by Ron Paul: Census:
A Little Too Personal
is the foreword to Lies
the Government Told You
by Andrew P. Napolitano
Andrew P. Napolitano
is a true rarity among judges and media personalities: He is a passionate
defender of liberty who understands that the United States Constitution
puts strict limits on federal power. Judge Napolitano’s tremendous
knowledge of American law, history, and politics, as well as his
passion for freedom, shines through in Lies the Government Told
You, as he details how throughout American history, politicians
and government officials have betrayed the ideals of personal liberty
and limited government.
knows Judge Napolitano understands that he does not pull his punches
or excuse any constitutional violations in order to support any
group or political interest. Thus, Lies the Government Told You
explains how politicians of both parties have routinely disregarded
the constitutional limits on federal power and violated our natural
One of the
most important lessons Judge Napolitano teaches is how many shared
premises there are by advocates of big government from both the
right and the left. For example, Judge Napolitano exposes how both
the conservatives’ war on marijuana and the liberals’ war on tobacco
are manifestations of paternalism — the idea that government has
the legitimate authority to stop adults from doing bad things, like
smoking substances that politicians and bureaucrats do not approve
of. Of course, smoking, whether of marijuana or tobacco, does have
negative health consequences — but respecting the right of individuals
to be wrong, as long as they do not interfere with the rights of
others, is one of the pillars of a free society.
Government Told You also avoids the all-too-common error of
drawing a distinction between "personal" liberty and "economic"
liberty, and focusing on attacks on one type of freedom while ignoring
or even supporting attacks on the other category of liberty. When
the freedom movement began in the nineteenth century, supporters
of liberty, who were then known as "liberals," made no
distinctions between government actions that interfered with economic
liberties, such as laws infringing upon private contracts, and government
actions that restricted personal liberty, such as limits on the
freedom of speech. Supporters of liberty were also likely to understand
the grave threat posed to liberty and constitutional government
by a militaristic foreign policy. Thus, they were also supporters
in the Progressive Era, promoters of big government co-opted the
rhetoric of the promoters of freedom, even stealing the label "liberal."
Whereas liberal once referred to a supporter of freedom, beginning
in the Progressive Era, the term liberal began to refer to supporters
of the welfare state. The division between supporters of "economic"
and "personal" freedoms was accelerated by the Cold War,
when many supporters of free markets allowed their (justifiable)
loathing of communism to lead them to embrace militarism abroad
and limitations on personal freedom at home. Thanks to this division
between the supporters of personal and economic liberty, it is not
uncommon to find opponents of socialized medicine arguing for the
Patriot Act, and supporters of gun control arguing for free speech.
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is one of a growing number of Americans
who support liberty across the board. Thus, Lies the Government
Told You defends all of our freedoms. Readers of this book will
find eloquent defenses of private property, the right to keep and
bear arms, and attacks on excessive government regulations along
with defenses of free speech, and attacks on unconstitutional wars,
the drug war, and the Patriot Act.
of this book that is particularly important to me deals with monetary
policy. Anyone who has followed my career knows that exposing and
ending the damage done to our prosperity and freedom by the Federal
Reserve’s fiat currency system drives much of what I do. While there
is substantial literature explaining the myriad ways the Federal
Reserve damages our economy, there is not nearly as much writing
that explains how the Federal Reserve System violates the Constitution
and ties the Federal Reserve to the general assault on liberty waged
by Big Government. This book helps fill that gap.
As a congressional
representative from a Gulf Coast district who has seen how the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fails to live up to its promise
to provide assistance to victims of natural disasters in a timely
and thorough manner, I particularly enjoyed Judge Napolitano’s dissection
of the constitutional and practical problems with FEMA.
I have only
scratched the surface of the many virtues of this important work.
the Government Told You will provide those active in the
freedom movement with much-needed intellectual ammunition. This
book can also help open the eyes of those who are yet to recognize
the assault on our liberty by politicians and bureaucrats. I am
pleased to recommend this book to anyone who cares about the direction
of this country and wants to understand how we got where we are,
and what we need to do to regain our liberties.
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
Andrew P. Napolitano