WASHINGTON D.C., November 20, 2012 – Much has been said about the Republican Party and the future of conservatism. Historians, not political pundits or candidates, will write the final analysis of just what happened in this last election and what it meant or failed to mean for American democracy. But when all is said and done, there shall forever stand but one man in the Republican Party who, love him or hate him, forever changed the way America viewed itself and its place in the world: Ron Paul.
Paul’s retirement from the U.S. Congress leaves a gaping philosophical void in the House of Representatives that will be difficult to follow, if not impossible to fill by future legislators. His Republican caucus might not have always agreed with him and his critics may not have understood him, but Paul’s insistence on holding the line on America’s Constitutional principles and his advocacy for minimum government, maximum freedom brought virtue to a near-virtueless process and hope to an increasingly hopeless nation.
President Ronald Reagan once spoke of our nation’s advance to the stars through “teamwork and excellence” and said “we can be proud to say we are first, we are the best, and we are so because we are free.” If there were ever a member of Congress who embodied those words through his pursuit of liberty and the preservation of freedom, it is Ron Paul.
Paul was more than just a congressman; he was a philosophical representative of an entire generation of 21st century Americans and a hero of our Republic. While he can now begin a much-deserved retirement and ease from the competitive strife of politics, I think America should send off the Gentleman from Lake Jackson, Texas with a special honor: President Obama should make it his top priority in his second term to award Ron Paul with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Such a move would not only help mend the partisan November divide, it would give America a lasting example to follow.
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