In May of 1995, I was in Denver, Colorado for a Republican Presidential forum, where all the Republican candidates were invited to speak. I remember that I went there very decided on Phil Graham, a guy who I thought had a real chance of winning.
Something caught my attention that day, the sound of keys jingling while one man gave his speech. That voice I heard on stage had passion, it was captivating. For the first time, I heard a speaker who I knew believed in everything that he was saying. I wouldn’t switch my vote because of this guy’s five minute speech, but I knew at that moment that I wanted to see a Phil Graham – Alan Keyes ticket. When Phil Graham dropped out, I voted for Alan Keyes and that was the first time I wasted my vote on a guy who couldn’t win.
I never regretted wasting my vote on Alan Keyes. I could have been like many of my Republican friends who had decided that they were going to vote for Bob Dole because Bob Dole could win, and we owed it to Bob Dole because of all his work he did for the Republican party. I appreciated all the work Bob Dole did, and I admire that this man, a war hero, over came being totally paralyzed from a war wound, but I didn’t owe him anything. At least I didn’t owe him my vote.
What Bob Dole did in the service he did because he had too, as do all of our men and women who serve. They didn’t do it for me, but rather for their loved ones back home who’s freedom would also be threatened if they did not go and fight. They do it because they love their parents, their spouses, and their children, not because one day little old Avman (that’s me) will vote for him for President someday. People who run for office ought to do it because they want to serve, not because we owe them something. And the sheer volume of people who served during a time of war makes it impossible to give the Presidency to somebody just because they served in the military during a time of war. Again, no disrespect to those who served is meant.
I get a strange feeling that we are faced with that same 1995-96 mentality in both parties. On one side, we have Hillary Clinton, who we seem to owe her the White House because her husband is Bill Clinton and she’s done so much for the Democrat party that they just kind of owe it to her. One the other side, we first had McCain who was a POW in Vietnam and since he was another longtime Senator, we just kind of owed it to him, especially since he lost in 2000, and now we have Giuliani. Well, he didn’t serve in Vietnam, but he was Mayor of New York City during 9-11. Despite the many other disagreements we as conservatives would have with this otherwise RINO Republican, we have those that feel like we owe it to him. Not me.
Though I appreciate Giuliani’s service to New York during such a tragic time, I want to know what other things Guiliani stands for. And I do feel bad for the suffering that John McCain had to endure because Vietnamese communist didn’t care about any war crimes reminiscent of Ghengis Khan that gets seared into people’s minds, I can’t, in good conscience, have that as the sole criteria as President. I owe them my respect, but I don’t owe them my vote. They did what they did so that I can have a choice when I vote, not so they can own my vote when they felt it was their time.
But I’m going to talk about my wasted vote. You see, I take my vote a lot more seriously than to cast it on the guy who I think I owe it the most to. I do not sell my vote to the guy who’s going to bring home the pork or who gives me the neatest handout. I take what they have done in their lives into account, but ultimately my vote gets cast for the guy who I think is going to lead us into a much better future. To me, it’s a wasted vote to do anything less.
For me, that guy that I am going to cast my vote for in this Presidential year is going to be Ron Paul. As crazy as it may seem to many of you, Ron Paul is the guy who I think will lead us in the right direction. He’s the guy who’s victory will shock both parties.
Do I agree with Ron Paul on every issue? I know I don’t agree with him on ending the war. There’s a few issues that I disagree with him I’m sure, but I also understand his point of view. His view on the war makes more sense than sticking a finger down ones throat and vomiting as a way to protest the war, or hugging and kissing on Hugo Chavez, or going to Iraq and playing checkers for peace with Saddam Hussein while we prepare for war.
Yes, some of his views are extreme, but wasn’t it Barry Goldwater who said “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”? What is extreme is risking your fortune, your life, even your family so that a nation can be independent and free. It took a great war in order for us to have independence and many more wars to keep our freedom. Over the last forty years we’ve become more than willing to surrender our freedom. Haven’t we become dependent enough on Government to provide for us? Haven’t we relied on government to solve all of our problems? Would you prefer thousands of cameras capable of tracking your every move, but incapable of solving crime, in order to feel safe? Would you prefer that we give up all of our freedom because our government says it’s necessary to defend our freedom?
For me, the answer is a resounding no. It’s not my liberty that I’m giving up for my own security. It’s the freedom of future generations that is lost, all for my desire to never die.
For me, Ron Paul represents an idea that I have long felt that we as a nation need to do, that is, to get back to the original intention of the United States Constitution. You know, it’s that document that we all claim to love, yet, the vast majority of us never reads it. It’s to move our nation away from this selfishness that eats away at the fabric of our society, the ideology that everybody owes me something, but I owe nothing back. It’s to give Freedom another chance because it’s worth it, after all, aren’t we fighting a war now because we’re trying to preserve freedom?
Will Ron Paul be able to end the war in Iraq, balance the budget, restore all Rights lost, and united the universe? Probably not, especially with congress fighting against his extremism. But what he can do is get our nation thinking about what it means to be a free nation, he can reignite our passion for the Constitution.
Congress will stop him, so I don’t fear him. In fact, how can I fear a guy who stands up for freedom and not fear the guy who wants to centralize power in an office that he’s seeking?
It’s far-fetched to think that Ron Paul can win this election, I know it, we all know it, so why even worry about how congress will handle it? While many of you will say that I’m wasting my vote on Ron Paul, I’d tell you that I’m utilizing my vote to empower a man who I believe can help educate the nation on the Constitution and keep the torch of liberty lit, at least for one more generation. For me, it would be a wasted vote to do otherwise.