I congratulate our first African-American president-elect. Martin Luther King, Jr. certainly would be proud to see this day. We are stronger for embracing diversity, and I am hopeful that we can continue working through the tensions and wrongs of the past and become a more just and colorblind society. I hope this new administration will help bring us together, and not further divide us. I have always found that freedom is the best way to break down barriers. A free society emphasizes the importance of individuals, and not because they are part of a certain group. That’s the only way equal justice can be achieved.
We will face more tough economic problems during this new administration. In fact, the worst is yet to come. A vast amount of problematic mortgages have not begun to reset their variable interest rates and go into default. We already have unprecedented deficits, spending is out of control, and more big industries are coming to government with their hands out. My hope is that this administration will handle this economic crisis better than the interventionists and big government spenders of the 1930’s, the bureaucrats that prolonged the Depression. I hope that new government programs and spiderwebs of red tape do not pop up to interfere with American productivity, and that we can quickly get our financial footing again. We have to understand that an economic correction needs to take place and the only way out of the coming recession is to go through it. Efforts to avoid it can only prolong it. I hope we can somehow find our way back to sound money and reject corporate cronyism.
We cannot address our budget problems at home without changing our disastrous foreign policy abroad. I am hopeful that the new administration can take on the mantle of peace and diplomacy in foreign policy that many Americans feel they were promised. Many other nations also have this hope, which exudes from their congratulatory sentiments offered after the election. They hope that national sovereignty will be respected. They hope that through diplomacy violence and war can be averted. I hope so too. One thing is unquestionable: our aggressive foreign policy of the past has been costly, in blood and in treasure. Our treasure is running out, and fewer volunteers are stepping up to enable that foreign policy. So for these reasons, if we are to continue to have an all-volunteer military, and see prosperity again in the future, I have every reason to hope our foreign policy will change. In order for it to remain the same, mandatory military service would have to return, as well as accelerated theft through debt and inflation to pay for it. I have a hard time imagining popular support for these policies, simply for the sake of war and conquest, when we clearly want peace.
I have many hopes for the future in this time of transition. But I have seen this country face many forks in the road, and sadly take the wrong one too many times. We have heard a lot of talk, and it remains to be seen what actions and specific policies that talk will translate into. So while I may be hopeful, I remain deeply concerned about our future.
November 11, 2008
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.