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Ron Paul Attracts Hundreds at Carolina Coliseum

Ron Paul Attracts Hundreds at Carolina Coliseum
by Corey Hutchins, November 10th 09:45am

Hundreds of supporters from all over the Southeast turned out Monday night, Nov. 9, to hear Ron Paul give a lecture at the Carolina Coliseum. The conservative Texas congressman, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, spoke for nearly an hour. The event was sponsored by USC’s Honors College and the Carolina Debate Union, among other groups.

Paul’s speech, titled “The Politics of Tolerance,” came just weeks after South Carolina’s senior Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told a town hall group that he would not let Paul “hijack” the Republican Party.

A hero to advocates for limited government, the congressman drew a colorful crowd including one man who sported a bright yellow shirt with a Gadsden flag on the front and the word “Extremist” in black letters on the back. Outside, others waved “Ron Paul 2008” campaign signs that were re-worded to read “2012.”

South Carolina is an early presidential primary state, along with Iowa, where Paul is scheduled to speak at Iowa State University Nov. 13.

Some highlights of the speech:

On the Green Zone in Iraq:
“That’s where our military lives high on the hog. That’s where they have tennis courts and swimming pools and alcohol. And the Muslims, who now are starting to feel like maybe they have something to say about this, said no more alcohol in the Green Zone. And one of our officers said, ‘Well, it looks like we might as well go home.’”

On the healthcare reform package
“[It is] to take from one group and give to another. They call it free, of course. Of course, you know there is no such thing as anything really coming free, especially from the government. The government can only take from one group and give to another.”

On Austrian economics and the free market
“I would say that if we want to live in a free society … we should study Austrian economics, understand how it works and understand why it’s in the best interest of the people to believe in free markets because that’s where you get the greatest amount of prosperity and the best distribution no matter what they tell you about how much government you need to make it in their system.”

On individual liberty
“When it comes to individual liberty such as personal habits and how you spend your life and your time, sexual lives, gambling lives and all kinds of things that you might do personally, but it is always you that you’re hurting. There are some people who say ‘No, you can’t do that. We want to tell you exactly what’s going to make you a better person.’ So then another gang from Congress and Washington and politicians come in and say ‘A-ha! We’re going to make you a better person, we’re going to regulate your habits and regulate all your lifestyles. We’re going to regulate what you smoke and what you drink and everything else because you’re not smart enough to do that.’”

On wearing motorcycle helmets
“I think it’s a pretty good idea to wear a [motorcycle] helmet, but I would hope to think that people are smart enough to figure that out. But the reason you have to wear a helmet now is that you end up in the emergency room, it might cost some more and therefore the nanny state says you lose your personal choice.”

On ‘Cash for Clunkers’
“You’re taking the cars away from the poor people who might be able to buy them. And it turns out that most of the cars that were trashed were American cars and they all ended up buying foreign cars. It makes no sense. I would say that we as a people dealing with our own money can do a much better job.”

On the stimulus package
“Why couldn’t we have just suspended, at least, the income tax? Say ‘OK, folks, go to work and you don’t have to pay any taxes for the next two years’… It would have been a bigger stimulus … I think that would have been a much better way of dealing with it.”

On a dollar crisis
“Can you imagine what’s going to happen when there’s a dollar crisis and we’re in the midst of the dollar rapidly depreciating? That is big stuff."

On foreign policy
“We have a terrible choice in our foreign policy. We have two choices: we go to a country and they do exactly as we tell them and they’re obedient [then] we give them a lot of money. But if they don’t do it we send over the bombs. And I say there’s a third option: why don’t we just mind our own business and get along.”

On democracy
“[They say] we have to spread democracy -- even if it’s through the barrel of a gun. But democracy sometimes is a questionable decision to hold because democracy sometimes can backfire on you and when the majority becomes the dictator and takes away your rights it’s not such a great idea.”

On capitalism
“People say ‘Ahhh, this is proof capitalism failed.’ But I tell you what, that’s one argument we better learn how to refute. Because the free market hasn’t failed. I don’t particularly like the word ‘capitalism.’ I like to use the word [sic] ‘free market.’ Free markets haven’t failed.”

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