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On Super Tuesday I Will Be Part Of The Revolution

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In past elections I have frequently been among the unhappy souls suffering from “electile dysfunction,” the inability to become aroused by any of the candidates. I occasionally find a candidate I like in the primaries. In November I almost always find myself voting for the lesser of two evils.

This year is surprisingly different. There are three candidates that I could vote for with some degree of excitement who are still in the race as my state (Missouri) takes its turn in the primaries. It seems likely that at least one of them will be on the ballot in November.

Except for a brief fling as a member of the Citizen’s Party in 1980, I have never belonged to a political party. Although I consider myself an independent voter, I almost always vote for the Democratic candidate in races that seem competitive and for Libertarian Party candidates in other races. I haven’t voted for a Republican since Jack Danforth represented Missouri in the Senate. This time around, the fact that one of the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination is a libertarian (and former presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party) offers me a rare opportunity to vote my conscience without “wasting” my vote.

The slugfest between Barack Obama and the dynamic duo that is “The Clintons” is still too close to call. In all probability I will cast my vote in November for the winner of that contest. I won’t be participating in the choice between them myself, however, because on Super Tuesday I plan to be part of the Ron Paul Revolution.

I don’t agree with his position on health care, but I do agree with him on several other important issues. As a strict constructionist, he is calling for a massive reduction in the size of the national government. He would eliminate entire departments and pass the monetary savings back to taxpayers and powers back to the states. He doesn’t believe the government should be in the business of legislating morality. He wants to bring our troops home, not just from Iraq, but from everywhere. This last proposal is the one that really put him over the top with me.

I have spent my entire adult life looking on helplessly as our military forces have been used to promote and protect corporate interests around the world, interventions that have often obstructed, rather than encouraged, democracy. I have never agreed with our government taking on the self-appointed role of policeman of the world. Our resignation from that job is long overdue.

Hopefully, the United Nations will rise to the task of fulfilling its purported mission of maintaining peace. If not, we may need to replace it with a more effective international organization. Either way, it’s time for us bring our troops home.

Representative Paul does not advocate an isolationist policy. He believes we should remain actively involved in global affairs. Other nations manage to participate in the global economy and to interact with other countries without having troops stationed all around the world. It’s time for us to give that approach a try.

Some people consider voting for a candidate with no apparent chance of winning to be “wasting” your vote. I think the real waste is that so much newspaper space and air time is spent discussing poll numbers and reporting on the amount of money raised by each candidate. It’s a shame the mainstream media seem determined to ignore candidates like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

Voters seem to want “change,” but candidates advocating and articulating real alternatives to the status quo are marginalized and ignored by mainstream media. As the field of candidates shrinks, if enough people vote for Ron Paul, it will become more difficult for them to avoid giving his platform some much needed exposure.

Beyond the issue of ending our imperial misadventures, the issue I care most about is health insurance. Both Obama and Clinton propose health care plans that would allow a buy-in to Medicare. That is the key to freeing us from the vise-like grip of the insurance industry.

I am deeply disappointed in Ron Paul’s position on this issue. He is among those guilty of muddying the debate by using the term “socialized medicine” to describe Democratic proposals, which can more accurately be described as “socialized insurance.” The fact that, as president, he could veto any meaningful reform would make a choice between him and either Obama or Clinton very difficult for me, as I am equally disappointed in their unwillingness to completely end our occupation of Iraq.

With only a slight preference for Obama over Clinton, and the unprecedented opportunity to vote for a libertarian with at least some chance of winning, I will be voting for Ron Paul on Super Tuesday.

Should he overcome the odds and win the Republican nomination, I will look forward to November and the delightfully difficult choice between the greater of two good candidates, as opposed to the more traditional lesser of two evils. If Ron Paul makes it to November, I will be sorely tempted to opt for continuing the revolution.

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About Winston Apple

Winston Apple is the author of "Edutopia: A Manifesto for the Reform of Public Education." He is a former teacher. He has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1990). He is also a singer-songwriter and recording artist.
  • Marina

    Winston, it is not so bad. I have no insurance. I can’t affor it. However, I don’t worry about a RP presidency. I am convinced he will allow the states to discuss and implement their own particular plans. People will implement all types of health plans for our choosing. Physicians will be allowed to negotiate with their patients direcly and will not be afraid of any possible punishment from the establishment for doing it. Big pharma, FDA, etc. will not have the absolute powers they now have. Vitamins and herbal teas will not be prohibited. That freedom itself will bring us health solutions.

    Go Ron Paul!

  • Josh

    Socialized medicine or Socialized Health Insurance.

    Either case comes down to who pays.

    I hope you realize that everyone can get Emergency Care services at an Emergency room.

    Also with Socialize Health Insurance there is a company getting paid in the middle which may mean that Socialized Medicine might be less expensive because there will be no middle man.

    So if you mean that you are for a Middle Man who controls access to health care are you so sure that this is a good thing ?

    It will not solve the problem of free riders and it will not shorten wait times.

    Why not pay Doctors and Nurses a fixed salary let them decide who get care or who do not because they will be forced to make those decisions so it will come down to this or Hospital Administrators will make the decisions which mean that those whos words have weight will get better service and everyone else well it will be just too bad for them.

    I fully expect that Socialized Medicine be it via health insurance or not will at first work out well. It might even last past a honeymoon stage but when the bills come due we will see who has the trillions to pay for the program.

    What happens then ? Do you borrow to pay for better health insurance as the middle man makes sure that they get their profits or do you try and cut out the middle man to save ?

    This is not an easy question and it is certainly not an easy issue.

    However, 30 years ago during an interview when Ron Paul opposed the government moving more into health care he was flat out told that if the government got into health care that cost would go down at that time he asked the interviewer are you so sure it will ?

    The interviewer said “yes”, I believe, and Paul said we will see ?

    Since them the government has gotten into the health care business and I have to ask: have cost gone down for anyone ?

    If it has not then why would anyone think that using the same policy that has not worked will now work ?

    Do I agree with Ron Paul 100% ? No but on this topic even if I don’t 100% agree he is not unreasonable with respect to helping those that have become dependant.

  • http://winstonapple.blogspot.com Winston Apple

    I am working on a piece on health insurance that will be posted within a few days.

    – Winston Apple

  • Clavos

    If you agree with RP that we should pull our troops back from all over the world, does that include withdrawing them from the UN, and using US troops ONLY for US defense on our own territory exclusively?

    And, does withdrawing them from all over the world mean that we will only use them when we are attacked here on our own soil? If so, do we chase attackers that withdraw to other lands (or are directed from other lands) or do we fight ONLY on our own territory?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I always like it when the Paulites announce that we have troops deployed in 700 places around the world – failing to mention that 650 of those are US embassies with a handful of marines for security.

    Dave

  • http://winstonapple.blogspot.com Winston Apple

    Clavos,

    I agree with Ron Paul that we should not have U. S. troops stationed permanently in other countries. We should not have permanent bases in other countries.

    Speaking for myself regarding the United Nations, I believe we should make a good faith effort to help the U. N. develop the capacity to use peacekeeping forces effectively. I would not favor putting U. S. troops under U. N. command. However, U. N. peacekeeping forces should include some American citizens.

    In my opinion the United Nations has not proven itself to be a very effective organization. One suggestion I would make to increase its effectiveness would be to suspend the membership of any country who sponsors, harbors, or supports terrorists. Convicted felons lose their rights as citizens. Nations that support indiscriminate killing of civilians as a military tactic should not have the right to participate in an organization whose primary mission is peacekeeping.

    The world needs an international organization that is capable of keeping the peace. If the U. N. is not up to the task, we need to develop an organization that is. The United States should participate fully in good faith to help make that happen.

    The primary complicating factor related to the proper use of U. S. troops is the fact that we are at war right now. Osama bin Laden and other radical Islamists have declared war on us. We must respond effectively.

    Our response, however, should not be unilateral. We are not alone in the War on Terror. Bush and Cheney have done a masterful job of alienating our allies. The next president needs do a masterful job of repairing and expanding our alliances.

    All civilized nations with a genuine love of freedom have a vested interest in seeing terrorism rendered ineffective. We should participate fully in efforts to uncover terrorist plots, to identify terrorists and terrorist organizations, and to arrest or kill individuals who have committed crimes against humanity, or who are actively planning such crimes.

    My key point here is that combating terrorists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. should not be solely, or even primarily, an American responsibility. To take the most obvious case as an example, a genuine coalition of all civilized, freedom-loving nations needs to send troops into the tribal regions in Pakistan to root out and destroy the terrorists using that area as a sanctuary and base of operations. We shouldn’t do this unilaterally, we should participate effectively as part of an international mission.

    The War on Terror is going to be a long war. It is a different kind of war. The enemy is not wearing uniforms. They deliberately blend in with civilian populations.

    The intelligence community and armed forces of the United States and all of our allies in this war need to work together effectively and diligently to minimize the threat of terrorism while simultaneously working to minimize civilian casualties.

  • http://winstonapple.blogspot.com Winston Apple

    Dave,

    I don’t consider myself to be a “Paulite.” I don’t plan to throw my underwear on stage while he speaks. I’ve simply decided to vote for the man because he is the candidate whose views on the issues most closely match my own.

    The number of countries mentioned on Ron Paul’s web site is 130. I’ll take your word for it that some of those countries have nothing more than a “handful of marines” providing security for our embassies. I don’t presume to speak for Ron Paul, but I have no objection to a handful of marines guarding our embassies. To use your numbers (obviously inflated for effect) as an example it’s those other 50 countries (700 minus 650) that I am talking about.

    – Winston

  • Dave Nalle

    Actully, I picked 700 because that’s the number that a lot of the Paulites have been throwing around. That has to include every embassy and consulate in the world. Your 130 sounds more believable for actual deployments of troops including some weird little bases like Scappa Flow.

    But I agree that most of our deployed troops should be brought home. No real justifications for most of what they are doing out there.

    I think it would be cool if Paul’s supporters threw panties on stage, tho.

    Dave