesterday is disturbing, and I have not read it yet, but the question is raised - exactly who is making the allegations. I have not yet sorted it out, and it makes me uneasy, but frequently the opposition uses tactics which are pure demagoguery and falsehoods, so I'm looking into it. The problem there is: should one be intimidated by someone who is saying something true or saying something false to undermine an individual like myself who preaches a message of tolerance and peace?
1. The “Wildcard” Question
Question (via gerudo_pirate): “Dr. Paul, what is the bravest thing you've ever done?”
To tell you the truth, I've never thought about it. I've never thought of me doing a whole lot that I would categorize as brave. Other people have said that what I do standing up to the establishment and speaking my piece of mind and not backing down as being something brave, but I don't think of it in that manner. So I don't have a good answer for that, but I appreciate it when people compliment me on sticking to my principles.
You can check out the full thread here.
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