Ronald Ernest Paul, Sr. (born August 20, 1935 in Green Tree, Pennsylvania) is an American politician and physician who currently resides in Lake Jackson, Texas. He has represented the 22nd congressional district of Texas from 1976-1977 and 1979-1985, and has represented the 14th congressional district of Texas since 1997.
While Paul is a current member of the Republican Party, and has been elected as such to his congressional seats, Paul is noted for his libertarian philosophies, and was the nominee of the Libertarian Party's for President of the United States in the 1988 election, where he placed third.
After much speculation that he would consider seeking the Republican nomination in the 2008 election, Paul started an exploratory committee on January 12, 2007 and formally announced his intent to seek the nomination on March 12, 2007, during an episode of C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
Paul holds broadly libertarian beliefs: lower taxes, strong support for the Second Amendment and against bans or regulations on gun ownership, against the Real ID Act, the USA PATRIOT Act and government surveillance and invasion of privacy.
Paul supports stronger border and immigration control including the building of a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Many of his foreign policy positions, about which he has contributed to AntiWar.com, come from the paleoconservative faction of American Conservatism. Paul is in favor of immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
Paul's 2008 Republican presidential bid has been broadly welcomed by libertarians and more traditionalist conservatives alike, although both have expressed concern about some of his positions. Libertarians, for instance, found Paul's positions on border control and his vote for price negotiations for Medicare prescription drugs.
Traditional conservative views
Others have found Paul's relationship with the extreme wing of the Right, including the publication of racist views in political newsletters published under Ron Paul's name. Paul's statements on evolution and science education also led some to see him as being a risky choice for secularists and anti-war liberals, and possibly being a closet Christian Dominionist.
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: Debt and Taxes
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: The Second Amendment
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: Privacy and Personal Liberty
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: Life and Liberty
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: Border Security and Immigration Reform
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: Iraq
- Ron Paul 2008, Issues: War and Foreign Policy
- Brian Doherty, " Paul for President", Reason January 22, 2007
- Michael C. Moynihan (2 April 2010), "Political Promiscuities: Naomi Wolf and the "Patriot Movement"", Reason (magazine)
- CNN.com, "Ron Paul '90s newsletters rant against blacks, gays", January 11, 2008
- Liberal Values Blog, "Many Libertarians Shocked By Exposure of Paul's Relationship To Extremist Right", January 9, 2008
- Timothy Sandefur, "Is Ron Paul a Christian Dominionist?", October 18, 2007
- Timothy Sandefur, "More libertarian critique of Ron Paul", November 24, 2007