Back in 2007, when Digg was still slightly relevant, was when I first started hearing about Ron Paul. His name was plastered all over both Digg and reddit, and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why these liberal communities were so obsessed with such a conservative fellow. Mike Gravel I understood, Dennis Kucinich I understood, but this old, Republican OBGYN-turned-congressman – why?
I began researching him – clicking all of the stories about him on Digg and reddit, reading Wikipedia articles, watching videos of him speaking. Suddenly, I understood. The man was consistent. He had integrity. His actions were completely predictable. In any given situation, you could find his viewpoint from that year, the year before that, and 1988, and it was always the same. He didn’t accept money from anyone to sway his vote.
Furthermore, he had great ideas. “Republicans should love this man,” I thought. But as I watched the debates, it became suddenly apparent as Ron Paul got booed for speaking on factual information derived for the 9-11 commission’s report about the reasons we were attacked in 2001 (blowback for us being over there – not because the terrorists hate our freedom) that Republicans weren’t interested in a truly conservative candidate. To make matters worse, his opponents that were front-runners were a man who is well-known for flip flopping (Romney) and another man that was basically another 4 years of George W. Bush that had actually lost to Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000 (McCain).
Boy, did the media try its best to ignore Dr. Paul. They acted like he practically didn’t exist, even though every time there was a campaign event, the Ron Paul 2008 signs were front and center on camera surrounding the reporters, even though he constantly won straw polls, and even though he broke fundraising records and received the most monetary support from the U.S. military – I think more than all of the other candidates combined.
I knew Ron Paul wouldn’t win that election, but interestingly enough, his supporters were the most loyal and active supporters of any candidate’s. McCain got the nomination, and slowly, though Digg basically died, the brainwashed drones of reddit finally realized that, though Dr. Paul was a man of integrity and consistency, he was still a Republican, and his support dropped on that site. I have to laugh when I think about how sad it is that reddit loved this man until they suddenly started to think for themselves. I imagine the thought process was “Wait a minute, I’m liberal. I don’t actually agree with him at all. I just liked him cause reddit liked him.” But I still liked him, because, well, I’m not a liberal. I’ve always self-identified as a conservative, and Ron Paul was my candidate.
A year or so after Obama was elected, a friend of mine turned me on to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. He was a two-term Republican governor from a state that was 2-1 democrat. He was also a marathon contestant and scaled Mount Everest. Quite impressive. Even more impressive were his politics and ethics. He was similar to Dr. Paul in consistency and also exactly the same in politics, except slightly more moderate/liberal on some social issues, such as LGBT rights and abortion.
I thought for sure that Dr. Paul wouldn’t run again for the 2012 election, so I planned to throw my support behind Gov. Johnson, and figured many other Paul supporters would do the same. Gov. Johnson had even been a Paul-supporter in the 2008 election. He was younger and even seemed more electable to me, but as the friend that turned me on to Gov. Johnson pointed out – those social issues would not help him garner support with the religious right, which I recently heard/read was about 60% of the Republican base.
Much to my surprise, though, Dr. Paul decided to run again. I suddenly had visions in my head of a Paul/Johnson ticket. That, to me, would be incredible. These are the two guys I would trust my country with.
I was unsure, though, about how Gov. Johnson would gain support. Over the years, Paul’s supporters and groups (Campaign for Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty) had apparently grown. Paul’s support was much greater than it was last time around, and it seemed as though any support that would’ve gone to Johnson instead went to Paul. That, in and of itself, is fine. That’s how elections work. But the media ignored Johnson, only inviting him to 2 of the very many Republican debates held thus far, even though his support rivaled or was greater than that of Rick Santorum’s or John Huntsman’s – except they were still invited to most of the debates.
The media still tried to ignore Dr. Paul in the meantime, and they mostly succeeded, but it was harder. In 2007, Ron Paul placed 5th in the Ames straw poll. In 2011, he placed 2nd, literally just shy of 1st. 3rd place wasn’t even close behind him.
Dr. Paul gets invited onto political talk shows, but is either asked about other candidates or is not taken seriously. As of this writing, he’s polling 1 percentage point behind Newt Gingrich in Iowa, yet the current headline on Fox News features only pictures of Romney and Gingrich. More than halfway down the page, we find this treat: “The other candidates still have a chance to break through. While the national polls show Gingrich and Romney at the top, the Iowa polls have Texas Rep. Ron Paul right up there on the leader board.” No mention that he’s not only #2, but is polling comfortably ahead of Romney.
And that brings me to the point of this post. Our country is not in disarray because of our politicians. Our politicians are elected – by us. It is our fault, as the people of the United States, for electing terrible and corrupt politicians. Yet, here I sit, looking at polls that tell me that Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney will be my party’s nominee.
Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on many key conservative issues, many of which there are videos of. Heck, I don’t even have to waste my time listing them all. Just click on this link and refresh the page for a new one.
Newt Gingrich is a serial adulterer, yet criticized President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. There is a huge list of things he has done at notonewt.com that paint him not only as an inadequate nominee, but could perhaps lead one to the conclusion that he’s not even a conservative. Blatant disregard for the 10th amendment, lobbying, and an advocate of many big government ideas, such as a national ID and another federal agency to fight terrorism.
In short, my party has placed its hopes between a man whose own wife can barely trust him and a man who will probably change his mind on another issue before the campaign season is over. Looking at the two of them, Romney is probably a better choice, but not by much.
This is sad and discouraging. When Ron Paul speaks the truth, he is booed or written off as the crazy old grandpa. Just recently, on the topic of Israel, he spoke about how the Israelis could defend themselves – about how we didn’t need to be over there policing the world. Republicans act as though this is blasphemy, yet the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu said himself just months ago, “My friends, you don’t need to do nation building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. And you don’t need to send American troops to Israel – we defend ourselves.” You’d never, ever guess that Israel doesn’t want or need our help if you only listen to the jibber-jabber of the Republican party.
And now, Gary Johnson, completely abandoned by the party he could’ve done so much good for, is considering a switch to the Libertarian party to continue his presidential run.
Is the truth really too much for America? Are consistency, integrity, and respect for the Constitution not valued anymore by my party?
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Earlier this year, my party booed a gay soldier, cheered at the execution of 234 death row inmates, and one person in the audience of a debate even shouted out “yes!” when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul if we should let someone without health insurance die in the case of a deadly medical emergency. The others are hopefully obvious, but I don’t understand how the religious right can cheer the death penalty, which even Bill O’Reilly disagrees with. Jesus Christ was wrongly crucified by that very law. You’d think the religious people would care at least a little about that.
This is the state of politics. In 2012, if I am faced with an Obama vs. Romney or Obama vs. Gingrich vote, I will be forced to do the only thing that is right: voting for the people I stand by. If Ron Paul does not get the Republican nomination and Gary Johnson does indeed run as a Libertarian, I am voting for Gary Johnson. It may be one, small, insignificant vote, and it may be considered a waste by some, but I just can’t bring myself to vote for Romney or Gingrich when there are people of integrity and sincerity in the race.
To the GOP and its members – if you continue to ignore Dr. Paul, shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. And shame on you for likely driving Gary Johnson out of his own party, and for ignoring him.
America, if you vote in Gingrich or Romney or Obama in 2012, nothing will change, and you will deserve whatever happens. We, the people, vote in corruption. We are given a choice, and we get what we vote for. Whether Newt gets paid off by a corproation, or Mitt changes his mind about a campaign promise, or Obama involves the federal government in yet another place where it will only hurt the people, you will get what you voted for.
In 2012, we will be given the opportunity to elect an ideologically pure man of sound integrity and political beliefs. Dr. Paul has a proven record. He is the champion of liberty and of the Constitution. He has never flip-flopped, never voted to raise taxes, never broke with the Constitution on an issue. He believes in the importance of our individual liberties and in the importance of not sacrificing our freedoms for a false sense of security. He is a proponent of sound money, and has proposed $1 trillion worth of cuts in his first year in office. Ron Paul understands economics more than any other candidate – he’s written 6 books on the subject. He understands that we can’t do nation building overseas when we’re broke and failing our own citizens here at home. He is absolutely the only real fiscal conservative on the stage.
We were given this opportunity in 2008, and we failed. America, don’t fail again. Please.