Preceded by chants and applause, former presidential candidate Ron Paul took the stage at Centennial Hall Saturday.
Students and San Marcos residents alike filled the lecture hall to listen to Paul speak about freedom as part of the Young Americans for Liberty state convention hosted on campus. The event was standing room only, and when Paul took the stage, he was greeted with a standing ovation.
“We are in a transition where people are waking up and they are sick and tired of federal government,” Paul said.
A large percentage of the population does not believe anything the government says, Paul said. Paul considers their disbelief to be a good start. Recent debacles with the National Security Agency (NSA) make it hard for citizens to trust their government. NSA overstepping their bounds has contributed to needing transparency in the government and citizens being weary of it, he said.
Paul spoke of the current generation having a large task ahead of it.
“You’re inheriting a mess,” Paul said. “The burden will be on you.”
Authoritative and totalitarian governments are “dismal failures,” Paul said. Freedom ideas are progressing, but the movement depends on the current generation to fix the issues.
Paul said pressure put on the government by the public is important—being a leader now “stirs people up” to do the right thing.
Millennials should not be comfortable with the way things currently are, Paul said. Fixing all of the problems starts with self-education.
“It’s up to you to figure out what to do,” Paul said. “You might even invent a Bitcoin for freedom.”
Paul discussed the medical care platform. Government should not be involved in the delivery of medical care because it is not in the constitution, Paul said. Medical insurance should be one on one, Paul said.
“Governments are not supposed to be a secret,” Paul said. “People’s privacy should be a secret.”
Paul said people should be allowed to make their own decisions concerning healthcare. He said solutions to America’s problems “are not complex.”
“(Ron Paul being here) really puts Texas State on the map,” said Jacob Hume, finance junior.
Logan Chester, a vocal audience member, thought it was good for students to hear Paul speak so they could “have a voice.”
“(We should) make San Marcos a place that can be a place of influence,” Chester said.
Paul encouraged making students’ voices heard in the fight for freedom.
“I think we’re ready for another step forward,” Paul said. “We have to make sure people hear this message (of freedom).”
Liberties are rights given at birth in a “natural fashion,” not from the government, Paul said. Government should be protecting life and liberty.
“I would say we need a war with Washington D.C.,” Paul said.
Paul said education is very important, but getting rid of the Department of Education needs to happen. He said religion should be taught in history as “objectively as possible.”
“It’s also good for the kids that go here to hear a perspective that’s not blasted through the media,” Hume said.
Paul ended his speech about freedom to a standing ovation from the rowdy crowd.
“Freedom is popular,” Paul said.