On Sunday, Dec. 4 (original air date: Dec. 2), I watched the rerun of the Republican presidential candidate forum on Fox News’ “Huckabee.” The event took place at a town hall meeting in New York and was sponsored by tea party supporters.
Participating candidates were Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. The event was moderated by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and the candidates were interviewed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
“This forum is an excellent opportunity to engage each of the candidates in a candid conversation about issues that are important to voters in our state and across the nation,” said Bondi in her press release, which was sent out by the Republican Party of Florida.
She goes on to say, “This will be a historic election, and I am excited to play a part in helping voters gain a better understanding of candidates’ beliefs on fundamental issues such as constitutionalism and the role of government.”
I am sure all the details of the candidates’ responses have already been discussed and highlighted in the media all over the country. A Des Moines Register poll released late Saturday, Dec. 3, found Gingrich leading the GOP field with 25 percent support among likely Iowa caucus goers on Jan. 3; Texas Rep. Paul received 18 percent support; and Romney received 16 percent. It was clear, however, that Gingrich and Romney appeared to be the front-runners.
I was impressed by how well the forum was organized and by how objectively all participants were treated. Understandably, everyone criticized Obama’s economic record, and everybody had a good chance to express his/her views and the ways they would scale back government programs, reduce the deficit, etc.
I have to admit that now I know a great deal more about the candidates as human beings and more importantly about their potential ineptitude to become the leaders of this unique country at the time when it needs ingenuity and talent to survive as a free and independent nation.
Why are they so anxious to take upon themselves such awesome responsibilities to be the leaders of this great country? If Obama braved the field, why not they? They may even be incomparably better, more honest, and more patriotic.
But is this all we expect from the leader of this great nation? What are their unique, outstanding qualities that will make them better than Obama? So far most of them presented their positions on the same down-to earth problems — economy, education, taxes, and so on.
And what about preserving individual freedoms, guaranteed by the American Constitution? Most of them — but not all.
The one and only exception was Paul. What is the country looking for? Knowledge, wisdom, talent, family values, military service to the country, political experience — he’s got all that. He is the only candidate who defends constitutional fundamentals. If elected president, it is the American Constitution the country will live by. Simple and clear. No shrill promises that never get fulfilled, no deviations and excuses to suit politics of the day.
In an 11-minute presentation, Paul forcefully articulated his foreign-policy matters and his pro-freedom views without any hesitation or equivocation, thus presenting a philosophical alternative to the other contenders. He presented his views on so many different subjects. In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Paul said: “I want the government out. If you’re going to have government under the Constitution, the states have a lot more authority than the federal government has to define it. I’d rather see it be outside of government and then we would not be arguing about this.”
Paul considers himself a Republican and calls for less government, lower taxes, a free market economy, and greater protection of individual freedom — which all are traditional Republican values. Conclusion?
Paul is more Republican than the other candidates.
Paul’s campaign themes: freedom, prosperity, and peace are already resonating throughout the country.
Paul thinks philosophically, which is what the debates need, rather than “unending restatements of neo-conservative positions.” “You cannot conduct a strong, assertive, and costly foreign policy with a weak economy . . . we must restore confidence in our country’s ability to achieve even greater heights of prosperity than in the past.”
However, it is necessary to formulate one possible misunderstanding harmful to the United States and freedom in the world in general. Many countries are too weak to defend themselves, but it is considered diplomatically undesirable to accuse any country of its intention to start a war. The American presence is in itself a deterrent against aggression.
In other words, the presence of such a powerful country as the United States in the area of potential aggression is strategically necessary.
Lev Navrozov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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