It has become cliché for political pundits to proclaim every four years that the presidential election campaign is the most important in the nation’s history. Given that our economy is on the brink of collapse, we are currently engaged in 5 wars, and our civil liberties are under attack like never before, next year’s presidential election will truly rank right up there with the most important elections in our country’s history. Accepting that view, there is only one candidate in the race for the White House in 2012 who has what it takes to restore America to its previous greatness. That candidate is Congressman Ron Paul.
No other candidate saw the financial crisis of 2008 coming. As early as 2003, Congressman Paul predicted Federal Reserve and Bush Administration policies would lead to the housing bubble and its inevitable collapse. He predicted this based on his understanding of free-market economics and the Austrian Business Cycle Theory.
Now, it is true that Newt Gingrich did allude to the corruption of the Federal Reserve in last week’s GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, but he and every other Republican on stage except Ron Paul do not understand the connection between Fed policies and our economic ills. All they can propose are more tax cuts to remedy the situation. Congressman Paul has been preaching about the need to restore sound money to our economy for over 35 years. He recognizes that the destruction of the middle class in America is primarily the result of the price inflation (over 450 percent since 1971) perpetrated on the American people by the Federal Reserve. He knows that spending our way out of our current crisis will not work. He is the only candidate for president who would take a holistic approach to getting our economy back on track – mal-investment liquidation, rein in out of control federal spending, responsible military budgets, and of course sound money.
But, Dr. Paul’s superiority over the other candidates for president doesn’t end with economics. He is by far and away the only responsible candidate in the field when it comes to war and peace. He did not fall for the war propaganda launched by the Bush Administration against Saddam Hussein. He voted against giving the president authority to invade Iraq. As president he would end the 8 year war in Iraq, the 10 year war in Afghanistan, and our wars in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen.
As was highlighted in the Ames, Iowa debate last week he is well-read when it comes to international affairs. He knows the history of our troublesome relationship with Iran and understands that incendiary remarks and threats toward her are not going to make the world safer. As president, Dr. Paul would end American occupations in countries that surround Iran, thereby lessening tensions and opening the door to peaceful relations. Contrary to the positions of other candidates for president, Ron Paul knows that another war is not in our best interest.
Lastly, no other candidate for president has as strong a record on civil liberties as Congressman Paul. He has been a consistent opponent of Washington’s relentless assault on our civil liberties and constitutional rights. As president, the so-called “Patriot” Act which has radically expanded the federal government’s ability to use wiretaps without judicial oversight; has made it far easier for the government to monitor private internet usage; has authorized “sneak and peek” warrants enabling federal authorities to search a person’s home, office, or personal property without that person’s knowledge; and has required libraries and bookstores to turn over records of books read by their patrons, would be priority one on his chopping block. The TSA’s grope fest at our airports would also end. As important as civil liberties are none of the other candidates for president have shown any interest in protecting them.
The above comparison includes the current occupant of the Oval Office Barack Obama. In 2 ½ years as president, Obama continues to support the same failed economic policies (spending and easy money) that got us into the mess in the first place and has only made matters worse since. He not only broke campaign promises by continuing Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but has escalated one other in Pakistan and started one of his own in Libya. And, as for civil liberties and constitutional rights, he has shown his true colors by signing a four-year extension of expiring provisions of the “Patriot” Act and authorizing his Director of National Intelligence to notify Congress that the administration reserves the right to assassinate American citizens believed to be terrorists.
Yes, next year’s presidential contest will be truly one of the most important in American history. With more than 14 million Americans out of work and millions more involved in the administration’s war machine what we need is a new president with an understanding of economics, knowledge of international affairs, and a complete dedication to civil liberties and constitutional rights. The only candidate that fits that profile is Congressman Ron Paul.
Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina