Former Representative Ron Paul is arguably the leading proponent of liberty and pure Constitutionalism to have walked the halls of Congress in the past several decades. And though many of his supporters were pained to hear him announce his retirement from the Legislature, the bastion of liberty continues to build a legacy that has the potential to shape American politics for decades to come.
At the ripe age of 77, Paul has managed to do something most politicians can only dream of by building a relationship with America’s youth — mostly because the ideas he espouses are popular with the Nation’s younger set, despite having their roots in centuries-old political doctrine.
And unlike many of his Congressional contemporaries, Paul never seemed to have a problem with younger or more socially liberal Americans gaining footing within the Republican Party (likely because of his own libertarian makings). Instead of supporting a conservative ideal that flourished in the late 1980s and died with the Presidency of George W. Bush, like many other members of the GOP did, the former Representative set his sights on popularizing agendas that politics can actually have a hand in shaping. They are: sound fiscal policy, being the Nation the Founders envisioned and following the rules laid forth in the Constitution first and foremost.
Paul has now made clear that he intends to keep his Constitutionalist movement alive and healthy by doing everything he can to get his message out to generations of younger Americans. Recently, he announced that he would offer an alternative home-school curriculum focused on providing an education in liberty.
On Wednesday, the former Congressman unveiled his latest undertaking: a new think tank called the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. With the help of advisory and academic board members who have made notable contributions to the small-government movement, the organization will examine key political issues and give examples of how its members believe the United States could achieve better prosperity in the future.
Another aspect of the institute will be a Congressional grading system that ranks lawmakers by their support for peace and opposition to governmental tyranny on its website.
Paul writes in an introductory post on the think tank site: “As we see each new administration, regardless of claimed ideological or political differences, pursuing the same destructive policies abroad and trampling our civil liberties at home, we must now face the key issues of our time. The issues of war or peace, republic or empire, liberty at home or the encroaching police state, can no longer be ignored. We find ourselves at the edge of a precipice, where it is obvious that the failed policies of the past cannot be repackaged under a new name to solve our crisis today.”
The organization will also provide news and analysis about pertinent issues, encouraging younger Americans to make editorial contributions:
The Institute places special emphasis on education and on the next generations, with a foreign policy summer school for university students studying international affairs and journalism.
It will aggressively promote student writing on foreign affairs on its website and will launch a student writing award program to recognize the best of college journalism.
As Paul continues his push to educate more Americans about the intrinsic value of liberty, a handful of Congressional Republicans — among them his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — are pushing for changes that would make the GOP a Constitutional protector first and foremost. If the movement continues, major lasting political changes could be afoot.