Disclaimer: the article is the sole opinion of the author, and makes no official statements regarding Ron Paul’s campaign or specific beliefs or doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsExplanatory
Note: Mormons or Latter-day Saints are Christians, but neither Catholic nor Protestant. As such, Ron Paul has a unique relationship to Mormon theology, doctrine, and lifestyle different from either Protestantism or Catholicism.
Ron Paul is the ultimate champion of agency and free choice. A key principle to Mormon theology is the importance of agency and free choice. Indeed, we are taught a war in heaven was fought over this concept, and that Lucifer sought to destroy the agency of man. His position is stated thusly: “Here am I, send me,…I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost.” (Moses 4:1) He and his followers were cast out of heaven, however, and agency ruled supreme. Thus we read that “Men are free according to the flesh…they are free to chose liberty and eternal life…or to choose captivity and death.” (2 Nephi 2:27)
What, you ask, does this have to do with Ron Paul the presidential candidate?
Taxation inherently decreases our agency. As more and more of our wealth and property is confiscated by central government authority and put to purposes we would voluntarily not invest in, our agency decreases. We have less money to work with, less time to do anything with it, and less places to put it. As government regulations, policies, programs, and laws increase, our agency decreases. As our government’s financial obligations (present and future) expand exponentially (think medicaid, Korea, or Social Security), our agency decreases, just as a debtor is tied down by his credit card bills. Less money is available for use elsewhere. We are getting further and further constrained in many different areas, and our agency is compromised as a result. A nine trillion dollar debt and tens of trillions of dollars of future financial obligations should leave no room for more deficit spending, especially with a weak dollar and a recession on hand. A true reduction in spending is required.
Ron Paul’s message is one of individual liberty, trusting the individual to make the choices with his time and money and well-being in greater independence than establishment candidates. One example is education. Ron Paul is strongly opposed to the Department of Education, and has publicly gone on the record for its abolition. He favors parental, rather than governmental bureaucratic involvement in education. He favors tax cuts and even credits for homeschoolers. He is open to the idea of local entities determining whether prayer in school should be permitted or not, not Washington bureaucrats.Ron Paul is staunchly (and consistently) pro-life. As an obstetrician who has delivered over 4000 babies, abortion seems anathema to him. He has favored ways to outlaw Roe vs. Wade with a simple congressional majority, leaving the states free to restrict or outlaw abortion as they see fit without a federal “one-size-fits-all” strong-handed solution.
Ron Paul is the ultimate champion of reducing the tax burden on families. In addition to going on the record for abolishing the IRS and Income Tax (replacing it with nothing), he has never, in twenty years in Congress, voted to raise taxes, not even once. He has pledged to veto any budget not balanced. He is the sole voice speaking out against the problems of inflationary, unchecked, runaway spending, which hurts lower and middle-class families the most (he calls it the hidden inflation tax). What’s more, he understands what causes it and has a clear-cut remedy for removing its bane from our society: abolish the source of inflation, the Federal Reserve. America got along just fine without a central bank, when money was backed by silver and gold, as specified in the Constitution, for over a hundred years.
Which brings me to my next point: Ron Paul is the ultimate champion of the Constitution, and has labelled himself thusly. He alone interprets the Constitution, which we believe has been established “According to just and holy principles” and “For the rights and protection of all flesh,” (D&C 101:77) as it was originally intended to be interpreted, as chains which bind government authority from the wiles of man. Unless expressly authorized by the Constitution, Congressman Paul will not vote for a new bill. This has earned him the nickname, “Dr. No,” for his constant opposition to unconstitutional governmental reach.
Ron Paul understands that power corrupts, and must be checked. Consider Ron Paul’s anti-war reasoning: “Too often wars boil down to their god against our God. It seems this principle is more a cynical effort to gain approval from the masses, especially those most likely to be killed for the sake of the war promoters on both sides who have power, prestige and wealth at stake.”
Compare this with Joseph Smith’s teachings that “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately being to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (D&C 121:39) Ron Paul has on several occasions self-effacingly said something to the effect of, “I’m nobody special, but this message is. That is why my campaign is attracting so much attention.” Such humility is rare among politicians. Ron Paul understands that power corrupts, and that the founders understood this as well, and hence they instituted limited central government with checks and balances.
Ron Paul is the ultimate champion of the environment. As Mormons, we are commanded to subdue the Earth, and to be wise stewards. Ron Paul understands that government ownership often results in disaster (think Katrina or government-owned Lake Erie in the 1960s). Only Ron Paul understands that private property rights are the basis for a true environmental movement, for real change. Environmentalists, however well meaning, who put their trust in the heavy-hand of government, have been disappointed time and again. One can consider recent failures to keep the Kyoto Protocol, for instance. Only individuals exercising agency in a free market environment have a true incentive to safeguard and preserve their property and resources for themselves and their posterity, including land, water, and air. When property rights are disrespected or unenforced, environmental problems inevitably ensue. Only Ron Paul really understands our environmental problems are governmental, not private, in nature.
In short, more than any other candidate of which I am aware, Ron Paul represents the views of the Founders of this great nation, inspired to create a land which would preserve for each American the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, without a heavy-handed, burdensome-tax-mandating large government to get in the way of one’s daily life.
I encourage everyone to visit http://www.ronpaul2008.com, and seriously and prayerfully consider supporting Ron Paul for President of these United States!