MASON CITY, Iowa --- Exclaiming "our rights come from our creator, not our government," U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, brought his conservative message to North Iowa Tuesday.
Making reference to the Old Testament, the congressman talked about how Samuel warned his people about the dangers of having a king who they wanted to take care of their needs. "Samuel told them it's not a good idea.
"We're not on the verge of having a king, but we are on the verge of having way too much dictatorship in Washington, D.C.," Paul said, receiving huge applause.
Emphasizing the need for less government control of people's lives, Paul said, "We should always believe families can opt out. Get the government out and let us take care of ourselves."
For that reason, the candidate, who is attempting to drum up support for the Iowa caucuses, said he favors home schooling and private schools as options to public schools and opposes government-mandated health programs.
"We should and can take care of ourselves. It's a moral issue as far as I'm concerned.
"You have a right to take care of your own life. You don't have a right to take care of someone else's life," said Paul.
A onetime Libertarian candidate for president, Paul, 76, is serving his 12th term in Congress.
He said he is aware that his conservative views are not considered "mainstream" by many people.
"The mainstream is changing," he said. "The mainstream wants balanced budgets, sound government and personal liberties --- that is mainstream.
"The shift is in our direction --- obeying the Constitution for a change," said Paul.
He said one of the problems in getting things changed is the reaction to even the slightest change.
"(Congressman) Paul Ryan's budget proposals wouldn't have touched anybody 55 or older. To me, it wasn't bold. It was a modest proposal. Yet it drew great anger from the opposition.
"That's why it is very, very difficult to cut spending," he said.
Paul said the country is victimized by overseas welfare spending, domestic welfare spending and corporate welfare spending.
"The spending has to stop," he said. "It's a threat to communities, a threat to families. The more government, the less prosperous society."