Feb 222010
Authors: Wade McManus and Ian Bezek

President Paul not a likelihood
By Wade McManus

Tea Partiers and Libertarians are floating on Cloud 9 this week after 2008 Presidential Candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll. And for now, the moment is theirs.

Though the election is more than two years away, many of the conservative right are calling for a Paul Presidency in 2012.

They actually believe that the CPAC straw poll revelations will have an enduring significance in the years to come. They actually believe that he has a shot at winning the next presidential election. And they actually believe the Republican Party would allow it.

There are only a few problems with this ill-placed hope.

First it is unlikely, and certainly undecided, if Paul will even put his name up for nomination. Secondly, and more importantly, there is no way that he would ever win the Republican nomination. Put simply, the Republicans would not nominate a candidate who wants to disassemble big government and the dominant two-party system.

However, the poll is not completely useless and won’t be discarded as irrelevant by the Republican Party. If Republicans are smart, they’ll recognize the poll for what it is: a reflection of the feeling of disenfranchisement of the conservative right and their divorce from the Republican Party. Even Republican Mike Huckabee said that the historically Republican, CPAC has turned too Libertarian.

What he fails to acknowledge is the fall of his own party.

It’s too bad, though. I wouldn’t mind seeing Paul as President in 2012. But it just isn’t going to happen. Tea Partiers and Libertarians are simply stuck in a daydream.

Wade McManus is a senior political science major. His column appears on Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

Republicans must learn from ron paul’s victory
By Ian Bezek

I agree with Wade that Ron Paul probably won’t be president in 2012 and that we shouldn’t read too much into the surprising results of the CPAC vote.

That said, it’s an extremely positive sign that the Ron Paul campaign has managed to continue past 2008. While his Campaign For Liberty made quite a splash at the time, I thought it would flicker out after the election.

While it is clear that Obama’s popularity, not to mention that of his party, is on the decline, I don’t trust the Republicans any more than the Democrats. The Republicans, at least the party of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain and Sarah Palin, has no answers that can fix our country.

The Republicans need to realize that the discontent within the party is an organic grassroots movement that isn’t going away. People like Paul can bring the Republicans back to a relevancy that they’ve largely lost since the Reagan era.

While Americans probably aren’t going to elect a 76-year-old president, Paul would do better job than any of the other Republicans.

And Republicans must take him seriously if they wish to retake the presidency, either by nominating him or co-opting his message.
Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

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