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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Google Ron Paul

    An East Village rooftop in New York City displays a message painted in four foot high, white letters that can be seen from above by passengers in departing planes. This message, which says “Google Ron Paul,” pleads with the public to discover for themselves one of the most interesting phenomena in political history. If you use the Internet, then you may already know about it.

    Ron Paul is an OB/GYN-turned-Republican-Senator from Texas currently serving in his tenth term of Congress. For most of you, however, Ron Paul is probably just another idle second-tier candidate wasting his time running in the 2008 presidential election.

    At least, that’s what you’d think if you listen only to the Gallup polls, where he has gathered just 4% of the registered Republican votes. However, if you look at other sources, you’d notice quite a different trend; Paul is ahead in polls — way ahead.

    Paul has generated the most Internet buzz of all the candidates, in either party. He is, statistically, the most referenced candidate in the blogosphere, the candidate with the most YouTube subscribers (over 30,000).

    He has, by online voter polls and text message votes, won four out the last five televised Republican national debates, is behind only Fred Thompson in the straw polls and has, by individual contributions, raised as much money as other “first tier” candidates.

    The Ron Paul phenomenon has taken the form of a grassroots campaign by way of the Internet. The world of alternate media, where people can listen to candidates’ messages first hand through sites like YouTube, have allowed certain candidates without as much campaign funds or mainstream media attention to gain a foothold with the American public.

    New ideas can be communicated at lightning speed and still avoid the “taint” of the big networks. The users of these mediums, though their cultural and political backgrounds are as diverse as the rest of the nation, seem to be coming to a similar grand conclusion. That is, Paul would make a great President in 2008.

    What makes Paul unique that he has merited such a large and devoted following? He has held the same political ideas since he entered politics back in the 1970s, but what makes his libertarian/classically conservative message so appealing now?

    One reason, as previously described, is the Internet, which has made his views more accessible to the general public. But, the more general analysis is that, more then any other candidate, Paul inspires passion with his sincere promises of political change.

    You do not have to be heavy into politics to see that most of the current candidates are the same. Each candidate uses their prepackaged, cued talking points and buzzwords along the party lines, with only minor variations in their messages.

    When picking a candidate to support, it has become more a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils than finding a candidate that resonates. For the 2008 election at least, instead of throwing your vote away, why don’t you find out more about the candidates? Think to yourself, is there a candidate that will actually deliver promises? Is there a candidate that will enact changes that will actually make improvements?

    If you remember nothing else about him, remember that Paul is a man who believes in changing, from the ground up, the way we think about government.

    Large, expensive bureaucracies, which currently dominate government (and threaten to increase socially should a Democrat obtain power, military if a Republican) will be thrown out under the Paul administration. Instead, you will see a return to private institution, power relinquished to state and local governments as well as an increase in individual responsibility for personal well being.

    This reduction of a centralized federal government is what our founding fathers had in mind when this great nation was created, and a return to strict adherence to the Constitution is what this country needs to get back on track, economically and politically.

    The government currently takes close to half our income in taxes. This is something the founding fathers never intended in the original draft of the Constitution. The U.S. was founded on principles of personal liberties, including the right to keep what we earn. This means the IRS will be abolished under the Paul administration. By eliminating income tax, we increase amount of money being spent, saved and invested by the public.

    Basically, the Paul position is that government is dipping its hand into the citizens’ pocket, and in doing so is exerting control that it was never meant to have. This level of control is ultimately harming our economy, even if we think it may be helping. And indeed, the predictions described by Ron Paul’s economic theory are coming true. Paul described the current situation, where U.S. dollar is devaluing against foreign currency over two years ago.

    Also on the list of cut bureaucracy are social welfare programs and all forms of nationalized health care. He believes that these forms of services are performed better when left to a free market and that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to provide them.

    Also, increasing reliance on the federal government gives more control to the federal government, which decreases personal freedoms. According to Paul, “Voluntary charities also promote self-reliance, but government welfare programs foster dependency.”

    Paul has shown by his extensive voting record in Congress that he believes and will stick to these principles. He advocates limiting congressional stipends and imposing term limits and he has never accepted a pension for his services in government. Personally, as an OB/GYN he has never accepted nationalized health insurance to perform a medical procedure, instead he works for free.

    Paul advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy and a return to constitutional principles regarding warfare; only Congress can declare war, and only then in times of self-defense. He supports diplomatic solutions to global conflict. Paul was the only Republican to vote against authorizing the war in Iraq and continues to oppose U.S. presence there. Traditionally, the Republicans have won elections based on promises to end unpopular wars, Nixon and the Vietnam War, for example.

    Ron Paul wants to leave Iraq as soon as possible, saying that it is nearly impossible for our presence to improve the situation in Iraq, and that is the fault of those who took U.S. to Iraq if the situation worsens when we leave. The preservation of American lives is paramount and there is no reason for Americans to take any more Iraqi lives.

    Ron Paul appeals to myself and to others who are simply fed up with the current system of government. We are tired of the overspending, of politicians placing their loyalties to special interests and corporate entities instead of the American people. We are tired of dishonest politicians, of the lies and corruption. We are tired of endless, unjustified war that only exacerbates the problems they claim are being solved. We are tired of stagnation in government. If you’re tired too, then “Google Ron Paul.”

    Here I have described, in brief, just a few of Ron Paul’s complex political positions, foreign and domestic. I encourage everyone to find out about his policies from the source.

    I entreat and challenge readers to learn about Paul and to compare his voting records to other candidates. Decide for yourself which candidate to support, but be honest with yourselves and make an informed decision.

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