Columns / Discourse / May 18, 2011

Observing America: Wide-open field

Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced that they would not run for the Republican presidential nomination, leaving the race wide open.

The field includes several candidates, including former Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Ron Paul, former Governor Gary Johnson, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Governor Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. If one of these candidates is chosen to represent the Republican Party, President Obama will undoubtedly win in 2012.

With the exception of Ron Paul, all of these candidates lack honest conservatism. For example, Governor Mitt Romney calls himself a conservative, but as a governor he supported a healthcare plan that included an individual mandate like President Obama’s plan. Conservatism stands against the government mandating healthcare. Mitt Romney does not live up to conservative principles.

Newt Gingrich treads the same waters. He portrays himself as a person of conservative values but has had three wives. Conservatives stand for traditional moral values. A man like him cannot speak for traditional marriage when he practices a very loose view of marriage. In addition, he tells people that he is a fiscal conservative, but opposes Congressman Ryan’s budget plan because it is “radical.” Ryan’s plan is held as a beacon for fiscal conservatism. Gingrich does not live up to conservative principles.

The only candidate that has conservative values that have been practiced for years is Congressman Ron Paul. He understands why the Republican Party has failed the U.S. in the last decade. He has been a firm advocate in small government by voting to keep domestic and foreign policy spending at low levels. These are the solutions to solving the current debt crisis.

Congressman Paul fits in the current fiscal environment. The main issue in the 2012 election will be government spending. The U.S. spent trillions of dollars on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Republican Party must stand to cut military spending while cutting domestic spending. The current Republican Party wants to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but not cut military spending. Republicans do not understand why they lost in the last decade. The country has to cut both military and domestic spending. One cannot be a small government conservative and funnel trillions of dollars overseas. The current size of the military is a manifestation of big government, and Congressman Paul is the one that understands this.

Yet even Congressman Paul is not electable. His views are branded as extremist and out of touch with the current political situation. For example, he supports holding the dollar to the gold standard, which would radically limit the printing of paper money. However, as extreme as his views are, this country needs a fiscal hawk like Paul.

A candidate who shares Paul’s views on foreign policy and domestic issues will lead the Republican Party to success. But the Republican Party needs a fresh face. They need someone who is younger, charismatic and genuinely conservative in order to beat President Obama. The Oval Office does not need more professional politicians like Romney and Gingrich who marinate in the dirty old business of politics. The White House needs a new leader.

Alex Uzarowicz
Alex Uzarowicz has been a weekly conservative political columnist for The Knox Student for three years. He also writes for The College Conservative. Alex will graduate in June 2013 with a degree in political science, after which he will head abroad to begin his Peace Corps service.

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