Politics

Ron Paul: Who is He?

Ron PaulAs Republicans still decide on their choice for a presidential candidate and ultimately choose an opponent for President Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election, Congressman Ron Paul from Texas continues to gain appeal and supporters particularly among college students.

This is Paul’s third run for the U.S. Presidency. He first appeared as a candidate of the Libertarian party in the 1988 Presidential Election. In 2008, Paul ran for President again, seeking the Republican nomination and gaining a lot of support and donations from young voters.

With every election year, Paul seems to gain more and more recognition and support, creating a base of young followers and military veterans. He stands apart from both Republican and Democratic politicians while receiving little media attention.

“Ron Paul should be the next President of the United States because he offers a change to the status quo” said Bryan Wood, a resident of Asbury Park.

“I agree with everything Paul says and I have never felt so passionately about a politician before,” said Wood. “Not only do I agree with him on so many issues regarding our economy, foreign policy, and civil liberties but his message of liberty is invigorating. At a time when government has grown so big it is refreshing to hear a politician who preaches personal liberty.”

Paul has been a U.S. House Representative on and off since 1976, giving up his seat in 1985 to run for U.S. Senate but losing in the primary. He regained his House position in 1997 and has remained there ever since, serving on various committees and subcommittees. He has decided to not seek a House seat as he starts his run for the Presidency.

“I think that Ron Paul should be the next President because, unlike Obama, he is a candidate that offers progressive thinking that leads to real change!” said Tom Ranzweiler, a junior at the University. “Most of the challenges in this country, such as the housing bubble, Paul has predicted and presented to Congress and his ravings of lunacy have fallen upon deaf ears.”

Paul is a self-described libertarian, a political affiliation that stresses individual constitutional rights and state laws over federal laws, saying he will “always vote the Constitution.” Paul is also a conservative politician as he supports to protect gun rights and the Second Amendment, and has been a staunch supporter of both abortion and stronger enforcement of border security.

According to Paul’s campaign website, RonPaul.com, he stands with many of his constituents on economic issues, like calling for the elimination of capital gains and death taxes, ending “Unnecessary regulations on small businesses and entrepreneurs” and requiring a balanced budget from Congress. But according to Wood, “He is the only candidate who has a bold plan to get us out of debt by cutting one trillion dollars from the government in his first year in office.”

“Also he wants to audit and end the Fed because their reckless printing of money is responsible for our inflation and debt,” said Wood.

What makes Paul really stand apart from the rest of the Republican Party are his stances on foreign affairs. He has continually stated that the U.S. should not be involved in “nation building” or supplying funds to foreign countries, such as allies like Israel, saying “Our national security allows for billions of dollars to be wasted.”

Paul was one of the few politicians to disagree with the invasion of Iraq, saying he never believed in the propaganda. Paul blames some of America’s recession and debt on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If elected, he promises to bring troops home from Afghanistan.

“There is more hatred towards us because of our warmongering. We should lead by example and negotiate through peace and diplomacy not war,” said Wood. “Eisenhower warned of the industrial military complex and Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate who acknowledges that.”

Because of some of these stances, Paul has accrued the most donations from military personnel in both 2008 and this current election year. Many soldiers and veterans believe he is the only candidate that stands with them and looking out for their safety.

As Republican candidates continue to drop from the presidential race, Paul continues to strive in the primaries and give the other candidates a run for their money. Even as Paul finishes fourth in the South Carolina primary, he “Vows to press on.”

“It is absolutely outrageous how unfair the media has been to Ron Paul,” said Wood. “If the media didn’t ignore him, I think Ron Paul would be the clear front runner candidate. His base is passionate and he has done remarkable so far in this race considering the media’s bias towards him.”

 “I think he will absolutely run as a third party candidate,” said Ranzweiler. “And I think once people stop thinking “Red v. Blue” and begin to think for the best of themselves and the nation as a whole, they’ll see it’s about the individual and not the party, which gives Ron Paul a pretty good shot.”

Ron Paul is looking to deny the odds stacked against him but this is not the first time. But Paul continues to push on with his ideals in hopes that even if he is not elected, he will have people hear and implement his ideas. Regardless of the result, he has a large group of loyal supporters who will continue to push for the changes Paul has been passionate about.

PHOTO COURTESY of cnn.com