Friday, November 30, 2007

Ron Paul

Having already said that all the other candidates are pretty much the same and not really worth talking about (because I can't really say anything about them that hasn't already been said), now it's time to get to the one candidate who has sparked at least enough interest for me to comment about here. Check out this article about Ron Paul and how he differs, not just from the other Republican candidates, but from the vast majority of politicians, Democrat or Republican.

Thing is, Paul has run before - way back in the 1980's, actually - but back in those earlier times, there wasn't an Internet and other hi-tech stuff to help reach out to potential voters. This makes Paul's current campaign success a creature of the modern age, and unique because he's attracting both disaffected Democrats AND Republicans. The only other comparable candidate who got such a cyber boost was Howard Dean in the '04 election, who was humming right along until the infamous "primal scream" basically helped bounce him out (it was more than just that, of course, but the 'scream' didn't help).

While Paul may be riding the wave of frustration of voters not happy with either major political party, he's also more than just a "I'm not one of them" candidate. Based upon what I've read on him so far, he's truly dedicated to the concept of "public servant", which is what appeals to a lot of people. There hasn't been this kind of candidate since Ross Perot almost did the same thing way back in the '92 election. Perot did well enough that both the Dems and GOP truly sweated it out until Perot stumbled and bumbled at the worst possible time by constantly delaying on whether he'd run or not (basically, he was the '92 version of Fred Thompson today).

Ron Paul has views that land all over the ideological spectrum - from being anti-abortion to being against the war in Iraq, so I'm like a lot of people in that I like some of the views he has, and I'll put up with some of the views that I disagree with, because they're not such that I would count him out as a result. I really like the fact that he's pro-life, because not many candidates have that kind of courage of convictions to stick to such a view. For that alone, he almost has my vote.

I say "almost" because it is the nature of politicians to say and do anything to get someone's vote, and I want to make as sure as I can that Paul isn't just another one of those kinds of politicians. This is largely because I am keeping in mind that old saying that "if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is". Call me cynical or skeptical if you will, but we've all been sold these bills of goods before only to find out that we elected a dodo bird (the past two presidents, basically).

I want to believe that Paul is who he's portrayed to be. If he is that person, then he's the kind of person that we need right now. We need such an independent minded person who's out to serve his constituency rather than his political party. If he is not selected by his party to be the GOP candidate for president (which is virtually 100%, since he is opposed to the Iraq war), then I hope he becomes an independent candidate. Yes, his party will rip him for "taking votes away from the GOP and helping Hillary win", but both parties need to see that the U.S. is fed up with the way things are. Not only do I hope he'll become an independent candidate, I hope he also wins. What a thing to drop into the laps of both parties!

However, first I want to see that he is who he says he is. One thing at a time. But right now, I like what he's said so far than what I've heard from all the other candidates. I'll keep you good folks updated. There's still almost a year to go, after all!

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