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GOP race still up for grabs; Santorum looks good

By Zach Jarrell, Features Editor

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The GOP race is wide open right now. With Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry dropping out, only four serious candidates remain. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the current frontrunner, but there’s a movement growing for Anybody-But-Mitt.

Ron Paul seems to be the scary second choice. He has enough support to consistently remain a top contestant, but he can’t get enough to win a state. Newt Gingrich is hanging on by his fingertips at a consistent fourth. He’s remaining in the race now more for his own pride than his actual chances of winning. He’s been criticized for switching from his talk about a “positive campaign” to making ads hammering Romney.

The final candidate is former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum began his campaign as the laughing stock of the race. A week before Iowa, he was only in single digits in the polls. After visiting every county inIowa, including 35 pizza joints, he managed to surge to an apparent second, finishing eight votes behind Romney. But the GOP recently recounted the votes and is now declaring Santorum the winner ofIowa.  He spent little time inNew Hampshire, where Romney was the obvious leader. Instead, he chose to focus on South Carolina for its Jan. 21 primary.

My personal choice for 2012? Well, I was all in for Herman Cain, but he dropped. In fact, if he were still in the race, I think he would be the easy winner of the Republican nomination. But unfortunately, I can’t pick him now. The rest is a tough crowd to choose from and I’m more comfortable choosing who I don’t want. Here’s how I see the people who are left.

Ron Paul is scary

The No. 1 person who scares me is Ron Paul. I agree with a lot of his views, but he takes them to extremes that are even too big for me. I almost fear that Paul would get rid of the federal government entirely. I’m all for giving the states more power, but we can’t have a nation as strong as we are without some type of federal government. Look what happened with the Articles of Confederation. They were great for establishing a mail service and bringing the Northwest Ordinance, but some key things such as building an army were not very feasible. The federal government needs to be there, just not as big as it is now.

Gingrich’s time has passed

Next I would have to eliminate Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been in Washington forever and I believe his time has come to leave.  He is a little too sketchy for my tastes. I don’t like the fact that he’s had a ton wives, though I don’t think that should be a huge issue. He also is just too much of a politician. Politicians aren’t the most trustworthy people and he has certainly been one for a long time. Granted, a candidate needs more experience politically than Obama had, but Washington is one the most corrupting places in the world. Gingrich also is a believer of global warming, something I have not seen strong enough evidence for and that most conservatives don’t believe exists.

Romney is a flip-flopper

Mitt Romney is an interesting character. He was growing on me for a time. I disagreed with his views almost as much as Jon Huntsman’s, but I thought he had the best chance of beating Obama. Romney was even getting the endorsements of some of my favorite people such as Chris Christie and Ann Coulter. But I’m starting to see he is a flip-flopper. I don’t like Romney-Care, and I think he has shown a more moderate past. Our country needs more than a moderate to get out of the hole it’s in. Romney seems to base his views on what’s popular and doesn’t really have his own opinions. He’s very power-hungry; I think he just wants the power that comes with the presidency.

Santorum gets my vote

That leaves me with one choice. (I won’t even consider Vermin Supreme, the candidate who promises ponies for everybody if he becomes president). I will be voting for Rick Santorum this March.  His views are most consistent with my own, and after his win in Iowa, I believe he could run a considerable campaign.

Santorum is the most socially conservative of the bunch. In his Senate career, he added the Santorum Amendment to Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. The amendment states that “where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.”

Santorum is also willing to defend America to whatever extent it takes. He will clearly identify who our enemies and allies are, unlike Obama who has shown much more hostility to our friends in Israel than our other enemies in the Middle East. Some people fear that Santorum will lead us to war with Iran, but people thought the same thing about Ronald Reagan when he was elected.

Santorum is the best choice for presidency at this rate. He is a very conservative candidate and a leader that could rally the nation for a victory over Obama.

Saturday, Jan. 21, will be a very important date for this year’s Republican nomination. It has the potential to show a shift in the GOP leader or knock a candidate or two out of the race. Whatever happens, there is almost no doubt that they will be better than Obama.

6 Comments

6 Responses to “GOP race still up for grabs; Santorum looks good”

  1. Danny on January 24th, 2012 9:12 am

    Santorum still is the laughing stock in the GOP race…

    If Dr. Paul was the party nominee, would you be able to vote for him, Zach?

    [Reply]

    Zach Jarrell Reply:

    I would. Anyone is better than Obama. He’s just my last resort.

    [Reply]

  2. Dakota Miller on January 24th, 2012 9:49 am

    Intriguing column, Zach.

    Given, of course, I freely admit that I am on the left side of the political spectrum, but this year I am finding my thoughts a little more moderate. I’m considering members of the GOP, since I am able to vote this year, and I want to help make a difference.

    However, I have to say that Santorum is not a feasible candidate. Sure, he’s a little more feasible than Vermin Supreme, who’d get my vote simply because of the pony thing, but I digress. Santorum’s conservatism is admirable in the fact that he is consistent in his views, but it’s also downright offensive at times. Agree with or disagree with the rights of gay Americans, comparing their personal preferences to pedophiles and zoophiles is almost sickeningly disgusting.

    Simply because of the way that he’s treated a growing and quite large minority of Americans who are gay or support gay rights, his feasibility went from little to none.

    On another hand, I don’t see all of Ron Paul’s ideas panning out — removal of the IRS is not going to happen — but he has some merit to his campaign. His consistencies and the things he stand for are a little more agreeable to many moderates and even members of the left side of the spectrum.

    I still need to study everything all together, but at this point, it’s looking like Ron Paul is the real feasible candidate. Don’t be surprised if you see him taking first place in the near future.

    [Reply]

  3. Caroline on January 26th, 2012 8:53 am

    I agree with Dakota. Rick Santorum may seem feasible to some Tea Party supporters, but he’s way too conservative, offensive, and unpopular to win. Have you heard some of his speeches? The man is a lunatic. The fact that he beats down on homosexuals, comparing them (like Dakota said) to pedophiles and zoophiles is absolutely degrading — to himself. He basically is against any sort of sexual activity that doesn’t end in reproduction. In his tirade against “sodomy,” Santorum ignorantly forgets that by definition, sex is sodomy. And how would he enforce that? Perhaps we should develop a culture akin to “1984” in which the government keeps video cameras and hearing devices in our bedrooms to keep track of when and how citizens make love?

    As for Newt Gingrich … I agree, he’s too dirty as a career politician. Ron Paul’s isolationist stand is absolutely idiotic. Mitt Romney may be changing according to what’s popular, but he’s definitely the most feasible GOP candidate now. The fact that so many people are against him, simply because he’s a Mormon, only highlights how close-minded and discriminatory so many Americans are. I don’t care if our President is Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu, I just want them capable and fair to their country. Wasn’t America built on religious freedom, not just for Christianity?

    Of course, I am old enough to vote this year, too. I’m not sure if I’ll vote for Obama, Romney, or abstain, but one thing is clear: I sure as heck am not voting for Santorum!

    [Reply]

  4. Jordan Thomson on January 27th, 2012 9:43 am

    I don’t see how you can throw someone out of the race based on one or two of their beliefs. Yeah, Santorum is agaisnt gay rights, but that is something that most if not all conservatives are against. It’s like me saying that Obama should be thrown out because he supports abortion. The reason I bring this up is because there are FAR more important issues that need to be addressed right now, such as uncontrolled government spending and the educational system, to name a few.

    I agree with Zach that Santorum looks the best currently. Ron Paul is proposing radical ideas that would not only have a tough time actually getting passed but would create just as many problems as they would theoretically fix. I agree Gingrich is too much of a politician and I think Romney is swayed too easily and is not a strong enough leader to become president. And as for Obama… Well, after the State of the Union speech it’s clear he’s creating an overly optimistic view of the economy and is lying to help his chances in the election.

    My vote is definitely for Santorum. I like his focus on the family values and he seems to have a good plan for reversing Obamacare and a few other of Obama’s mistakes. His values are strong and I believe he has what it takes to start the process of getting America back on track by fixing our obviously torn and broken Washington.

    [Reply]

    Matt Metzler Reply:

    Rick Santorum does not have anything even remotely resembling “family values.” Do you know what “family values” should mean? It should mean letting same-sex couples adopt children who would otherwise spend years as orphans without loving parents and a true home. It should mean creating marriage equality, because otherwise, a child’s mother or father could be lying in a hospital bed, breathing his or her last breath, while the hospital denies visitation to his or her loved one, to the child’s other parent; if two partners raise a child together and one of them passes away, the child could be forcibly removed from the custody of his or her remaining parent. If Rick Santorum has his way, all of these things will continue happening. Children in the adoption system will lose out on being placed with loving parents and in a caring home, and when health tragedies occur, families with same-sex parents will be ripped apart by the legal system.

    Rick Santorum wants to reinstate ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ – he doesn’t think LGBT Americans are worthy enough to fight and die for their nation in war. He wants to introduce a constitutional amendment to federally ban gay marriage – meaning that the states that have already legalized same-sex marriage would have to stop performing these marriages.

    Equal rights should never be placed on the back-burner in this country. Saying it’s okay to shrug off Santorum’s anti-gay bigotry because all conservatives are anti-gay (which is extremely far from true – in fact, there’s even an openly gay Republican running for president right now, Fred Karger) or because there are more important issues that should be dealt with is massively irresponsible and ignorant.

    People like Rick Santorum – and those who support him – will soon find out that they’ve been standing on the wrong side of history. As Hillary Clinton said in a recent speech, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Santorum might have strong values, but they’re terribly misplaced.

    [Reply]

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The school newsmagazine of Kettering Fairmont High School.
GOP race still up for grabs; Santorum looks good