The election results in New Hampshire tonight seem pretty unexpected to me. CNN is projecting Ron Paul to take second while trailing Romney by 15 points. I hate to read too much into it, but it seems like both the GOP establishment and the Tea Party are being abandoned. I can’t help but hope the trend continues because I am adamant that neither group represents a clear path forward to for real solutions.
The GOP establishment, through the emphasis on Romney’s electability has made it clear that they want to put an R next to the President’s name with few other requirements. The Tea Party talks a lot about reduced taxes and smaller government while also endorsing certain untenable and unconstitutional practices. A Romney administration might well create and enlarge bureaucracies like the Obama health plan. It is not inconceivable to me that a Tea Party administration might be equally large but with an emphasis on massive defense spending and beefed-up internal law enforcement to make sure all the subjects toe the line.
Ron Paul offers a new option. His votes in Congress were based on one effective rubric–Constitutionality. Oddly enough, that had him voting no on almost everything. His critics call him naive and out of touch because he doesn’t think that the core governing principles required to sustain a free democracy have changed with the shifting winds of 200-odd years. They think he is the naive one when he makes a cogent argument against a foreign policy based on obvious and covert manipulation of the internal affairs of countries around the globe. Paul takes issue with turning our own country into an authoritarian police state to further special interests on the left or right.
Maybe this will finally be the year of the libertarian. While I’m hoping, maybe the Occupiers who aren’t insane will take meaningful action by aligning behind Dr. Paul. Real solutions don’t require governmment to right wrongs or punish the corporate interests, but rather to just get out of the way. Greed and capitalism aren’t the answer but they aren’t the enemy either. American ideals like courage, honor, and freedom embodied in our history and Constitution hold all the solutions we need.