“Super Tuesday,” widely regarded as the single most important day in the presidential primary season, is quickly approaching, and while the Republicans have long perpetuated the idea that it would be ready to mount a formidable challenge to President Obama, the truth of the matter is the Grand Old Party really doesn't look so great at the moment.
Divided by factions and ideological schisms, there is no clear-cut nominee amongst the five Republican presidential hopefuls. While Barack Obama began campaigning long ago, the GOP has found itself running in circles, unable to reach anything close to a consensus as to whom they will support.
For some insight into the mess that is the Republican Primaries, consider the following: the politically moderate Mitt Romney, long presumed to be the party's torch bearer, suffered several defeats to the extremely socially conservative Rick Santorum. It was an upset that few pundits actually saw coming.
While one could make the case that many primary voters will likely be voting against Romney and not for Santorum, it is important to recognize that if either of these individuals receive the nomination, it will determine exactly how far to the right the Republican Party wants to position itself when challenging President Obama. Strategically speaking, the best place to attack Obama is likely near the center, turf that is wholly unfamiliar to Santorum.
Meanwhile Ron Paul, the last libertarian standing in the GOP field, has been quietly snatching up convention delegates. While the media is quick to dismiss the physician-turned-Congressman as an irrelevant crazy person, if Paul decides to stay in the race up until the convention, his possession of delegates could throw a wrench into the works. Will he become the nominee? Most likely not, but he has never been one to tow the party's line, and that could cause a stir down the road.
And then there is Newt Gingrich, who seems to have already set his eyes beyond the White House, focusing instead on lunar colonization. While he might be the only candidate courageous enough to take a stand in the ever-popular “should we colonize the moon” debate, his earth-based support has drained considerably in recent weeks. Even the most idealistic of Newt's supporters are becoming skeptical of his chances and yet he continues to chug along.
With the Republican Party's presidential nomination is still largely up for grabs, pundits have had a field day speculating as to which of the above stated candidates is going to deliver his acceptance speech in Florida this August. The candidates themselves, anxious to secure their spot on the stage, have turned their attention away from the issues that concern Americans, and instead focused their efforts on the timeless art of mud slinging.
It is a disheartening realization that has left many voters thirsty for another voice. Few likely realize that there is a fifth Republican contenders, one whose name is almost never mentioned among the speculated victors. Despite an impressive resume, outstanding qualifications, and a concrete platform for economic and political recovery, Governor Buddy Roemer has been almost completely ignored by the Republican Party and the mainstream media.
To understand why the Republican Party harbors such disdain for the candidacy of a man who could very likely beat Barack Obama and restore stability to an otherwise divided America, one must examine his platform.
Unlike Rick Santorum, who has relied on social issues as his vehicle for success, or Mitt Romney who utilizes chameleon-like charm, Governor Roemer has left the social issues and politicking to his opponents, breaking with the GOP's line to promote fair trade, campaign finance reform, and revamped foreign policy. And as an added bonus, all of his policies are centered around planet earth!
For years now, the American public has complained that politicians are no longer beholden to the people and are instead indebted to special interests groups and political action committees. The rise of the controversial SuperPACS during this election cycle have once again sparked public outrage as to who is funding our government, and to whom our elected officials really answer.
While the cries for campaign finance reform largely fell upon deaf ears, Roemer has spent the last several decades listening to the public's concern, and in turn, has called for widespread reforms to the way campaigns are funded. The Roemer for President campaign refuses to accept any special interest money, self-limits its contributions at $100 per donor, and has promised full disclosure of its funds to the FEC.
If elected, Roemer has promised to force the special interests out of politics. While there are those who erroneously believe that corporate entities and special interest groups are “people,” one must realize that America will never return to the great nation it once was if we continue to sell our Chief Executive to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, Roemer has learned that it is hard to gain traction in a corporate controlled party when your platform is dedicated to combating the special interests.
Roemer's opposition to the neo-conservative ideals that have overtaken the Republican Party becomes apparent when one examines his economic policy; he is the only presidential candidate who opposes NAFTA, the trade agreement that sold America's industry to Mexico, resulting in a vast drain of available jobs for our citizens. He also opposes “free trade” with China, arguing that one cannot engage in a free market system with a national that artificially manipulates its economy and production.
Governor Buddy Roemer is more than qualified to be president, and the majority of Americans would likely embrace his platform if only they could be exposed to it. But the clock is ticking towards election day, and the Republican Party has yet to display even a minute amount of respect for the Roemer campaign.
This has prompted Roemer to seek other avenues. While he has expressed interest in seeking the nomination of Americans Elect in the past, there is currently a movement within the Reform Party, founded by Ross Perot in 1996 as a means of advancing fair trade and campaign finance reform, to draft Roemer as their nominee. Roemer seems like a perfect fit in the party that ran candidates like Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Jesse Ventura.
The fact of the matter is simple: it is time for Buddy Roemer to leave the Republican Party behind. He has remained above their tomfoolery for years, and there is no reason for him to remain in a party that doesn't share his ideals or ethics.
The coming weeks will prove themselves to be very exciting to students of political science. The Republican candidates will likely become even more blood thirsty, ignoring the issues in favor of personal assaults and negative campaigning. The Republican Party's National Convention draws ever closer...but then again...so does the Reform Party's.