A leading free-market politician and political leader of the free-market movement in the United States, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex) is also a medical doctor and a leading exponent of Austrian free-market economics. Dr. Paul retired from Congress in January 2013 after an unsuccessful run for Republican presidential nominee in 2012.
While Dr. Ron Paul came to politics somewhat later in life, Ron has had an enormous impact on American sociopolitical culture in the past ten years. The impact was initiated on a broad scale during Ron Paul's run for the presidency in 2008 when he competed with other candidates on the Republican ticket and received national airtime for his views.
For many Americans, this was the first time they had heard a message that was both anti-war and anti-state, yet delivered by a successful politician who had served his country in wartime and whose focus was on a strict interpretation of the Constitution. In fact, Ron Paul's insistence that Congress follow the Constitution in its legislative initiatives led to Dr. Paul receiving the moniker "Dr. No." Dr. Paul continues to refuse to accept the congressional pension to which he is entitled as a congressman, believing his acceptance of it would be "hypocritical and immoral."
After losing the 2008 Republican nomination to John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul founded the advocacy group Campaign for Liberty. Dr. Paul has also written several widely distributed books such as End The Fed and The Revolution: A Manifesto.
Ron Paul's enunciation of free-market themes on national TV came at a time when an economic downturn was beginning to be felt and when alternative media via the Internet had started to make a significant educational impact from a free-market point of view. All these elements contributed to raising Ron Paul's profile and turning him into a leader of a free-market thinking movement that is continually expanding as more and more dominant social themes become exposed and debunked.
By virtue of Dr. Paul's education in free-market Austrian economics, his friendship with such luminaries as economist Murray Rothbard of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and his formidable grasp of the history of free markets, Ron Paul was well-positioned to become a leading figure in a conversation over the resurgence of freedom in America.
Background: Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul, born August 20, 1935 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is a medical doctor who earned his degree in 1961 from the Duke University School of Medicine. After completing his medical internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, Ron Paul served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force from 1963 to 1965, and then served in the National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Following his military service, Dr. Paul and his wife, Carol, moved to Texas where he opened a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology, refusing to accept Medicaid or Medicare but offering lowered fees for services at times.
Ron Paul entered politics the day of Richard Nixon's abrogation of the gold standard in 1971 because of his alarm that henceforth "all money would become political money rather than real money." Paul became a delegate to the Texas Republican convention and ran as a US Representative, first winning election in a Special Election in 1976. In the next election he lost by 300 votes, but retook the seat in 1978, the first Republican to hold it, and was reelected in 1980, 1982 and 1984 and then again in 1996. Most recently, Dr. Paul served in Congress from 1997 until his retirement in 2013 after h ran as a Republican candidate for president in the 2012 election season.
Ron Paul ran for president on the Libertarian platform in 1988 before attracting a much bigger audience of supporters as, initially, a Republican candidate for president in 2008. As a congressman, Ron Paul remained active in DC Capitol Hill affairs despite his outside freedom-oriented activities. Ron Paul was a member of numerous committees, including the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee and the Committee on Financial Services.
As the founder of Campaign for Liberty, with hundreds of thousands of members, Congressman Ron Paul has become the leading political exponent of the free-market and constitutionalist movement in the United States.