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Who is the figure in government or public service that you admire most?

Throughout this country’s history, at all levels of government, there are men and women that have dedicated their time, efforts, and reputations serving their community and the people they represent. Every day for centuries, public servants make sacrifices, many of which most people will never know, doing what they believe to be best to serve the community. Anyone willing to go through the stress and scrutiny of holding public office is one to be admired. In recent years, one man sticks out to me as admirable in national news: Congressman Ron Paul. It is not his specific views that attract me to him, but his character. No one can deny that his years of public service, his consistently principled beliefs, and his fight for a cause are characteristics to be greatly admired.

As a medical doctor from Texas, Paul gave of himself to help the community in any way he could, and when he saw his opportunity to help lead in public office, he took the chance. He has had a heart to serve others to the best of his ability. As a member of Congress for 12 terms, he has dedicated his life to do what he believes is in the best interest of the country as a whole, whether it is speaking out against the Federal Reserve or casting the only “No” vote in Congress. Paul has led by example, starting a movement for limited government consisting of people from all around the country and from every walk of life. As many of his supporters claim, Paul cured their apathy, creating a more actively engaged population, which should always be encouraged. I admire this trait because I believe it takes a strong and courageous person to put themselves out to the world.

Not only has Paul served for years, but he has served on principle. For the past thirty years, Paul has been consistent on almost every issue because he does not view each issue separately. He has had the same principle and he applies it to each case. Paul does not allow himself to be swayed by interest groups or lobbyists, but sticks to his beliefs and remains truthful to his oath of office. With all of the pressures to give in or compromise his values, Paul pushes against what is expected not just for the sake of being different, but because he feels he must, and he is never afraid to challenge the establishment when he feels they are wrong. I find it especially admirable that he is not afraid to stand alone and set himself up as an outsider because of his principles throughout all of his terms in Congress.

Paul is also working for more than just himself; he is fighting for a cause, for his constituents and the future of the country. It would be hard to believe that someone would be willing to go through the rigors of a dozen congressional campaigns and three unsuccessful presidential campaigns if one were not running for a cause. He has put himself in the public sphere to be scrutinized and criticized for what he believes is the best for the future of our country. His desire to improve what he sees as a broken system is an unselfish, pure-hearted mission that is not for his gain or benefit. At 76 years old, he cares more about the next generation and their hope and prosperity than his own. He considers the bigger issues and that is what I admire about him.

While Paul’s views can sometimes be seen as extreme or wacky, that does not mean that his character should not be admired. In fact, it is hard not to admire him when considering his dedication to public service, his proven track record of consistent principles, and his noble fight for a cause bigger than himself. These qualities make him an example to aspiring, young, political enthusiasts, like me. My admiration has led to me to stick to my principles and fight for a greater cause.