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{Published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, 1-24-08}

On Tuesday February 5th, Colorado Republicans will caucus to chart the definitive course of their party. If they truly believe that America’s unique strength is its vision of freedom, responsibility, and self-government, they should back Ron Paul.

Mike Huckabee is not a candidate who shares Ronald Reagan’s vision of letting Americans run their own lives. He is a tax-and-spend Republican, one of the most unfortunate political archetypes to emerge in the 21st century. He also wants to change the Constitution to conform to God’s laws, and calls for America to return to Christ. This puts him on the wrong side of church/state issues, and requires an alliance between religion and politics only an Imam could love.

Mitt Romney claims to be a fiscal conservative. But he trades money for votes in ways that put Hillary Clinton to shame. His health care proposal is indistinguishable from Hilary’s. He carried Michigan by promising $20 billion of corporate welfare to the auto industry. He even wants increased price supports for farmers, a program that economists of every stripe know has no redeeming value whatsoever. Romney, a fiscal conservative? Hogwash.

If Hilary is running as a “mommy” Democrat, Giuliani is s a “daddy” Republican. The mommy politician promises to love everyone, to take care of them when something bad happens, and to let them know that everything is going to be OK. The daddy politician is the man of the house. He’s going to protect the family, stand at the door with a shotgun, and give bad kids a whuppin’ if they step out of line.

Giuliani would grab more presidential power than any Clinton or Bush you care to name.

He’s a rabid cheerleader for domestic surveillance, and had over 35 successful First Amendment lawsuits brought against his administration as mayor of New York, based on his attempts to restrict political speech he didn’t approve of. If any president would revive the Alien and Sedition Acts, it’d be Giuliani. By sacrificing our freedom in the name of security, he is giving terrorists a victory they could never achieve through force of arms.

Nor is McCain much better. His obsession with controlling political speech in the name of campaign finance “reform” is one of the most egregious anti-First Amendment actions ever to be proposed by a sworn defender of the Constitution. McCain also believes each “one of us has a duty to serve a cause greater than our own self-interest”. But what good is such an obligation if not freely chosen? Under a McCain presidency, our freedom to pursue our own lives as we see fit will be denigrated as mere “self-interest”, to be subordinated to whatever John McCain thinks it should be. What’s conservative about that?

I don’t believe Congressman Paul is right on every issue. But he is right in that the future of America lies with freedom, responsibility, and constitutionally limited government.

This means not being afraid to propose the painful but workable changes to solve our painful but solvable problems.

Cut taxes a lot. Cut spending even more. End corporate welfare. Stop crippling the economy. Let people trade however they want. Let citizens take more responsibility for their lives, even if they do things you don’t approve of. Stop redistributing wealth from group A to group B just because group B votes for you. That impoverishes America.

Congressman Paul gets all that. He picked up his first delegates in Nevada, giving him more than Giuliani. He raised more money in a single day than any other Republican candidate. Most importantly, many of the states caucusing on Super Tuesday are in the West, where Paul’s message of freedom and responsibility will resonate the most. That’s important, because it is in the West that the growth and future of the Republican party lie.

On February 5th, don’t go into caucus obsessed with beating Hilary. Think about what you’re for, not just what you’re against. Don’t vote for a candidate because he’s got the same theology you do. That cripples democracy in Iran, and it will cripple democracy in America.

When you gather in caucus, remember one thing: If Republicans don’t stand for limited government, freedom, and responsibility, then they don’t stand for anything at all. On February 5th, stand for something. Vote for Ron Paul.