If former Congressman Ron Paul has retired, he sure has a funny way of showing it.
As he celebrates his 78th birthday, with a string of ongoing and upcoming projects, Paul's "retirement" is looking more and more like a full-time job. While congressional service may have provided the initial platform, Paul is now freed from the hyena's den, and his work outside of politics will prove to have a real lasting impact on public debate and on spreading an intellectual revolution.
Last week, Paul debuted his internet media outlet. The Ron Paul Channel is branded as an alternative to the corporate media, allowing viewers to watch his talk show-style program online, “When they want, where they want, and on the device they want: internet-connected televisions, computers, tablets, and smart phones.”
It is a subscription-based service offering three 30-minute shows per week. Since accessing honest information —and avoiding other spin — is one of the most important factors in changing minds and finding truth, it is worth every penny of the $10 monthly subscription.
And the first episode did not disappoint. Paul excoriated President Obama's use of drones and his dangerous foreign policy in general, arguing that continuously bombing countries like Yemen are counterproductive, kill lots of innocent people, and make us less safe. Paul discussed the evils of the drug war, critiqued the Federal Reserve, and interviewed Glenn Greenwald. All in under 40 minutes.
Here is Paul's interview with Greenwald where he calls him “the most important journalist in the world today” for his work on helping expose the surveillance state.
Paul has also started the Institute for Peace and Prosperity, an educational organization advocating a peaceful foreign policy and a defense of civil liberties. The institute features conservatives like Congressmen Walter Jones and John Duncan, libertarians like Judge Andrew Napolitano and Lew Rockwell, liberals like former Congressmen Dennis Kucinich, journalists and former chiefs of staff.
It is s a truly nonpartisan and principled opposition to the warfare state. The site features well-researched and sober analysis on the intricacies of the U.S. government's many, many wars overseas that is virtually unrivaled, complete with a "Neocon Watch" to keep tabs on the chicken-hawks.
Foreign policy has always been at the top of Paul's concerns over the decade. His defense of a non-interventionist foreign policy always takes center stage. Paul understands that war and empire are the biggest threats to liberty and constitutional government, and as our founding fathers argued, eat at the soul of republics. It is difficult to think of someone who has done more in the last few decades for the cause of peace and a sane foreign policy than Paul, a cause which even higher-ups in the military are realizing. The Institute is sure to continue this trend.
And even with this on his plate, Paul will also be releasing a new book later this month, The School Revolution, about finding alternatives to the many problems that government education has created. So much of the propaganda, lies, and half-truths that sanctify the power of the U.S. government and state power in general is imposed through an increasingly authoritarian "public" school system. Paul is also walking the walk, helping to formulate an incredibly affordable homeschool curriculum that will also be available to parents soon. More and more parents are already asserting their independence and authority by avoiding government schools. Paul's work will help spread further disengagement.
I firmly believe Paul ran for president with the expressed purpose of travelling around the country, from campus to campus, to give the largest speaking tour on behalf of peace and human liberty this country has ever seen. Paul, approaching 80, saw this as his last chance to reach as many people as possible.
With his TV channel, a foreign policy institute, and finding alternatives to state schooling, it's hard to see how anyone could think Paul has "retired." If anything, without the albatross of partisan bickering, Paul is free. Neocons and big government liberals may be wishing that Paul would ride off into that Texas sunset, but he will continue to be a thorn in their side.
Outside of politics, Paul, and the revolution he helped ignite, is here to stay.