Thomas Nath: Why not Ron Paul?
As many expected, Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide, collecting nearly 40 percent of the votes. Romney’s ascension to the head of the GOP field has been marked by a curious sense of Republican indecisiveness, as Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all experienced waves of popularity and decline. And yet, to this point, Romney has withstood all of his challengers and retained his front-runner status; it is late enough in the 2012 race that it seems inevitable that the nomination is his.
There is only one other Republican candidate who shows the same consistency among voters. In both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Ron Paul has won a little more than 20 percent of the votes to finish third and second, respectively. Paul has overwhelmingly won straw polls from Ohio to California, he polls well against President Obama, and has displayed these results steadily throughout his campaign.
So the question I pose is this: why not Ron Paul? His fervent beliefs in liberty and limited government seem perfectly in line with conservative values, unlike Romney, who has changed completely his previous liberal positions on healthcare, abortion and the bailout of the automotive industry. Paul’s ideological consistency displays his personal integrity, whereas Romney comes across as willing to say anything that appeals to voters.
For liberals, Paul might come across as a radical conservative, but aspects of his platform do contain a strong element of forward-thinking progressivism. Not only would he pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy, end the costly war on drugs, and restore civil liberties, but he is not averse to maintaining some regulation.
One example would be Paul’s support of the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, an act that sought to regulate banking speculation. Additionally, he opposes corporate welfare, bailouts, and earmarks, activities in which this current administration has continually indulged. He supports stem-cell research, opposes the death penalty, and despite his personal Evangelical views, has no problem with the idea of gay marriage.
Why, then, are we ignoring this man? At the very least, he has important ideas that need to be taken into consideration when we, as an electorate, enter the voting booth this November.
Most importantly of all, Paul is not someone who will change his positions for a higher degree of electability — an attribute both liberals and conservatives could learn from.
Thomas Nath is a homeschooled senior in Rochester.