Ron Paul independent candidacy could spoil election
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 07:08
Almost a year ago, The Daily Athenaeum published a well-written and convincing column by Brandon Muncy. The aptly titled article, "Republicans will have a bright future if Paul wins," highlights some of the congressman’s platforms and attempts to persuade readers that Paul is the best man for the role of President of the United States.
Muncy may have been correct.
Paul would have at least breathed new life into the Republican Party, and he might have made for a successful president. With his emphasis on state-level lawmaking, Paul’s ideas sound novel and freeing. This sense of freedom he touts is what voters find so appealing about the 77-year-old politician.
However, while I respect my fellow writer and his opinion, the argument that Paul is still a viable candidate is still being validated by journalists across the nation, and this could spell disaster for either party when results are revealed.
While most are aware that the presidential hopeful has no chance of securing enough votes to win the presidency, there are those who are extolling Paul’s ability to rally delegates behind his libertarian-hued Republicanism.
Those who plan to vote for Paul in the presidential election are probably not clear about what that vote would be for. You probably have a few friends who know nothing about Paul’s political agenda other than he supports lessening restrictions on marijuana use, which is novel but hardly presidency building.
Some of Paul’s influence might be good. After all, "Dr. No" has principles, and he sticks to them.
He is often the only person willing to vote against things he believes are unconstitutional. He also seems to have a pretty firm grasp on logical thinking, which cannot be said of every politician. But his dramatic hands-off approach to federal government could mean social welfare and public education programs being reduced or eliminated.
Potential Paul supporters might feel, for various reasons, as if Obama has failed to live up to the responsibilities of president.
Some Paul proponents are probably lacking confidence in (or just opposed to) Mitt Romney’s stance on, let’s say same-sex marriage, or health care, or abortion, or – well, lots of things.
Without realizing the potential outcomes, these hopeless Republicans, disappointed Democrats and unconvinced independents will be making the wrong decision at the poll this year.
Let’s just be honest – at this point Ron Paul will not be able to win the election. So shouldn’t we cast our vote for someone who could?
Sure, Ron Paul fared well with the youth vote in the primaries, but that’s simply not enough to justify a continuance of his campaign. Have we forgotten the 97,421 votes Ralph Nader received in the calamitous presidential election of 2000? Many Nader fans were kicking themselves when their votes for new ideas ended up being the reason for George W. Bush beating Al Gore by merely 537 votes in the decisive battleground of Florida. Nader’s candidacy should be a lesson to us all – if we don’t make informed decisions at the polls, we risk a similar fiasco in this election.
I’m unhappy with the limits that bipartisanship imposes on my vote, so working within the system to get what I want is important to me. What I hope is that the marginal success Nader and Paul have had will propel other political parties into the spotlight and encourage different viewpoints. Candidates are not always diametrically opposed, so voters shouldn’t have to be, either.
Make your vote count.
Vote for who best represents your personal beliefs, but keep Nader in mind. A vote for Ron Paul may mean the wrong person gets elected.