Just like the Democratic primaries race, the Republican race has three big names, and a bunch of nobodies taking up space. Rudy Giuliani is to Hilary Clinton, as Mitt Romney is to John Edwards, as Fred Thompson is to Barack Obama. At least in terms of perception. I still maintain that Mitt Romney will win the primaries race (and stand the best chance of winning the presidential election), but in the words of wise and sage Yoda …
“There is another …”
No, there isn’t a secret brother or sister of any of the Republican candidates, I’m talking about one of those ‘waste of debate space’ people that pop up every now and then. Ron Paul. Dr. Ron Paul actually, but I resent calling people a doctor, so I’m calling him Ron. He’s massively popular across the Internet (perhaps as much as Obama?) and scores highly in polls aimed at younger voters, moderate-to-centre Republicans and, yeah, ones conducted online.
Having recently studied more than a handful of the founding Republicans and earliest Republican presidents, I’m beginning to see why Paul rates well. He isn’t an extremist (of either side) in his party. He isn’t even a moderate. He is a traditional Republican. Now, I suspect some people have, by now, thought that right-wing extremists are the traditional members of the GOP. Unfortunately that’s the type of candidate that’s been produced over the past ten years. What we have now is an open-floor as to what a Republican actually looks like.
Giuliani is a left leaning Republican, Fred Thompson is Reagan 2.0, and Mitt Romney is from the religious-right (though not exactly of the proper religion). From that snapshot, who knows what the next round of ‘true’ Republicans will look like.
However, with Ron Paul, he looks exactly like the founders of the GOP. He’s a conservative, in favour of the free market and lower taxes (in fact, he has never voted once to raise taxes in his Representative career beginning in 1997). He opposes the war in Iraq (which already puts him offside) and has regularly spoken out a war with Iran (which puts him further offside) in which America is the aggressor. In fact, Ron Paul hearkens so far back to the early Republican Party that he espouses the non-interventionist foreign policy that President Washington so fondly loved.
He’s voted consistently, and backed each of his votes with the proper rhetoric. He voted against the war in Iraq, and has continued to speak out against it. He’s like Senator McCain in this regard, only not nearly as stupid: McCain voted for the war and still sings its praises.
The worst part is that for Ron Paul, being such a stalwart and ‘Founding Fathers’-based candidate, he has bee marginalized and deemed a fringe member. What has happened to the GOP when someone so closely aligned in policy to George Washington, to the Founding Fathers, to the policies that built America, can be deemed ‘fringe’. I thought the Republican Party stood up for what America was, and what it should be. Shouldn’t it be a country that continues what it was built upon?
And if all that wasn’t enough, Paul has come out saying that he would overturn the appalling Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act of 2006, and scrap everything that is ‘Homeland Security’ for something infinitely better. No more illegal warrants, no more illegal wire taps, and no more illegal arrests. These really sound like the rhetoric of a Democrat in this day and age.
Of course, it’s a sad indictment on the current state of America that only one political party should be talking about not committing crimes against its people.
Anyway, that’s Ron Paul for you in a quick blog post. There’s a lot more out there on him, and Google is your master for that task. And while I’m firmly behind the Democrats (and, of all the announced candidates, Obama) if it were a Paul versus anyone election come 2008, I wouldn’t be so displeased.