Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-Republican who stirred up the 2008 GOP presidential primaries, is stepping back into the limelight with a new liberty agenda that calls for the elimination of the CIA and foreign aid, puts serious doubts on the impact of global warming, and calls for limiting the types of presidential powers that led former President George W. Bush to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We need to surrender our attachments to government in every aspect of life," he writes in his forthcoming book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential issues that Affect Our Freedom. "We need to give up our dependencies on the state, materially and spiritually. We should not look to the state to provide us financially or psychologically," he argues.
His is generally a leave us alone approach. "Let us give up our longing for welfare, our love of war, and our desire to see the government control and shape our fellow citizens," he said in an advance copy of the book.
Liberty is a natural follow on to his New York Times best-sellers The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed, and may be his opening shot for another bid for the presidency.
Much of his focus is on national security and the government's influence in American life. "We are policed everywhere we go: work, shopping, home and church. Nothing is private anymore: not property, not family, not even our houses of worship. We are encouraged to spy on each other and to stand passively as government agents scan us, harass us, and put us in our place day after day. If you object, you are put on a hit list. If you fight to reveal the truth, as WikiLeaks or other websites have done, you are targeted and can be crushed. Sometimes it feels like we are living in a dystopian novel like 1984 or Brave World," he writes. [See a roundup of editorial cartoons about WikiLeaks.]
A few highlights from the book due in bookstores April 19th, appropriately the anniversary of the first shots in the American Revolution War and the Oklahoma City bombing.
-- Close the CIA. He says it costs too much and does too little.
-- End foreign aid. "Foreign aid can best be described as taking money from the poor in a rich country and giving it to the rich and powerful in a poor country."
-- Junk the global warming scare. "The truth is, I don't know nor does any other human being know how much hydrocarbon energy is available worldwide. Not even Al Gore!"
-- End gun control efforts. "Gun control clears a path for violence and makes aggression more likely, whether the aggressor is a terrorist or a government."