Ron Paul was a guest on the regular Fox News pundit and former Saturday Night Live faux news anchor, Dennis Miller's, radio show yesterday (May 30th) for a brief interview with the master of obscure analogies and thunderous head ticks.
To stream the interview, or download it for free, click here for more information. Here is the transcript of the interview for those of us who have trouble listening to Dennis Miller's crippling voice:
Dennis Miller: This is Congressman Ron Paul, Republican from Texas, 2008 Presidential candidate. Congressman, welcome my friend.
Ron Paul: Thank you, good to be with you.
Dennis Miller: Pittsburgh boy, so am I!
Ron Paul: Oh! That's interesting!
Dennis Miller: So I know a little bit about the cut of your jib. I think I understand Pittsburgh guys to some degree, and I must say, I find that I agree with you on a lot of things, except for when we get to the war. But why don't we go through the other parts of the curriculum [indistinct] and we'll talk about war at the end. What do you believe? Why should you be the President Ron?
Ron Paul: I believe in limited government, I think the purpose of government is to protect liberty and not to run our lives, or run the economy, or police the world. I think you follow the Constitution; that is virtually what we were instructed to do.
Dennis Miller: Is it true that you only vote affirmative on things you can directly site from the Constitution; Is that true?
Ron Paul: That is true. That is my oath of office. Sometimes it bothers me because [chuckles] there are some things I'd like to do, and I can't do because I'm not authorized to do it. But I think you have to follow the rule of law. If you make exceptions for it, there's nothing left of the Constitution, and I'm afraid that's where we are today.
Dennis Miller: I see that in your life, even when you're in politics, you've delivered 4,000 babies! I always think a man who first presents life to the world, almost like a debutante thing with an umbilical cord [laughter]. When you bring life out like that, I always take people that's take on abortion seriously. I saw an interesting quote where you said 'if you abort a fetus on second beforehand it's legal, and one second after it's born it's murder'; and you find that strange right?
Ron Paul: Right. It's so inconsistent in that we're teaching our young people that, so the teenager that throws her baby away is doing something to her that's illogical, and she can be arrested. I think we have to resolve that. A lot of people don't think of abortion as being getting rid of a viable baby one second, or one minute, before birth, and yet afterwards it's considered murder.
Dennis Miller: I also saw an interesting thing that I liked where you said that government should protect property and not divide it up. Some of these eminent domain cases must be driving you up a wall, right?
Ron Paul: It's a bad trend, but I don't think we really own our property. We pay taxes, and it's sort of like paying rent. If you want to use it, you have to get a lot of permits from Washington on down to the local government. So, we don't really have control, yet it's been proven over many, many years that people who own property take a lot better care of the property than governments take care of it. If you look at Socialism, and the extremes of Communism, property wasn't taken care of.
Dennis Miller: Yeah, and it all goes to hell in a hand-basket because nobody has any personal pride.
Ron Paul: Right. And there's every reason to believe that the environment is better protected under private property rights, and you just have to recognize that we as property owners can't violate our neighbors property. We can't pollute their air, or their water, and we can't dump our garbage on their property, so private property rights is a very good way to protect the environment. Yet, too often conservatives and libertarians fall short on defending environmental concerns, and they resort to saying 'well, let's turn it over to the EPA; The EPA will take care of us. And then we can divide up the permits that allows you to pollute [laughter]'. So, I don't particularly like that method.
Dennis Miller: What about Hilary's quote the other day; send chills up your spine? The thing about the common good? Listen, I'm all for the common good, but that reeked of socialism to me.
Ron Paul: Yeah, the common good is what she wants, not what we want as property owners. She is to define what is the common good [chuckles].
Dennis Miller: Yeah, well you know the thing that bugs me about Hilary is her and Bill's been on the public's dime since day one. They've had all the trappings of wealth without any of the messy earnings that it takes actually. So, you know, whenever I hear her judging about wealth redistribution and that, I think 'well, can it get any more presumptuous than that?'.
Ron Paul: Yeah.
Dennis Miller: Alright, let's get to the war Ron; because here is where you and I go down to the same fork in the road and take the Virgin Pass. Gimmie your stance on it; I guess you just want us out of there tomorrow, right?
Ron Paul: Right, because I never wanted us to go in the first place. So, it's pretty easy to want to quit something that's not going well, when you didn't want it to happen in the first place.
Dennis Miller: What did you think was rotten in Denmark or in Iraq as they say? Why didn't you want to go? Didn't you think it was time to get it on with radical Islam?
Ron Paul: Well, no, not really. We had already been associated with radical Islam, because of the intervention that we had pursued before. We, at one time, were an ally of Osama Bin Laden; one time an ally of Suddam Hussein.
Dennis Miller: Yeah, but things can change in a millisecond, much less a decade.
Ron Paul: This on again, off again thing is what bothers me. It's a Constitutional issue as much as anything. The authority to go to war was transferred to the President; but only Congress should declare when we go to wars, so that bothered me a whole lot. And then the two reasons they gave, I thought, were not valid. One reason was Saddam Hussein was a threat to us, and I never believed that, and proved that he wasn't a threat; he didn't have an army or navy, and they were living in poverty. They couldn't even shoot down one of our airplanes.
Dennis Miller: What about bad intentions? I agree with you; like, we're not talking about looking down the way and seeing Roman Centurions coming at us, but I do think that to have, after 9/11, a sort of Damocles, a bad intention man, a possible expediter of terror. You know how Magic Johnson used to run the break and he was so great a dispersing the ball? I always thought this guy could help in that way. What about that we just had to take somebody who was not playing ball and smack him around to remind the world not to trifle with us. What about that? Isn't it important to look formidable again Ron?
Ron Paul: I think if he felt strongly about that you should go after the people who might have had something to do with 9/11.
Dennis Miller: Bush knows he had nothing. Play that clip, really quick, just to remind everybody. Bush knew there was no connection.
Nobody's ever suggested that the attacks of September 11th, uhhhh, were ordered by Iraq.
Dennis Miller: That's just the short of it. It had nothing to do with weapons; it just had, uh; America establishing that at some point there was a line that could not be crossed. That's the way I see it.
Ron Paul: Yes, and I understand the emotions, but the logic isn't there because I did support the authority to go in and go after Osama Bin Laden, who was in Afghanistan at that time, and yet we didn't pursue that, and we still aren't pursuing it, and he's in a so-called friendly country that we subsidize, who has nuclear weapons, and they're a military dictatorship, and that's in Pakistan. So, we ignore Pakistan, and we're over fighting a war that is going so poorly, and at the time there was no connection. Also, 15 out of the 19 (hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia; that government there is a protectorate of ours; we protect that government no matter what! So we went after the wrong people, and we've gotten ourselves really dug into a hole, which is about to spread into Iran. So those are the concerns I have. But the other reason, other than going after the weapons, the other reason given for this authority being given to the President, was the fact that we had to enforce UN resolutions. I don't think we should go to war for UN resolutions, and I don't think we should go to war unless it's declared. It turns out, that if you just look at history since World War 2, that when we go into wars carelessly, and we don't declare them, we do a very poor job in winning them. Here now we've been in Iraq longer than we were in World War 2, and I think it's because of our carelessness in how we go to war.
Dennis Miller: Ron, what if I told you that I believe we're going to be going to war for the next 50, 75, 100 years against radical Islam, and Iraq is the first tentative baby steps just inserting ourselves into the equation? I don't know what you think happens if we just come back here. Now paint the ideal scenario for me. The Mullah’s are mollified? Everything just goes away? Tell me what happens...
Ron Paul: If you understand what motivates suicide terrorism, you'll realize it's not radical Islam. The most motivating factor is that fact they are being occupied by a foreign force. They cannot mobilize, they cannot recruit. So we are serving the interests of Osama Bin Laden by him getting more recruits than ever before. Yes, there would be problems in the Middle East when we leave. Everybody knows we're gonna leave because we're gonna go broke; we won't be able to afford it! All empires end because they eventually go broke. But who knows, there may be a tremendous incentive for them to settle their disputes. Already there's a large number, it's not the majority of them, of the members serving in the Parliament, Sunni's and Shiites, that are talking to each other! And they're getting ready to vote to ask us to leave. The Arab League could fill the vacuum; and they offered some peace treaties with Israel that are very attractive; by recognizing Israel. All kinds of good things can happen.
Dennis Miller: I think it turns into a slaughterhouse.
Ron Paul: After Vietnam that did not happen, which what was predicted; we're trading partners and they're capitalistic now, more so than ever before! So, there's reason to be pessimistic.
Dennis Miller: What if I said that I think it turns into a slaughterhouse that's going to make the killing fields look like a glade in the forest? Let me ask you this; we pull out and within a month we notice that people are starting to be cleaved like a sie through wheat. How do you feel? Does it make you feel guilty, or...
Ron Paul: I would blame it on the people who wanted to go to war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally. They helped create the mess. AND (emphasis added) the people who predict that are the ones who predicted that he had weapons, that it was an easy target, that we'd get the oil, we'd pay all our bills and it'd be over in a couple months! And now, they were completely wrong on everything and now we're listening to them say "well, it's going to turn into a killing field!".
Dennis Miller: Alright, I've got 5 seconds here, I've gotta split. I appreciate your time and I wish you luck in your run.