Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, is currently leading in the polls. This tells me two things: republicans still vote for who's next; and the majority of voters aren't paying attention. Both these thoughts are perplexing to a degree, because we refuse to learn from history. The kids who vote for American Idol know more about who they are voting for than the average political voter. How in the hell does this make any sense? Why bother voting at all if you don't actually care?
As for the former thought, voting in who is next: The first election campaign I payed attention to was George HW. People really thought they were continuing Reagan's legacy (apparently discounting the very reason Reagan chose Bush as VP was because they were so opposed). So they voted for who was next. Then, to defeat Clinton, they chose Bob Dole. Then it was Bush again, then McCain. And we all knew in 2008 that Mitt Romney would be the guy in 2012.
But something happened in 2008 that the republican establishment hadn't counted on: the Tea Party. People caught on to the neoconservative big government ways of progressivism. Among all the clamor of whether or not redistributing wealth in the form of a universal health care system was constitutional, people started to read the constitution.
Suddenly, Libertarianism is trending. People are tired of the hypocrisy and the corruption that is inevitable with big government. They're beginning to understand that if government has the right to tell you what to smoke, they can tell you what to eat and drink. Some, like presidential candidate Rick Santorum welcome such nanny state interventionism, as long as he is the one deciding what the people are allowed to do. This is why santorum scares the ever loving shit out of me. He is no different than Michael Bloomberg banning salt because he knows what is best.
Slightly less frightening is the thought of a Newt Gingrich presidency. I understood his rise in popularity when taking on the media, but I never understood how that popularity resulted in higher polling. They are two separate things. Paris Hilton is popular. No one wants her running shit. But it worked for him for a few weeks. He frightens me because he's not nearly as intelligent as he pretends to be. He's faked it so long that he believes that he is that smart. And when he is wrong, which tends to be quite frequently, he is so confidently wrong, it makes Bush joking about weapons of mass destruction look tasteful.
Which leaves us with Ron Paul. I don't agree with everything Ron Paul says, but I do agree with everything he plans to do. I know he will veto any legislation that doesn't abide by the constitution. Most importantly, I know that at least for 4 years, we can be free in the ways that our founders intended. I know that if he says something on the campaign trail, he's going to stick by that.
If Obama is reelected, the country continues its downward spiral towards depression, riots, and a police state. If Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich get elected, we stop that downward spiral, and go on a different downward spiral that leads to depression, riots, and a police state.
So that's why I'm voting Paul. And if we're still holding elections in 4 years, I'll be voting for Rand.