Tiger Take-off




Paul speaks at Campbellsville University on importance of and liberty and virtue

During a recent talk at Campbellsville University, U.S. Senator Rand Paul told CU students, if they work hard and receive their degree, they will be successful. Photo/Gerard Flanagan

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – U.S. Senator Rand Paul makes his way across the Commonwealth of Kentucky to speak to believers and speak on university campuses. He has one question he often poses to those audiences: “Are liberty and virtues necessary?”

“Our Founding Fathers really thought you needed both,” Paul said at Campbellsville University’s The Gheens Recital Hall. “They thought that democracy required virtue.”

During his address to members of the Campbellsville University community, Paul quoted from Don Devine, a Raegan administration official, who wrote, “Freedom needs tradition for law and order for inspiration.”

Paul explained, “For tradition, I think he’s referring to faith, to learning through religions, to the stability of things passed down to the ages of world code. But he also says the tradition of freedom of faith also needs the freedom of people to choose the idea of free will, to escape stagnation, coercion and decline.”

Paul also compared the American and French revolutions, asking, “How did one end so badly and one end so well?”

“The main thing is we didn’t throw out our faith,” Paul said. “We didn’t throw out our moral code.”

Going back to the Magna Carta, Paul said there has been a “1,000-year long struggle of people from Western civilization and our country trying to limit central power, always worried about one person having too much power.”

Paul discussed the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the use of emergency powers as a modern-day example of that struggle and said, “Power should not be centralized in one person.”

“For the most part, we’ve made it where laws in our country are created by legislatures, not by people,” Paul said, “so when we got into the pandemic, and edicts came down from the governor, the edicts were permanent, and there was no way to change them. The legislature wasn’t in session.”

According to Paul, the emergency powers originally given for any governor to utilize were meant for situations like a natural disaster and were for a defined period of time.

But, instead, Paul said, “We never sort of envisioned an emergency would be that one person would say your restaurant can’t be open, your gym can’t be open, your hotel can’t be open, or they can be under certain restrictions that one person creates. Typically, laws are created by the legislature.”

And, he emphasized, he supported the Kentucky legislature’s decision to curtail those emergency powers.

“I can promise you I see this completely outside partisanship,” Paul said. “I don’t care whether it’s Republican or Democrat governor. If it had been a Republican governor, I would have voted for what the legislature did.”

Paul emphasized the importance of checks and balances by reminding his audience about the difference between a direct democracy and a constitutional republic.

“And there’s a big difference because, in a direct democracy, it’s like you all get together and decide to string people up because they look guilty,” Paul said. “Majority rule by a government unbounded by a set of principles and rights that most of us believe came from our Creator is also a bad thing.”

Paul mentioned examples of a decision by the Kentucky legislature in 1895 to segregate Berea College, which had been integrated in the 1850s and an ordinance passed by the city of Louisville in the mid-1910s that said a black person couldn’t sell a house to a white person and vice versa – an ordinance eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.

Paul encouraged his audience not to fall for groupthink or the thought that a consensus believes a certain thing to be right.

“Well, think what the consensus was in 1898 when you have the decision that comes forward that separate but equal is fine,” Paul said. “You have one person, you have Justice Harlan, that says that’s not fine, that civil rights and government should be colorblind, and yet he stood up but was voted down, and we have until another 50 years when these things are undone.”

But the bottom line is that liberty needs protection by virtuous people but also by the rule of law.”

Paul also touched on financial issues facing the United States and its citizens, including the continued effects of inflation and a $33 trillion debt – roughly $50,000 a person.

Paul told the audience he was recently talking to the chairman of a Senate committee, and Paul encouraged the chairman to prioritize spending.

“And his response once was, we shouldn’t have to make a decision,” Paul said. “Well, I said, that’s not being legislative; you all should make a decision. That’s what we’ve been doing in Washington for decades. How do we do it? We just print up more money.”

Paul mentioned the United States often gives money to other countries routinely.

“We’re borrowing it from China to send it to other countries, but there is a problem: you end up paying more at the grocery store,” Paul said.

Inflation affects people with lower incomes the most, according to Paul.

“Their money goes less far. So inflation really is a tax on the poor and the working class,” Paul said.

Four items occupy all the money that comes in through taxes – Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps. Spending on military and other discretionary items is borrowed and contributes to the debt.

“We have to do something,” Paul said. “Why? We can’t do this forever. There will come a point in time when people give up on the dollar. About a third of our debt is owned by foreign countries; about a third is owned by ourselves. The Federal Reserve owns it.

“But there will be a point in time where people say, ‘No, no, no more, we’re not going to buy it.’”

However, Paul ended positively, highlighting that there’s “never, never ever been a better time to be alive.”

For example, Paul noted that, in the 1820s, 96 percent lived in abject poverty. Today, less than 10 percent of the world lives on just two dollars a day. The supply of food has also increased drastically, with Paul noting, “Virtually the entire world has food now,” except for places stricken by way of severe drought.

He closed by encouraging CU’s students never to let anyone tell them they’re a victim.

“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do this because you’re this kind of person. Go out and work,” Paul said. “If you work hard, particularly, if you finish here with a degree and are willing to work hard, I promise you, you will succeed.

“It is a bright future for you. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you all great success.”

Paul was elected to the United States Senate in 2010. Before becoming a U.S. Senator, Paul was a practicing ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky, from 1993 until his election to the Senate.

Paul serves on the following Senate committees: Committee on Foreign Relations; Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (serving as a ranking member); and Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.