Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Tuesday: It's All About the Delegates Baby

Today, Virginia and nine other states around the country will play their role in choosing the Republican candidate to oppose President Barrack Obama in the coming November election. Over the past few months, I have written, sometimes in exhaustive detail, about the many reasons as for why I support Texas congressmen Ron Paul, and why you should too. (http://daodesam.com/blog/ronpaulpolitics.html)
 With such a pivotal day in the race upon us, I thought I’d give you one more; it still matters.
First of all, it matters because it is still possible for Dr. Paul to become the Republican nominee. At the close of the most recent CNN debate prior to the Arizona contest, each candidate was asked what the biggest misconception about them that they would like to dispel. Ron Paul’s answer was “the perpetuation of the myth by the media that I can’t win.”  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MWC_bKgAFs&feature=related)
The media has gone great lengths to ignore, belittle and undermine the candidacy of Ron Paul. He routinely gets far less speaking time and face time on camera than his GOP rivals during nationally televised debates. CNN, in its introduction to one of the debates labeled him “The Insurgent.” A recent Washington Post article about irregularities in the Maine vote did not mention the congressmen’s name once, despite the fact that he narrowly loss to Romney in the state, the reason the issue of the vote came up again. Voters are told again and again that he is a fringe candidate with no realistic chance of winning, thus it’s futile to support him. Last time I checked it was the media’s job to report the news, not tell people which candidates are legitimate and which are not.
However, as Paul has yet to win a single state’s primary or caucus, it doesn’t seem possible that Paul could get to the 1,144 delegates needed to lock up the nomination. With lots of Republicans turned off by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich splitting the hard-line conservative and largely religiously fundamental voting bloc, it is seeming more and more unlikely though that any of the four remaining candidates will reach this magic number. If no one wins the nomination outright, it allows other scenarios to where the Texas doctor could actually emerge the victor.
This is important for anyone out there who is not enthusiastic about Mitt Romney and/ or is disillusioned by Obama’s first term. This time you don’t have to hold your nose and vote for whoever you perceive to be the lesser of two evils. There is a candidate who has never associated with lobbyists. There is a contender whose campaign is funded mostly by small contributions from average people and not big time corporations and banks. There is a man who has consistently stuck to what he believes in and has never flip flopped despite being in politics for almost three decades. There is a choice that is really against war, and doesn’t just say he’s against war.
It ultimately comes down to the delegates. In a situation where no candidate wins the required amount, the decision for who represents the GOP in the November election will come down to a brokered convention. Even if he does not claim a victory in one single state, Ron Paul would still be a power to be reckoned with in such a situation. It suffices to say that it will be a far cry from 2008 when the Grand Old Party shut Paul out of its convention. He has already collected quite a few delegates through several second and third place finishes, and this trend should continue through the rest of the process. 
There is a scenario, though to me a very improbable one, where Congressman Paul makes a deal with Romney, allowing the former governor to lock up the nomination, in which Paul would receive for his delegates a keynote speech at said convention or even the VP slot on the ticket for him or his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Assuming that no candidate reaches 1,144 delegates and no such deal is made, a final vote at the convention could decide the nominee. In such a situation, many of the delegates will not be any longer bound to vote for the winner of their state. As Paul has a great amount of supporters who are generally younger, more politically active and enthusiastic, the result of the triggering of such a vote could lead to Ron Paul being the Republican candidate for president. Furthermore, the delegate selection process is still ongoing in many states where a winner has already been declared. How many people actually stick around for their candidate plays a big role in how many delegates they will ultimately win, as well, another area I believe Ron Paul’s passionate base will give him an edge.
Even if there was no chance he could win, I would still support Dr. Paul. This is because his movement stands for something and is growing every day. Even if he can’t beat Romney in the Virginia heads up contest (although he did beat Romney in 2008 in VA, 4.5% to 3.7%), my vote today, like all others for Paul cast all around the country is a vote that says personal freedom and liberty still matter, that the Constitution is not just a piece of paper and the ideals our nation were founded on still mean something, and that there are other alternatives to the so called acceptable choices the mainstream media pushes down our throats. In short, even if you don’t agree with all of Ron Paul’s views, which, for the record, I don’t, a vote for him is still a vote for votes still mattering. And if you vote for Romney because you want to be on the winning team, or if you can’t wait to vote for Obama again, then you have no right to complain about our perpetual warfare, or the spiraling national debt, or the gradual erosion of civil liberties.
Being apathetic towards politics will never change anything. If you want to be part of the solution, then you need to support the politicians that are doing things the right way, even if you don’t agree with 100% of what they say. If you want to be part of the continuing problems our nation is facing, then vote for your puppet of choice, or just stay home today.

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