I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I’m an Independent. Sure, I also claim to be a Libertarian, but that’s only because their ideology and mine coincide. I’ve never belonged to the Libertarian political party. I consider myself more of an Independent simply because I believe that as a voter one should make up his own mind as to what candidate is best for the job based on his ideals, his principles, any past voting record he might have, and any experience he might have, not based on his looks, personality, popularity or what political party he or she belongs to. I think it is my responsibility as a voter to look into a candidate for myself and see what his or her stances are on a variety of issues and not just let someone else do the thinking for me by creating a party label which defines what to think on these various issues. An Independent is a free thinker who is able to shift his point of view depending on circumstances. I don’t claim that I agree with any candidate on all the issues. In fact, it is my contention that the only way I could possibly agree with any one candidate on all the issues is if I was that one candidate. As an Independent I can find the candidate I agree with on most issues and vote for him or her. The party system in this country makes it far more difficult to find that individual.
Yet, the United States of America has adopted this party system. Two parties have come to dominate, to the extent that it is nearly impossible for a third party to even get on the ballot in all fifty states. In fact, I believe the last time a third party candidate managed to make the ballot in all fifty states was the last time Ross Perot ran. These parties have come to represent a sort of strange dichotomy in the political landscape of America. The Democrats wish to pass themselves off as the party of the people. They do so by suggesting to the public that they are in favor of preserving civil liberties while regulating business. The Republicans wish to pass themselves off as the “law and order” party, the security party and the party of the middle class. They attempt to accomplish this by deregulating private sector businesses while curtailing civil liberties. They claim to cut taxes but somehow I feel more taxed than ever. They present the American public with these two platforms and say, “Ok, now, choose one or the other.” I almost never choose one or the other, I almost always vote for another choice. So many people, however, have been brainwashed into thinking that voting for another choice is “wasting their vote” that they don’t even look into third party candidates and independents. It’s a shame. So many thoughtful candidates with innovative ideas have been lost to our political landscape because of this.
It seems to me that year after year the two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, become more and more alike. What seems to have ended up happening is that both parties have become corporate bought parties of big government. What seems to have happened is that, in their zeal to compromise, our businesses are now over regulated and our personal freedoms are more curtailed and more threatened than they’ve ever been. What the majority of the population wants, in my humble opinion, is our freedoms restored in both our business and personal lives, less government intrusion, smaller government, adherence to the constitution which is our heritage and, let us not forget, an end to the endless wars this government seems to love so much.
Along comes Ron Paul. He advocates all the values I pointed out above. Time and again he wins debates, as determined in online polls afterward. Time and again he wins straw polls. He wins despite getting unequal time. He wins despite an attempted media blackout. He wins despite the political pundits on television telling people his supporters are few and insignificant and that he has no chance of winning the nomination. Ron Paul supporters continue to voluntarily put up signs, go to rallies, and otherwise spread his message for him. And, when the call went out, Ron Paul supporters, the common people of this country, were able to scrape together over 5 million dollars for his campaign at an average clip of $40 per donation. That’s 125,000 donations. That’s quite a feat. How many other candidates can claim that kind of support? How many other candidates would be able to raise that kind of money without the help of large corporations? My guess is, not too many, if any at all.
So now the media has started to come around. It’s getting harder for them to ignore him. They’ve started to give Ron Paul more face time. They’ve started to talk to and about him seriously. Everyone is beginning to examine these concepts of freedom, smaller government, and adherence to the laws spelled out for us by our founding fathers in that quaint little document known as the Constitution. These are concepts that were adopted in this country only because our ancestors were willing to pay for the establishment of American independence with their own blood. They died on the battlefields of Boston and New York, of Trenton and Princeton, of Saratoga, Camden and Yorktown. They died so that their progeny would know freedom, so that their descendants would not know the tyranny of a monarchy or any form of authoritarian government. And yet that is what this country seems to be devolving into, for the vast majority of our lawmakers seem to wear authoritarian stripes. It took a man like Ron Paul to point this out and the American people like what they are hearing. It seems sad to me that these concepts became so alien to the people of this country in the first place, but now the people seem to be welcoming them back like the prodigal son.
Yet the Republicans still lag behind. They still seem to think Ron Paul is some Internet phenomenon created by cyber people who vaporize when confronted with the real world. They don’t seem to realize that there are flesh and blood human beings visiting these blogs and websites and otherwise interacting with one another via the Internet platform. Ron Paul’s success on this venue translates into real votes and real money. Real people are showing up on real streets and at real rallies to support him. The Republicans need to recognize these facts now and capitalize on them, lest the GOP become relegated to the dustbin of history and we truly become a one party nation, that party being the Democratic Party, as right now they appear to be the lesser of two evils, thanks in part to George W. Bush.
Whether the Republicans realize it or not, I don’t know, but they have the chance here to do something truly amazing. They have a chance to actually become a second party and give the people of this country a real choice. For so long now the American people have been voting for either Big Government Party Heads or Big Government Party Tails that joke upon joke has been made about it. The Republicans can help bring the sad laughter to an end, at the Democrats' expense. They can help end corporate rule in America. They can join the revolution, side with the common man, support the Constitution, and keep the promises they made decades ago, and all they have to do is back off and tout Ron Paul as their man. Or, they can keep trying to cram Giuliani, Romney, McCain, Thompson, or any other Democrat light candidate down our throats and end up as insignificant as a number of third parties are today.
The time has come for the Republicans to face the fact that the only candidate running in their primary with a lick of difference from the Democratic candidates is Ron Paul. Let’s examine what is probably the most important issue in most people’s mind in this campaign, the Iraq war. Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that is against the war and has been from the very beginning. He has stated that he would bring the troops home as soon as possible if he were president. All the other candidates hem and haw about victory, Iraqi security and timetables. They obfuscate these terms and speak in generalizations to hide their true agenda and motives. They would protract this war into infinity if possible and the American people know it. They are fear mongers advocating security above freedom, which translates into a police state, and the people realize this. More than that, they also realize that the Democrats are exactly the same. The presidential candidates which are the front runners for the Democrats can’t hide the fact that they voted for the Iraq war. They backed Bush every time he asked for funding. They have done nothing to try to stop the war, or to try to stop Bush. The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is the Democrats offer to return at least some of the money stolen from the people in the form of social programs. Money is a powerful motivating tool and if the choice is between big government candidate heads and no money and big government candidate tails with money, many people just might pick tails.
Ron Paul’s candidacy fixes that. He beats all the top three Democratic presidential candidates hands down. He voted against the Iraq war. They can’t say that. He voted against the Patriot Act. They can’t say that. And we should question whether or not they even read the Patriot Act, tome that it is, in the short time there was between its introduction to congress and when they voted on it. There could have been something completely bizarre in that law, like everyone giving up their first born to the state or some such thing, and they would have voted it into law without knowing and without even batting an eyelash. How can we trust these people? Ron Paul has consistently voted and continues to vote against any law that appears to violate the constitution. No Democrat running for president can say that. He is perhaps the only congressman who takes his oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic seriously. In an election between Ron Paul and any of the Democrats, I believe Ron Paul would win handily. His message is that refreshing, and perhaps as importantly, it is backed up by his voting record.
Americans are proud of their heritage. It is a heritage of freedom, not slavery to the state. It is a heritage of self reliance, not one of crawling to big brother for help. It is a heritage of personal responsibility, not one of asking to be taken care of. It is a heritage of liberty, not tyranny. Americans wish to reclaim that heritage. They have been longing for an honest candidate to openly proclaim a willingness to go back to the principles that made this country the success story of the ages and attempt to put an end to the Imperial conquests and the police state this country has been degrading into. Ron Paul is that candidate. He has proven he can attract the support of the masses and that he can raise the funds needed to defeat any other candidate in a fair election.
The other Republican candidates should back off, drop out of the race, and back Ron Paul if they want their party to maintain any semblance of relevancy. Their support base is quickly dropping off. Their funds are running out. Soon, there will be no one left for them to turn to but a few wealthy old codgers out of touch with the public and trying to cling to power. Soon their lobbyist and corporate friends will have given them all the money they can by law and they will have seen that money piddled away. They should bow out gracefully, back Ron Paul, and adopt his message and methods if they wish to remain in public service. Ron Paul’s biggest hurdle is his own party. They may try to minimize him and keep him down, but they need to see the futility in that now as his popularity continues to grow. They need to understand that they can’t fight ideas as powerful as freedom and liberty. They need to understand that Americans love their Constitution and want it honored. They need to understand that we are a peace loving nation and we wish only to practice honest trade with other countries. If the Republicans want to see their party keep the presidency, then Ron Paul is their man. He can and will beat any Democrat running with his message of peace, liberty and smaller government. He speaks truth, and truth not only resonates in the hearts and spirits of the masses, but as a weapon against any other presidential candidate the truth is sharper and can cut deeper than any sword ever forged by man.