He wrote this speech out and read it, not his usual style. For my taste, the extemporizing Ron Paul of the campaign trail is a little more appealing, but this was still a good and important talk.
The talk was certainly not tightly structured; it hopped from idea to idea connected only by the theme, "things government does that are dangerous to liberty" and the vital importance of the people re-embracing the idea of liberty.
Paul used the talk mostly an opportunity to get out as many libertarian ideas and observations as he could squeeze into a half hour to what he hoped would be an attentive audience. What I write here covers at best half of the specifics he managed to rattle out quickly, and will likely not be much better organized than Paul was himself.
Paul says he is encouraged by what he sees as a renaissance of interest in the ideas of liberty among students and the young. He insists that while liberty does tend to make us rich, we need to understand why liberty is good even beyond mere materialist concerns--and that our apparent material prosperity lately is phony and based largely on debt and out-of-control fiat money that he predicts will lead to even greater economic crises ahead.
He laments that America departed from what he saw as a generally proper attitude toward government's role back in the progressive era, particularly with the income tax and Federal Reserve. He wonders why there aren't more politicians who defend both economic and civil liberties.
Paul attacked a long string of what he sees as government abuses, including the National Defense Authorization Act, sanctions, opposition to true free trade, arresting users of medical pot or raw milk, and wonders why Germany wants its gold. He doesn't like how many federal crimes now exist and how insecure our electronic communications are to government snooping.
He attacks the TSA and mandatory sentences in drug prosecutions and the drug war in general, and wonders why you can't criticize AIPAC without committing political suicide. He's against using government to give away others' resources to special interests, and he's against Keynesian economics, and he's for habeus corpus.
Paul is against violence, even for humanitarian reasons. He says only those with criminal minds would want to walk into someone's house and tell them what they need to do, allegedly for their own good. He calls for "no government monopoly over initiating violence," one of the more anarchistic thoughts one has ever heard from the House floor.