WARNING:  This is a political post, which explains Tim’s personal beliefs.  Don’t read it if you are offended by clear thinking. 🙂 

One reader (Lenette) expressed her surprise that I’m a Republican. 

All I can say is that while the current Theocracy that has strangled the party does not represent my views, the bedrock principles of the GOP are in line with my own ideals.

I believe that:

1.  The rights of the individual are more important than the good of the state (see the Declaration of Independence).

2.  The Constitution limits the size and scope of the federal government.  Issues like education, property/income taxes and marriage are matters for individual states to decide.

3.  The federal government’s job is to protect our country.  But not by seeking out conflict and meddling in the affairs of other countries.

4.  Congress (alone) has the responsibility to declare war.  It cannot be handed over to the president, who, as commander-in-chief, directs the war after it has been declared.

5.  Worth (money) has to be backed by something of real value.  Until the early 1970’s, U.S. dollars were backed by gold. 

6.  Our elected politicians constantly destroy the Social Security System and devalue our dollar, causing real economic pain for the poorest of our citizens.  By constantly stealing money from Social Security to pay for social programs (and now, war) our representatives destroy a safety net that many low-income Americans are relying on to help them through retirement.  And by printing more money or borrowing money from the Chinese when they want to help the poor with new programs, they actually devalue the money (more supply = less value) that’s already in poor people’s pockets.

7.  People in Florida shouldn’t have to ask folks in California or Indiana how to raise or educate their kids.  Each state has its own constitution, which enumerates the rights of it’s citizens and the restrictions on its government.  It makes no sense for us to gather money from each state (income taxes) and then make states beg to get money back to fund fire stations or schools.  If folks in Montana want to build fancy schools, let them spend their own money, not money that was taken from folks in Mississippi.

Of course, this puts me at odds with the current leadership of the Republican Party.  George W. Bush, who gained power by appealing to religious conservatives who push a moral agenda, failed to reign in out-of-control spending, started a distracting war on false pretenses and advocated larger federal government which deprives citizens of civil liberties and aims to decide issues like marriage and morality on a nationwide level.

After sizing up the current field of candidates, including the Democrats, I found only one candidate that fit my philosophy and who advocates smaller federal government and a return of the civil liberties that have made our nation stand out in the world.

That candidate is Congressman and Doctor Ron Paul.

Sure, he’s been portrayed as kinda kooky by the media.  And his debate responses are so different than the soundbites being offered by the other hopefuls that it gets confusing, but a thorough review of his thoughts and ideas make me excited enough to donate ACTUAL MONEY to his campaign.

Dr. Paul lost quite a few of the established GOP voters during the first debate, when he suggested that our own actions in the Middle East provided a motive for terrorists to attack us on September 11th.  Of course, Rudy Guiliani, the reigning “King of 9/11,” accused him of blaming America for being attacked.

Rudy got a nice bit of applause, but his “don’t pick on my little brother” stance neglected to acknowledge that the CIA, the FBI and the 9/11 Commission all made the same conclusion.  Turns out that American foreign policy, which has meddled in the affairs of Middle-Eastern countries for decades, does piss off the Muslims.

Although he wasn’t given the chance to further explain himself at the debate, Dr. Paul has since elaborated that while our foreign policy of intervention has given motive to terrorists, the responsibility for their actions lies solely with the murderers who carried out the attacks.  And Dr. Paul voted to go into Afghanistan and hunt down the people responsible for September 11th.

Dr. Paul was, however, one of the few congressman to vote against the aggression in Iraq, warning, way back in 2003, that an undeclared war in Iraq would distract us from capturing Osama Bin Laden and prosecuting Al-Qaeda operatives.

In my estimation (and I defended G.W. for years after the invasion) Dr. Paul was absolutely right.

Our deficit (money which we have to pay back some day) is close to 10 TRILLION dollars.  Every day, we borrow over 1 BILLION dollars from foreign countries, mostly China.  We regularly STEAL from the Social Security Trust Fund, meaning that our children will not only have to pay back TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, but will have no retirement to show for it.

We have spent more than 500 BILLION dollars in Iraq so far.  We throw 1 TRILLION dollars a year away on policing the world.  We have 700 military bases in over 100 countries on this planet.

All the while, our Constitution, the rulebook we’re supposed to follow, warns us to have “friendships with all and allegiance with none.”

All the while, folks at home suffer under oppressive taxes (it’ll take most of us ’til May to make enough money to satisfy our tax bill) and heavy-handed government.

Dr. Paul wants to abolish the IRS.  No, not replace it with something else; abolish it completely.  “But we won’t have enough money,” you say?  We already tax goods being imported (that’s called tarriffs) and we have the second highest corporate taxes on the planet, so abolishing the money taken from your paycheck would still leave the federal government with as much money as they collected in 1999.  Hardly a time of “small government.”

Am I worried that Dr. Paul’s low poll numbers mean he can’t get elected?  No, because while I used to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” I’m voting this year for the best person for the job.  Plus, he’s beaten Rudy Guiliani in four of the primaries so far, he’s come in second in Nevada and may have won Louisiana (they’re still counting votes).  He raised $20 million dollars in the last three months of 2007 and has a sizable amount of money in the bank right now.  Furthermore, he’s polling above 12% in Georgia, even though the media seems to forget that he’s even running.

But don’t take my word for it and don’t allow the television media’s reluctance to decide your vote.  Check out all the candidates and see who fits you best.

You can read Dr. Paul’s ideas and thoughts on everything from abolishing the IRS to creating effective healthcare for all Americans by visiting his site:  www.RonPaul2008.com