None of the Republicans appear much better for one reason or another. First, I feel that the Republicans (and many Democrats) are way too beholding to special interests, particularly insurance companies, major banks, military contractors, major energy players, etc. Mitt Romney is highly connected to big money as a senior manager and principal figure in a major private equity firm. That makes me not want to trust him.
John McCain is someone who I admire on one hand as a decorated veteran. Then again, I don’t feel like I could really trust him for some reason. I wonder if he would be a control freak who would struggle when he switches roles from the maverick outsider to the man in the White House.
Sam Brownback is too conservative to win, and I don’t know if he has enough experience to be a good president. Ditto for Mike Huckabee. Plus, I don’t think he has a realistic view on the immigration issue. He opposed the comprehensive reforms that failed in the Senate this summer. I support it. People who only want to talk about strong enforcement don’t really understand the issue, which makes me question their ability to solve hard issues.
I like Duncan Hunter’s position on most things except the immigration issue. He has been a champion for fair and equitable trade, and I really agree with him when it comes to our trade deals, especially China. Hunter accurately points out that many other areas around the world have unfair advantages that have hammered our manufacturing base.
Hunter has lots of D.C. experience, which is both a plus and a con. I just don’t know if he could win. And there is that immigration issue drum that he beats too much in the wrong direction. Congressman Tom Tancredo does the same thing and appears to have less experience than Hunter.
Then there’s Congressman Ron “Dr. No” Paul who makes me smile and want to cry at the same time. He is really a libertarian running as a Republican. I like Paul because he is brutally honest. I don’t like Paul because he isn’t very realistic. It is great when you don’t compromise your beliefs. But it is a problem when your beliefs are so strict that you cannot find common ground with almost everyone else in government.
Ron Paul champions one of the issues that is near and dear to my heart – private property rights. I believe that the federal government has abused eminent domain to push agendas that violate individual liberty. Paul also opposed the Patriot Act (so do I) and the war in Iraq (not sure how I feel on that issue although we need to leave the area as stable as possible before any exit is carried out). So I guess that I agree with him on the Iraq issue.
Here are some other interesting things about Ron Paul:
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
I believe that Paul accurately represents the conservative ideals better than many other so-called conservatives. That is particularly true when it comes to the fiscal responsibility of the government to operate with a balanced budget. While I don’t think Paul has a chance to win, he brings an interesting element to the debate.
Oh, you also have the non-candidate candidates, such as Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich. I kind of like Thompson, but I need to know more. Newt is a smart guy. But he is too polarizing a figure to get elected. Plus, I do think that your personal life matters. And he hasn’t always seemed to do too well in that arena.
Then, I could stray outside the normal two parties for a long-shot candidate. Let’s see, there is Ralph Nader. He’s better as a consumer advocate than a political leader. Next. Then there is Pat Buchanan. He needs to stay on his TV gig. Then there are a bunch of other parties without a declared candidate. Most of these are spot on in some issues but way off base on others. Then there are the socialist parties if we all want Hillary Clinton to be our government nanny.
What’s a guy to do? I am thinking about supporting a write-in candidate. I could always vote for Elmo, Bruce Wayne or maybe even Kurt Loder of MTV News.
Then a co-worker the other day had a great idea. She suggested that there always be a “None of the Above” option on ballots. If this option won, a follow-up election would be held where none of the previous candidates could participate. I kind of like that idea.
Maybe we would eventually get candidates worth voting for. Until then, I am strongly thinking about voting for Jesus in the 2008 race.
I welcome any good campaign slogan suggestions for the Jesus campaign. 🙂