This post is written by Hatchet staff writer Allison Kowalski
Three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul called on political leaders to ignore traditional party platforms to find lasting policy solutions.
The former Republican congressman and self-described libertarian told the packed Lisner Auditorium crowd that crossing party lines was crucial to steering the country in a new direction.
“Right now if you agree that we have to have a change, then change it any way you can, because it’s your attitudes, your minds who are going to have to pay for it and deal with the consequences,” Paul said.
Stressing a largely hands-off government, Paul also called out the federal government for distorting the truth to shape public opinion.
To demonstrate what he called a lack of transparency, Paul tested the audience’s perception of their public officials.
“How many people here in this room, when you see a pronouncement from a high official in Washington, know that you can depend it’s the truth?” Paul asked.
The crowd remained still, with just one or two hands that slowly climbed into the air. At least one person booed from the back of the audience. Looking into the audience, Paul said: “That’s what the problem is.”
The crowd’s biggest reaction of the night came after the former Texas lawmaker answered a question about gay marriage laws.
“I think people should do what they want,” Paul said said to a burst of applause.
GW College Republicans chairwoman Sinead Casey said a key reason for inviting Paul to speak was his disregard for political partisanship.
“He contributed to a part of the conversation that needs to be happening in America right now. He’s a big name who went above the political partisanship, and he sets a good tone for the direction the party should be heading in,” Casey said.