SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Over the last week, the mainstream media has maliciously attempted to discredit presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) with claims that he plagiarized a number of speeches and entire sections of his books. Although Paul has responded with only terse denials and the suggestion that slander should be grounds for justifiable homicide under the rules of the duello, The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript has obtained an unreleased draft of a speech he is expected to give later this week. We are told this is not an apology, only a formal statement and defense on the matter.
After much soul searching and honest introspection, I wish to address the disingenuous and libelous charges of plagiarism that have been levied against me by certain political opponents and detractors. I am an outspoken but genuine voice of libertarian values, and my words are, and have always been, my own.
This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.
To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.
Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work. The idea remains problematic with unclear definitions and unclear rules. The modern concept of plagiarism as immoral and originality as an ideal emerged in Europe only in the 18th century, particularly with the Romantic movement.
I am rich and proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with -- the voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly.
Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it and do it well. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people -- the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbours and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologize for my ability, I refuse to apologize for my success, I refuse to apologize for my money.
This afternoon in this room, from this chair, I testified before the Office of Independent Counsel and the grand jury. I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.
Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and private. And that is why I am speaking to you tonight.
As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.
Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part, for which I am solely and completely responsible.
But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action.
I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First, by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct.
I was also very concerned about protecting my family. The fact that these questions were being asked in a politically inspired lawsuit, which has since been dismissed, was a consideration, too.
In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation that began with private business dealings 20 years ago, dealings I might add about which an independent federal agency found no evidence of any wrongdoing by me or my wife over two years ago.
The independent counsel investigation moved on to my staff and friends, then into my private life. And now the investigation itself is under investigation.
This has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many innocent people.
Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most -- my wife and our daughter -- and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.
Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It's nobody's business but ours.
Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.
Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.
Now it is time -- in fact, it is past time -- to move on.
We have important work to do -- real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.
Thank you for watching. And good night.
2013. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.