Just under 10 years ago, Ron Paul took the floor of the US House and laid down a few predictions for the coming decade. Among them, these gems — remember, this was 2002, after the invasion of Afghanistan but before the invasion of Iraq.
- “During the next decade, the American people will become poorer and less free while they become more dependent on the government for economic security.” See: A long, steep drop in American’s standard of living.
- “Agitation for more class warfare will succeed in dividing us domestically.” Although Paul has been sympathetic to the Occupy Wall St. protestors, one could argue they are doing this trick in spades.
- “The United States, with Tony Blair as head cheerleader, will attack Iraq without property authority and a major war, the largest since World War II, will result.”
- “Erosion of civil liberties here at home will continue as our government continues to respond to political fear… by making generous use of the powers obtained with the Patriot Act.” The National Defense Authorization Act, everybody!
- To paraphrase Paul, government will grow to record levels, satisfying both left and right as liberals gain an expansion of the welfare state and conservatives see more security spending.
- A broad oil boycott hasn’t happened yet - and it’s unclear who is going to be imposing the boycott - but if Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for US sanctions boycotting Iranian oil, oil prices would skyrocket and you could count this one, too.
A few that are about halfway there:
- Paul says some “moderate Arab allies” will be overthrown by “Islamic fundamentalists.” While revolutions have come, they have not come at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists in most cases. Time will tell what governments emerge, but for this he’s perhaps half right.
- China will “align itself with the Arab nations” through arm sales and political support, Paul argues. Generally the US and China end up on opposite sides of Middle East issues - particularly Libya, for example - but Paul makes this connection seem that it will be much more forward than it currently is.
- “The Karzai government will fail and the United States will be forced to leave Afghanistan.” While the US is on the way out, you can’t say the Karzai government has actually “failed” - it still stands, though many critics would say it is so riven with corruption as to be largely ineffective.
- “An international dollar crisis will dramatically boost interest rates in the US. Price inflation with a major economic downturn will decimate US goverment finances and exploding deficits and uncontrolled spending.” Those higher interest rates may be coming, but for now the US isn’t in a dollar crisis and interest rates are at historic lows. However, deficits have grown.
- “Gold will be seen as an alternative to paper money as it returns to its historic role as money.” Gold prices have soared but it isn’t anywhere near returning to its “historic role.”
Why does all this matter?
In terms of his beliefs about how the world functions, it’s not hard to say that Paul is in a class by himself among the current GOP field in terms of his consistency.
As Shortformblog pointed out earlier from (BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski), John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign wrote the book on Mitt Romney’s changes of heart. Whether you think those alterations in Romney’s positions are real or not, they are definitely less stalwart than what Ron Paul has achieved over his long political career.