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Monday, 21 November 2011

A Libertarian as the Republican Presidential Candidate?

The 2012 US presidential election could be the most important thing that happens next year. The Libertarian movement is gathering momentum worldwide - in the UK the UK Independence Party are surging in the polls, even Jersey had its first Libertarian candidate in this recent election. The US has had Libertarian candidates since 1988 and Ron Paul, the candidate then is now challenging for the Republication nomination.

It is interesting to note that many of those who are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement are not Socialists, but Libertarians and Greens, they are opposing Corporatism, not Capitalism. Particularly the 'special interest' lobbying that goes on with 'campaign funds' being passed by the corporations to politicians, no doubt so that they can do their research and see their way to vote in a particular manner. "If nothing else, Obama has shown us just how corrupt politics are.”

The US presidential elections have been going on for some six months already and have a long way to go yet but the first actual vote will take place in Iowa on January 3rd 2012 the first contest in the decision of whom will challenge Barack Obama for the presidency.
Romney came 2nd in the 2008 campaign
and has largely kept his head down in this campaign

The Republican (more commonly known as the Grand Old Party or GOP) establishment have their anointed candidate in Mitt Romney a centre right social conservative who finished second in the 2008 campaign and then duly threw his support behind John McCain the person duly nominated.

He has pretty much standard views and is running a typical politician's campaign designed not to lose votes without actually saying very much in particular. Some of the regular readers of this blog will be interested to note that Romney is the one candidate who has broken with the Republican Party's climate change denial position.

The other main candidate is Texas Congressman Ron Paul who I have previously written about in regard to how the treatment of Paul by the media is a perfect example of such organisations conspiring to unduly influence elections.  Well he is now even getting coverage in the British press so the US press must now be asking themselves, "Where did you go wrong?"

Paul has been the driver of the philosophical
and economic debates during the election
He is the father of the Libertarian movement. He has some views which are non-mainstream; return all active US troops to home soil, balanced government expenditure and the paying down of debt, decriminalisation of all drugs including heroin, ending central planning by federal departments and returning power to the individual states. Radical, yes. But they are also viable solutions to America's woes which no other candidate is offering.

His most controversial assertion, one which I happen to agree with, is that the USA invites terrorist attacks by invading nations. That the bombing of the world trade centre was a result of US foreign policy.

The trouble with Paul is that he is critical of the 'establishment', but he is right. In a previous post I discussed how to tell which party you would vote for and the first question was, 'Do you understand Civics and Economics?' - those who do are backing Paul. It is of course dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

There are many other candidates, most of whom have been flashes in the pan, announcing, garnering interest and then falling away including Bachmann, Perry & Cain. The latest flash in the pan is Gingrich. They talk the Libertarian talk but they do not stand up to scrutiny, they are weak in debates and 'flip-flop' (adjust their policies to the immediate audience).

Paul on the other hand has been saying the same thing for 42 years and his voting record backs up his statements. That is the danger, a man who if elected will stick to his principles, will not be subject to 'special interests' or 'funding' but will fulfil the role with honesty and integrity, serving the best interests of all the people.

However the vote goes in Iowa on the 3rd January 2012 those who vote for Paul do so knowing exactly what they are voting for.